The 2016 Taiwan International Beauty Show & Industry Forum was held in Taipei last month, marking it as the first ever grand-scale congregation of Taiwanese beauty names. Think of it as a garden in full bloom, anxious to show the season’s blossoms, but still unclear about the display arrangements.

We’re going to be part of the first ever Taiwan International Beauty Show Industry Forum, the brilliantly grandiose affair of beauty, skincare, haircare & even bodycare brands from Taiwan, Japan & Israel 🙌🏻🌺💋 Thank you so much TAITRA & TWCIA for having us! #taiwanbeauty #makeup #skincare #cosmetics #taiwan #asianbeauty #oright #mask #gogreen #design #beautyshow #TAITRA #psculture #beautybeat

A photo posted by POPSPOKEN (@popspoken_sg) on

The result was an extravagant collection of brands and their niches (skincare, haircare, eyelashes, gold, perfumes, cosmetics, magic towels etc), and a reception that have yet to warm up to its fullest potential. Flanked by two major powers, O’Right and MasKingdom, previously mentioned as members of the Taiwan Beauty Alliance, the whole event was spun around 60+ booths.

Great use of old shampoo bottles to convey a global message.

Great use of old shampoo bottles to convey a global message.

Presenting O'Right's newest caffeine hair tonic, priced at $169 USD with a worldwide waiting list as we speak.

Presenting O’Right’s newest caffeine hair tonic, priced at $169 USD with a worldwide waiting list as we speak.

There was also a Beauty Industry Seminar, with speakers like Fashion Guide’s Vincent Hsieh, Steven Ko and Michelle Sung. The total roundup included several Israeli brands, such as Lavido, whose serum is a Gwen Paltrow favourite.

$59 for a bottle of Lavido's serum? No problem.

$59 for a bottle of Lavido’s serum? No problem.

One look at its oceanic beach packaging coupled with its addictive scent — natural essential oil fragrance heavily infused into each product — and it’s easy to figure out why the queen of expensive (and exquisite) taste is obsessed.

The Paradox of Taiwan

It was funny walking around the forum and picking up on the trends that we are already familiar with in Singapore. Using gold as a luxurious beauty supplement is nothing new, but in Taiwan, it is taken a step further.

  Feeling fancy this morning? Take a swig of gold flakes water because you deserve the best – from AUVITA’s all gold store (one mask is $20usd *gulp*) . . #taiwanbeauty #skincare #health #gold #goldwater #auvita #water #fancy #justkeepswimming   A video posted by POPSPOKEN (@popspoken_sg) on

For example, the efforts gone into Gold Nano Tech to ensure its credibility is incredible. They provide inhouse thesis papers (cited by others academically), certifications for different grades of gold and other minerals, and several alternatives for the treatments – from pills to skin injections.

Different minerals, different colours.

Different minerals, different colours.

The only thing that was a little effy was the fact that they highly advocated animal testing. The founder, James, shared that in order to test where the gold ended up, they bought 700 mice and each hour killed 6 mice to see where the gold ended up. Yes, they had to perform cross-section on these little furry creatures.

And this brings us to perhaps, the ultimate paradox of Taiwan’s beauty industry – where progressiveness relies on the approval of the traditional.

With the major purchasing power in Taiwan easily being China, it is worth pointing out that in order for brands to be sold in China, government regulations state that they have to test it on animals first. Recent updates state that this regulation might be changed for the better due to the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)’s intervention.

The Shift Into A New Era

With this beauty show & industry forum in place, Taiwan created for itself another opportunity to attract a significant pool of international audience.

The first day concentrated on business-to-business interactions, while the second was more consumer focused. It effectively rounds up any loose ends when it comes to showcasing the immersive experience of beauty.

In Taiwan, beauty is not only skin deep — it is nation deep. We are already looking forward to next year’s round, perhaps with some Singaporean brands in the mix?

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Check out the rest of our Taiwan beauty product reviews here.

For the 2017 edition, visit the official website here.

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