Many beauty brands enjoy huge success in other countries, and have made their debuts here in Singapore to much excitement and fanfare. However, beauty and cosmetics are subjective, and their subsequent fall-out from Singapore may be due to our being too different in climate, culture, and beauty concerns from what they have been used to.
Millennials also have different shopping behaviour from their parents, which may contribute to changing perception of certain brands. According to a 2017 survey that Daily Vanity did, a significant majority of Singaporean women favour Korean beauty these days. Brands that don’t deliver a look that connects with the majority may find it more of an uphill challenge to survive in an already difficult retail landscape here.
Furthermore, many online retailers are now offering niche brands previously unavailable here, often with free international shipping options to sweeten the deal. This makes it even harder for the retail counters of some beauty brands to really take off.
While our sunny island can pride itself on being home to a huge variety of beauty brands from around the world, sadly not all the brands who have ventured here have a happily-ever-after. Some arrive, try to woo our hearts, but decide to call it a day. As for those which have come back for a second try (we’re looking at you, Fancl, Rimmel, and Smashbox), can we hear a huge YAY! for them? We believe in second chances!
Today, we have rounded up 9 brands that have left Singapore, and we’ve also found out what they have been up to since then!
1. Rouge Bunny Rouge
This brand hailing from England channels a very sensual Victorian vibe with a steampunk twist that many goth girls loved back in the day. It used to call Paragon home, but has since left Singapore.
Its aesthetic is reminiscent of a slightly macabre but no less magical fairy tale, celebrating an emotional, mysterious and rebellious type of beauty. The newest brand story promises to elevate your everyday look to that of a princess in an enchanted garden that is at once escapist and indulgent, magical and strange. Has it piqued your interest yet?
Rouge Bunny Rouge is still available on their website, offering free international shipping with a minimum order of €50.
2. Paul & Joe
Hands up if you had your heart set on Paul & Joe’s recent Spring 2017 collection that was every cat lover’s dream! The brand is known for its luxurious and unique product packaging in modern-retro style. Its latest collections have taken a kitschy spin that are no less appealing than before.
You used to be able to get your hands on these products at their counters in department stores like Isetan Scotts and Takashimaya, but the brand seems to have departed our shores for good. We’ve definitely still got our eyes on their launches, though. Their latest offering is full of whimsy and SO PRETTY!
Paul & Joe is still available on ASOS.
3. Calvin Klein Makeup
You probably knew them for their underwear line and fragrances, but did you know that Calvin Klein also had a cosmetics line? Or that this cosmetics line was once sold in Singapore? Calvin Klein Cosmetics actually vanished quietly in the late 1990s but was revived again in 2013.
As with its clothing line, the make-up line channels its minimalist, modern and sculpted image to a tee, especially with its white-based packaging and its distinctive CK logo. We’re not sure what the brand has been up to lately, since it has kept a very low-key presence with its beauty products. Stick with us and we’ll share the deets if we hear anything from them!
4. Too Cool For School
We were all quite excited whenKorean beauty brand Too Cool for School made its Singaporean debut in Far East Plaza. Differentiating themselves from the feminine and cutesy aesthetic that most K-beauty brands are known for, this brand was made, literally, for the cool girls. Its artistic and funky take on beauty showed strongly in its sleek product packaging, which sometimes featured works from artists it collaborated with.
The latest collection features a few ranges of products, such as earthy brown MLBB lip colours, a foundation that promises dewy, satin-like skin, and a skin-whitening range.
Formerly available in our local drugstores until recently, Ettusais is a brand under the Shiseido group that targets the younger market. Many people swear by their products for acne-prone skin! They have everything from skincare products to makeup bases just to suit those battling with acne woes.
Their lip and eye products are super cute too, packaged in pretty millennial pink and still easy on the wallet! If there is one thing we really miss though, it has to be their facial cleansing products that really work magic for oil control.
This Japanese brand used to be stocked in local drugstores, like Watsons and Guardian, as well as department stores, like BHG and John Little. Owned by parent group Kose, Fasio is all about trendy, fun make-up that is both fashionable and functional. It was probably most sought after for its mascara range, which was known to be long-lasting and very effective.
Fasio has most recently collaborated with celebrity cartoon artist Jeffrey Fulvimari for its latest collection of lip glosses. Its liquid eyeshadow range is also popular for its long-lasting formula and the great range of trendy shades! While it has made an exit from our shores, the brand is still going strong in our neighbouring countries, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Fasio is still available on Sasa International online retail website.
7. Majolica Majorca
Ah, this brand really brings back memories! Many of us who grew up in the 2000s swore by Majolica Majorca’s amazing lash products. Mascaras, lash primers, and falsies; whatever it was, Majolica Majorca had it.
It used to be widely available in Watsons but it seems to have quietly exited Singapore very recently. The brand used to be easily spotted with its distinctive girlish and whimsical packaging.
It’s still available in Watsons stores in Malaysia, so do remember to stock up on your favourite Majolica Majorca products when you happen to cross the Causeway!
This brand probably needs no introduction but you might be surprised to learn that they used to be available in Singapore! It is one of the most well-known drugstore brands in the US thanks to its long-standing collaboration with hit reality TV series, America’s Next Top Model. Hands up if you had also wanted to be an “easy, breezy, beautiful” Cover Girl like those aspiring models all those years back!
CoverGirl is well-loved for being affordable without compromising on the quality of their products. In recent years, it has expanded its ranges to include products for darker skin tones as well, so there is really something for everyone!
It used to be available at some John Little stores but we haven’t spotted this brand in Singapore for years. We’ve got our eye on their newest Peacock Flare mascara that promises dramatic flared lashes. Come back, please?
Most beauty junkies love this brand for their high-quality products at a fraction of the usual prices. They’re also vegan and free from animal testing too! We definitely love Milani for all those reasons, and more!
Their Amore lip crèmes feature the most fashionable shades of the season, and they are seriously to die for. It has a non-drying formula with an oh-so-velvety and matte finish. There used to be a Milani counter in John Little at Marina Square but it has since closed (much to our dismay). Their latest Fall collection is awash with metallics and pretty nudes that we can’t take our eyes off of!
Do you miss any of these nine brands that have left Singapore? Did any of these bring back awesome memories?