Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Beauty Asia 2015

Beauty Asia, the premier regional beauty trade show, is currently taking place at Suntec City Convention Centre from today until Friday 30 January. While admission is free, it is only open to trade and beauty professionals (entry is by registration with your name card). The exhibitors run a diverse range from the major nailpolish brands, OEM manufacturers from Korea and Japan offering to help design your own skincare/makeup brand, to salon equipment vendors.

Most beauty bloggers love to visit Beauty Asia primarily to scope out the great deals on nail polish brands including OPI, China Glaze, Zoya and Orly. OPI was going at just S$6.50 a bottle, with 5 free bottles for every 36 purchased at the Ella International booth. Zoya was S$9 for the regular shades and S$11 for the Pixie Dust shades.

Peanuts seems to be everywhere this year, due to their 65th anniversary. The display was eye-catching but the nail polish shades were not that stunning.

Naturally, I spent the most time at Hakuhodo, which was offering a 5-piece brush set and a few other select brushes that are not available at their Takashimaya counter in Ngee Ann City. The current location in Takashimaya is actually temporary, and they are looking to get their own permanent counter sometime after the summer. There are no price discounts at Beauty Asia, so if you're a Takashimaya cardholder, you're better off purchasing the brushes at Takashimaya during their cardmember sale days for a 10% discount.

I could not resist picking up this set! Pity there was no sign of the new Hello Kitty set.

Brushes that are exclusively available at Beauty Asia include B232 pine squirrel (S$46), B133 Canadian squirrel (S$48), and B524 water badger (S$67). According to the Hakuhodo staff, the range at Takashimaya includes blue squirrel brushes but not that many Canadian or pine squirrel brushes.

Shown below are more Beauty Asia exclusive brushes: SJ100 goat (S$192), S105 blue squirrel (S$220), G503 ($92), B512 blue squirrel & goat (S$96), B5521 blue squirrel & goat (S$54) and J4005 synthetic fiber (S$54).

The luxuriously sleek Kokutan (ebony wood) handled brushes are one of the most popular series made by Hakuhodo. Feel up one of these and you'll understand why. I splurged on a Kokutan brush set at IMATS London in 2012 and it was worth every single penny. Just forgo your daily Starbucks for a few weeks/months if you have to in order to own one of these (although be warned that once you've experienced Hakuhodo, you'll find it hard to go back to brushes by mainstream makeup brands like MAC or Bobbi Brown).

Next is the Vermilion series, which are often sold out for some reason. I prefer thinner and lighter handles so I usually pass over these.

Two extra premium brushes for those who are really in the mood for a splurge.

I wanted to get these Silver Care brushes for my toddler but alas, they were not for sale yet.

At Skinestica, the Korean-made facial sheet masks were going at 13 for S$10 (usual price is S$1.80 per piece) so I picked up an assortment.

The only interesting makeup brand on display was Cailyn, which is from the US and sold in India. In Singapore, they are only available in salons. The gel pencil eyeliners are S$25 and made in Germany (where else?). These swatched quite smoothly but I still prefer my Pixi pencils.

The Cocoon Lip Stain was rather unusual, in that one is supposed to apply the stain and then wait 10 minutes before peeling it off to reveal the stained lips. I doubt if many women have the patience for that!

Cailyn's O! Wow Brush looks like it was modelled on the MAC Masterclass brushes introduced in 2013. This was selling at $30 and did a pretty good job of applying their BB foundation.

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