Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hong Kong/Japan Shopping Guide (Part 2)

How to buy:
This is my little tips and research that kind of give people a guide on how and what to buy if you happen to be in two places at a time.

Logic1 :
Only buy at counters.


Some says the reason why Sasa or Bourjour (the two mega makeup-store) can sell makeup products cheaply is because the manufacturer tend to re-sell the products near expiry date to Sasa/Bonjour. If you will open and use your products within 1 year of purchase, then please buy from there as it saves you money. If you are going to do shopping like me, and tend to buy try then maybe leave the products somewhere for another 3 months before taking it out again. I’ll tend to buy from counter as I know they will last with a 3 years shelf life. Most of the products have a 12 months use by date (unless it is specific), think before you open.

Logic 2:

Buy High End Japanese cosmetics in Hong Kong

High End Japanese products tend to sell cheaper in Hong Kong compare to Japan
Take IPSA EX Metabolizer
for example:
HK sale price: $530/usd $68/ GBP 45
Japan sale price: 7875 /USD82 /GBP 54

Price difference: 10GBP/14 USD

Same applies to coffret, Lunasol etc.

Logic 3: Buy drug store brand in Japan
In Japan, brand like Ettusais and Shiseido Maquillage are sold in drugstore (at least from my last visit in Kobe), and there are discount drugstore that is selling the product less than the official price. (just correct me, Nic Nic and Yumeko).
In Hong Kong, they are sold in department store, so therefore these ‘drugstore/counter’ brand is more expensive in Hong Kong compare to Japan, for around 2-5 GBP at least. But because it is sold in counter in HK, they tend to come with very generous free gifts if you buy at the right time.

Logic 4:
Do not buy Western imports brand

When you compare price, Western brands are a lot more expensive to buy in say HK/Japan to UK. For example: Chanel Tinted moisturiser (which I reviewed):
cost £29 compare to £44
in HK
Only buy western imports in Sasa/Bonjour

Logic 5:
Try only to buy Asia version of skincare if it suits you

Many of the brands produce Asia only line. They tend to be focus on whitening and oil control, so if you have oily or combination skin, or with acne scar, you might want to have a look. We all talked about DiorSnow, Lancome Whitening series, and if you want to buy them, buy them in HK. Again prices are cheaper in HK

Logic 6: 'Upstairs store' for Korean makeup
Korean makeup franchise in HK/Japan mark up their price so much to suit the markets. However with the depreciation of Korean Won, they are actually really cheap locally. The so-called ‘up-stairs’ shop allow you to buy and order these Korean makeup and can save up to 50% of marked price. These store will have poster on streets to lure you taking the flight of stairs or lift to go to the shop inside a building.
For example: Skin food Raspberry Eye cream
HK Franchise Price: $315

Upstair shop price: $185
You save: $130 ($17USD/£11GBP)

That’s all from me. I will take photos of some of the shops I go to and upload to update you all


  1. wow thanks for all your tips! I'm hoping to visit taiwan in July or August..hee

  2. thanks for the info eve,so helpful!:-D

  3. hmm actually lancome goods is considerably cheaper than UK and Japan in HK! LOL. i asked my mum to bulk buy me some of their products,... im starting to run out of their toning lotion o_O

    yes Shu is considerably cheaper in HK than Japan... i so want to go back in fall!!

  4. i came upon your page from lotuspalace. i am definitely subscribing to you. this was a great post - lots of good tips! are u still in HK? i will be in HK for a week in june (in 2 more weeks) and definitely need suggestions for good shopping (beauty, clothes, etc) and of course great deals. any shops or malls in particular besides sasa you can recommend? also these korean "upstairs stores" - where are they located?

    thanks in advance!

  5. These are really amazing tips. It is very informative, helpful and useful especially to those who love Japan shopping like me. So smart of you to share it to people.

  6. Where exactly are the "upstair stores" that sell skinfood products. Do they sell things like La Neige or VOV too?



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