The USD is at its lowest against the SGD in the past year. At the time of writing, 1 USD = 1.35 SGD. Compare this with just a month ago, when it was hovering at around 1.38 to 1.39 SGD to 1 USD, or even at the very beginning of this year when it was 1.45 SGD to 1 USD.
You may be thinking: why is a beauty magazine talking about foreign exchange rates? Well, the answer is always obvious: shopping. We’re usually so busy tracking discounts and promotions but we never quite think about how much difference the exchange rate could play.
To take advantage of the strong SGD right now, we’ve compiled a list of American beauty brands that you can buy for cheaper purely based on exchange rates. Many of these brands are either not readily available in Singapore, or have many products that you can only buy online through their American website.
But wait, how do we get the products over to Singapore?
In many cases, US-based websites may not accept international orders. But nothing can stop us from making purchases from them, thanks to freight-forwarding services such as vPost.
Signing up for vPost allows you to get a personalised address in the USA so that you’ll be able to purchase from these merchants. You will be glad you have a vPost account especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when discounts can get very unbelievable.
vPost works by shipping your packages to their warehouse in Oregon, and then forwarding them to your Singapore address after your items have been identified through your unique vPost number.
The Economy Air option gets your parcels to you in nine to 12 working days, and if you really want to get your hands on them faster, you can opt for Standard Air, which delivers to you between four and six working days.
We also love vPost because of its bundling discount, where you’re subjected to just a base charge of SGD13.40, and any other fee from the second item onwards is waived off. If you plan your purchases wisely, it can translate to a lot of savings for you.
Moreover, you’ll also get to enjoy the convenience of collecting your parcels anytime you want, via Popstations located near your workplace or home, which are opened 24/7. Best part? There’s no additional charge for using the Popstation service!
vPost is also having a Black Friday promotion from 13 November to 4 December. Enjoy the following perks:
- $0 base charge when you buy from at least three merchants
- $0 base charge + voucher for $20 off your next purchase when you buy from at least 5 merchants.
Now that you know how to be a smarter shopper, let’s check out the beauty products from USA brands that you should definitely check out.
1. RCMA Makeup
You may not have heard of RCMA, and that’s because they mainly market themselves to professional makeup artists. Established in 1962, RCMA is known for having the highest pigment-to-filler ratio on the market, which means they deliver the highest pigmentation possible.
RCMA Makeup No Color Powder
If you’ve ever trawled on YouTube for beauty videos, you would most probably have already heard of this product. The RCMA Makeup No Color Powder is one of those products that you will hear raved about by innumerable YouTubers for its power to keep makeup looking matte and fresh, its oil control and also its sheer translucence that makes sure your makeup stays true to shade.
This is a loose powder that comes in a can weighing 3 ounces, or a whopping 85 grams. For comparison, the original Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder is only 5 grams.
Price: USD 12 (SGD 16.20)
You can find RCMA Makeup No Color Powder and other products from them at their website.
2. The Ordinary
If you haven’t been living under a rock when it comes to beauty, you would have heard of The Ordinary. They were established by skincare company DECIEM, and have been made popular in recent months, partially thanks to the strong endorsement from British makeup artist and YouTube star, Wayne Goss.
The Ordinary offers very affordable, unpretentious skincare solutions. The names of each product give you an exact idea of what key ingredient(s) the product contains. People have enjoyed success with this refreshingly simple range, which has also boasted good results for many.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
Using acids for facial exfoliation is really not as bad as it sounds. The purpose is to resurface the skin, evening the tone and creating a smoother texture. It also contains hyaluronic acid at 2% to also rehydrate the skin while exfoliating, though we always recommend putting on adequate moisturiser and sunscreen after using any acids.
If you’re a beginner at using acids for exfoliation on your face, you might want to go for something milder like their similarly priced Lactic Acid 5%. Also, take note that acids may not be suitable if your skin is sensitive. Daily Vanity recommends that you test out the acid on your hand first for at least 10 minutes and monitor for any irritation or adverse reactions, before trying it on your face.
