Monday, May 2, 2011

Calling all wimminz!

Just so y'all know, I'm working on a post now with advice on what to bring to Asia if you're female and moving here. I know there are similar lists online (although they don't come up at the top of any searches I've tried) but I've generally found those to be lacking.

If you're female (or have a suggestion from someone who is) and have any suggestions of things that you find essential to bring to Asia from home on a long stay, please do leave them in the comments. If I agree, I'll include them in my list. I'll probably put up the list tonight, or I may cop out and write about pizza tonight and put it up tomorrow. Whatevs.



catherine_sr. said...

More bras than you think you need... I've heard you can find bras up to a C cup here in dept. stores, but I've never bothered because I've heard horror stories about fittings here (if you think clothing store staffers are invasive, just wait 'til they actually have an excuse to touch your boobs!). Also bras wear out more quickly in the humidity, so good quality ones are a must. I've found Wacoal is good.

Swimming suit: Same fitting issues as clothing and bras, also swimwear store fitting rooms often have less privacy than Americans are used to...

OTC medications like Diurex or Gas-X just in case your body doesn't take well to your culinary adventures. I'm sure the Taiwan versions can be found, but oftentimes OTC treatments are imported and therefore very expensive here.

Anonymous said...

Tampons if you use them (pads are readily available). You can find some here, but they may not be your 'type,' and they likely won't be your size.

Anonymous said...

Not essential, but highly recommended: menstrual cup. Eliminates the need for buying menstrual supplies for years. However, I recommend using a cup for several months before moving to Asia, as it takes a bit of adjustment, which I don't recommend doing at the same time you're adjusting to a new country. Likewise, it's not for everyone who menstruates, so it's better to find that out before going to Asia as well.


Jenna said...

Very useful so far, thanks! I already had tampons and bras on the list but swimsuits and trying out a cup (if you use them) beforehand are good additions.

I've also got things like "shoes in your size", "your favorite skin care products", "foundation and concealer, if you wear it, in your skin tone", "a few pairs of your favorite jeans or pants", "comfy cotton underwear" and "a nice towel" (because so often the ones you buy here feel as though they're made of plastic), among other items.

I'm also running a list of things not to bring (books - order them with free delivery online; jewelry - buy all sorts of great stuff here; makeup other than concealer and foundation - available here in many colors; handbags/purses etc. - plenty of them here...etc) so suggestions there are also welcome.

catherine_sr. said...

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is one cosmetic item I wish was sold here. It's lightweight but makes your eyeshadow, liner and concealer stick on FOREVER. I know other people use it on their lips. It's great for humid weather and a tube lasts a while as long as you don't glop it on. MAC's cream shadows are a good substitute, but heavier than the Primer Potion.

We talked about how Bare Minerals foundation is not sold here... I know Clinique and other brands sell mineral foundation, too, but I'm not sure how well their versions hold up.

An alternative to menstrual cups for women who have certain, er, internal quirks are reusable, cotton or bamboo fabric maxipads. I've heard they are also better for humid, hot weather. They are hard to find in Taiwan, though. I know three or four brands who make them, but they are pricey.

Vitamins are $$$ here, so you might want to mention bringing a giant, value-sized bottle of multivitamins for women (or iron, folic acid or calcium). I know supplements are among the top items my relatives ask my parents to haul over for them. Annoyingly heavy, but much better than spending NT$1,000 for a small bottle.

Women who use Ortho-Tricyclen-Lo might want to arrange for their ob-gyn to prescribe them a supply. As far as I know, it's not sold here. I'm sure there are similar formulations, but bc pills aren't something you want to mess around with, of course.

I've seen sports bras in L and XL here, but most of them seem to be padded. Very irritating (literally and otherwise), so you might want to make a note of that under "Bras."

Oh, and self-tanning lotion is impossible to find here! I know being pasty is considered attractive here and all, but I'm grateful for that one tube of self-tanner my Mom brought me from the States.

Jenna said...

Much appreciated! I find it funny that every time we've met, I've been wearing at least eye makeup because either I had dark circles that day or it was a special event...which could give the mistaken impression that I wear makeup regularly. I don't - not at all, or at least very rarely!

That said, when I do wear makeup I wear the best stuff, because I do need to treat my problem skin well. I am with you on Bare Escentuals and recommend bringing it from home simply because even though other mineral foundations are sold here, they generally stock mostly colors popular with Asian women. If you're a whiteypants like me, that doesn't help.

And I LOVE Urban Decay primer potion. I use it on those days when I do wear eyeshadow, which recently one could be led to believe is "often" but is, in truth, "hardly ever". Which is good - that stuff's expensive!

catherine_sr. said...

I don't wear a lot of makeup either, so I can afford to spend my cosmetics budget on really nice stuff, like Nars and MAC. They are highly pigmented, so a little dab goes a long way (which is good for humid weather). Also, cheaper brands sold in places like Watson's usually pack in TONS of shimmer. Everything, from nail polish to eyeshadow to translucent powder. Not great unless you want to look like a disco ball.

Not wearing a lot of makeup also means I can keep products around forever. Which might not actually be good... I should check some expiration dates! I don't think mineral makeup goes bad too quickly, though.

One more thing I've noticed is that products formulated for longer wear, like MAC Longwear lipcolor or the Revlon Colorstay line, are hard to find here. I don't know why... you'd think there would be a market for durable makeup that only comes off with a steel wool scrub. I've noticed that a lot of Taiwanese women don't wear makeup... but when they do, they pile it on like crazy. I wish I'd brought more things like lip stains.

Oh, and Special Effects haircolor isn't sold here (at least not that I've noticed). It's hard to find off-the-shelf hair dye in funky colors, or even just in "non-Asian" colors, like realistic shades of blond.

Looking forward to your post!!!

Jenna said...

Same here...they say "throw your makeup out every year, two years at most" but I think that's a marketing ploy along the lines of "wash, rinse, repeat" - you don't need to repeat, they just want you to use the product up faster! For greasy cheap makeup and nail polish you have to be careful but mineral makeup stays good for years - I have Bare Escentuals True Gold eyeshadow and have used it without a problem for literally years (you don't need a lot).

And when I say I don't usually wear makeup, I mean most days I don't wear any makeup at all...I only wear it when I have really dark undereye circles, an especially bad breakout, or something super important (like a sales interview with a CEO or VP), or when I'm going out (wedding, dancing, drinking). Given my boring old married lady life, that equates to maybe every other month or, at most, once a month.

I haven't tried Nars but I *heart* MAC, Smashbox and Bare Escentuals, Urban Decay primers and if I can ever afford it, Givenchy undereye concealer.

One thing that they sell here that does last is waterproof mascara, even at Cosmed, and MAC paint pots are long-lasting for eyewear.

Sandy H. 何聖欣 said...

hi - When we go back to the USA to visit, we come back with aspirin (surprisingly expensive here), Aleve (We can't find equivalent here), mixes such as cake mixes and cheesecake, jello boxes, Jiffy mixes for corn bread, and pinto beans. The cake mixes can be found here for about $5 a box. We also bring back baking Splenda and other sugar substitute foods, because it's harder to find here.