The store has come a long way. A simple drugstore that sold generic items in the past, it is now a leading local pharmacy stocked with goods ranging from cult cosmetics to niche skincare products, as well as nifty house-brand accessories and unusual confectionery.
That said, what I really like about the store are its town outlets with their clean and spacious shopping space, making browsing a pleasure.
To celebrate, Watsons is promising shoppers that they will save more and get more, shopping at the store. Along with its familiar 20% discount on several brands, Watsons is slashing up to 30% off the prices of many other products. I was pleasantly surprised to see numerous value-for-money buys while walking through the store.
On a beauty whim, I have come up with a list of twenty-one items – in line with Watsons’ coming-of-age celebrations – that you might consider purchasing.
1. Asience Haircare (Special set price: S$19.85 – S$22.85)
Specially developed for ‘rebonded’ (thermally-reconditioned) tresses, the Shine Therapy shampoo and conditioner are suitable for daily use. They are good for my chemically-processed hair because they moisturise adequately, keeping my hair soft but do not overload it with product, causing it to feel gunky.
However, you will need a more intensive conditioner if your hair is prone to dryness or requires more moisture.
2. Bioré Cleansing Oil Cotton Sheets (usual price: S$14.95/ offer price: S$13.70, with a free Bioré Extra Moist Facial Foam)
These wipes are excellent for taking off makeup in a jiffy. I would not recommend relying on such wipes for long-term makeup removal (the drag! the lines!) but if you need a quick makeup fix-up or are rushing for time, these do the job well. Bear in mind that waterproof pencils/mascaras might need more care and time to remove.
The foaming facial wash makes a good second-step cleanser, after makeup remover. I like how foamy it is and how clean the face feels afterwards.
An excellent bundle for the price!
3. Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof Eye Pencil (usual price: S$15.80/ discounted price: S$12.60)
These pigmented Made-in-Germany waterproof pencils go on smoothly and wear like iron once set. So far, only three colours are available but I’m hoping for more.
4. Canmake Powder Cheeks + Metallic Eyes (usual price: Powder Cheeks – S$14.90, Metallic Eyes – S$13.90/ offer price: S$21 for both)
Silky and pigmented, the Powder Cheeks are good basic blushes to own, while Metallic Eyes have a soft glimmer to them and lift the eyes instantly.
These Powder Cheeks + Metallic Eyes bundles are truly value-for-money!
5. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (usual price: S$15.20 / offer price: 2 for S$27.50)
A stalwart in gentle cleansing, Cetaphil is very much favoured by those with sensitive skin. I like to use it when my skin breaks out in rashes or when I get eczema attacks (not as frequently these days but still a nagging concern when they strike! Bah!).
6. Clean & Clear Oil Control Film (usual price: S$3.80/ offer price: 2 for S$5.70)
These blue sheets may look clinical but they are good basic blotters. They are also more affordable than the pink grapefruit-scented ones.
7. Déjàvu Fiberwig (usual price: S$25 /discounted price: $20)
A love-it-or-hate-it item, this product is touted as Japan’s best-selling mascara. I have used it in the past and liked it for how it lengthened lashes…over other mascaras. I think it simply does not work on its own. The product needs to grab on to another mascara layer – preferably a voluminising one – in order for the lengthening to take effect.
8. Gosh Velvet Touch Waterproof Eye Liner (usual price: S$12.80/ discounted price: S$10.20)
When I first saw these affordable waterproof pencils, I knew I had to have them. I ended up with two staple colours, a brown and a black. Richly-pigmented and long-lasting, I often use the black for tight-lining and the brown on the lash lines.
9. Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash (usual price: S$8.95 for 750 ml/ offer price: S$8.95, with a free 250 ml bottle)
Less than S$9 for fresh-smelling breath, with a small bottle to throw into your everyday bag…what’s not to like?
10. Maybelline Watershine Lipstick (usual price: S$13.90/offer price: 2 for S$21)
When these first entered the Singapore market, they were swooped down upon by makeup lovers who desired pigmented and glossy lips. This was years back. Despite the mercurial local drugstore inventory where items come and go so quickly that you sometimes miss them, Maybelline Watershine lipsticks are still around. The fact that these are still in the market is testimony to their popularity and appeal. I recommend Rose Jam, for a lusicous plummy-pink lip.
