A Beginner’s Guide to Beauty Products in Japan
Any true beauty junkie would surely have an enviable stash of products – from makeup to skincare. A few years ago, Western products dominated the beauty scene, from drugstore brands like Maybelline and Revlon to mid-priced brands like M.A.C, and even high-end luxury level such as Chanel and YSL. There was no spot for Asian contenders back then, however, that no longer stands true to this day. In contrast, Asian beauty relies on youthful, glowing, natural skin that looks like there is barely any product on the face, while Western makeup is all about eyebrows "on fleek”, overdrawn Kylie Jenner lips. Japanese women are the subjects of envy all over the world for their amazing skin, and simple makeup looks that emphasize their eyes and tinted lips. Thankfully, with the rise of Japanese beauty products, it is now possible to achieve those looks. Tourists traveling in Japan should not miss out on the opportunity to purchase Japanese beauty products. With Tokyo being a popular spot for tourists. Stores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Kokumin offer various beauty offerings from popular Japanese brands. Think of them as the Sephora of Japan. Another place to get a beauty fix is in the store called Don Quijote. They are all over Japan, and they sell not just beauty items but also clothes and shoes. This is a perfect place for someone who is looking to buy an assortment of fashion and beauty items while in Japan.
Best Japanese Beauty Products: Holy Grails for Beauty Junkies
With the rise of Japanese beauty brands in the past, it comes to no surprise that some of these products have earned their spot as a Holy Grail product for true makeup aficionados. A perfect example of a Holy Grail worthy product is the Shu Uemura eyelash curler. Every girl who is into makeup knows about this product from the famous Japanese brand, has this product, or wishes she had this product. But what exactly makes this eyelash curler better than other eyelash curlers? The premise of this product is simple. It does the job well of keeping eyelashes curled for hours, without causing any pain. Surely, not everyone would be willing to shell out more than $25 for an eyelash curler, however, it is quite life-changing to never have to worry about pinched eyelids or eyelashes being gripped way too tight by the rubber, which is a common problem caused by other eyelash curlers. Perfectly curled lashes are a trend in Japan, since this gives an illusion of bigger, doll-like eyes.
A good alternative for the Shu Uemura eyelash curler happens to be from another famous company in Japan named Shiseido. Similar to Shu Uemura, Shiseido is another popular brand that has become a household name among beauty aficionados. Their own version of an eyelash curler is also quite as popular in the beauty world. Some say it is as good as Shu Uemura, if not better. For Asian eyes, the curve of the Shiseido eyelash curler may even be more suitable. Shiseido also has other offerings that are top-notch beauty junkie favorites. The Shiseido medicated baby powder is a favorite among women (not just babies), for being a good setting powder at a relatively cheap price. While in Japan, it is best to stock up on these $2 goodies that can be purchased in almost any convenience store. The Shiseido Perfect Whip is also a popular cleanser of choice and is definitely worth checking out.
Another Japanese product that has been gaining massive popularity all over the Internet is the Cure Aqua Gel. Every day, hundreds of bottles of this product are sold in-store and online. The Cure Aqua Gel is a mild exfoliant that promises renewed skin by eliminating old, dead cells. It is a thin, gel product that instantly causes little balls to build up once it is rubbed onto the surface of the skin. It is a popular misconception that those balls are dead skin, however, it is not. Instead, those are little particles that are formed due to the friction from rubbing into skin. This does not necessarily mean that the Cure Aqua Gel is a phony product, those balls of the product are meant for the dead skin to adhere to for a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliation. Once the old skin has been eliminated, it can pave way for newer and healthier skin cells.
Latest Product Releases: Sailor Moon Cosmetics in Japan
Sailor Moon was a popular Japanese comic and anime from the 90s. Most kids born in the 80's and 90's grew up watching Sailor Moon anime or reading Sailor Moon manga. The story revolves around a young student whose life changes drastically upon finding a magical brooch, which would allow her to fight off evil alongside her talking cat and a gang of other high school girls. Fast-forward to more than twenty-five years later, and Sailor Moon is still an iconic part of Japanese pop culture. Plenty of merchandise related to Sailor Moon are still being released., including a makeup line, which has been highly coveted all over the world. The Miracle romance collection by Bandai features a full line of compact powders, eyeliners, mascara, lipstick and nail polish. While product performance isn't exactly the best out there, it is still a must-have collectible for those who are looking for some childhood nostalgia. Another plus point is that these products have gorgeous packaging that would look great in front of any vanity table. For those who are interested in getting their own fix of anime inspired beauty and fashion items, major video game and toy maker Bandai Co., Ltd has set up a store in Tokyo where people can buy character-themed merchandise, including make-up. They carry not just Sailor Moon themed make-up, but also Hello Kitty and Cardcaptor Sakura items, among others. For those who are overseas, and do not have the privilege of traveling to Japan, some may opt to shop thru Amazon. However, be warned in advance that the items are already pretty expensive by themselves, and purchasing from a reseller may just up the cost by a lot.
Innovative Product Designs of Japan: Beauty Products with a Twist
The Japanese are known to have an affinity towards all things quirky. After all, they are famous for maid themed cafes and museums dedicated to instant noodles. Even the beauty community has their own share of quirky, and borderline weird items. However, the question at hand is how effective these products are at delivering what they promised to do.
