Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Local Beauty Scene

The makeup choices in Trinidad* are extremely limited compared to what is available in other countries, namely, the US. However, we can definitely find options at different ends of the budget spectrum to fit our needs.

Below I've listed some of the bigger players  in the cosmetics game locally. Of course there are plenty other smaller shops or boutiques where you can purchase cosmetics. Hopefully, I'll be able to share some of those places with you soon.

  • Our high end cosmetics are limited to:

MAC Cosmetics

 (Image taken from Gulf City Mall's website)

MAC Cosmetics, one of the most popular global cosmetics brands has two local locations, one at the Falls of Westmall,  known as Westmall, and the other at Gulf City Mall.

However, I've actually found that when purchasing products from the local MAC stores the conversion rate is usually a range of 1 US: 8.7-9.8 TT rather that the normal conversion rate of 1 US: 6.5 TT (approx.).  

There is always the option to purchase online at MAC Nordstrom (offers free shipping and 3 free samples), Macy's (offers free shipping with a purchase of $50US or more) and various online retailers once you are utilising a Skybox/Freight forwarding service. In my experience this may only save you about $10-15 TT in comparison to the price at the local MAC stores but it's very useful if you want to get your hands on the limited edition collections that often sell out quickly here (although it goes just as quickly online).

Of course visiting the store locally means you get to play with the products, get samples and of course once you spend over $300 you are supposed to get your makeup done if you so desire.

Estee Lauder & Clinique at Senses

(Images taken from Senses' website)

These brands can be found locally at Senses. The stores may look particularly intimidating as they exude a sense of luxury in comparison to other local stores but i've found the staff, especially at the Westmall branch, to be extremely helpful and friendly. 

  • Drugstore brand cosmetics are available in  multitude of locations across the country including 

(Image taken from Pennywise's website)

This might be considered the original cosmetics mecca in Trinidad and at some point in time I think every Trini MUST have popped into Pennywise and bought something. There are branches of Pennywise in most malls and cities/towns/ areas.  Revlon, L'Oreal, Maybelline, Cara Mia, any brand, you name it and Pennywise probably carries it.  Definitely stop in and browse their display of cosmetics. Oh and Pennywise has some bess bess ( Trini for best ) prices. Actually, they may have the cheapest prices definitely have the cheapest out of the listed stores.


       (Image taken from Superpharm's Facebook page)

There are Superpharm locations in most areas and this pharmacy has clearly been modelled after Walgreens etc., basically the large all purpose US pharmacies. Whilst it is pricier than Pennywise, Superpharm is a great place to find drugstore brands and it's usually up to date with newer product releases.

Again, modelled after the big US drugstores, you can find a vast range of cosmetics here. They carry a larger variety of brands than those found at Superpharm and Pennywise but the prices may be a bit higher.

Wonderful World

   (Image taken from Gulf City Mall's website)

(Image taken from Wonderful World's Facebook page)

Wonderful World can be considered every girl's dream, especially mine! I've been pouring money into their coffers since the store first opened it's doors in Trincity Mall. Every imaginable item of jewellery, pashminas, hats, purses, lingerie, shoes (at the Gulf City branch), nail polish  and of course makeup can be found at these locations. They carry numerous brands such as L.A Girl, Milani, Jordana, NYX, Ruby Kisses,  L.A Splash, City Colour, and Cosmo Girl to name a few. Yes a few!, because this store has sooo many different brands. They are also decently priced although their prices have raised in recent times.

NYX Kiosk

There is an NYX Kisok located in Long Circular Mall and Trincity Mall. They seem to have a wide range of the products but from what I remember the prices are a lot higher than NYX prices online. I couldn't really bring myself to purchase NYX products at those prices.
** Edit: A lovely reader pointed out that the prices at the kiosk are now less than the prices both online and at Wonderful World!  

  • I'm proud to say that we also have our own brands of cosmetics manufactured here in Trinidad** including:

 (Image taken from Gulf City Mall's website)

This brand is a gem with some truly excellent products. They have also been at times the official cosmetics partner for the Miss Universe Organisation. Sacha was especially formulated with the skin tones of the Caribbean people in mind and so their products are often richly pigmented and their foundations are yellow based and ideal of women of colour.

Sacha now has Image Centres across the country which act as stores as well as places where you can get you makeup done etc. Their makeup is very affordable locally but unfortunately their US/International prices are a bit higher. This brand can also be found at most cosmetic stores. 

Cara Mia Cosmetics

I must admit that I myself don't know too much about this brand. I've only dabbled with it back in my early teens, think 12-13, when an aunt gave me a lipgloss, which was insanely pigmented by the way, and a powder. Ive heard good things and as I type I'm resolving to try a few more of their products. Again, this brand can be found at Pennywise.

Trinidad also has seen in the past few years an abundance of Facebook shops or pages that sell wide varieties of makeup. I'll try to do a post on these pages soon. And again, we have lots of freight forwarding service available so feel free to set up a SkyBox, of course call around for the best shipping prices etc.,  and buy your makeup online. This will eliminate the second hand retail markup. Beware that customs can be a b*tch with the duty they charge on these items. 

This extremely long post comes almost 2 years after my first post, if you recall I did say that I was hesitant about this blog business! Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!! xx

*Sidenote 1:Whilst Trinidad is a twin island state consisting of both Trinidad and Tobago, i'm only able to comment on the island of Trinidad at this time so i'm sorry Tobago readers! *

**Sidenote 2: I encourage you to check out some of our local products, my patriotic side encourages you to buy local!!*


  1. you need to get your prices checked properly the the nyx kiosk is cheaper than online and wonderful world

    1. Hey! thank you so much for your input! this post was published in January of 2014 and at the time the prices were higher! I'm really glad to hear that and i'll update the post with that info now :)