Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

by Paris B on · 49 comments

in Shopping,Tips,Travel

I looked back at my “Where To” guide to shopping in Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong and was highly amused to note I don’t have a guide to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! So, let’s remedy that eh? icon smile Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Let me just say I’m going to restrict the shopping to mostly makeup/ cosmetics and the location to Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley because this is where I’m familiar with.

KL shopping Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Drugstore Makeup and Skincare

Over here, we call our drugstores a “Pharmacy” and most major drugstore makeup brands are represented. The major pharmacies with a better selection of cosmetics are Guardian and Watson’s and you can also get medication, vitamins, personal care products etc here.

Larger Guardian and Watsons stores can be found at the main malls in the city – Suria KLCC, MidValley Megamall, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Sg. Wang Plaza etc. The larger outlets have a better selection of products.

Among the major drugstore brands available in Malaysia are: Maybelline, L’Oreal, Rimmel, Beautilicious, Kate, Fasio, Majolica Majorca, Revlon, ZA, Pond’s, Olay, Uriage, Eucerin, ROC etc Some product lines in each brand may not be available in Malaysia and ranges might be limited but we get most of them icon smile Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Do note that many major international brands carry products exclusive to Asia or Asian formulations in Malaysia.

Japanese or Asian Cosmetics

In the course of correspondence with visitors, I’ve often been asked where they can go to buy Japanese or Asian cosmetics. There are a few places you can hit up:-

Department Stores : Kanebo (Coffret D’or, Lunasol, Kanebo and Impress skincare), Shiseido (Shiseido The Makeup, The Skincare, Maquillage), Laneige, Kose are all well represented in most department stores. Anna Sui is available at most Parkson and Isetan department stores while Paul & Joe is no longer available in KL. Shu Uemura has its own boutiques in 1 Utama, MidValley Megamall, KLCC, Empire Shopping Gallery and counters in most major department stores.

Watsons Personal Store: You will find a Watson’s pharmacy or personal store almost everywhere you go. Here you can get Majolica Majorca, Kate, ZA, Silkygirl and Fasio. Not Asian, but you can also get Rimmel at most Watson’s stores.

Guardian Pharmacy: There is a smaller selection of asian makeup here but you can also find Silkygirl, Kate and Fasio in some stores.

Sasa: Sasa here is less well stocked than in Hong Kong but still a good place to go for Asian makeup and cosmetics and fragrances that are sold slightly cheaper than retail. The sales assistants in most Sasa outlets do tend to stick close to you and be suffocating but if you can ignore that, you can pick up some gems here from brands like I Nuovi, Kate, CyberColors and various other random Asian cosmetics bits and bobs.

Korean cosmetics brands: The few Korean brands I know that are available here in Malaysia are Laneige, TheFaceShop, SkinFood and Etude House. They are available in their own booths or stores in major malls. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Korean cosmetics so I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of others.

Do note that Elianto is NOT a Korean brand – it is a local Malaysian brand and it is available at certain standalone counters or stores.

Niche brands

Niche cosmetics or popular but smaller cosmetics brands like Caudalie and REN Skincare are available at KENS Apothecary. Laura Mercier has counters at The Gardens, MidValley city, KLCC and Bangsar Village 2. Niche fragrances like Annick Goutal, Diptyque, Penhaligons etc are available available at Kens Apothecary as well as Isetan KLCC.

Department stores and Malls in Kuala Lumpur

If you are looking for department store cosmetics, you can find them in most major department stores in the Klang Valley – Estee Lauder, Lancome, Dior, Chanel, Clarins, Kanebo, Shiseido are easily found in most department stores and most ranges are represented.

Major department stores in KL city are – Jusco, Metrojaya, Isetan, Parkson, Tangs and Robinsons.

Major malls in Klang Valley are found in 4 areas:-

On the fringe of KL - MidValley Megamall and The Gardens (attached to each other). Major department stores found are Jusco, Metrojaya, Isetan and Robinsons and major pharmacies are represented.

Heart of KL City - Pavilion Kuala Lumpur (Parkson, Tangs), Lot 10 (Isetan), Starhill Gallery (major luxury brands), Sg. Wang Plaza (Parkson) are all within walking distance of each other. For electronics, go to Lowyat Plaza behind Sg. Wang Plaza. Suria KLCC (Isetan has an impressive new Beauty Hall, Parkson) at the Petronas Twin Towers is a short taxi ride away.