One of the most popular and otherwise odd beauty contraptions that were designed by the Japanese would be PAO Facial Fitness. For a whopping $170, it promises to work its miracle towards a slimmer face. It does not only look weird, but it also looks quite odd to use. The designer of this otherwise odd contraption is HK based company named SHLab, but the product gained popularity in Japan with all its eccentric nature. The PAO Facial Fitness promises to tone muscles to make the face look slimmer by repeatedly shaking the contraption while sucking on the mouthpiece. It is obviously not from a small time company, as SHLab has managed to snag the world famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo as their endorses. In many department stores in Japan, women can sight the soccer cutie trying out this weird item.
The next featured product line may be cute for some, and creepy for a selected few. Paul & Joe is not exactly a Japanese company, in fact, they hail from the glamorous city of Paris. However, the aesthetic of Paul & Joe gained massive popularity in the Japanese market for their quirky cosmetic items. No other brand in the world sells bullet lipsticks shaped literally like a cat's head. While it is extremely unpractical to purchase a lipstick carved with a cat's head since they will be used up anyway, the packaging is lovely. Those who have money to spare may opt to purchase a lipstick or two from this brand while traveling in Japan.
How To Achieve A Glowing Asian Complexion: Best Whitening Products in Japan
There is no denying that the complexion of Japanese women is the subject of envy everywhere. The Japanese cosmetic market has a lot of offerings in the area of skin brightening, with various offerings depending on the needs of the user. A lot of Japanese brands offer whitening Glutathione pills which promise to whiten complexion quickly. However, not everyone is comfortable with ingesting pills for aesthetic purposes. For that reason, topical creams and moisturizers may be a good option for those who want brighter, glowing skin. For example, a popular product known for its high ceramide content is the Rosette Ceramide gel. It is meant to be a daily moisturizer that contains three types of ceramides, coupled with hyaluronic acid (another skin brightening agent). This is a popular choice for those who are dealing with acne scars, and dull skin. Unlike whitening pills, it does not aim to alter the skin tone into a lighter shade; instead, it brightens the skin while maintaining its natural skin tone.
To achieve best results, though, it is best to establish a solid skin care routine that consists of at least three basic products: cleanser, moisturizer, and cream. The beauty industry is filled with products that are specifically meant to brighten the skin. The process of skin brightening will require time since the results are not instantaneous unlike glutathione pills and injections, but a consistent routine does have a lot of benefits, such as healthier skin that is less prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles. Another popular brand in the Japanese market is Hada Labo. They have a wide selection of toners, emulsions, and lotions that are well-formulated for brightening purposes. A good example is the Hada Labo Gokyujyun Premium Lotion, which promises to give the skin a natural glow while keeping the skin healthy and moisturized.
Of course, another product that is a must-have for those who want brighter skin is the sunscreen. UV damage can trigger hyperpigmentation in the skin which prevents blemishes and scars from fadings, and it also accelerates aging of the skin. Thankfully, the Japanese market has a lot of options in the arena of sun protection. A brand that has been receiving acclaim worldwide is Biore. Approximately 70% of their product deals with sun protection, and their offerings are so diverse so any skin type may easily find one that suits his or her current skin issues. For example, the UV Watery Essence is a good choice for those who have drier skin since it contains moisturizing properties, while the Biore Perfect Milk is perfect for those who have oily skin since it promises to be waterproof. Its popularity all over the world has made it more accessible to order through Internet-based suppliers that carry Asian Beauty. Even brick and mortar stores such as Watsons carry a full line of Biore products in various Asian countries.
Hair Loss Products: Japan’s Solution to Hair Loss
The concept of hair loss and receding hairlines is not an attractive thought for a lot of people. For a country such as Japan which values physical appearance a lot, it comes to no surprise that the Japanese have formulated products that are meant to deal with the problem of hair loss. There are plenty of products that deal with hair loss, and just like skin whitening, they have different approaches to solve the problem. These products usually range from the basics, such as shampoo and conditioner, to topical creams. One line of hair growth products that has been gaining popularity all over the world is Adenogen. Adonegen is a small line of hair care products released by mega-brand Shiseido. They carry shampoos that aim to aid in hair loss concerns with the presence of Adenosine. Adenosin is a substance that is believed to help deal with hair loss.
Another Japanese brand that offers products for those who are despaired by hair loss is Kaminomoto. Unlike Shiseido, which offers only a single line of products that target hair loss, their selection of hair growth products is extremely intensive. In fact, they even have various formulations to better suit different countries. Their worldwide reach allows them to supply their products to Asian, European and Middle Eastern nations. Their expansive product line offers products that are either for hair loss prevention, or hair growth acceleration. It is quite interesting how a lot of their modern formulation still incorporates natural elements such as plant extracts, plant parts, and medicinal herbs, which were the base of their products when the company was founded over a hundred years ago.
It is quite understandable that the subject of hair loss can be frustrating for some, and while the options above have received good feedback from past users, some may opt for quick results. To resolve that need, plenty of clinics in Japan offer hair.