The Best Cosmetics in China and Hong Kong

March has been a crazy month y'all. I took a brief hiatus from blogging due to a massive amount of schoolwork and preparing to go out of the country. This past spring break I spent my first time in Asia, visiting Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. While there I learned so many valuable things about how businesses work in China and how beautiful their culture is. ( I also ate my weight in fried rice.)

With K-Beauty emerging as a large niche in the U.S. beauty industry, I knew going over to Asia would offer me a huge opportunity to explore new products and trends that haven't quite trickled over to the U.S. yet. But I realized when researching that it was difficult to find a lot of information on where to set my focus on. So I wanted to give y'all some of my recommendations on where to shop and what new brands I'm obsessed with!

Firstly, if traveling between mainland China and Hong Kong, I recommend waiting until you're in Hong Kong to really buy anything. Because of their one country, two systems setup, Hong Kong currently remains a capitalist system and has no sales tax, making it a lot cheaper to buy the same products at a lower price than you would on the communist mainland. Though I was unable to find a Sephora (I tried my best - trust me), I did do a lot of shopping at SaSa, basically the smaller Asian version of Ulta. In Hong Kong these stores were literally around every corner, so they are super easy to find but products vary between locations. Their product lines range from drug-store staples like Revlon to prestige brands like La Mer - and almost all of them at a discounted price on top of the already lower Asian prices. A lot of the product labels are completely in Chinese, so I've had to hang on to some of the packaging with English translations added, but everything we can readily get in America is recognizable. I also loved this place because they gave me a ton of full- and travel-sized samples upon checkout.

In addition to SaSa, Hong Kong has all the major beauty names stores, Dior Makeup, Innisfree, the Olympian City Mall, Laneige and TonyMoly were some of my favorites that I hit up while I was there. While I wasn't able to find everything I was looking for, here are some of my favorites that I am beyond excited to start trying out and using.

  • Laneige BB Cushion Hydra Radiance in No. 21 Beige (Korean) - I actually don't own any compact foundations, but I got two of these while I was over in Hong Kong in the radiance and coverage formulas. Best part is they came with a refill as well and have a super fresh smell to them!
  • Laneige Eye Sleeping Mask (Korean) - I use their Water Sleeping Mask every other night and am in love, so I picked up this new release to try out.
  • TonyMoly Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm (Korean) - I bought a stupid amount of products targeting blackheads, I figure something has got to work! I love how fun TonyMoly is and how I've been seeing more and more of their stuff available in the U.S.
  • AprilSkin Magic Snow Cream (Korean) - I'm in love with this packaging and was so pumped when I was able to find some of their products.
  • Dr. Jart+ Pore Medic Bubble Foam (Korean) - Dr. Jart+ is huge in Asia and their selection of products was much more diverse than what we have available currently in the U.S. I can't wait to try out this new cleanser I found while over there!
  • Banila Co White Wedding Toner (Korean) - This is another huge brand in Asia with super cute branding. I recently ran out of my Son & Park Beauty Water toner and was looking to pick up something new on my trip, so I'm excited to see if this lives up to the hype.

Because Asian skincare is considered some of the best in the world, I mainly focused on those types of products rather than makeup itself (also due to the fact that many of their foundation shades were only available in stock in very fair shades, while my skin tone runs more light-medium when I'm tan). I wasn't able to find everything I wanted, but I'm still #grateful that I brought an extra duffel bag to bring everything back in. I've linked as much as possible, but if you want more advice on traveling and shopping in China or have any products you absolutely love leave a comment below or direct message me on Instagram @foundationforward