Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


When you go abroad, do you seek out brands not normally available to you? Any great experiences to share?

Temptalia's AnswerI haven’t been abroad in a really long time. The last time was to Canada, which isn’t exactly far, far away, but it was for a short business trip, so I didn’t do any shopping. If I was, though, I definitely would plan ahead and look for specific brands that aren’t available in the U.S.!

Thanks to Mel for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

65 thoughts on “When you go abroad, do you seek out brands not normally available to you?

  1. Definitely! There are so many brands Singapore doesn’t bring in, it’s ridiculous. When I was in the US, I knew I was going to buy OCC and Hourglass products. I also stumbled across this fantastic brand, Painted Earth Skincare, which has great customer service and even better products.

    • I agree with Natalie..I just wish that Singapore brings in more cosmetic brands ..I went to Aus recently and brought a few brands that I could not get in Sg like RT,etc..

  2. lindsay

    I want to check out makeup the next time I travel. I found the best jewelry in the Dominican Republic. It was vintage/rustic looking & very beautiful. Unfortunately they didn’t sell makeup at the resort I was staying at

  3. Oh yes! I travel to Australia very frequently and I try to sample as many beauty brands/products as I can that aren’t available in the States. I’ve been particularly fond of Australis lately.

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Deanna Deanna

    Definitely! US trips are beauty heaven, not only are there brands we can’t get here in Australia but everything is roughly half price (depending on exchange rate). If I went to Europe I’d definitely be seeking out brands available there but not here.

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kulpreet KK

    I total do that! On my recent trip to Thailand – I categorically picked brands not available in India – NARS, Shu Uemura, Illamasqua, Bobbi Brown (BB is present only in 1 city in India). Even with some products slightly cheaper in Thailand than India (like Estee Lauder and Lancome) – I preferred to buy brands not easily accessible to me rather than go for the ones present but cheaper – If that statement makes sense…!

  6. Actually it’s the opposite! When I go to Finland I’m fascinated by products they sell from Maybelline and L’oreal that we don’t get here haha, like this past summers LE Maybelline Colossal mascaras! But I love foreign brands too. I guess it’s just more fun seeing how something you know is different elsewhere, I have to stop at every cosmetic section we come across!

  7. Aditi

    Oh Yes! Anything from shoes to makeup!

  8. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lena Lena Lu

    For sure! I went to Paris this past spring for 10 days. I wanted everything that wasn’t available in the US. (I discovered this awesome brand called Black Up, it doesn’t seem French because it’s in English but it is). There was also a lot drugstore stuff that wasn’t available to us, like other L’Oreal products. Their “drugstore” (Monoprix) was soo much better than any of our drugstores.

  9. I always look for brands not available or difficult to find in the US. I am here in Tokyo and here’s what I bought:
    – Hakuhodo brushes
    – Ayura bath and body products
    – Certain Shiseido brands not carried in the US such as Haku, Revital and Anessa (sunscreen)
    – Coffret d’Or by Kanebo
    – KAO Sofina skin care
    – Suqqu
    – Lunasol makeup (this is a Kanebo brand)

  10. Definitely. I live in the US so I have a lot available to me normally, but I took a trip through Scandinavia this summer and tried to pick up a few skincare products that were made in the countries I was visiting. Tried out Estelle & Thild (Sweden), Raunsborg (Denmark), and Soley (Iceland). I was on a budget, but generally liked what I purchased. The Raunsborg Skin Tonic was my favorite find.

    • i envy you! of all skincare and makeup stuff, i would really like to try scandinavian ones. they seem to be of very good quality to me.

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    The only brand I’d be interested in checking out is Illamasqua, although it is technically available in the US (although pretty much only online-the few Sephora’s in L.A. that carry the brand would rather have fully-stocked shelves of brands one could walk into any department store and find). Unless I’m getting something at an amazingly low price, I’m not comfortable buying a product unseen, especially from a brand I’m not familiar with.

