Taiwan is famous for fried chicken, milk tea boba and pretty clothes – but it’s also a major market for the beauty industry. Popular tourist attractions areas like Ximending and Xitun (Fengjia) all have one thing in common – rows and rows of beauty department stores. Taiwanese love fashion and beauty, which is why we have NiuEr laoshi and the brand Naruko – corporations have seen Taiwan itself as a profit-bearing market and they are definitely not wrong. So what exactly is there to get that I can’t get back in Malaysia?
Things to get in Taiwan
1. My Beauty Diary & My Scheming sheet masks
The first thing in mind to get when it comes to taiwan? Boxes and boxes of sheet masks. The sheet mask trend probably first started with Taiwan beauty company – My beauty Diary. Not forgetting other strong competitors like My scheming, Sexylook, Dr Morita!
With a variety of MBD sheet masks like aloe vera, mexico cactus, damask rose, black pearl, red wine etc, it is impossible to not love these sheet masks. These masks are usually on sale at Guardian and most probably BOGO, so don’t miss out on the chance to splurge on affordable and effective boxes of sheet masks! They are usually priced at around 250twd (for MBD) per box but i got them for 419@2 boxes. The my scheming masks were BOGO at around 299 twd for 2 boxes.
Taiwan companies know how much its consumers love sheet masks, so how do they make us buy even more? Bundle pricing. Get an entire variety of sheet masks in a classic, cutely themed box! The above MBD sheet mask box is a mother’s day special with 13 sheet masks. Sexylook and Morita also have quite a few sheet masks selection.
I also saw quite a few special and unique MBD sheet masks that i’ve never seen or heard before. These seem to be named after popular taiwanese tourist attractions like Taipei (spring water moisturizing mask), Kenting national park (algae elastic moisturizing mask), Huatung Valley (Mountain hydrating firming mask), Sun moon lake (Apparently i went there but had no idea because my family didn’t want to go on the boat) Black tea soothing moisturizing mask. The iris moisturizing elasticity mask also seemed to be a fairly new addition.
2. Ryoe & Mise en Scene haircare
Ryoe hair care is especially popular and affordable in Korea. Great thing is you don’t have to go to korea to enjoy all the varieties of ginseng shampoos and conditioners! Their more popular lines include Damage care (red), Anti hairloss (Purple), Hair strengthening (Brown), Nourishing (Pink), Scalp care (Green). I recommend getting the anti hairloss shampoos because they are very popular and affordable (Priced at around 200TWD).
The mise en scene perfect repair serum is sworn by many korean celebrities. I love the small bottle of sprarkling healthy vampire glow goodness – but it seems they have also comed up with different versions other than a light or heavy version as well. The special edition rose version seemed appealing, and other essence and styling versions seemed intriguing.
Apparently they also had a super rare korean brand named Yungo as well! This is the fresh cleansing treatment (scalp total care) from Yungo.
3. Hadalabo, Sana, Melano CC toners
Ya’ll know how much i love toners, especially japanese toners. I go nuts for these because i love lightweight toners for refreshing my face in hot, humid weather. if you’re like me, then you’ll go wild for all the entire rows of toners. I was going to get the new hadalabo shirojyun premium but i was breaking out lately so i decided not to. Not only do they sell the classics in their standard bottles, there are also refills so you get to save luggage space!
They even had a never before seen super large Hadalabo Gojyujun lotion of 400ml (priced at 660twd). If you love the hadalabo lotions, definitely get this to complete your bucket list!
Sana is a brand i’ve been seeing a lot of bloggers talk about and is always a staple in their skincare routine flatlays. Unfortunately i’ve never tried these but if you’re interested definitely get a bottle and try out!
Apparently they also had Melano CC as well! I’m still trying out both the lotion and essence (got them from japan a few months back).
