When the phrase ‘beauty shopping’ is mentioned, the first few countries you are likely to think of are Korea and Japan. However, did you know that Thailand is a shopping paradise for beauty lovers as well? With an extensive brand range and interesting product offering, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice in Bangkok!
Read on to find out how you can grab all the best products and deals in the City of Angels:
Check out Thailand-exclusive brands
Besides shopping for the international beauty brands in Bangkok, you should definitely buy some Thai brands back as well. After all, where else would be a better place to do so than the capital city itself?
Karmakamet first started in 2011 as a small shop in Chatuchak Weekend Market, and has now grown into one of Thailand’s most famous beauty brands.The brand offers everything from essential oils to moisturizers. The essential oils are derived from Thai herbs, spices, wild grasses and flowers. Online reviews highly recommend their body lotions and diffusers, which are guaranteed to help you feel more relaxed and actually get some beauty sleep.
Siam Botanicals positions itself as an honest brand that sells natural face care, skincare and personal care products. By ‘natural’, they mean that their products are completely free from synthetic chemicals, colours and fragrances. In addition, all the products are tested (never on animals) and bottled here in Thailand using recycled brown bottles or reusable plastic, for which glass refills are available. We recommend checking out their famous Rose Gernaium Milk Cleanser, and Rudis Oleum Repair Formula Face Serum.
This Thai brand is best known for their eyeliners and blushers, and carries two main lines for their blushes: The Professional and The Heritage. These blush products actually resemble M.A.C, but are sold at only a fraction of its price. Gino McCray is also the choice of many beauty gurus when they shop in Thailand, and featured frequently in beauty haul videos on Youtube!
Find out more details on their website.
If a brand has been around since 1948, you know that it must be good. In fact, Srichand’s famous Powder is so good that it is a household name amongst Thais (and Thai celebrities) till date! Srichand has recently undergone rebranding (read: more attractive packaging) while retaining its vintage feel to reach out to the younger generation. However, its products are said to still be just as great as before for oily skin.
Supposedly Thai’s no.1 makeup brand, Mistine has even exported its products for retail to Korea, where its products retail in Incheon airport and downtown Seoul! If you want to try out Mistine’s products, you should definitely start with the mascaras. Online reviews also recommend eyeliners, the Magic Secret Lip Tint, BB Loose Powder and BB oil control mousse with sun protection.
Find out more details on their website.
Best places to shop for beauty products
Like most cities around the world, drugstores are the main place to shop for beauty in Bangkok. There is at least one Boots, Watsons, or a Tsuruha anywhere you go, and you can go to these drugstores to buy many brands, ranging from the common international ones to the in-house brands. If you are very keen on buying local brands, you’ll definitely be delighted by the wide variety of Thai brands carried in drugstores.
In train stations that interconnect lines (such as the BTS and MRT), you can find small kiosks selling carefully selected beauty products at affordable prices. While their selections are definitely not as extensive as those stores in shopping malls, or even drugstores, they are good to pop by for a quick shopping session, especially when you have time to kill. Just like drugstores, these beauty kiosks mostly focus on local brands. Examples of these beauty kiosks are:
- Karmart. Sells cosmetic products from not just Thailand, but also Asia and Europe. Brands carried include Korean brand MISSHA, and Thai brand Cathy Doll.
- Beauty Buffet. Carries brands like Gino McCray, Scentio, Lansley, The Bakery as well as Anne & Florio.
A trendy place for young people, Siam Center carries local Thai brands among other international ones. Here, you can find Åland, which carries popular, albeit still indie K-beauty brands (COSRX, Heimish, Kocostar, and Abbamart). However, do take note that prices here for these brands might not necessarily be cheap! You can also find luxury brands such as Estée Lauder, Yves Saint-Laurent, and Bobbi Brown. Etude House also has a big store in this mall, so you can get your K-beauty fix even outside of Korea.
Address: Rama I Rd, Wang Mai, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
Central World is the eleventh largest shopping complex in the world with 7 floors of shopping available – so be careful about getting too carried away shopping here! It mostly carries luxury brands in Isetan and Zen Mega Store, as well as Sephora, Illamasqua, Jurlique, La Mer, and Innisfree.
Address: 999/9 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
Just like Central World, this shopping mall caters to luxury brand lovers. Its Paragon Department Store houses higher-end brands like SK-II, Jil Stuart, Jo Malone, Shiseido, and Shu Uemura. However, one highlight here is definitely the Stylenanda store, which carries popular K-beauty brand 3CE!
Address: สยามพารากอน 991 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
Tips for the best shopping experience
We know you are probably excited by now, but before you start packing your bags and heading to Bangkok to snag your beauty loots, take note of these shopping hacks:
- Based on some beauty bloggers, all department stores (think Zen, Robinsons, Central, and Isetan) in Bangkok usually have a 10% discount off the products from the beauty section carrying international brands like Givenchy, Dior, etc., so remember to check that out.
- Beauty bloggers warn that if you find a high-end brand at a lower price and you think the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Be especially careful about buying fakes from ‘lower-end’ malls, wholesale malls, and night markets.
- Check the expiry dates (or check the manufacturing dates and gauge)! It’s a common mistake to get so carried away with shopping that you forget to check whether products are on sale precisely because they are going to expire, and the shop wants to clear stock. You wouldn’t want to buy all your favourite products home only to realize that you actually cannot use many of them.