From its bargain alleys to its glitzy malls,, Hong Kong has long earned its status as a shopping haven for any budget, just like Singapore.
However, we have much to envy our counterpart.
Besides the fact that there is no tax on its imports (meaning prices are generally lower), Hong Kong boasts a wider range of beauty brands than what we have back home. Apart from international brands like Charlotte Tilbury, Korean cult beauty brands such as The Saem can also be found well-stocked on shelves.
But perhaps the most intriguing is the many local indie makeup and skincare brands such as Coconut Matter! that we can only get our hands on in DimSum-land. The green goddesses out there would also be happy to learn that these local beauty brands rely much on using natural and organic ingredients!
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1. Charlotte Tilbury
That’s right, Charlotte Tilbury has finally arrived in Asia! With stores launched in IFC mall and along Canton Road, the cult makeup brand is packed with goodies that were previously unavailable to us (unless you’re willing to pay hefty shipping fees, that is), such as the Feline Flick Eyeliner or the Luxury Eye Palettes. We definitely recommend stocking up on all your favourites!
The two Charlotte Tilbury outlets can be located at:
- IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong.
- 3 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
2. L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803
This French apothecary opened its doors in Hong Kong two years back, and offers a collection of aromatic creams, clays, oils, and powders formulated and bottled in Paris.
They are famous for their water-based perfumes: the Eau Triple range comes in an emulsion that doesn’t dry clothes or dry the skin, unlike traditional perfumes that have an oil base.
Don’t miss out on the rose-distillate-enriched soothing lotion either: their Eau Superfine is known to calm reddened skin and even out even the worst of complexions!
L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803 products are available in their flagship store located at 20 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong.
3. The Saem
One of the highly raved about Korean beauty brands, The SAEMis probably most known for its Pure Natural Snail Mask Sheets. Unfortunately, this brand has not set up official retail stores here in Singapore, but they actually have retail outlets in Hong Kong – how unfair!
We love their Urban Eco Harakeke skincare line, which was created in collaboration with a certified New Zealand natural skincare company, The Saem co-produced beauty products that incorporate the moisturising, anti-microbial and soothing properties of the Harakeke plant, as inspired by the Maori people.
The SAEM has two outlets located at:
- iSquare Mall, Nathan road 63, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
- Sunshine City Plaza, Ma On Shan, Sai Sha Road, Hong Kong
4. H2O+ Beauty
As its name implies, H2O+ Beauty goes back to the basics in testing and refining skincare formulas based on pure water to yield the best possible hydrating results. One popular tried-and-tested product is the H2O+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment, which contains sea grass and water lily extracts.H2O+ Beauty research has shown that these ingredients are effective in improving the skin’s water retention, leading to supple and smooth skin.
For a full list of H2O+ outlets, click here.
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Despite having won multiple awards for its skincare and cosmetics line, Joseristine is a Hong Kong beauty brand that still seems to be under the radar of beauty enthusiasts. Calling themselves “beauty scientists”‘, the team behind Joseristine is committed to using well-researched ingredients and advanced technologies to help optimise your skin health. Their bestsellers comprise of a range of skincare products that target specific needs, such as anti-aging (Apple Stem Cells Anti-aging) and moisturizing (H2O Hydrating).
Joseristine can be found in Choi Fung Hung outlets around Hong Kong. For a full list of outlets, click here.
6. Clara Yeung Skin Care
Although her beauty products are all handmade, Clara Yeung offers an impressive range of products, from cleansing oils to serums and facial masks. Apart from using non-toxic and natural ingredients, this brand strives to use fair trade ingredients where possible as well. A rising favourite among online reviewers like Sassy Hong Kong, Clara Yeung Skincare is still very much an indie brand that can only be found at the Island East Markets (Tong Chong St, Quarry Bay).
Unfortunately, while the brand has a Facebook page, much of what they post are in Cantonese. Nonetheless, if you’re already in the city, it’s certainly worth checking out recommended products such as Clara’s Chamomile & Calendula Gentle Cleansing Oil – which reviewers have suggested as a clean alternative to Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil.