You can’t go back home from Taiwan without at least something naruko. The taiwanese brand is extremely popular not only in Taiwan, but also worldwide. With different lines such as Tea tree, Rose, Taiwan Magnolia etc, you’re bound to find something you like in this treasure chest. They also regularly have sales so definitely check them out! The ever popular tea tree toners and tea tree cleansing mousse were BOGO, while the newly released tea tree back spray and sunscreen were also on sale for 299 instead of 499 twd.
Don’t forget about the highly raved Naruko sheet masks! My mom got a box of tea tree sheet masks (8pcs) for about 200 twd, and the taiwan magnolia sheet masks (10pcs) for about 250 twd. Definitely pick a box of Naruko sheet masks to try out, especially the rose botanic ones because they smell heavenly and give a nice glow!
5. Makeup (Missha, The Saem, Holika, I’m Meme, PONY)
Apparently a new collaboration with Korean blogger Lena, this line is full of dazzling, eye-catching sparkling makeup that will grab all your willpower to not buy anything.
The Missha x Lena twinkle liner is extremely pretty and unique. A glitter liner perfect for lining the aegyo-sal!
I was pleasantly surprised they had The saem! The drugstore korean brand is famous for its NARS dupe, tip concealer. It also had a bunch of other products like the eco soul lip mousse, blusher and highlighter.
Talk about cuteness overload as right next to The Saem shelf was full of Holika x Gudetama goodness. Look at dat all the irrestible cuteness in a beauty line! Everything was BOGO for some reason but there wasn’t any testers which allowed me to try sadly.
Another surprising find was popular korean brand and shopping site Memebox’s I’m meme. They had almost the entire line from their cushions, blushers, highlighters, lipsticks to some of the new products.
Where to get? Ximending locations:
- Kang Shi Mei/Guardian 康是美
Located right next to COCO ichibanya restaurant and opposite of Etude House,
- Basically you’re one stop for everything under one roof
- MBD usually on sale
- Hadalabo, sana, melano CC
- Ryoe, The saem, Holika
2. Watsons 屈臣氏
One located near the MRT station right at the corner,
Another located near the main street, opposite of Rainbow Hotel,
- Naruko is watsons exclusive
- More makeup brands such as Missha, Im meme, Pony
- Peripera, Kiss me, Heroine Make, A’pieu (Limited selection)
Located opposite of Uniqlo
- A tad bit more pricier
- hawk like salesgirl
- More luxurious brands like Goodal
4. Xiao San Mei Ri 小三美日
Located opposite of Uniqlo, right next to Sasa,
- Very good selection
- Hadalabo, Sana, Ryoe, Yungo photos were all from here
- Very good for hard to find products
- Great selection of haircare products
- Great selection of skincare, they also sell individual sheet masks
5. 86shop/ 86 xiao pu 86小舖
Located in an alley,
- Small space
- better for rare finds such as Neogen etc
6. Paris Strawberry 巴黎草莓
Once you are at the main door of Uniqlo, turn left on the corner into an alley. Once you see a lot of boutiques, there should be a large strawberry signboard in front of you. It is located on the second floor.
- may be hard to spot
- large variety of makeup brands such as innisfree, etude house, holika, A’pieu
- large variety of skincare such as Annie’s way etc
All above six are stores have multiple locations around Taiwan, most conveniently located in Fengjia night market and Ximending as well. The first three are global companies which also have locations in all around Asia, the latter three seem to be Taiwan exclusive. I didn’t go into all six stores this time due to time constraints, but well I did go to most of them during my last trip in 2016. Some information may be outdated because i basically tried to remember everything from memory.
If you want to explore korean brand franchices and get to haul and try everything from one brand, they have multiple franchices in ximending.
- Etude house
Located opposite of Cosmed/Guardian, the shop is usually packed with people trying out makeup and buying everything in there.
Located opposite of Uniqlo,
3. The Face Shop
Located opposite to KFC,
Of course there is plenty more available in Taiwan but it was impossible for me to take photos of everything. If you’re interested in what i got during my trip, check it out here! If you have any questions, or need recommendations for hotels or restaurants in ximending or want to know which night markets to go to, simply comment or hit me up on Instagram! I’d be glad to help!