As far as a beauty junkie like me is concerned, heaven actually exists (hint: the pearly gates have black-and-white stripes). And not just in Singapore, but across the causeway in Malaysia as well. Yup, there’s a Sephora right past the Woodlands checkpoint and thanks to the “everything divide by 3” exchange rate, most things are cheaper.
There are 2 Sephora stores in Johor Bahru (JB), and the closest one is at Komtar JBCC, which is within walking distance of the checkpoint (full address below). At first, I kind of assumed everything there would be cheaper, but after comparing the prices on Sephora.my, I learnt otherwise.
Sephora Singapore vs Malaysia
Here’s a price comparison of some of Sephora’s bestselling items:
|Bestselling makeup products||Sephora Singapore price||Sephora Malaysia price||Verdict|
|Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade||$35||S$27.98 (RM85)||Cheaper|
|Kat Von D Lock-it Setting Powder (19g)||$49||S$49.38 (RM150)||Slightly more expensive|
|Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer (22ml)||$56||S$55.31 (RM168)||Almost the same|
|Tom Ford Satin Matte Lipstick||$76||S$68.48 (RM208)||Cheaper|
|Fenty Beauty Match Stix Trio||$79||S$71.11 (RM216)||Cheaper|
|Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette||$83||S$80.66 (RM245)||Almost the same|
|Fresh Rose Face Mask (100ml)||$95||S$87.24 (RM265)||Cheaper|
|SK-2 Pitera Welcome Kit||$115||S$112.27 (RM341)||Almost the same|
|Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II||$175||S$136.63 (RM415)||Much cheaper|
|FOREO Luna Mini 2||$225||S$209.39 (RM636)||Much cheaper|
Disclaimer: Conversions calculated based on the exchange rate at the time of writing (RM1 = S$0.33).
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade – cheaper in MY
This all-in-one brow product is known for being super pigmented and lasting, even in our crazily humid weather. It’s well loved by international bloggers, and appears on almost everyone’s “holy grail” list.
ABH is exclusive to Sephora in Singapore, so you pretty much have no choice but to get it at $35 if you want to buy it locally. In Sephora Malaysia, it’s RM85, which is S$27.98.
That’s about 20% cheaper, which is pretty worth it.
Kat Von D Lock-it Setting Powder – cheaper in SG
The Lock-it setting powder by Kat Von D is a popular loose powder to help set the war paint; you know, so it doesn’t melt off your face mid-flirt. From the reviews, it does seem to do wonders in giving your face a nice matte finish without the “cakey-ness”.
But a “no-need-photoshop” complexion costs money, okay. In this case, $49 (for the 19g tub). Surprisingly, this product is a few cents more expensive in Malaysia – it’s RM150, which is S$49.38. (shrugs)
Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer – almost the same price
Another imperfection-blurring item is the Benefit’s star product: The POREfessional primer. Instead of applying this as the finish step, the primer is applied before everything else.
I’ve always loved Benefit products, even if just for their quirky tubes and bottles. The trouble is, chio packaging = expensive. The 22ml tube of POREfessional costs $56 in Singapore, and S$55.31 (RM168) in Malaysia.
Tom Ford Satin Matte Lipstick – cheaper in MY
With a luxe black-and-gold casing, Tom Ford lippies are the ultimate “status lipsticks”. They’re the kind that attract envious looks when you them pull out of your purse for a touch-up.
Even more expensive than Chanel and Dior lipsticks, the Tom Ford satin matte lipstick costs $76 at local Sephora stores. In Malaysia, it’s 10% cheaper (S$68.48 /RM208), which is still super expensive.
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Trio – cheaper in MY
Because Fenty Beauty is a makeup line by Rihanna, it is by default a must-have. So of course, the bestselling catalogue is filled Fenty entries.
The blush, highlighter and contour trio is a favourite, because unlike BB creams and moisturisers, you don’t really need the full-size of these products. Your cheeks are not even half your face.
The handy set is $79 here, and S$71.11 (RM216) in Malaysia. I think it’s a great buy because I see it as an added discount on top of an already-worth-it value set.
Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette – almost the same price
Urban Decay’s Naked palette range is a cult classic – I personally own 3 of them (and yes, I can tell the difference). The latest to join the fray is the Naked Cherry palette, which features hues of warm pinks and peaches. Perfect for Asian skin.
The full Naked palettes always cost $83 in Singapore, and sadly, they’re about the same price across the border (S$80.66 / RM245).
Fresh Rose Face Mask – cheaper in MY
Fresh is all about botanical blends and natural skincare, which in the beauty world, gives it the licence to charge exorbitant prices.
Usually I’d be more than ready to crap all over these overpriced products, but the Fresh Rose face mask is one I actually like. It smells divine and is super hydrating, and since it’s on the bestselling list, I guess the world agrees with me.
The large tub (100ml) is a whopping $95 which is insane. It’s about $8 cheaper in Malaysia (S$87.24 / RM265), which is still expensive lah.
SK2 Treatment Essence Pitera Welcome Kit – almost the same price
Now, it’s time to bring out the big guns and compare the bestsellers over $100. And what better product to compare than SK2 – the epitome of atas skincare?
The SK2 pitera welcome kit comes with the treatment essence (“miracle water”), clear lotion (toner) and RNA Power moisturiser. The price is fixed at $115 at authorised retailers (like departmental stores and Sephora Singapore), and it seems the same for Malaysia.
It is RM341, which converts to $112.27.
Esteé Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II – MUCH cheaper in MY
There seems an obsession with the need to reverse time and erase wrinkles, which is why many people are willing to whip out almost $200 for 50ml of the Esteé Lauder Advanced Night Repair anti-ageing serum.
This product is one of the few that are actually worth picking up if you’re visiting JB: It’s $175 in Singapore, and only S$136.63 (RM415) in Malaysia. That’s $38 cheaper; 22% in savings!
FOREO Luna Mini 2 – MUCH cheaper in MY
FOREO is the Swedish brand that made these vibrating silicone cleansing tools famous. These electronic brushes supposedly help to not just clean your face, but to reduce wrinkles and minimise the appearance of blemishes. Sounds too good to be true if you ask me.
Anyhow, this little device costs $225, which, for the record, is enough to buy you some pretty damn fancy skincare products. It’s RM636 in Malaysia, which is S$209.39.
Although it’s only a 7% discount, it seems significant because it’s just that expensive.
Conclusion – are the savings from Sephora Malaysia worth the effort?
It’s hard to say conclusively because of the 50-50 findings above: Half of the products were about the same price, while the other half were 10% to 20% cheaper.
I suppose if you can really be bothered, you can check the prices online first – like I did – and then only buy those that are significantly cheaper in Malaysia.
Do note, however, that I used the “real” exchange rate in this article, and how much your savings are will largely depend on the rate at which you change your cash. If you’re not planning to spend much – say, under S$100 – a poor exchange rate may very well end up cancelling off whatever discounts you were chasing.
Also, the more expensive the item, the greater your savings. So while you may not think the $35 eyebrow pomade is worth your time, you may want to consider JB if your makeup shopping list has items over S$100.
Where to buy – Sephora.my & Sephora Malaysia store locations in Johor Bahru (JB)
While you can access Sephora.my to check prices, they won’t let you ship to Singapore – you’ll be redirected to the Sephora.sg page. If you use a freight forwarder, then not worth it already lah.
I recommend heading to the physical stores instead. There are 2:
Sephora Komtar JBCC – super near to checkpoint!
This is the most convenient option because Sephora Komtar JBCC is right outside the checkpoint. Just cross the overhead bridge and you’re there.
Address: Komtar JBCC, Level Ground Floor, Lot G32 , Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru
Contact: (60) 7 295 5141
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm, daily
Sephora Aeon Tebrau – next to IKEA Malaysia
Visit this one if you want to one shot “hoot” all the cheap Malaysia goodies: This store is about 15 to 20 minutes away from the checkpoint, and is right next to IKEA Tebrau.
Lot G19B, Ground Floor, AEON MALL Tebrau City, No 1, Jalan Desa Tebrau, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100, Johor Bahru, Johor
Contact: (60) 7 351 9375
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm, daily
Do you think prices at Sephora in Malaysia are worth the trip across the causeway? Tell us in the comments below!