The one problem with living in Asia is that you often get popular Western beauty products half a decade after the hype has arrived and died. Yes, we know there’s a fair amount of exaggeration there, but you cannot deny that the wait is extensive.

Just think of the fervour that surrounded Sunday Riley’s Good Genes last year. The lactic acid-based serum achieved world domination despite its steep price tag because its users swore that an overnight transformation took place. The serum brightens and gently exfoliates your skin, so one wakes the next morning with a plump visage rid of clogged pores and dry patches. Still, it wasn’t the easiest to get your hands on, until recently.

The beauty gods have blessed our city and delivered a legion of cult beauty brands, including Sunday Riley, to our shores. Launched at Sephora as part of the Fall/Winter 2018 collection, the arrival of these sought-after brands mean your vanity will be plagued with FOMO no more.

1
Tatcha

San Franciscan Victoria Tsai set up Tatcha after a trip to Kyoto enlightened her to the intricacies of a 200-year old skincare routine still practised by geishas today. She chose to follow suit, and when the routine remedied her acute dermatitis, she knew that the geishas’ secrets could benefit the world.

So, she began Tatcha in 2009. The brand takes cues from Japanese beauty and technology, so both packaging and formulations are minimalistic, yet effective. If you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to trying something from Tatcha, let it be the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, which has remained one of the best facial sprays to instantly give your complexion a glow.

2
Dior Backstage

Dior Backstage is an offshoot of Dior’s main cosmetics arm. Designed with the needs of professional makeup artists in mind, the extensive collection still remains accessible to makeup amateurs because all the products are familiar to a simple daily routine — two neutral eyeshadow palettes, simple cheek quads with versatile colours, and sheer lip balms are just some of the things you can expect from the youthful label. Also, did we mention there are 40 different shades of foundation?

3
Sunday Riley

We’ve already covered the mania that surrounded Good Genes, but that isn’t all this science-centric skincare brand has to offer.

Sunday Riley herself is a cosmetic chemist and was tired of formulating products that just didn’t work because they were pumped full of filler or low-quality ingredients. With her namesake brand, she uses top-grade active ingredients in highly potent combinations to address pressing skincare problems fast. The retinol-rich Luna Sleeping Night Oil is another popular one from the brand to counter ageing skin, alongside the C.E.O C + E Antioxidant Protect + Repair moisturiser, which uses a photo-stable, strong vitamin C to counteract the wear pollution causes on your face.

4
Allies of Skin

Allies of Skin is not new to Singaporeans, but they have been rather low-key on the skincare scene since its debut because they have little airtime on retail shelves here. Founded by a local, Nicholas Travis, the slim range is all about smart skincare that multitasks, and that efficacy has won it a dedicated following.

If you’re someone who does not like sticking to an extensive skincare ritual, then Allies of Skin is your nirvana. A leave-on daytime mask doubles as a moisturiser and a serum that protects your complexion through the day; a facial mist doubles as a restorative and so on. It is so streamlined that the brand declares you only need to use three of its products daily, and your skin is sorted.

5
Tata Harper

Colombian Tata Harper is the originator of the farm-to-face movement, where everything she grows organically in her 1,200 acre Vermont farm is used in the products that she creates.

Everything from Tata Harper is 100 percent organic, non-toxic and all-natural, but has the effectiveness of some of the best skincare products on the market (we shan’t name names), or are perhaps even better. Celebs like Jessica Alba and Gwenyth Paltrow swear by Tata Harper’s products, and their ageless faces are surely reason enough for you to go out and give the brand a go.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.