  12. Candace

    Definitely! I’m not (too) ashamed to admit that a lot of the trips I made while living in Europe were motivated by shopping and food, haha! I always do research on brands specific to a particular country before I go there, but also double check the prices of brands I’m familiar with just in case they’re lower. For example, I bought Inglot products when I was in Poland, as they were about 1/3 of the UK prices, where I lived at the time. I’ve had a lot of fun and success looking at makeup in other countries – I found my first Kiko store in a grotty underground mall in Paris, contemplated waaay expensive indie makeup in Stockholm, stocked up on Essence and Catrice in Germany, found the Lierac eye cream I wanted in Portugal, etc etc!

  13. Yes definitely, I make a list of products from the brands available at that place even before planning for the trip. It is utmost important task for me. I have been to us few months back and my makeup list was bursting out.. there are so many brands that arent easily available in INDIA.. :D :D

  14. Lynda

    When I went to Italy I shut KIKO Milano store DOWN!! Oh my goodness I bought so much stuff! They have the most AMAZING nail polishes that are so inexpensive!!! And every time I go to England (where I eventually will be moving), I hit up Superdrug and good ol’ Boots. I love trying out the UK brands for new things. I brought back with me some stuff from Sleek and Bourjois and a couple of Rimmel things we haven’t gotten here in the US.

  15. Vic

    Always!I love foreign supermarkets and drugstores! You can get most of the high end brands over the internet but I love shopping smaller or cheaper brands that are not so easily available! :)

  16. The last I travelled abroad it was not exciting … and I try to restrain myself … if m holidaying certainly not. I prefer to enjoy the trip rather then strolling in malls …

    but yeah when hubby or mom dad r travelling I give my list ….
    for brands like nars … bobbi brown n so many :)

  17. Melissa

    Yay, my question made it. I’m planning on going to London and Paris this winter and plan on purchasing Sleek, Gosh, Max Factor, and Barry M products. I also want to check out Suqqu brushes.

  18. Christine

    YES! I live in New Zealand, and makeup is a different story here. No Sephora, and even MAC just arrived in my city (4th largest in the country) yesterday – excited to finally find out my MAC shade! Not a shop though, just a little booth in a department store. A MAC lipstick is $44, and even a Revlon lip butter is $35. No NARS, UD, Benefit, etc. Traveling to Singapore this year, and while they don’t have everything, I’ll take what I can get!

  19. I live in Mexico, so I don’t have available nor the Asian beauty brands (and their incredible skin care and cute makeup packaging!) nor the ones available in USA (Illamasqua! OCC Cosmetics!). I’m kind of standing on a gray area. So, whenever I travel, I spend a great amount on time on looking for brands and items that are not available to me (for example, the OPI Ballet collection, which never reached my country).

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Larissa Larissa

      You should check Beauty Corner OPI in Londres in Mexico City, they lots of shades and better prices than any other place !

  20. it is always part of my trip programming, I always do a little research and prepare my lists for things or stores to check out :)

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ellen Ellen

    Sort of! On my honeymoon in France, I loved visiting the pharmacies and seeing their treasure trove of brands like La Roche-Posay, Avene, Vichy, Caudalie, etc. Although many of these brands are available in the US, they are so much more expensive here, and I have yet to find a place that carries my La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume – my HG moisturizer/sunburn healer/face primer/do-it-all face product.

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Candice Candice

    Outside of food, that’s the number one thing I look for! Japan is a beauty favorite if mine, especially for nail decorations. Italy had some wonderful makeup lines. Kikko is a fav of mine there. I actually discovered my 1st matte lipgloss from there in the perfect cool red! Whenever I wear this peoe stop and ask me about it. The only downside is you may fall in love with something you can’t have access to. Turned out that lip gloss was LE so even after emailing their headquarters once back in the states I still couldn’t get more. I travel the world often and research what brands to look for!

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia Malia

    Yes I do, when I was living overseas I made sure to buy and bring back brands I knew would be harder to get- Barry m, bourjois, models own, etc

  24. koolchicken

    I live in Hawaii, and I know we’re not a foreign country (although sometimes I feel like I’m not in the US). When I go to Oahu I like to visit the huge Duty Free mall there. They have all the regular brands (Clinique, MAC, Chanel, etc) as well as brands like Anna Sui and Paul and Joe- their whole lines. Also sometimes my husband works on a cruise ship so I wait to buy the more expensive cosmetics brands and perfumes till then. I get a discount in the shipboard boutique on top of the reduced price and it’s tax free. So my Marc Jacobs Dot cost me $54, instead of $72+ tax!

