Favourite beauty products from Japanese drugstores in 2020
Favourite beauty products from Japanese drugstores in 2020
After 4 trips to Japan, you’d think I finished combing through the wondrous catalogs of Japanese drugstores. However, with so many products to try, I’ve only scratched the surface of the sheet masks selection and a bit of the makeup array. And amongst those I’ve tried, these are the Japanese beauty products that I would absolutely repurchase! [Jan’20 Update] Just updated this list with some new products at the end of the post.
Keana Rice Mask
Hands down my favourite sheet masks. They feel very gentle on the skin and provide an instant brightening effect. Pity they were super difficult to find in both Tokyo and Osaka, not because the stores didn’t stock them, but because they were sold out everywhere. One of the drugstores we visited only sold them if we bought some supplements which were like 4000+ yen? This pack of sheet mask only cost 600+ yen! We found the masks in the ‘outskirts’ of Shinsaibashi at a marked up price eventually.
Another one of my favourites (I’m on my fourth tube already) is the Anessa essence UV sunscreen. This thing legit works. I get dark easily and this sunscreen really helps with the prevention, more so than other brands I’ve tried. No white cast too and the serum-like texture makes application very easy with no tugging at the skin. It’s a little on the oilier side, so it may not be for everyone. I like the dewy finish though.
Deju Vu Mascara
This is not yet at the holy grail standard but works for now, until I find something better. This grows on me every time I use it and I honestly have found nothing better yet. Does a great job in volumizing, doesn’t clump too. The brush works for my eye shape and I haven’t had it smudge on me yet.
FlowFushi Mote Liner
I got this in black and the pigment is dark, like pitch black. A lot of eyeliners in the market are somewhat grey which just isn’t what I’m looking for in a black eyeliner.
This liner dries waterproof, and the pigmentation doesn’t budge for an entire day. The ink flows generously from its narrow tip which helps to achieve a smooth, controlled line.
Drawback is that it dries up pretty fast, say about a 6-9 months, and it’s on the pricier side.
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner WP
I buy this in bulk in all shades of brown whenever they’re on sale. I think I have gone through at least 10 of these. They’re perfect for everyday wear, long-lasting, doesn’t smudge, doesn’t flake unless you rub them (except at corners if you don’t draw them dark enough) and they last pretty long. It’s also a lot more affordable than the mote liner. You can get them in Singapore but it’s slightly cheaper in Japan.
K-Palette 2-way Eyebrow Liquid
Another daily staple I stock in bulk. They are incredibly nifty for quick, natural eyebrows. Just do a few swipes with the pen end to fill in the colour and switch to the powder side and give it a couple more swipes for a softer, more natural finish. Pity the liquid end finishes very quickly, about 3 months for me. The powder lasts forever.
Kose Lip Gel Magic
The Kose Lip Gel Magic is like an additional layer over your lipstick to make it transfer-proof and last longer. I used to have the CLIO lipnicure which is somewhat in the same department. But that one resembled nail varnish and went on too thick and I was resistant to use it even.
I was slightly wary of this Kose one after my experience with the lipnicure but the lip gel magic exceeded my expectations. It’s a whitish gel (you need to shake the tube a little before using or it will come out all fluid-y) and I use my finger to brush it over my lips after I’m done with my lipstick. It shouldn’t alter the finish of the lipstick but I did observe that my mattes become a bit more waxy and the glossy ones a little more matte.
It does make your lip pigments transfer-proof (to a rather large extent) but I found it slightly drying so I always keep my lipstick, lip balm and this handy so I can reapply during the day. Fewer touchups than usual.
Saborino Morning Face Mask
These are quick 60-seconds masks to use in the morning. You can replace your facial cleansing routine in the morning with this mask. After 60 seconds, you can use the sheet to wipe your face and it will suffice. I do this once in a while and it works for me. I also like the minty essence which is especially refreshing in the morning.
