Looking Good: 5 Destinations, 5 Beauty Must-Buys


Yes, we love travelling. However, the best part about travelling - other than exploring the cities and the sights - is going to the local drugstore and raid the beauty and skincare sections for the best products that cannot be found or hard to find in other places. 

Here's a list of products we stock up on when we're in United Kingdom, France, Japan, South Korea and United States.

1. Miss Seventeen Doll’d Up Mascara: This mascara in brown is probably one of the most important mascaras I have in my stable of products! It curls and spreads out lashes very subtly and gives you a barely there look with definition. Perfect for those days when you need a little boost yet don’t want to wear any makeup.

2. Herb Pharm Original Salve: This is a great multi-purpose salve which can be used not only as a lip balm but also to soothe small mosquito bites as well as minor cuts. What we love is that it is made from organically grown or wildcrafted ingredients, including comfrey root, St. John's wort, calendula, chickweed, mullein and plantain. These are powerful anti-inflammatory and healing agents that help in soothing bruises and cuts. We've used it as a treatment for sunburn as well and it works wonders. 

3. Rimmel Kate Moss Lastiing Finish Matte Lipstick: I’m not usually a fan of matte lipsticks because they tend to be very drying. However clearly anything Kate Moss touches turns into gold, especially with thesevelvety matte lipsticks. i feel that the formula allows for the perfect mattelook without your lips peeling. My personal favourite shade is 107 which is a beautiful deep berry red, when it first came out in 2011 it was sold out at every single Boots.

4. Primark Facial Wipes: They are cheap and they are effective. What we love about this product is that it is always on promotional discount! Three packs for £5? Give us a whole box. The facial wipes are refreshing and, best of all, can remove make-up, including mascara and eyeliner. 

5. Real Techniques Brushes: These ultra-plush synthetic brushes are the tools used by professional make-up artists to get the best results when painting and sculpting your face. Our favourite brushes? The essential foundation brush because it's so soft and gives a good coverage when used to apply. The price points are reasonable as well (also because they're available at Boots UK) and the bristles do not shed - even after washing. 

1. Rohto Lycée Eye Drops: As my eyes get dry or tired easily, I keep this eye drop with me always. It’s almost like a mint sweet, for your eyes. With just one drop, it’s immediately refreshing and it’s cooling, like having an air-conditioner overwhelm your eyes for abit. But rest assured it does not hurt or sting. It keeps me awake and with the crazy weather and blazing sun in Singapore, this is really such a lifesaver for me. It comes in a version for those who wear contacts as well! If pink is not your thing, this brand has a clear liquid version that is even mintier than the Lycée version.

2. Canmake blush: A blush that does the job and stays put in our humid environment and it goes for a song. Before you get back home, make sure you pick every colour. 
3. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: A great cleansing oil that works on the toughest waterproof mascara. While it is a little on the thick side in terms of consistency, A little bit goes a long way and it forces you to really massage it well onto your skin to remove all the dirt. 

4. Shu Uemura Hair Oil: I love this hair oil for one main reason: it is so lightweight that even in Singapore’s humidity, it never weighs down your hair. It’s also unique because there are multiple ways to use it and not just after a blow dry. You can use it before showering, before blow drying your hair or after! My hair has never been glossier and still retains its volume because it doesn’t become matte unlike with other oils.

5. Suqquu Eyeshadow Palette: The Suqquu blend eyeshadows have become a must have for me, my favourite one is No. 15 Mitsucha for a barely there look with definition, it’s like the Urban Decay Naked palette but ultra easy to apply and 10x more natural looking while giving you the contour and highlights in the right places. The eyeshadow quad in made with silicon-coated powders and amino acid-coated pigments which last me the whole day without using a base. 

1. Lait Crème Concentrée Embryolisse: One of the oldest cream in French pharmacy that can be used by any skin type. You can even apply a thicker layer and use it as a mask. We love the way you can layer this cream and yes it goes with us everywhere. 

2. Mouth Wash Botot: This mouth wash is very subtle but does the job and yes we love the vintage looking packaging. One bottle last a long time, so worth trying it. 

3. Biafine: Great for any burns including sunburns, a must in any household and cost on song

4. Body and Face Scrub by Uriage: As simple yet effective scrub for face and body all french pharmacist swear by it. 

5. Homéoplasmine : A trip to France is not complete without purchasing a tube of this magic ointment - great for chap lips, burns, itchiness and even to tame frizzes. A must in all makeup artist kit. 

1. COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
What: A hydrocolloid patch that protects blemishes from dirt while drawing the sebum out of the pores.
Why we love: Amazing. This is the stuff of legends, for me at least. I never thought that pimple patches could be effective but boy, was I wrong. Before I slept, I stuck one of these patches on a spot that was threatening to be a really angry pimple and hoped for the best. In the whole process, the patch kept my pimple safe and clean from my restless fingers. These things stick on well too, and by well, I’m talking about forgetting that I had them on and showering and yet it did not budge. After a night’s sleep (and a shower), I removed the patch and realised that a white bump had formed on it while the spot on my forehead had flattened. The redness from my pimple was reduced too. I tried again the next night and found out that the patch actually draws out the oil from the spot as well, allowing it to heal without any festering bacteria. The next morning my pimple was flattened, and I rejoiced. The best thing? These lifesavers range from 3-5SGD for a pack of 24 round patches. Worth it.

