Nihao! Here is my guide to shopping through China! Last week I arrived back in Auckland from a 10 day trip in China and started unpacking my suitcase and unloading my shopping bags. Although most of what I brought home was gifts and small souvenirs, you know there’s no way your girl didn’t come back with a bit of makeup!
During my trip I visited Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. Each city was really different, even in terms of the shopping. There were market stalls on the side of the road, local malls, tourist malls, luxury brand malls and shopping streets. Here are my top picks for beauty stores and shopping experiences in China.
It was a damn good feeling being back in a Sephora store, although I did find the range of brands in the Chinese Sephora’s quite limiting. Due to China’s law on animal testing cosmetics, their Sephora stores can’t stock any cruelty free brands which meant I was missing a lot of my favourites. There was a very cute Minnie Mouse themed range in store when I visited which I was tempted by, however I ended up sticking to a few essentials. I left Beijing Sephora with a black Beauty Blender and a few Sephora face masks.
Miniso is a Japanese store which I had never come across before. They are absolutely everywhere in China. They label themselves as a ‘fast fashion store’ updating products every seven days! To me the store was kind of like Daiso or Japan Mart but everything was much more on trend. Miniso stocks beauty products, accessories, electronics and homeware. Of course the beauty section was what really caught my eye. There was Powerpuff Girls skincare, Hello Kitty cosmetics, Rilakkuma and Adventure Time themed products, sheet face masks everywhere and heaps of super cute stuff. The other amazing thing about Miniso was that everything was super cheap. Many of the products were between 10 – 20 Yuan which is around $2 – $4 NZD! I visited around 8 different Miniso stores throughout China.
This massive Korean beauty brand had a few standalone stores in China, especially in Shanghai. As a big Korean makeup fan I was super excited to be able to experience an Innisfree store. The shops smell so amazing and there was a huge range of products to test out. Although I didn’t end up purchasing anything here, it was definitely worth the visit.
♥ Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road, Shanghai, is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets. The vibrant street is lined with beautifully presented stores which are mostly several stories high. Highlights for me on Nanjing were Etude House, Forever 21 and H&M (which was four stories!)
♥ South Luogu Alley
Now this shopping street is more about the experience then the actual shopping. There are some nice stationary shops here and few larger souvenir stores with music blasting and people dressed up in crazy costumes welcoming you into the shop. There were a lot of snacks and treat stops along the alley too.
♥ Full floors of Beauty Stands
Almost every single mall we went to had a ground level floor completely dedicated to beauty products in an open plan, department store style. There was a wide range of Korean brands along with other well known brands like Maybelline, MAC, Makeup Forever and Benefit Cosmetics. Pricing was similar, if not slightly more expensive to what we pay here in NZ with MAC lipsticks priced at 210 Yuan (almost $45 NZD) and Maybelline products like foundations and primers at around 150 Yuan ($32 NZD).
Shopping in China was a lot of fun and definitely a great experience. I think I might have to start campaigning for a Miniso to come to New Zealand now!