Visiting Singapore means shopping – and for some of us, the highlight of any shopping trip is browsing the racks for beauty products. Singapore has carved a name for itself for showcasing some of the world’s renowned labels mostly in major malls such as Vivo City, Raffles City or at the Orchard Road shopping belt and Changi Terminals I, II and III, such as Sephora, Shiseido, Bobbi Brown, Chanel and Victoria’s Secret – just to name a few.
But enough of the big beauty brands.
Singapore has its own unique beauty shops that cater to the changing needs of the modern shopper. Singapore’s reinvention of beauty and wellness stores entails selling a wide spectrum of items you wouldn’t otherwise clump together in one beauty store – ranging from perfumes to body pain balms; eyeliners to blood pressure monitoring machines; and sunscreen to junk food. Important tip: These shops even sell beauty products at prices that are a dollar or two cheaper than in major departmental stores.
Here is an insider’s guide to buying beauty products at affordable prices while in Singapore.
This drugstore has earned its popularity among locals for its shopping convenience and numerous locations. You can almost see one on every corner. Watsons has 113 stores island-wide. The best part? With its spacious stores, you’re less likely to bump into people or embarrassingly knock over products while browsing. They carry numerous European and Asian cosmetics brands such as cult favourites Avene, La Roche-Posay, KATE, Heroine Make, Clio and more. Of course, Maybelline and L’Oreal are available too. If you’re looking for beauty supplements to nourish your skin from within, brands such as Blackmores and even their own house brand are available. You can find a variety of items in every Watsons store – from vitamins and travel-size toiletries to weighing scales and even fat burners. Aside from beauty and wellness products, they also sell an extensive selection of sweets, bottled water and canned drinks. Some Watsons outlets also have a pharmacy – in case you urgently need medicines for body pains, nausea or headaches.
Venus Beauty offers a broad range of hygiene and body care products for everyone. If you’re looking for salon brand hair care products, Venus Beauty carries brands such as Keraste and L’Oreal. It also has exclusive brands such as Monsoon and Prestige Cosmetics. Venus Beauty follows a younger and hipper trend in the current market, thus amassing a huge following from young adults and cosmetic enthusiasts alike. Currently it has 11 retail shops so if you’re in need of toothpaste, deodorant, body wash or other toiletries, Venus Beauty can cater to your needs at noticeably lower prices compared even to supermarkets.
Emerging as one of the fasting growing retail beauty groups in Asia, SaSa is one of the most exciting cosmetic shops to browse and buy in Singapore. They carry a lot of non-mainstream make-up brands from Japan, Korea and Taiwan especially, ranging from drugstore to prestige brands, but they also carry European brands such as Denmark-based GOSH Cosmetics. SaSa’s perfume section carries bestselling perfumes from DKNY, Hugo Boss, Valentino and more! They have 13 stores in Singapore, out of the 280 stores they own across Asia. Other SaSa stores can be found in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Malaysia. Do note that most of their shops close as late as 9:30pm.
The very popular Mustafa Centre. This large department store has a well-kept secret – it has a wide array of cosmetic items from India, with stunning pigmentation and textures at affordable prices. Gel eyeliners, lipsticks, kajal (as kohl is known in India), foundations, powders and more are available here. Ayurvedic skin care and hair products abound too. One brand not to miss is Lakmé – it is one of India’s most popular brands, and for good reason. Its affordable price point belies the quality and range of their offerings. Having such a huge section and plenty of options, it would probably take you hours to decide on what to get for your beauty regimen or which perfumes are best to give as gifts. Located at Syed Alwi Road in bustling Little India, this department store giant definitely has the upper hand as it opens 24/7.
Don’t be fooled by the building’s name. The ground floor of People’s Park Food Centre has some of the best hawker food in Chinatown, but head upstairs and it’s shopping galore! If you’re looking to stock up on sunscreen, or need a bottle of shampoo or hand sanitiser, make your way here posthaste. Shops such as Swanston on the second floor and Ocean Cosmetics on the third floor are the places to hit up. Low-cost toiletries, drugstore cosmetics and parallel import perfumes are the main targets for this retail store with the likes of Pantene, L’Oreal Elseve, Sunsilk, Silky Girl and more sold at ridiculously low prices. If you’re lucky, there might even be a shipment of the latest OPI nail polishes in stock! People’s Park Food Centre is located at Block 32 New Market Road (nearest MRT: Chinatown) but be prepared to squeeze and dig around as the aisles in the shops are narrow and they’re almost always packed.