Price: USD 6.79 (SGD 9.17)
The Ordinary products are available on their website.
3. Jeffree Star
If you are no stranger to browsing makeup tutorials on YouTube, you would almost certainly know the extremely colourful personality known as Jeffree Star. Having done makeup since his early teens, he is now a renowned makeup artist who has now also graduated to the ranks of YouTube royalty with his crazy on-screen persona on videos, as well as his self-established cosmetics brand which has received rave reviews from his fellow YouTubers.
Jeffree Star Androgyny and Beauty Killer palettes
Jeffree Star’s first eyeshadow palettes were launched mid-2016, and have since gotten tons of positive reviews (for Androgyny, and for Beauty Killer) from YouTubers and online reviewers alike. These eyeshadows are said to pack more pigment than most other eyeshadows, they are very creamy and easy to work with, and the formula is simply top-notch.
Price: USD 45 each (SGD 60.75)
Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick
Did you think you could see Jeffree Star being featured without a mention of their star products, the Velour Liquid Lipsticks? These lipsticks are very well reviewed, again by the YouTube community as well as regular consumers.
Reviewers have said that they only needed one swipe to complete their lip look, and it was truly budge-proof through eating and drinking, yet wasn’t too difficult to remove at the end of their day.
Orig. price: USD 18 each or USD 105 for bundle of 8 (SGD 24.30 each or SGD 141.75 for bundle of 8)
Jeffree Star products are available on their website.
4. Charlotte Tilbury
Although Charlotte Tilbury is from the UK, but there are some America-based websites you can buy their products from, where it might even end up cheaper than if you had to buy it straight from the UK website itself.
Charlotte Tilbury is hardly a new name in the beauty industry, with over two decades of experience as a makeup artist behind her. She established the brand, which made a glorious debut in 2013 and have since been making waves with its gorgeous, luxe products.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution
This lipstick has become the favourite of many online reviewers for its gorgeous, highly pigmented matte finish which doesn’t leave the lips dry or crackly. It’s even said to have a chocolate scent which makes it even more appealing to apply to your lips
Price: USD 27 (SGD 36.45)
Charlotte Tilbury products are available on their website.
5. Anastasia Beverly Hills
A beauty brand that we hope to see in Singapore eventually, ABH has achieved cult status amongst YouTube beauty gurus and professional makeup artists alike. It was established by makeup artist Anastasia Soare, who has built a brow empire around her products.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
You knew this one was coming the moment you saw the brand name, didn’t you? The Brow Wiz has become as iconic as the brand itself, and if there is one brow product you need to put on your beauty bucket list, it is this one. Taupe is their most popular shade, as it is universally flattering on most skin tones, but there are 9 other shades available.
Price: USD 21 (SGD 28.35)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit
Pst, this product is actually a Kardashian favourite! It was sold out worldwide the moment it launched, and at one point it had a waiting list of 8,000 people. Needless to say, this is one of ABH’s top-selling products and users have vouched for the high quality and blendability of the colours, which helped them make their face look thinner and angular. it comes in 4 different combinations to suit more skin tones.
Price: USD 40 (SGD 54)
Anastasia Beverly Hills products are available on their website.
6. Sugarpill Cosmetics
For those who gravitate more towards cruelty-free and vegan makeup, you probably would’ve heard of Sugarpill Cosmetics. The brand was founded in 2005 by Amy Shrinkle, who aimed to create a quirky, high-quality but responsible cosmetics brand. Its dedication to animal rights can be seen by its iconic kitten mascot that appears on most of their makeup products, and which probably played a part in its being chosen as the official makeup brand for Sanrio’s Hello Kitty 35th anniversary events.
Sugarpill Loose Eyeshadow
Aside from these gorgeous, iridescent shades, Sugarpill eyeshadows are also strongly raved about by users as being highly pigmented with great lasting power. We’re stoked to find out that Beautylish also stocks some harder-to-get shades of eyeshadow!
Price: USD 13 (SGD 17.55)
Sugarpill products are available on their website.
