Captain’s log: last day in Taipei 03/20/15 sitting outside fking SaSa waiting for it to open like I’m an addict at a methadone clinic. And guess what? There are a ton of others waiting with me!!!
This is my exact location, because you WILL want to visit this very spot (or any SaSa, but this location is your best bet to start) and walk east towards Taipei City Hall MRT station to find the biggest proliferation of Asian cosmetics in the area. Like, a LOT.
Like, this much:
Basically there are four places worth visiting to maximize your cosmetics time here. And if you follow the yellow pollution brick road from Zhongxiao Fuxing station to Taipei City Hall you will make it to the promised land of beauty. There are SASA, Cosmed, Watsons, department stores, SoffyGirl brand mask stores, The Face Shop, Innisfree, 3CE, and specialty Japanese cosmetics and snacks stores along this road, not to mention amazing assortment of random Asian stores and boutiques. This is a pretty long walk (2.6km or 1.5 miles.) Oh you think it’s nothing? Incorporate scorching heat and 70% humidity, and having some asshole steal your folding Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses within 30 seconds of forgetting it on a bench.
1. SASA: for all Taiwanese domestic and import cosmetics. This chain is like the Sephora of Asia. It contains basically everything you need for face, hair, nails, lips, lashes, and body to construct yourself in the morning.
2. Cosmed: this is like the 24hour Walgreens of cosmetics. Some are open 24 hours in the Yongji road area. Shop for cosmetics 24 hours? Yes please!
3. Watsons: similar to Cosmed. Each location varies a little in offerings. I get addicted to Watsons because of its super extensive selection and hypnotic green glare.
4. Any department store but particularly the ones at the Taipei City Hall mall (not to be confused with Taipei 101 tower which is overpriced and limited.) They have everything from Sulwhasoo (expensive; US equivalent prices) to SamLamYick brushes to Les Merveilleuses makeup.
Now I must return to my zen spot and ready for steely determination to only buy what I NEEEEEEED (which is…nothing!)