Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Where to buy Asian Skincare & Cosmetics

My skincare routine happens to be similar to the so-called Asian skincare routine, which involves layering 10-15 different products. If you're feeling like a fancy Francaise, you could also call it the Millefeuille method. Yet I don't own a single product from Asia - except for Shu Uemura eyelash curlers. And unless you count Chanel make-up which is made in Japan.. I wish I did, since Asian brands are/supposed to be so much more advanced and awesome through-and-through, but I live in London and the selection is pretty limited:

These brands are found in most department stores:
Shu Uemura                    

Outside of Selfridges you'll find:
Anna Sui - exclusive collection on ASOS                  
Dr Jart - available at Boots
Erborian - Space.NK and Selfridges                          
Wei - available at Space.NK
Yu-Be - Space.NK, Cultbeauty and Boots

And theres always Biore nose strips, right? But what Hada Labo, Fairy Drops, Etude House and the like? To the unfamiliar: those aren't varieties of cupcakes, they are indeed actual brand names. These brands aren’t available in the UK, so what buying online through the official websites?
CandyDoll - no option to order through website
CANMAKE - more like CAN NOT order through website
Etude House - have an official eBay shop, "etudehouse-korea"
Fairy Drops - no option to order through website
Hada Labo - ships to the US
Holika Holika - ships worldwide
JUJU Cosmetics - not available online
Laneige - not available online
Majolica Majorca - not available online
MISSHA - quite a few shipping destinations, including the US, Canada, Australia and NZ. But not the UK!!
Naruko - (cf. Naruto). Has sites for customers in China, HK, Singapore and Malaysia and the US. No international shipping option.
Skin Food - 988 stores worldwide. 7 in the USA and 1 in Canada. 0 in the UK. Boo.
Sulwhasoo - sold in Bergdorf Goodman. US peeps can order online.
The Face Shop - stores in the US and Canada. Cannot order online.
Toly Moly - no option to order online

Another fail. Next stop:
Going by the selection alone, this might be the best place to buy Asian brands online. There are LOADS to choose from - including all of the brands I mentioned above, except Canmake. The downside is that their prices seem a little inflated. I myself have yet to order from Sasa. Theres only one thing I really, REALLY want from all of those brands and thats HadaLabo's Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion. It's perpetually priced at US$3.20 on Sasa and perpetually out of stock. o.O I could wait for that Lotion to be restocked and reap the benefits of awesome Japanese skincare ... or I could make do with what I DO have access to. So I did a bit of research and found the UK isn't completely behind:

Instead of Hada Labo's Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion ... try Indeed Labs Hydraluron or Apivita's Hydrating Natural Serum
Instead of Snail Street Snail Cream ... try Dr Organic's Snail Gel
Instead of Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils ... try Origins Clean Energy or DHC Cleansing Oil which are cheaper
Instead of Japanese seaweed creams ... try Elemis' Marine Cream, which contains seaweedy goodness
Instead of Bee Venom creams (Korea) ... try Rodial's Bee Venom range (or not, it's pretty expensive) or the Manuka Doctor Bee Venom range
Instead of Snake Venom creams (cause them bumblebees don't pack enough punch) ... try Rodial's Snake Venom range

I'm totally generalising there with "Japanese seaweed creams", but it's such a popular ingredient it's not worth singling out one brand >.< Other than Elemis' Marine Cream (which is SUPERB), I haven't tried those products, so I'd love to hear your thoughts! (Especially that pot o' snail slime...) Feel free to shamelessly promote your own blog reviews ;)

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