7. Jouer Cosmetics
Jouer, which means ‘to play’ in French, aims to produce fun, simple makeup products that also pack great ingredients for your skin. Makeup doesn’t have to leave your pores clogged or your face looking duller than before! Jouer Cosmetics wants to reverse that stereotype, producing makeup that leaves your skin looking even better than it did!
Jouer Cosmetics Essential Matte & Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette
This eyeshadow palette has become famous amongst beauty junkies for being a more affordable alternative to the expensive Viseart eyeshadow palettes, without compromising on quality or performance either! The palette contains a good shade range consisting of both mattes and luminous shimmer shades that will guarantee its versatility between day and night.
Price: USD 40 (SGD54)
Jouer Cosmetics products are available on their website.
Storing your individual eyeshadow pans (assuming they are made of metal) in a magnetic palette for more convenient portability is a well-known beauty hack by now, and Z•Palette started it all with their range of beautiful and high-quality magnetic palettes
There’s a whole range of magnetic palettes with varying sizes and designs, so you can select whatever your heart desires.
Z•Palette Empty Palettes
Choose from a large range of designs and sizes! The Z•Palette are known for their strong magnetic power to ensure no mishaps with your eyeshadow pans as well as the sturdy workmanship, so you don’t have to worry about travelling with them.
Price: USD 5 to 32 (SGD 6.75 to 43.20)
Z•Palette De-Potting Spatula
Don’t ruin your beautiful nails trying to dig out those eyeshadow pans from their original packaging! This spatula is a nifty little tool to help you with that, and it’s pretty affordable too!
Price: USD 12 (SGD 16.20)
Z•Palette products are available on their website.
9. Kevyn Aucoin
Kevyn Aucoin is one of those brands that have fans even in the upper echelons of makeup artistry, such as Lisa Eldridge. Needless to say, the products are expensive, but apparently of unbeatable quality.
Kevyn Aucoin The Gossamer Loose Powder
Take this as a higher-level and much more expensive version of the RCMA powder that we mentioned at the beginning of the article. If you have the cash to spare, this is the best time to invest in a beautiful powder that has earned the love of many die hard fans.
Reviewers have said that it sinks into the skin flawlessly without cakiness, and has even earned the spot as a holy grail under-eye setting powder from someone who has tried other famous translucent powders from Laura Mercier and RCMA. It comes in Diaphanous, which is a translucent powder, and Radiant Diaphanous, which has a tint.
Orig. price: USD 67 (SGD 90.45)
Kevyn Aucoin products are available on their website.
The design of the Artis brushes met with considerable surprise when they first came out, as they looked so strikingly different from your traditional vertical makeup brush. However, the quality of these brushes became immediately clear when people began using them.
Its densely packed bristles mean that your product will never be wasted by seeping too deep into the brush, and also helps to ensure that product is applied smoothly, evenly and without streaks. YouTube beauty guru Tati has raved about her Artis brushes, which she has said that she couldn’t live without, ever since she had gotten them.
Artis Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set
This contains the essential 5 brushes you need for your entire makeup routine: Oval 6 is a good-sized brush that’s a favourite for foundation application, Oval 4 and 3 can be used for eye makeup and the Linear 1 is a thin vertical brush that can be used to line the eyes, or to perfect brow shape.
Price: USD 197 (SGD 265.95)
Artis products are available on their website.
Based on traditional Japanese beauty secrets, Tatcha was established by Victoria Tsai and aims to take on a holistic approach to beauty. Tatcha has been gaining popularity for its less-is-more philosophy, and the beautiful, elegant packaging that its products come in.
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers
This is the only Tatcha product is one of the most highly raved about (is there any other blotting paper that has received a 4.6/5 rating on Makeupalley?) The sheets are handmade in Japan from natural Abaca leaf and gold flakes, which are powerful oil-absorbing ingredients. Users have said that it does a great job removing oil without disturbing makeup or leaving residue behind.
Price: USD 35 for 3 x 30 sheets (SGD 47.25)
Tatcha products are available on their website.