When it comes to beauty products, Korean brands may be stealing the spotlight these days. WIth Snail mucus and egg yolk products going viral, it’s hard to deny Korea’s strong presence in the beauty industry. But let’s take a look at its neighbor Japan.
In case you didn’t know, Japan is the birthplace of several powerhouses such as Shiseido, SK-Ⅱand Shu Uemura to name a few and I for one think there’s a fat chance we might make a strong comeback. I mean who can resist a cleanser that comes in a hexagon-shaped capsule or a barely-there sunscreen that will protect you from the strong sun? Take a look at the list down below to see what Japanese beauty brands have to offer and you might become obsessed as well.
1. Lululun Plus – Sheet Masks
Lululun is the very brand that got me hooked on sheet masks. Prior to discovering this brand, I would snag sheet masks here and there from my friends’ beauty cabinets, but dismissed the idea on actually spending money on what seemed to only have short-lived results. Just like anything in life, consistency is the key to see the results in sheet masks. After making a habit of using sheet masks every weekend, my skin has slowly transitioned to acne-free. Lululun sheet masks come in a variety of different ingredients that are packed with minerals and vitamins, so take your pick.
2. Anessa – Perfect UV Aqua Booster
If you’ve ever visited any Asian country, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the girls here have a tendency to avoid the sun at all costs. Just walk along any street in Tokyo during the summer time and you’ll see flocks of women of all ages wearing arm covers and holding a sun parasol. So when it comes to sunscreen, I can assure you that Japanese cosmetic brands have come up with top-notch products. A product of Shiseido, the Anessa sunscreen series has been a long time favorite for many Japanese girls. Despite being water resistant, this sunscreen has a light texture and will not give you that dreaded “cakey” look. Most importantly, it works even if you’re sweating like crazy or in the pool for hours.
3. ADDICTION – eyeshadow
ADDICTION is a beauty brand developed by internationally acclaimed make up artist, Ayako. This brand boasts a variety of eyeshadow shades; 99 shades to be exact. With 99 colors to choose from, you’re bound to find a shade you like no matter what kind of look you’re going for. The eyeshadows come in 4 different types of texture; silky, matte, pearl and metallic. Once you start trying these eyeshadows you’ll easily get addicted. (Sorry, I had to)
4. KATE – Designing Eyebrow 3D
I once knew a Japanese girl in the States that made her friends and families in Japan send KATE’s eyebrow shadow in bulks. Why was she so obsessed? You may ask. Well, there just simply aren’t any other brands on the market that are cost efficient as KATE. KATE’s eyebrow products have garnered popularity from Japanese girls for a long time, and it’s no surprise. For a budget-friendly price of ¥1,100, this eyebrow kit will give you natural-looking brows. The brush that comes with this kit is also worth a shout out as it includes both a small-angled and a fluffy brush. Constantly on the go? Then this is no doubt the perfect kit for you. It’s even compact enough to fit in your mini crossbody bag.
5. Kanebo – Suisai Beauty Clear Powder
If you’re beauty savvy, I’m sure you’ve watched a Youtube video or an Instagram post about this well-hyped product. This is a hexagon-shaped capsule that has powder form facial cleanser inside the package. The facial cleanser contains 2 types of enzymes and amino acid ingredients which will exfoliate your skin. After using this once, you’ll instantly feel your skin become smoother. As amazing as this product is, if you’re looking for a powder cleanser for everyday usage, this may not be the product for you. This product costs around ¥2,400 for 32 capsules, so if you use this every day the prices will add up. But on the flipside, it’s still an amazing cleanser to have in your beauty cabinet and you can reserve it for special occasions.
6. Hada Labo – Gokujyun
Japan has a myriad of skincare brands that come at a reasonable price point. If you’re on a tight budget but are still seeking for a skincare brand that gets the job done, Hada Labo’s Gokujyun needs to be on your must-buy list. A cult-favorite for many people in Japan, you can spot Hada Labo’s skincare lineup at any drugstore in Japan. (Yes, it’s pretty much Japan’s answer to Bioderma.) While Gokujyun is catered to people with all types of skin, if you have dry sensitive skin, you’re skin will exponentially improve thanks to the super hyaluronic acid that’s packed in the lotion.
7. SK-II – Facial Treatment Essence
Ask anyone in Japan and they’ll all tell you unanimously agree that SK-II is Japan’s staple to flawless skin. Often referred to as the “miracle water” by fans, their essence contains 90% Pitera, a natural bio-ingredient that is derived from yeast. Pitera is known for speeding up the skin’s rejuvenation process, meaning it acts as an amazing anti-aging booster. Once you get your hands on this producer, press it gently into your skin so that the essence will truly seep into your skin.
8. Chifure – Lipstick
There really is no need to explain why this lipstick is a cult-favorite. For the low price of ¥350, (That’s about the same price as 2 onigiri balls at the convenience store.) this lipstick comes in a wide variety of colors, plumps your lips and gives a nice sheen. If that doesn’t impress you I don’t know what will.
9. Yojiya – Oil Blotting Paper
If you suffer from oily skin, blotting papers will absorb the excess oil from your skin and will keep your face from looking shiny. Established from 1904, Yojiya’s blotting papers have long been essential for Japanese people. Chuck this in your bag and you can touch up your skin even when you’re out and about. Also, don’t forget to stop by Yojiya’s cafe to try their signature matcha latte.
10. Bijin Nuka – Pure Rice Water Moisturizing Lotion
A brand that’s been running for over 120 years, Bijin Nuka uses rice bran in all of their products. Rice bran is moisturizing and will make your skin glow. This product doesn’t use any harsh chemicals so it’s amazing for anyone with sensitive skin.