    I don’t know if I’d go out of my way researching brands before a trip though. But it’s mostly because my MIL is an international flight attendant and she’ll pick anything up for me, I just have to give her a picture. If I didn’t travel so much, or have someone who could shop for me I might plan more.

  25. zainab

    Absolutely. I even do it when I go interstate (bigger cities, better range). I found one of the most beautiful perfumes in the duty free at Abu Dhabi airport, I would never have known about the brand otherwise. I fantasise about a trip to the US to stock up on makeup brands we don’t have or only have for inflated prices here.

  26. Absolutely. Makeup AND skin care (skin care is almost more a lure to me than makeup….almost!) Sadly, it has become almost the focal point of travelling….just shows how far into this addiction I’ve fallen!

  27. When I travel to UK or abroad I keep my eye out for Nars, Urban Decay and Tarte. They aren’t available in India easily. :/

  28. Yes I do, I actually live abroad. I’m living in Belgium, but I’m Canadian. When I was living in Canada I was looking from some brands that are not available in Canada when I was going to the US (or just saving on some known brands I was living in a province with 15% taxes).

    Here in Belgium there are brands like Catrice, 2B and Sisley. I also plan on going to Amsterdam one day to go to the Inglot store over there. The selection here is really poor and the prices are atrocious compared to Canada!

  29. Jess

    YES! I just moved to Spain from the US and I’m loving having access to lots of european brands that are more difficult to find/expensive at home. I really love Bourjois makeup and have been having lots of fun trying new things. Also, French brands like Klorane, La Roche Posay, Vichy, etc are more readily available here which has been wonderful. Going to try some Spanish brands too, if anyone has any recommendations let me know!

  30. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lauren Lauren Goodnight

    Yes oh my god. UK TIME! I clean out the chemist stores of Sleek and the original Boots No. 7 lines. And the US doesn’t get the whole Bourjois line either, so I splurge because here, its rare, but there, its drugstore!

  31. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Naomi Naomi

    I would not plan the trip just to get makeup, but if I were there and remembered then I would. I feel that it is kind of pointless to do so though unless it were for something like a brush or maybe a blush because once you’re done with everything else, the only way you can get it again is if you go back or can get it in a swap or something.

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Arlene Arlene

    I am dying to go over to the U.K. and get my hands on their drug store makeup. All of the youtubers from over there are constantly making me lust after sleek and bourjois!

  33. Absolutely! If I can, I will hoard. My favorite place to visit for cosmetics shopping is Japan, just because it’s SO HARD to come by some of their products. I can use a shipping service for Sephora or Nordstrom brands, etc. But certain Japanese brands are hard to obtain without a significant markup.

  34. Iris

    If you go to Canada you definely want to check out the french pharmacy products like bioderma, la roche posay, vichy, nuxe, etc and canadian brands like Anabelle, Marchelle, Lise Watier, Moroccanoil etc.
    On my list for the US market are Chanel quad, Le Metier de Beaute, Burberry (for lower mark up) and Edward Bess. I’m also dying to try Charlotte Tilbury, Suqqu and Rouge Bunny Rouge if I ever visit UK, and not to forget Japan with its own paradise of goodies.

    • koolchicken

      I was just in Quebec and agree. I was totally blown away by Jean Coutu. I didn’t know the pharmacies were better there, I’m just glad I had to stop in.

  35. JJ

    Yes! When I was in Paris last summer I came across KIKO. I love their nail polishes, amazing. I didn’t pay much attention to the makeup, but the array of polish colors caught my eye. Bought about 20 bottles for myself and my girlfriends (they were having a sale lol).

  36. Yes! I was in Europe and the UK this summer and I picked up some Art Deco in Germany and Suqqu and Charlottel Tilbury in London.