Sunway and Subang, Selangor - Sunway Pyramid (Parkson, Jusco), Subang Parade (Parkson), Empire Shopping Gallery (newly opened in May 2010)

Mutiara Damansara, Selangor - 1 Utama (Parkson, Jusco) and The Curve (Metrojaya) and Ikea is a taxi ride away from the heart of KL.

Where to go if you don’t have the time

If you don’t have a lot of time to go to the different malls, I’d recommend going to MidValley Megamall or 1 Utama depending on whether your trip is based in the city or outside the city. I find both these malls easier to navigate and in both, you get a good mix of mid-high end and low end brands whether for fashion or cosmetics and a wide variety of food to boot.

If you are looking for more high-end or luxury products, go to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and then hop across the road to Starhill Gallery to get your luxury product fix or hit up Suria KLCC at the base of what was once the tallest buildings in the world! icon smile Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A Sephora store is scheduled to be opened at Starhill Gallery soon. I will update once it is opened here.

Update: Sephora Malaysia at Starhill Gallery is open! Take a virtual tour of the store here. Another Sephora store is also open at KLCC .

Are cosmetics cheaper in Malaysia than elsewhere?

This is a subjective question and much depends on where you making your comparison to and where you are coming from. Do note that time of writing (May 2010) there is no tax on cosmetics so the prices inland are about the same as that at the airport.

  • Many European brands e.g. Dior, Lancome etc are slightly cheaper here in Malaysia compared to Europe or the USA or even Hong Kong.
  • Estee Lauder, MAC and Bobbi Brown are slightly more expensive than in the USA.
  • Some department store Japanese brands (e.g. Lunasol, Coffret D’or, Shiseido) are slightly cheaper here than Hong Kong or Japan but in the majority is priced slightly higher. Shu Uemura is cheaper here compared to the USA or Europe.
  • Korean brands are more expensive here compared to Korea.

When you take into account exchange rate fluctuations, cosmetics can end up cheaper in Malaysia compared to Singapore. Honestly, I don’t have much to complain about in terms of pricing and availability of brands and products in Malaysia and I think we have a decent enough choice too – less than in some other countries, but certainly enough to keep us entertained (and broke!). In any case, the range of brands and products are certainly expanding at a good rate which I am happy about icon smile Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is pretty much just a taster for anyone visiting Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur in particular. It is by no means exhaustive so do feel free to fill in the gaps or ask any questions in the comments. If I can’t help you find what you want, I’m sure someone else can! icon biggrin Shopping for Makeup and Cosmetics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Paris B

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[ 49 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

rinnah
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

Malaysia boleh! I feel like shopping now. Hehe. :P

This is certainly a pretty comprehensive guide for anyone visiting Malaysia. Hands down one of the best blogposts you’ve written, PB! :D

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

Thanks Rinnah :) There are lots of gaps though – too much to say in one short post!

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plue
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 9:17 am

great post! good for me to use when SG friends coming to visit next week! LOL.

I like to go to Sunway too! Oh! they have Beauty Credit (Korean) and it’s also available (me thinks) in Sungai Wang.

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

Oh yeah I forgot about Beauty Credit – I don’t pay attention to Korean brands at all!

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Lee May 21, 2010 at 9:18 am

Hello Paris,
I was just around Isetan @ the Garden yesterday…the Guerlain meteorites cost a whopping £40 (after conversion according to the current exchange rate, pound is down the drain and will remain so for a long while), in London, it’s £33. I was so gutted! :(
I believe Lancome mascaras are cheaper here :) The Precious Cell Virtuous which is priced at RM93 is definitely better than the whopping £25 for The Precious Cell Hypnose!
Otherwise, I always come home to get my Japanese brand which is not available in the UK at all, although I hate the fact that Shu Uemura is more expensive than in the UK?! Ugh!
(Forgive my ranting…I have been hemorrhaging a big sum of money for all these beauty products and the discrepancy of the exchange rate!)
xxx

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 9:37 am

Thank you for the clarification and comparisons Lee. Well the GBP is substantially lower now which might explain the big discrepancy (makes me happy to shop in the UK though ;)) At one time, it would have cost under GBP30 here :)

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Lee May 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Hey Paris,
Let me know if you are heading to London by any chance. I might not know KL as well but if it’s London, it’s my playground ;) And yes, might as well take the advantages of the weak pound, go to London, then take a eurostar straight do Paris and shop in Sephora, apart from Patisseries, Sephora on Rue di Rivoli and Avenue Champ Elysee will make you shop till you drop!

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Ooh I WILL be in touch if I plan to go to London (I’m hoping very hard it will happen especially with the weak pound as you say :P ) and then with your help, we could do a Shopping Guide to London! :D

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Sugar May 21, 2010 at 9:23 am

sigh, i’ve started working 1 and a half months ago, and my promise to myself was to start buying lots of expensive skincare n makeup for my mum. then i found out i needed to buy some for meself too. cause i had nada. so i’ve haemorrhaged abt 2000 bucks in these one and a half monts. arhghsgsh!

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 9:37 am

Actually, expensive is not always good. Better to buy something good that works vs something expensive that doesn’t ;)

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Sugar May 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

hey! u read my mind! i just bought the olay micro scuplting regenerist face cream for me mummy after reading YOUR mum’s review!

also yes, for some reason, bio-essence thanakha white works great for me. i use the facewash and the night cream.

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Nikki May 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

When I went to KL for a visit, I wasn’t into buying cosmetics yet at that time :( I need to book myself another trip and print this post! :) :) :)

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 10:13 am

You’d just have to call one of us up Nikki! LOL… I hope its useful anyway

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Hanny
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 10:03 am

Yay!!!! I’ve saved up for a bit of a spree in cosmetics!!! Any recs??? Good post though!

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Jyoan May 21, 2010 at 10:25 am

haha, actually drugstores in Sg are called pharmacies too. But we get hooked on the US term so fast.

I am here in Subang now. There is no Watson’s. So sad. I only see Caring Pharmacy everywhere. lol. Pretty standard Maybelline and Silkygirl.

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

In the business center? Shops area? I seem to recall a Watsons store but then I could possibly be mistaken – I haven’t been back to Subang in ages!

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Hanny
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hmmm, there are Watsons in Taipan (USJ 10) and SS15. ^.^ The one in Taipan is the largest here, barring the one in Summit USJ.

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blue
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 10:42 am

Oh I should let you know I found a Missha when I was there! As you said, there wasn’t one in Pavilion anymore, but they have a counter at the Ikano Power Centre next to Ikea.
Indeed Korean cosmetics are more expensive but considering how jacked up the prices are online it was still worthwhile for me. The Etude House products for instance cost quite a penny on ebay / facial-shop hk but I was lucky to find them on sale in KL. Not to mention they have free gifts with purchase…

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

Actually, the Missha at Ikano Power Center is the only kiosk I’ve ever seen here! Someone said they had pulled out so I thought it was no longer around. I don’t go to that part of town very often :) Thanks for the update!

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blue
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

Np :) It was a bit quiet there though so I hope it still lasts! Ikano doesn’t seem like an attractive place to go. I only happened to pass there by chance to get some food from Ikea :P

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 11:00 am

I don’t go to Ikano either except maybe for food or groceries at Cold Storage but there’s more choices at The Curve across the road. I don’t quite “get” the place to be honest heh…

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blue
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 10:48 am

Forgot to add that yes, I noticed salespeople in Sasa like to stick to customers, but I found Etude, The Face Shop, and Skinfood to be far worse. Every time I paused or touched something the sales person tailing me would start telling me all about the product…Also they seem to find it unthinkable that I would just want to browse…they kept on asking me what I was looking for! Quite stressful shopping for makeup actually…lol

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 10:50 am

Fully concur!! That must be the reason why I don’t shop at these stores :P I wonder if its the same at the Korean stores overseas – perhaps its their idea of customer service :)

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jojoba (My Makeup Reviews) May 21, 2010 at 11:10 am

this is an amazing post. how on earth do you manage to remeber all those places? the fatest place i travel to shop in KL is usually mid valley but i don’t normall go beyond One U. the traffic in KL scares me and i am not a good driver.

but i have bookmarked this post for reference. it is excellent!

i sent my younger sister-in-law to shop in KLCC for me as she works in that area! :P

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I guess I have a head full of trivia :D Thanks!

