Trips to Japan for any makeup artist and beauty fanatic is up there with our love for Sephora. Their drugstores are full to the BRIM with innovative products, cutting-edge skincare, cleansing oil heaven and beauty trinkets & accessories that we never even knew we needed. Say hello to 10 products I have hand-picked that you need to know about.
1. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers. These are pretty much the only lash curlers you need to know about. Award-winning, best selling and they just are a cut above the rest. They have a smooth curve which is wide enough for all eye shapes and sizes and they always lift the lashes perfectly to open up the peepers.
2. DHC Cleansing Oil. Cleansing is serious business in Japan and they are renowned for their fabulous cleansing oils. This one from DHC is a simple, olive-oil based cleanser that whips away waterproof makeup (including mascara) easily and without irritation.
3. Fairydrops Waterproof Mascara. A cult, best-selling mascara from
Japan that is waterproof yet conditioning so doesn’t dry or glag like a
lot of waterproof mascaras can. Infused with Jojoba seed oil, panthenol
& hyaluronic acid to condition and nourish. If you like fluttery,
doll-like lashes then check out BeautyMart where you can pick this up for £18.50.
4. Yu-Be. A multi-purpose and vitamin-enriched moisturising skin cream without the greasiness or oiliness that most of these similar balms have. Leaves skin almost semi-matte so can be used on any dry/chapped skin as a hand cream, lip balm, cuticle balm, face mask….pretty much anything you want. Camphor is what you smell when applying it and this soothes & protects the skin. Available from our friends at Space NK.
5. Tatcha Blotting Papers. A beauty secret treasured by the Japanese Geishas for centuries ; These pocket-friendly blotting papers are always in my kit, and de-shine quickly without any transfer or powder residue left on the skin. All natural ; fragrance-free, powder-free, pulp-free. Exclusive to Space NK in the UK.
6. Hakuhodo Brushes. Are you going to go to IMATS this year? Go. Just to get your hands on some of these glorious little bastards. The ultimate award-winning, hand-sculpted, gorgeous-to-use makeup brushes you may ever find. They are not cheap but IMATS is the place (& only place to buy them if you are UK-based) and they offer some reasonable discounts.
7. DHC liquid eyeliner. One of my best makeup discoveries last year
and I cannot get enough of this perfect specimen of an eyeliner.
Precise feline flicks EVERY TIME. Waterproof formula and is a really deep, *proper* black ; no half-assed watery liner struggles here.
8. Shiseido Perfect Whip. Cult drugstore product alert! A face wash that lathers up into a rich, almost elastic-like fluffy foam to cleanse your skin without drying. A tiny dollop goes a very long way as it expands and foams quite quickly. More of an AM / shower wash to get that fresh-feeling rather than a heavy makeup-remover. Don’t be fooled by the ‘Shiseido’ branding, this is a cheapo face wash, available at pretty much every drugstore in Japan (er and Amazon for UK peeps) and costs just a few pounds.
9. MUJI mini cotton buds. This shop is a makeup artists’ heaven, for all the nifty accessories, bags and storage-thingies that they do here. Your backstage kit isn’t complete without a pack of these mini cotton buds ; they are perfect for touch ups, eyeliner tweaking and perfecting liplines.
10. Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. A brightening peel-off face mask that improves the appearance of pores and the skin’s clarity within minutes. A perfect pre-party skin prep for when you want your skin or your client’s to look smooth and bright, and just a little bit more perfect. Your foundation will never have looked so good after applying it after this treatment! Boscia is readily available from Sephora if you are US road tripping anytime soon.
Have you used any of these Japanese beauty products? Please comment below if you know of any other cult products I need to know about.