2. Banila Co. Clean It Zero
What: An oil-based balm cleanser that lifts and removes oil-based impurities and emulsifies make up
Why we love: This cleanser starts off as a balm, which makes it easy to control the amount of product you’re picking up, then turning into a liquid texture upon contact with heat. Also, this product is highly raved for doubling up as an effective make-up remover! As I do double cleansing, this oil-cleanser is always the first step of my process and for the rare times that I put on some waterproof mascara (which is a warrior btw), this removes it completely. And gently too, may I add, as I do not have to pull on my eyelashes to get rid of the product but to simply rub this over my eyes and leave it for a few seconds to breakdown the mascara. And if you’re unsure about oil-cleansers like I was, don’t worry about feeling oily and grimy after as this washes off easily under warm water and leaves you feeling clean and fresh! The Clean It Zero range also includes one for sensitive skin, dry skin types and oily skin types.

3. Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads Wine
What: Single use pads for mechanical and chemical exfoliation
Why we love: Exfoliation is a definite must for me as pigmentation is one of the biggest issues I face and these peeling pads get the job done, effectively. These pads offer all-in-one benefits of chemical (works deep in pores) and mechanical (works on the surface) exfoliation. It comes soaked in a wine essence which has it’s star ingredient, resveratrol, along with naturally occurring AHAs that contributes to the chemical exfoliation process. As for the mechanical/manual exfoliation, these pads come with a gauze side that allows you to gently remove the impurities atop your skin. Once you have finished with the gauze side, flip it around for a smooth quilted side to sweep up any remaining debris. I get so excited every single time I’m able to use this (because there is such a thing as over-exfoliating) as it always leaves me with soft skin that allows for such smooth application and absorption of my skincare products after. As it’s such a gentle chemical exfoliator, you can use it 2-3 times a week and it does not burn or sting my skin, while still giving me the same benefits, albeit with a little more time. 

4. Blithe Patting Water Pack
What: A highly concentrated essence that allows for a quick 15-30 second masking experience and benefit.
Why: If you’re looking for a quick fix just before you head out of the house, this is it. When I first heard of this new type of mask, I was all sorts of skeptical. Splashing your face for 15-30 seconds with a concentrated formula diluted in water… Right. But I tried the Citrus and Honey version and I was so glad that I did. I simply filled a bowl with water, poured the essence in with the specific water to essence ratio mentioned, and splashed and patted my face with that water till the very last drop. My skin was so much brighter right after and I actually looked fresh. The effects seemed (at least to me) to last for half the day which was crazy considering the time I spent using this. The only downside would be it’s cost, however, a little goes a long way as it is highly concentrated so try it!

5. Shangpree Modelling Masks
What: A spa-grade peel-off rubber mask that moulds to the contours of your face and forms a non-reverse-osmosis occlusive barrier that causes a one-way forcing of active ingredients into skin.
Why: We love that you don’t have to go to the spa to enjoy a spa-grade masking experience with these modelling masks from Shangpree, one of the top spas in Korea. You simply mix the gel formula together with the collagen powder they provide in the set, and apply it all over your face. Leave it to dry for about 15-30 minutes as it sets and turns from a gel-like substance to a rubber sheet that you can peel off in one go. This process forms a non-reverse-osmosis occlusive barrier that forces down the active ingredients straight into your skin, for better absorption, so you know you’re getting all the good stuff. And as it’s a spa grade mask, it stays moist for more than an hour, so you don’t have to worry about the mask drying out on your skin. It’s luxurious for sure and it left my skin brighter and hydrated as well. It is expensive, going for about 20 USD for a one-time application, but it’s definitely great for those days where you just need an extra boost or a pick-me-up.  

1. Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil: Not exactly a drug store product and has a hefty price tag, but totally worth the splurge if you are travelling to the U.S! Apply at night for a visibly plumper and more radiant look the next morning. It has one of the best blends of non-fragrant oils which is excellent for people with sensitive noses like myself. 

2. Arm and Hammer Ultra Max Unscented deodorant: A deodorant that does the job and safe for your armpit. So, stock up on it!

3. Crest 3D whitening strips: Even dentist recommend this whitening treatment, easy to use and pretty effective worth adding it to your beauty arsenal. 

4. Scunci hairband: the only hairband that withhold time and do the job without hurting your tress, they are so cheap so stock up when you are there

5. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara: I never understood why one of the best mascaras in the world is not available in Singapore. This is a must buy whenever I’m in the U.S and my preferred one is Lots of Lashes which is a twist on the classic formula with it’s unique brush.