  37. Sabrina

    As i live in the UK, we don’t have access to make up forever, hourglass etc very easily- so when i travel to the US, i make sure to look at them! Also, when i go Asia, i look for the BB creams, which are much better than european ones. Also, in the case of brands like MAC, some collections they bring out have some products that are only available in certain regions i.e MAC mineralize lipsticks, some were asia only. When i go to paris, i make sure to stock up on bioderma micellar water as its crazy cheap there, as well as embryolisse creams.

  38. Oh, yes! Said activity is actually at the top of my must do list. Hello Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, Le Metier de Beaute, Tom Ford, and Urban Decay. :D

  39. I used to be out of the country multiple times a week on business and rarely had time to shop. When I travel personally, I tend to concentrate more on enjoying local food and fine dining rather than shopping, particularly in a mall That being said, I wish the last time I was in Asia I had hunted down makeup brushes!!!!

  40. rieda

    living in Malaysia, I actually exposed to many brands with reasonable price too. from asian brand to western brand. we have Inglot, essence, kiss me, RMK, Koji etc. NARS will open their first store next month and at the same time, Tarte will be available in Sephora. back there in my home country, Indonesia, we don’t have this kind of privilage. so I guess I can’t complain. but if I get a chance to explore Europe and US, I’ll definitely grab Illamasqua, Lorac, Bourjois, Tom Ford. my husband will go to India next year and I am preparing my list, I’d love to hear your sugestion!

  41. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sandy Sandy Safarik

    Any time I vacation I check out what make-up products would be available to me. I always check if there is an Inglot close to my vicinity since your not able to order offline. Those are usually my target products (not available online). Also colours of products always end up different than what they advertise on the official websites of different brands so any time i can check out products that i haven’t gotten to play with i will do that! xx

  42. Yes, absolutely! Even if it’s just to other cities in the country — there’s a weird spread with some products (brands like Burberry, Illamasqua, Shu, and Tom Ford), which are available sort of on the edges of the country but not in the centre. Even though cosmetics sales figures in Edmonton are often the highest in Western Canada, Vancouver tends to get the good stuff before we do! :P

  43. TrippyPixie

    Definitely! I find that to be one of the best parts of traveling. Also, if foreign countries do stock products that I’m able to get at home, they’re almost always more expensive due to importing, taxes, and so on.

  44. renp

    I’m from Aus, and just got back from a trip to NY. This time I didnt go too crazy with makeup purchases because I stuck to my list.

    I bought some JINSoon nail polishes (ladies, these are the best nail polishes ever, I have tried Chanel, Essie, Topshop, OPI… JINSoon beats them all)

    Living Proof released a really good product called Flex Shaping Spray, exclusive to Sephora only.

    And some good old C.O Bigelow products, I hoarded some of their Shea Butter Lipbalms.

    I also discovered a really good range of skincare from Rodial from Space NK.

  45. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Marte Marte

    Definitely! I live in Norway, and the selection is poor, and the prices high. No illamasqua, no MUFE, no urban decay or too faced. NARS is hard to come by as well. So whenever I go abroad, I check what brands are available. Heck, I have even booked hotels because they were located close by a Sephora!

  46. Absolutely! While I can purchase Asian makeup fairly easy where I live in Southern California, it’s nice to go to Asia and pick up the products there for retail price without markups and also to get Asia-exclusives of products from Western brands as well. I went to Canada recently as well and picked up some products from Marcelle and Lise Watier.

  47. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Narcisa Narcisa

    Let me first tell you that here in Bosnia and Herzegovina we don’t have stores like MAC, Sephora, Illamasqua, Inglot… etc. So I can’t buy MAC, NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Sephora, llamasqua, Inglot, Hourglass, Tom Ford, Kevyn Aucoin, Bobbi Brown and so on. This means if I go abroad, I am doing some serious shopping!

  48. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Chelsea Chelsea

    Definitely! Abroad usually means France, so I stock up on Avene, Nivea, and all the amazing French drugstore goodies.

  49. Victoria Ng

    Yes I do! I come from Hong Kong, and we don’t have Urban Decay, Too Faced, Sephora, Stila etc. So, whenever I’m traveling to the US, I stock them up! :)

  50. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ann Ann

    I am American living in Germany and I find that every time I travel back home I hoard stuff I can’t find here.

