Everytime I go home to Singapore, my family knows I will inevitably hit up Watson's, which is like a pharmacy and beauty store on speed. I love love love perusing its aisles, and seeing what's new in the world of Asian beauty, skincare, and haircare. I generally stockpile my next few months worth of staple products, and even if it means my suitcase is over the weight limit, they come back to Australia with me. Call me strange, but there are certain beauty staples I use that I've never been able to find a suitable replacement for that I can buy right here in Australia - and not for lack of trying! Here are my "Singapore staples", items I buy almost every time I'm back home. If you are travelling through Asia, you should certainly give these a try, they are ah-mazing.
1. Liese Bubble Hair Colour
My favourite hair dye in a box solution, hands down. And I've tried just about every brand/type there is over the years! Since I've started using this stuff, random people and hairdressers have commented on my hair colour, saying how much they like it. Liese Bubble Hair Colour is only about $15 bucks, is formulated for Asian hair, and comes in an awesome range of colours. It's a bit awkward to apply - you have to lather it up which I find a bit annoying, and it has to sit in your hair for 45 minutes (so long!) BUT it's all worth it. Plus, it comes with the most detailed instructions I've ever seen on ANY product. I buy this every few months, in a range of colours. So far, Ash Brown is my favourite or Marshmallow Brown. Best part - it doesn't fade to orange after a couple of months, as so many dyes do!
2. B & C 24 hr creamy eyeliner
This is a WONDERFUL eyeliner. Self sharpening, creamy, easy to apply with no dragging, heavily pigmented, and best of all does not smudge! I buy this also at Watson's and am extremely happy with it. I especially like it for lining the bottom rim of my eye, since it doesn't smudge even if my eyes get watery. What a champ of a product! Aproxx $25 SGD.
3. ZA 2-way Foundation Refills
I've waxed lyrical about this foundation before. But here goes. I've been using this foundation for YEARS, and being the beauty junkie that I am, have strayed and tried MANY other products. From budget to luxury, I've tried them all, and yet have failed to find the perfection that this stuff is. Firstly, they make it in my skin colour - do you have any idea how hard it is to find a good quality foundation in my skin tone, and that isn't tinged pink? Secondly, it's coverage is incredible. I've never used concealer because of this. I love that I can use it dry as a powder, or wet as a high coverage foundation for performances. It's FAST - I just pat it on. It's good for my skin, with SPF, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin E. It washes off at the end of the day easily. It's eco-friendly, with refills you can simply pop into your existing compact.
Best of all? It's inexpensive. My other favourite foundations are Giorgio Armani, Becca, Bobbi Brown, and Nars, which all run above the AUD $70 range. With refills that are only about SGD $23 (about AUD $17) you simply can't go wrong. Every time I'm home, I buy a few refills.
4. Black Fake Eyelash Glue
Yup, you heard me right, BLACK fake eyelash glue. Not the Duo adhesive stuff that we use here in Australia. Duo made me hate fake eyelashes, because it was gooey, and you needed to wait till it was perfectly tacky for it to do a perfect job and withstand energetic performances. This stuff I buy from Singapore though, is perfection. Its applicator looks like a liquid eyeliner wand, you just brush it on the lashes and then shove it on your eyelid, holding it there for about 10 seconds. It doesn't goop or smudge, dries pretty immediately, and dries BLACK, so you simply pop your black eyeliner over it for a seamless look. It's also pretty cheap, at about SGD $9.
5. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
My skin likes cleansing oils - they take even the thickest of stage makeup off extraordinarily easily, are gentle on the skin, and don't strip my face of its natural moisture. They feel particularly luxurious when massaged on for a minute or two, then sponged off with a steaming hot face towel. I've tried the Shu Uemura ones, as well as regular homebrew oil blends, but DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is my absolute favourite. It comes in a pump bottle, which means it's really easy to access when I'm stumbling about my nighttime routine exhausted from the day, and the oil itself is extremely light and not gunky at all. This stuff is SO good for the dry Aussie climate, and has made me actually look forward to cleansing at night. It's not super cheap at SGD $45 or so, but still cheaper than department store brands. One bottle lasts me about 4 months of nightly cleansing.
SO there you have it folks, my staples that I stock up on whenever I travel through Singapore. If travelling through there, you should totally give them a try! I'm sure I can't be the ONLY one who stockpiles products from other countries like I do, what are your secret top products from around the world?