Now, if only they’d bring back the Watershine Diamonds of old…
11. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblocks (usual price: S$16.75 – S$22.30/ discounted price: S$13.40 – S$19.60)
A friend alerted me to this range of sunscreens, placing positive emphasis on the Body Mist. I love the idea of the aerosol – it makes applying sunscreen on the torso and limbs that much easier!
12. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color (usual price: S$35 for 2/ offer price: 2 for S$21)
Femininely beautiful, these nail polishes have the added bonus of product tenacity.
13. Sana Natural Resource Loose Powder UV SPF19 PA++ (usual price: S$39.90 / discounted price: S$31.90)
The same friend who recommended the Neutrogena loves this, lauding it for its finely-milled texture. This additive-free powder also has mild sun protection and is lightly rose-scented.
14. Silkygirl Funky Eyelights Pencil (usual price: S$7.90 / discounted price: S$6.30)
Also made in Germany, these eyeliners are fun and fabulous! They excel in colour intensity, pigmentation and smoothness. Although they are not as budgeproof as some other waterproof pencils, they are close to it. The colour range rivals that of leading brands.
15. Superdrug Tea Tree Series (usual price: S$6.95/ offer price: 2 for S$9.90)
A quick Google and a visit to Makeupalley revealed mostly positive reviews of this drugstore line from England. The original price is reasonable (their usual retail price at Superdrug is close to £3), what more $9.90 for two items?
16. Vichy Thermal Spa Water (usual price: S$19.90 for 150 ml/ offer price: S$14.90, with a free 50 ml bottle)
I love this fixing spray for its firm nozzle and fine mist. The nozzle allows a satisfying pressing action, while the mist from one pump is plentiful yet does not splosh on in drops; instead, it is a loving spray of cool, spring-water goodness. Setting makeup is a cinch with this!
I’ve since purchased two sets of this; I like having the handy 50 ml bottle in my handbags for use when I’m out.
17. Watsons 4-Tiered Clear Stacker (S$2.95)
A humble little item hanging on the shelf, this did not go unnoticed by me, mainly because I was on the prowl for a sturdy stacker to store some BB cream samples for a friend! I like how spacious the individual 10 g containers are and how the entire receptacle is secure and comes in a little resealable bag of its own.
18. Watsons Cotton Buds (S$2.20)
These cotton tips are my go-to items to draw out products lodged in the recesses of tubes. I’ve been using them for a while to use up my beloved Kesalan Patharan Covering Foundation (a cream concealer in a tube).
I love that they not only help me dig out the concealer, they also spread it well on the undereye…and clean up the lash line perfectly! The texture of the cotton is perfect for doing all this – it is soft enough to be gentle on the undereye but firm enough for application/correction-control.
19. Watsons Hair Magic Sheet for Foretop (S$4.95)
In a cheery pink that will appeal to girly girls, this is very similar to Dariya Hair Magic Sheet for Foretop. These sheets from Watsons have the same grip as the latter and hold up hair well. I often alternate between the two. At under SS$5, it is almost S$2 cheaper than the Dariya!
20. Watsons Soft Refreshing Wet Wipes (usual price: S$1.95 for a pack of three/ offer: buy three packs and receive one pack free)
I love these wipes. One packet is always in my handbag…for wiping off tested makeup! It is a fail-safe item for cleaning my fingers, my wrists and the back of my hands that are almost always coloured with tested product, after a trip to the makeup counters. :)
I also have this in my kit – my clients like them for how easily they remove makeup that I’ve tested on them.
21. Za True White Two-Way Foundation (usual price: $35/ discounted price: S$21)
I haven’t tried this but I reckon it should have the same quality as most powder foundations from the Shiseido stable of brands, since Za is also a part of this Japanese makeup giant. If I recall correctly, the refills fit the Majolica Majorca powder foundation compact case – if you prefer the princessy look of the latter, you could simply purchase the Za refill and plonk it into that!
And to end on a sweet note, here are some yummies you can now find at Watsons! :)