Clara Yeung Skin Care is available at Island East Markets. Check out their Facebook page for addresses and further details.
7. Gourmet Skin Bar
While GSB does not produce its own products, it is a one-stop shop that pools some of the world’s best sustainable beauty products into one convenient location. For the savvy beauty junkie, GSB fulfills even the highest of expectations in presenting ethically-produced products that are natural, free from animal testing, employs fair trade practices and absolutely free from toxins.
Independent reviewers recommend the following as their favourite picks for the best results: Beauty Chef Glow inner beauty powder, Mun Anarose rejuvenating rose toner, and Black Tea Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara by 100% Pure. What’s also useful is that Gourmet Skin Bar’s website offers accompanying advice on how and why consuming natural and/or organic ingredients is essential to achieving flawless skin.
Click here to check out GSB’s online store!
8. Coconut Matter!
“Ethically sourced, crafted with purpose” is the vision set out by Coconut Matter! – a beauty brand that seeks to inspire a lifestyle of well-being and sustainability. Using an extraction method called Direct Micro Expelling (DME), pure coconut oil is pressed from the fresh fruits of the Solomon islands. Working only with fair trade farmers, Coconut Matter truly allows us to indulge in their skincare products without any of the guilt.
Perhaps the most versatile of all Coconut Matter!’s beauty products is its jar of WILD coconut oil. Not only can it be used to nourish your hair and skin, it triples as a nutritional boost when added to your daily cup of coffee or juice. Other must-try products include their DIY lip balm kit and Fire coconut oil soap.
The Coconut Matter! outlet is located at Wong Chuk Hang, Heung Yip Rd, 4號, E. Tat Factory Building, Room c6, 4th Floor. Alternatively, browse their website here to check out their skincare products.
9. KIKO Milano
Founded in 1997, KIKO Milano is an established Italian cosmetics brand that is dedicated to producing pocket-friendly high quality products. Take it from the experts – even highly-regarded professional makeup artists, Nick Barose and Hung Vanngo, have sung high praises of the brand’s innovative products.
Fervent recommendations include KIKO’s Water eyeshadows, which have a high payoff and can serve as an alternative to NARS Intensity eye shadows. Beauty bloggers also recommend KIKO’s Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara, which has been said to achieve a similar effect as Lancôme’s popular mascaras. The KIKO Smart Fusion Lipsticks are another cult favourite among their fans.
Though not as prominent as SASA stores, KIKO Milano outlets can be found in major shopping malls such as Harbour City and Times Square.
For a full list of KIKO Milano outlets, click here.
10. Jill Stuart
After having achieved huge success as a fashion designer based in New York, Jill Stuart launched her very own premium cosmetics line that can only be found in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore.
While Jill Stuart is finally available in Singapore through Sephora, it certainly doesn’t beat checking out a fuller collection of products and at specially designed Jill Stuart counters to really take in the pastel-sweet experience.
For a full list of Jill Stuart outlets in Hong Kong, click here.
11. Native Essentials
Hong Kong’s beauty scene has many organic contenders, including Native Essentials, which is a high-performance organic cosmeceutical line that promises an aromatic sensory skincare experience
The existing product range is very wide, and includes everything you need and want in a skincare routine: cleansers, exfoliators, masks, moisturisers and facial oils – all of which use the most potent natural ingredients, and are 100% cruelty-free.
Native Essentials products are available on their website.
12. Popstar Cosmetics
This makeup brand is actually founded by renowned Singapore-born, Hong Kong-based makeup artist and photographer Donald Chiu.
The best-selling Velvet Matte Liquid Lipsticks are said to be lightweight and waterproof, offering a smooth coverage so that the colour doesn’t crack or crease easily.
Popstar Cosmetics even retails on Zalora, but surely nothing beats being able to swatch these famous vegan lipsticks for yourself in store!
Popstar Cosmetics products are available on their website, as well as in their physical store at Podium 3, IFC, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong.