Where to buy Japanese skincare and cosmetics in Bangkok

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1. Tsuruha Drug Store

Tsuruha is a Japanese drug store chain that has multiple outlets across Thailand (mostly in Bangkok). The more accessible stores near the city center are the Siam Square, Asok and Ekkamai outlets. They sell a variety of Japanese goods and have regular promotions. The brands that they carry include Canmake, Cezanne, Kate, Dollywink, DHC, Hada Labo and more.

2. Matsumoto Kiyoshi

Matsumoto Kiyoshi is a well-known drug store chain in Japan that has opened outlets in Bangkok recently. They have outlets in some Central malls, as well as one in MBK Center. They have a greater selection of brands and products as compared to Tsuruha (at least for the stores that I’ve visited), but prices for certain items might be more expensive. It might be worth comparing the prices at both chains before making your purchase if you have the time. They also have promotions from time to time, and they are sometimes posted on their Facebook page.

3. Loft

Loft is more of a lifestyle store, but they carry a small selection of cosmetics and skincare items. Their most accessible branch for tourists is the one at Siam Discovery. I would recommend shopping at Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Tsuruha over Loft, but if you’re looking for Cure Natural Aqua Gel, Loft is the only chain that carries it.

4. Watsons

Watsons carries the more common brands such as Biore, Hada Labo, Biore and Bifesta. For cosmetics, they carry Cezanne, Kate, Canmake and Majolica Majorca.


They are located at Siam Square, and carry loads of different brands, including non-Japanese ones. I haven’t been to the store, but it’s been recommended by others. If you’re looking to buy both Japanese and non-Japanese cosmetics, this might be a better place to shop at.

6. Siam Paragon

This is where you go if you want the departmental store brands. There are counters for SK-II, Lunasol, Kanebo, Kose, Jill Stuart and THREE.




Cashback rewards, coupons and more with ShopBack

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I love online shopping, and it makes me even happier when I manage to get something at a discount, or save some money through other means. I tried out ShopBack some time ago with some skepticism, but after receiving cashback for my purchases and managing to get a payout recently, I’m glad to say that the site is legitimate and it works. If you enjoy online shopping like me, you might be interested in using ShopBack too!

How it works

When you get referred to shop at an online site, ShopBack is paid a commission by that merchant. A portion of this commission is shared with you when you use ShopBack.

Making a purchase via ShopBack is very simple:
1. Click on any store through ShopBack and get redirected to the store’s website
2. Shop as usual on store’s site and make a purchase
3. Get Cashback in your ShopBack account within 48 hours
4. Your Cashback will turn ‘Redeemable’ once order is validated by the merchant (30-60 days)
5. You can request for payout once you’ve reached Redeemable Cashback of $10.00

Additional Coupons

Not only can you get cashback with ShopBack, the site also provides additional coupons from their merchants to help you save more with extra discounts.

What I like about ShopBack is the wide variety of online merchants they work with. They work with Guardian and Watsons for your health and beauty needs, and for those who shop regularly on Taobao, Shopee and Lazada, you’ll be glad to know that ShopBack partners with these sites too. ShopBack also works with various airlines and hotel booking sites. For those who are planning their next vacation, you can enjoy cashback when you fly with Scoot Airlines or travel cheaper during JetStar promos with cashback.

My experience with ShopBack

I’ve been using ShopBack for a couple of months, and I’ve never had any major issues in receiving cashback thus far. It does take a few more clicks to buy something as compared to buying from the online merchant directly, and you do have to wait for quite some time before you can redeem your cashback, but I just see it as taking a little time to get some money back, which I can choose to spend on something nice for myself.

Do give ShopBack a try if you’re buying from one of their merchants!




This has been weighing on my mind for a long time

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What do you do when your husband works overseas, but you have difficulties and are not happy living there? I really want the whole family to be together, but I just don’t feel happy there. I have no friends, can’t bring baby out freely, and the language barrier gives an additional challenge as well. As a result, I end up depending excessively on my husband, which is not good. I’m happier here at home, and I have an easier time with baby, but it means that I won’t get to see my husband for extended periods of time, and he doesn’t get to see me and baby.

Some people think that I should give myself a few more months until baby is older, and then suck it up and move over. But can I force myself to make things work even if I’m unhappy? Does my happiness not matter at all? Am I not valued equally as an individual? I don’t want to feel miserable and let it affect the mood of the family.

Others think that the overall happiness of the family is more important, and if it were them, they would find a job back home so that the family stays together. But there are opportunities there that don’t exist here at home, and my husband is happy working there. It’s unfair for me to ask him to get a job here at home because he wouldn’t be happy. But at the same time, it isn’t fair for my husband to not have me and baby around too.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, but there just doesn’t seem to be a happy medium for my problem. The best way, I think, is for us to be based in Singapore and for my husband to travel to and fro. But that’s not possible right now, and I don’t see any chance of this being possible until at least 1.5 years from now. What do we do until then? Can we endure our current arrangement until then?

Thinking about this makes me feel sad and frustrated. I feel really bad that I can’t manage being there, but I’ve tried to push myself and I really had a hard time. Do my feelings not matter at all? Should they not matter at all? Where do we go from here? Will we arrive at a good solution? The future seems so uncertain and bleak right now.

How do families with babies or young children deal with having one parent work far away?

I just want my family to be together and for everyone to be happy, but at the moment, it just seems so hard. It doesn’t matter if we’re not rich. If we’re “normal”. I just want all of us to be happy together.




Am I going through a 30s life crisis?

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I read this article just now and it describes me perfectly.

I’m supposed to be an adult now that I’m in my 30s. And I have a son. But in so many ways I still feel like a kid, and there are still so many instances when I feel lost and don’t know what I’m doing. There are moments when I wish that I could do something more reckless and worry about the consequences later. To go with my feelings rather than thinking things through beforehand. But I need to be responsible, especially now that I have a family and a kid. My choices affect not just me, but the rest my family too.

Sometimes I get scared when I think of how my son is dependent on me, and that I’m responsible for bringing him up. I wonder how I am going to do that when I still have so many things I don’t know and so many things that I can’t do. I fear that I’ll screw up somewhere and it’ll have a negative effect on him. Can I be someone that he can lean on when I’m so weak myself? Can I be his rock, the person he knows that he can always come home to, when I need someone else to be that person for me?

Another thing I’ve realized is that I feel empty, lonely and unsatisfied recently. I love my son and I enjoy the time I have with him, but at the same time, I feel that that alone isn’t enough to satisfy me. That I need to do something else for myself as well that is independent from being a mum. I need an additional purpose in life. Work used to take that role, and but now that I’m a SAHM, I need to find something else that gives me purpose. I want to do something; learn something; experience something new. I want to travel and be stimulated by seeing another part of the world. I need to find “that thing” that I’m missing right now.

It’s going to take time though, and the journey to finding myself once again is going to be rough. I just hope that I’ll get the support I need during this time when I’m lost and feel less happy.

What I am very clear about though, is how much I value time with my family. Having the whole family, including my MIL together for the past few days has made me so happy. I want us to be able to spend more time together as a family, and to be able to do more things together. We have been apart more than we’ve been together in the past few years, and I hope that we can have an opportunity to live in Singapore again sooner rather than later. I really want us to live as a complete family there.




Things I keep reminding myself of

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1. Baby isn’t purposely trying to give me a hard time; he’s having a hard time himself.

2. When we face a problem, it’s us against the problem and not each person against the other. Going through so many major life changes at once is stressful for everyone involved.