Last weekend I made my semi-annual trip to Daiso to stock up on some essentials. For those of you who don't know what Daiso is, it's a notable Japanese 100 yen store chain which opened its first North American location in Richmond, BC - roughly a one hour drive from where I'm situated in Vancouver. After conversion rates, everything in Daiso is $2 Canadian. The range of Daiso products is amazing and covers housewares, health and beauty products, toys, stationery, and so on. It's kind of like a two-storey dollar store except that everything in Daiso is kitschier, in cuter packaging, and is much better quality than what you'd find in an average dollar store.
For me, two of the most interesting sections of Daiso to explore are the beauty and clothing care sections. The selection is bewildering and there's so much to look at! Some of it seems like junk but some of it is fantastic, and at $2 a pop the price is certainly right. Here are some of my favourite things to look for if you ever have a chance to go to Daiso.
Eyeshadow palettes. If you like experimenting with eyeshadow but hate paying high prices for little compacts that only have a couple colours in each, you can easily stock up on as many colours as you'd like at Daiso. The nice part about this is that if a colour doesn't work out for whatever reason you can always toss it without feeling like you wasted a ton of money. I spent a long time examining the different single/duo/triple/quad colour combo compacts in the eyeshadow section before I settled on two compacts with three shades each: one compact had charcoal, silver, and winter white, while the other one had two shades of green and a white shadow. The colours were pretty and wearable by themselves or blended with each other.
Blotting papers. Blotting papers can work miracles for a shiny T-zone, but the only ones I've managed to find in drugstores are the Johnson's Clean and Clear ones which have powder on them and come in packs of 50 for about $7 a pack. Not only are they kind of overpriced, I'm not too keen on the powder because overuse can clog pores and cause blemishes. Daiso has 250-packs of blotting papers that don't have powder. Fold a couple and stash them in a clutch, and you're all set for an evening out.
Brushes, applicators, and eyelash curlers. Sure you can find this sort of stuff in normal dollar stores and drug stores, but you won't be able to find the same selection and quality for that price.
Travel toiletry bottles. Ditto.
Makeup cases. Zip cases and plastic caddies galore.
Clothing care loot
Clothes hangers. Daiso has quite a selection of clothes hangers, including a ton with clips on them for trousers and skirts. The best find, however, has to be the wooden hangers with sculpted shoulders - perfect for hanging up heavy winter coats.
Shoe and leather cleaners. The best leather cleaner for shoes that I've ever found is a small blue tube of cream cleaner from Daiso. That stuff took the blue stains from my dark denim jeans out of my beige Nine West slides and left the leather looking like new. On my recent sojourn to Daiso, I discovered that they also have leather cleaners available in handy disposable wipes. Each wipe detaches into two halves to make for easy shoe cleaning. How brilliant is that?
Lint brushes. I've had my Daiso lint brush for a couple years now, and it's by far the best lint brush I've ever found for my clothes.