  51. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dorottya doroffee

    I don’t go abroad that often, and I haven’t been to abroad since my obsession to make-up, but yeah, I would. I’m going for a day trip to a neeighboring country next week, btw, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some brands (like Revlon, P2 or Kiko) that I don’t have in my own country.

  52. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of desiqtie Gabby

    Yes definitely. I travel a lot to Europe & Asia for both business & leisure so I keep a running shopping list for specific products I want from various countries. In India, especially, I love that they have a lot of products & brands are geared toward people of similar skintones/types as me so I always end up hauling a bunch. Plus, even my normal US brands a lot of times have product lines that they only release in Europe or Asia so whenever I’m over there I like to pick up a few of those items as well.

  53. Well I haven’t been abroad either in a long time but with any traveling I always like to try new things. Like try new restaurants, shop at different stores, local boutiques, etc. Stuff that I don’t usually do at home. So I think it would be the same for beauty products. I wouldn’t want to buy stuff that I can buy here! Especially for a much cheaper price- hehe :)

  54. Jenna

    Kiko from Italy!!! Fell in love with their products (and prices :D) when I was studying abroad in Florence. Their nailpolishes are fantastic, and their brushes too!

  55. Yes! I remember the first time I stepped in a Sephora in the US…..it was too amazing to finally see products I was only able to see in the web or magazines. The brands I immediately looked for were Make Up Forever, Bare Minerals and Urban Decay. We now have Sephora in Mexico, but since the shops are not close to where I live, I definitely still get very excited every time I’m able to go. And whenever I get a chance to travel abroad, I enjoy so much to take a look at the makeup counters and love to find different goodies :)!

  56. EnergeticCrab

    I grabbed some Nouba eyeshadow and eyeliner when travelling and absolutely love them. I wish they were sold in the US, but sadly the only store that sold them (Takashimaya in NYC), is gone. I have heard it described as a drugstore brand in Europe, but I found the quality to be very good, so I am not sure how accurate those statements are.

    Also I have heard good things of Majolica Majorca, and have been wanting to try it, but alas, it’s only sold in Asia!

  57. Monica!

    My last trip abroad was to Toronto and I got a few items that are not available in Mexico: Christian dior’s Amber diamond highlighter, the Ore pigment and a lipgloss by Ilamasqua, the Well rested powder by Bare Minerals, the Thayer’s Rose and witch hazel toner (fantastic!), Rose Salve lip balm, some of those EOS lip balms, oh an OCC lip tar, a lip gloss by Bath and body works…. I did not get as much stuff as I would have wanted, I was aware my purchases were expensive, with taxes and stuff but oh well, it was worth it!

  58. I definitely do! Even though many high end and drugstore brands are available in Costa Rica, the luxury item tax + the profit margin of local retailers bring the prices of beauty products up by 100%!!!! Which is soooo awful!!!!!!! Plus, not all brands available offer their whole range of products here, which sucks big time. The market here is thought to be very conservative, which means we only get the boring/traditional ranges, finishes, textures, and colours. Consequently, the brands available here are also the best established worldwide *ahem, the oldest*. Indeed, we don’t have here many amazing or edgy brands like Inglot, UD and Illamasqua, just to name a few. We don’t have big beauty retailers like Sephora or Ulta either. Oh well, this is getting very depressing, I’ll just go hide my face in a hole…

  59. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of SandraJT SandraJT

    Absolutely. I also love seeing what kind of limited edition products are available there from brands that are accessible here but which release different products here.

    When I was living & working in South East Asia, I discovered some great brands. I used to go to Singapore, Malaysia & Hong Kong on a regular basis to pick up visas at various countries’ embassies. Every time I did, I’d stay for at least 3-4 days and go shopping. Found great skin care brands (love Akin from Australia), limited edition products being offered on international flights (in their shopping catalogues), and more. I initially discovered Makeup Forever in a massive shopping center in Hong Kong. Amazing. I’d go with minimal luggage (like 1 small backpack), buy a set of bags at my destination, then pack them solid with all the stuff I’d find. This was before the airlines worldwide got so damn greedy.