KATE 20th Anniversary Best Eyeshadow Collection
This was a limited edition so I’m not too sure if you can still get it but if you do see it, just grab it! I mega-love all the shades. Sure, they are not very pigmented but they are so shimmery and sweet, it’s hard to resist. Perfect for a natural day look. I sometimes use the fairer shades for the inner crease. p.s. the 2007 pink is super super pretty.
Some Japanese drugstore beauty additions to the list from my recent trip:
Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner
This is an affordable skin toner – less than 20 bucks for a huge bottle. I had this for a while now but never got around to using it as I read that it contained alcohol which was potentially drying to the skin. However, I was sold when my makeup artist used it on me for my wedding day. She drenched some Muji cotton pads (yes, specifically Muji’s because each of their cotton pad can be split up into many thinner layers) with this toner and placed the pads over my face for about 5 minutes, letting the liquid sink into my skin. The result? Supple, glowing complexion for the entire day.
Tsubaki Premium Hair Mask
Another product that’s under 20 bucks. Tsubaki premium hair mask really does what it promises – makes your hair silky soft, reduces frizz and reinstates glow! But what really makes it stand out is the zero waiting time! You can wash it off immediately after applying it. I always find the 10-20 minutes in the shower waiting for masks to work the most excruciating so this mask is a godsend.
DUP Silky Eyeliner Brown Black
Another eyeliner from Japan! As compared to K-Palette’s, DUP’s nib is thinner and holds up better in the long run. The pigmentation is solid and the staying power is pretty good too. I use it when I want my eyeliner to be super thin and sharp but when it comes to stocking up, I still go for K-Palette’s because it is cheaper.
FlowFushi Lip 38°c
This is a subtle lip gloss from FlowFushi that also helms itself as a lip treatment. I apply it when my lips are exceptionally dry and in need of colour. It has a nice spoon-shaped lip applicator which makes it easier to apply.
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister
This mascara comes with a small, flat plastic brush which is perfect for inner corners and bottom eyelashes where the usual round/curved brushes are difficult to reach. Also has fibers which help to lengthen your lashes. Doesn’t run or smudge either!
Nursery Makeup & UV Cleansing Gel
This is a wallet-friendly makeup removal gel. I use it like any face wash and it usually removes most of my makeup without having to rub my face excessively. However, it’s not the best when it comes to removing eyeliner or mascara so an eye makeup remover like Bifesta’s is recommended before using this.
The gel claims to work on its own as both a makeup removal and a face wash, but I’m used to double cleansing so I still follow up with my own face wash after using this.
Saborino Quick Hair Dry Spray
Another fast-acting product from Saborino! Spray this on your wet hair before you use a hair dryer and it will make it dry significantly faster. I liked that the hair spray smells good and is not tacky. Other than making your hair dry faster, it doesn’t have the usual properties of hair spray. I do feel that it adds some volume to my hair though.
That’s pretty much it for now. You can get the listed beauty products at pretty much any Japanese drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Loft, Sundrug, Tsuruha etc. Leave a comment if you have any Japanese beauty products you love and will absolutely purchase if you go to Japan. 🙂
Hi dear, aside from color selection…between K-Palette Real Strong/Lasting Eyeliner & Flowfushi Mote Liner, which one do you find is better/superior in smooth/ease of application & staying power? Thanks in advance dear!
Hi Anya! I find k-palette easier to apply! Mote liner has better staying power and intensity but K-palette is sufficient for normal everyday use 🙂
Interesting, and that brings me back my memory of stocking up JP open-shelf products!
Have you tried the sleeping mask for travelers? I love one a loooooottttt, always stock up when I stop by Hong Kong or Japan directly. It’s a mask (dry one, with two handles to hang on your face) and then when you put on, it will get a bit warm right above your eyes. And they have different flavors like lavender or citrus, to help you relax. That one is perfect for a long flight or anywhere you want to use!