When I was younger, my suitcases would be full of Asian stationary goods (esp. Classmate pens), magazines, and cassette tapes/CDs when I returned from the motherland. Cassette tapes are now obsolete, CDs are also getting there, as are the perfect pens (people steal pens at work! and sometimes chew on them!). Many years later, I’ve shifted focus to beauty and skincare products.
Asian brands have been making their way stateside slowly (which can be explained by the vast quantity of brands one can find in Asian). The bigger ones have a footprint at major chains like Sephora (like Dr. Jart+). The smaller ones — I’m usually too lazy to hunt for them. As I was reading my latest magazines, blogs, and emails, two new sites popped up that warrants some attention:
- Peach and Lily. Sign up here. The Birchbox blog has been pushing them hard. Peach and Lily is also blogging. It looks like they will be focusing on Korean products but will also have Japanese, and I think they will be higher end than Soko Glam. They just launched with 3 brands.
- Soko Glam. This site sells Korean products — many brands will look familiar to anyone who has stepped foot in Seoul. And it just reminded me — I have no idea where that IOPE eyeliner I splurged on years ago went. (From DailyCandy: Use code dailysoko10 for 10 percent off all purchases through March 31.) Their Facebook is also entertaining.
Watsons is my favorite place to start when I visit HK or Taipei. And it’s not enough to go to one store — some have better promotions or stock. They sell higher end brands than the typical American drugstore (excluding the fancy, renovated Duane Reades, CVSes, and Walgreens of NYC). Similar to the Parisian pharmacies, it can be much cheaper to buy local brands locally. I wore Fiberwig mascara for many years and would restock here for $12-15/pop vs $22 at Sephora.
In the colder weather, I’ve been loving Shiseido’s Asia-brand, Majolica Majorca, and their Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara because they hold a curl way better than Fiberwig. It’s only a lengthener, but I’ve get asked if my lashes are real. (To be honest, my girlfriends and I spend a lot of time talking about eyelashes.) Another kind is pictured above that I have yet to try. I have yet to figure out how to prevent it from smudging in warmer weather while setting. It’s tough figuring out how much to buy if you don’t have time to test a product. I need a Majolica Majorca supplier :(