Here’s a list of things I recommend you take with you if you’re going to live in China. I lived there for a year and had to go and buy these things on a trip home half way through.
If you’re going to be living there longer without going home, you’ll need to adjust but it doesn’t hurt to start out with the things you like! It will help with any home sickness.
Hair Straighteners – The ones I bought out there got my hair caught in them all the time! I didn’t have any problems with the voltage having gone from the U.K, but if it’s a problem you can get an adaptor/converter.
Hair Spray – I don’t remember coming across any… which seems odd to think back on. I bought a gel spray to try but didn’t get on with it. Chinese people have a completely different hair type to most westerners.
Heat Protector – Same kind of deal. They have different hair, and it’s usually really naturally straight. I wouldn’t have recognised this even if I came across it. I wanted a brand I knew too.
Dry Shampoo – This is also quite a bit more expensive and there’s not a great range.
Nail Varnish – The quality of the nail varnish is really bad so unless you go to a Sephora and pay more, take some favourite shades. That said, gel nails (shellac) are much cheaper here!
Face Moisturiser – Hard to find without whitening!! Unless you go high end, but even then they are stocking the whitening ranges. I would advise to take what you already know and love.
Fake Tan – Same again – they want to be white. I doubt you’d find this anywhere.
Deodorant – They do have it but it’s more expensive so if you can take some with you’ll save some pennies and be using a trusted product. Bonus.
Body Butter – They have regular moisturises but I don’t remember seeing anything as thick.
Body Scrub – If you go to a Watsons or something you can find sugar scrubs, but they’re strange. That’s all I can say.
Lip Scrub – Couldn’t find these anywhere!
Face Wash – You can get these of course but if you have any skin issues, take your own with you. At least you’ll know what’s what.
Face Exfoliator – I tried some here but they were really bizarre. The gel clumped together and I think that was supposed to give you the scrub affect.
Micellar Water – Tried a Japanese brand, a cheap one but still I had high expectations. I found it drying and harsh. Not a fan.
Mascara – Make-up is all a bit hit and miss unless you go to a Sephora or something.
Foundation and Concealer – Hard to find even the high end ones in the right shade if you have a yellow undertone. I found this really strange as Chinese people have a yellow undertone, but it comes back to them wanting to change their skin, they choose foundations with a pink undertone.
Other things you’ll need that I’d already taken – Tampons if you use them. They’re hard to come by and so more expensive.