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Connie
Twitter:
May 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

Great guide to shopping in KL! Next time anyone emails me asking where to buy this that and this and that, I’ll link them to this post

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Haha thanks! :D Feel free to contribue in case I missed out on anything

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lyn May 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Paul & Joe is available in Parkson, Subang Parade too. And there’s a Shu boutique in Sunway Pyramid. For “beauty shopping”, the best places are definitely Pavilion, Sunway Pyramid, OneU, Suria KLCC or Mid-Valley.

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thanks Lyn!

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Lisa May 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Hi,
your post is so timely as I’m planning a trip to Malaysia!
May I know whether cosmetic such as Dior, Bobbi brown, mac and shu uemura are also available in malacca? Any idea?
Thanks, Paris!

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I hope someone can help you with Malacca – I’m not too familiar.

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Mag Goh May 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Hi Paris, do you happen to be in Elmondo in Penang for lunch today ?
Saw someone whom resembles you very much there today !!

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ParisB May 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Hey Mag unfortunately no, I’m stuck down here in KL – I guess I have a doppelganger in Penang! :O

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iza July 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Elianto is not a Korean brand?? I should have known that. But, it states at the packaging “Made in Korea”.

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ParisB July 27, 2011 at 9:52 am

Nope, its Malaysian. Many cosmetics are Made In Korea or Japan or France or China etc but the brand can originate from elsewhere.

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Divya August 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Hi,
great article, please do let me know what all cosemtics I should pickup from KL. I am devoting 1 day complete just for shopping.
I mostly love nail colors, eye and lip colors :)
Divya recently blogged…Water Marble Nail ArtMy Profile

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ParisB August 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm

It depends on what brands you are looking for. You can head down to the Bukit Bintang area, where you can get Sephora, department stores and pharmacies in one place, or you can go to KLCC where there is a good selection too.

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fazana August 22, 2012 at 2:41 am

hello_i am going to be visiting KL in september-please can you tell me where i can buy the makeup brand called Kryolan-regards

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Paris B
Twitter:
August 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I’m not sure, Fazana. From what I know it is only sold in some makeup schools or some very niche shops that I’m not aware of.

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Mei Yin September 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Hey! I’m quite curious. Are Chanel makeups in Malaysia cheaper than Singapore?

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Paris B
Twitter:
September 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I think it depends on the exchange rate. At present, it may be a little cheaper after conversion but I’m not too familiar with the prices of Chanel.

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Hassina essa December 10, 2012 at 12:05 am

Hi.I’m in south Africa,traveling to kuala lampur next week,I just wanted to know if there are any mikayaji make up stores in k.l
Thank you
Will await a response from u
Hassina essa

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I’m not familiar with that brand so I guess not.

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ainul December 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

where can i find chanel store? i wanna buy their cosmetics but the one in klcc doesnt seem to sell any right? :'(

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Paris B
Twitter:
December 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

The only Chanel cosmetics store is in 1Utama I believe but you can quite easily find Chanel cosmetics in the department stores – Isetan and Parkson at KLCC both have counters.

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hazel March 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm

hey paris,
i need your tour guide! my brother is in bukit gambang resort city for his internship and i want him to buy me mac and sephora cosmetics.. is there any store nearby?

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Paris B
Twitter:
March 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Hi Hazel, I believe Bukit Gambang is in Kuantan and I’m not sure if there’s a MAC store in any of the malls (don’t think so) but there’s definitely no Sephora. He won’t be able to buy you anything from there unless he comes into KL.

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hazel March 12, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for ur reply.. Do u know any online shopping that will deliver Mac professional makeup brushes to kuantan? I googled and I found only one supplier from lelong but he/she havent replied.. My brother is unknown about makeup so..
Sorry if I am bothering u

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Paris B
Twitter:
March 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Hi Hazel, I’m afraid that as far as I know, MAC doesn’t do deliveries. I’d be very wary of buying online esp from sites like lelong, because there are many fakes out there and you can never be sure if you’re getting the real thing. The safest would be if your brother manages to get to a proper MAC counter/store e.g. if he’s travelling for a weekend. You can find a list of stores here http://www.maccosmetics.com.my/

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