Japanese women are worldwide famous for having perfect skin and a healthy complexion. And while we cannot assume that is completely due to the use of high-quality cosmetics, one thing is certain – that Japanese cosmetic brands have always had pretty high standards set for their products. That doesn’t only apply to high-end brands like Shiseido and Shu Uemura – even drugstore-tier make-up brands like Daiso put out great quality cosmetics. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect Japanese souvenir for the women in your life, look no further than Japanese cosmetics, as they cover pretty much all age and price ranges. Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic Japanese cosmetics brands.
Shiseido is the epitome of high-end Japanese make-up and skin care. You can even find a pretty decent selection of Shiseido products overseas in places like Sephora. However, the really good stuff rarely gets to be exported outside of Japan – it sells out pretty much as soon as a new batch hits the counters. Think serums, face creams, lotions, cleansers, and anything related to skincare – that’s what Shiseido is best known for. You can find their cosmetics at most drugstore chains around Japan, as well as in the beauty sections in department stores in malls. If you don’t have too much time for shopping, worry not – there’s plenty of Shiseido products at the duty-free shops in both Haneda and Narita.
The other brand people are most likely to think of when they hear the words ‘Japanese cosmetics’ is Shu Uemura. They also produce several lines of skin care products, but their most famous release is the individual eyelash curler, also known as the S Curler. Much like the name suggests, the curler is shaped like an ‘S,’ which makes it much easier to use than a regular one. Their mascaras and foundations are also worth a shot.
3. Creer Beaute
Creer Beaute products will catch your eye in an instant – their packages look like shojo manga pages, with beautiful big-eyed princesses and dazzling long-haired princes. They occasionally collaborate with popular franchises as well, such as Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, or even Evangelion. As far as their products go, their quality is decent, but don’t expect anything extraordinary –you’re basically paying for the pretty packaging. They make great souvenirs though, especially if anyone in your family or friend group is into anime.
Daiso is the definition of a Japanese drugstore cosmetics brand. Their products are extremely cheap, usually under ¥200, and they cover a huge range of makeup and skincare – from false eyelashes to foundation, and from lip balm to hand cream. Surprisingly enough, some of the Daiso products actually match the quality of some of the more expensive brands – particularly the false eyelashes. Why pay over ¥500 for a pair anywhere else when you can get a pair of fine falsies on the thinnest strip you’ve ever seen for ¥130? Too bad they don’t include the glue though.
Kao is another Japanese drugstore brand, and the best part about it is their huge range of products. Not only do they produce makeup and cosmetics, but you can also get things like sunscreen, face masks, pore strips, box hair dye, shaving cream, deodorant, and various other toiletries. However, if you’re looking for fancy little presents to bring home for your loved ones, Kao might not be the brand for you – they’re mostly targeting the locals and their daily needs.
In Japan, Canmake is considered a young women’s makeup brand – their products retail for fairly reasonable prices, and embody all the latest trends you see in Japanese magazines. They have the infamous tear bag liners, all sorts of cheek and lip tints, clear mascara, highlight and contour palletes, and more. Top that off with a cute packaging, and you’ve got Canmake, one of Japan’s best selling cosmetics brands. This brand is the perfect choice if you’re looking for authentic Japanese beauty trends, as we doubt you can get an authentic tear bag liner at your local Sephora.
Bottom line is: when in Japan, don’t forget to keep an eye out for these local cosmetics brands. Whether you are into makeup and beauty or not, you can always treat yourself, or a loved one back home, to a lovely gift from one of them.
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