Saturday, April 13, 2013

Japanese Makeup

Hi, in about 3 weeks I am going to Japan and I can’t wait! So today I am going to talk about Japanese makeup.

Japan is well-known for its cosmetics and fashion. Japanese women take very good care of themselves and want to be pretty. There are 2 main streams of beauty in Japan: traditional, symbolized by the geisha, and modern, influenced by pop culture.

Japanese girls want to have  perfect skin and therefore face lotions, masks, nose pore strips etc are super popular. Whitening products are probably the most famous, as Asian women want to have white skin.


Bb cream is another “must-have” product, like it is everywhere else in East Asia. To know more about this topic read my post about bb creams

False eye lashes and mascaras are also super popular and you can find thousands of different brands and prices. Japanese women LOVE long and thick lashes, especially because Asian women have very short lashes. Eyeliners are also super trendy, especially black and brown. Women highlight their beautiful almond-shaped eyes and eyeliner-mascara is the perfect combo.

 Japanese girls also want bigger eyes, like all Asians. We are never satisfied with what we have! I wish my eyes were thinner and longer and I often use eyeliner to recreate almond eyes. Japanese girls want their eyes to be big, like in manga. Therefore they use a special tape, or do specific makeup that makes their eyes bigger. Tons of magazines offer tutorials to do it! They use very natural eye shadows, especially soft colors (pink, nude, peach…), but also brown and black. They avoid crazy and strong colors, most girls in fact simply use brown eye shadow and black eyeliner.

There is also "more unusual" trend, which is super tan skin, blond hair, colorful makeup and white lips. Again, I think it is a way to imitate Western women because we always want what we can’t have. I personally don’t like, but it is still a form of  modern makeup. It is called Ganguro and became popular in the 1990s until the beginning of the 2000s. It originated as a form of protest against traditional Japanese makeup and it's particularly popular in Tokyo (surprised? I am NOT! :D )

Packaging is very important! A lot of Japanese makeup is super cute and pretty (kawaii!!). There is a collection of mascaras and eyeliners inspired by the famous anime Lady Oscar, while others come with little girls, geisha, animals etc.


Japanese makeup is very expensive, just think about the famous brand Shiseido. For this reason Japanese girls often fly to South Korea, to buy Korean makeup which is really good and way cheaper. I love Korean makeup and if you want to know more about it read my post.

I have read a lot of bad comments on Japanese makeup coming from Western girls: they criticize Japanese (and Asian) makeup and say that it awful, dangerous and of bad quality, or too childish and silly. Well, those are freaking lies!! Japan and Korea are famous for their cosmetics, which are really good and popular all over Asia.

In the West we don't know much about Asia and its traditions, customs, culture, beauty and fashion. This is why I started this blog. I hope you can learn something about Asia and have fun while reading my posts. I surely enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with you!

Finally, here are other famous Japanese makeup brands: 

1. Lunasol very famous in the West too, high quality and expensive. All makeup is based on moon-sun shades and light. They have beautiful eye shadow palettes.

2. Jill Stuart, pretty expensive and only available in Japan. 

3. Kate drug-store brand, cheaper and available also in other countries, like China, HK, Taiwan etc. 

4. MAQUillage made by Shiseido but cheaper and for older buyers compared to Kate. 

5. RMK focusing on skin care and rather expensive.

6. Lavshuca cheaper, fun packaging.

7. Majolica Majorca rather expensive but with gorgeous "princessy" packaging and good quality. Also available in East Asia. I love it! I bought a mascara in HK and it was amazing!

8. Coffret D'Or in traditional Japanese style with very soft nuances.

9. DAISO for false lashes, but also eye shadows. Very cheap!

10. Shu Uemura pretty cheap, wide range of products, colorful, for younger girls. 

11. CANMAKE Tokyo very cheap and popular among teenagers.They also have a lot of nail polishes

12. Dejavu focuses on eyeliners and mascaras, mid-range prices.

I will buy a lot of makeup in Japan, as much as my finances allow me, and I will write some reviews on it as soon as I come back (if I do, hahaha!!!) 


  1. adoro il make up di ispirazione giapponese, ed avendo il viso tonfo e gli occhi allungati è anche adatto al mio viso! che bello, quanto ti fermerai là?

    1. 8 giorni. Andiamo a Tokyo, Kyoto e Osaka. Io e il mio ragazzo siamo "Asian lovers" e siamo super affascinati dal Giappone. Non vedo l'ora di andare e comprare un sacco di cavolate, da trucchi a anche di vedere le meraviglie storiche e culturali che hanno!

  2. Wonderful post, thanks a lot. Apart from Shiseido and a little bit Shu Uemura, which is L'Oreal group now, I don't know the other brands. What about writing a post on how Japanese women cleanse and whiten their face? Bye Simona!

    1. Ciao Elena grazie per il commento! I didn't know that Shu Uemura belongs to L'Oreal now, thanks for the info! I will write about skin care once I come back from Japan, maybe with some new products hahahaha!
      I am not so thrilled by whitening products because they are everywhere here in China and it is always a problem for me when I have to buy face lotions and masks. I always tell the shop assistant: "I am already white! I don't need whitening stuff!"

  3. Hello Simona, I started a blog because of the same way as you did- but mine is very unprofessional. I love Asian cosmetics too. i am half Korean and I am very curious about searching through your blog.
    Please let's stay i contact if possible!

    1. Hi Alice, yes I would be happy to stay in touch with you! Thank you for liking my blog!

  4. "Less pretty sounded rude when you said about wanting tan or darker skin, because I can only assume that you think that white skin is clean and beautiful

    1. No I did not mean that, I am sorry you thought I did. I just wanted to say that it is a weird and extreme style. Tanning is ok, dark skin is not dirty at all. But Canguro girls are very extreme, thats all.

  5. Hi! I'm from the Philippines and buy cosmetics at Daiso. They're cheap but very affordable and compatible to my skin. I used to buy Western brands like Maybelline and also Korean brands like Etude House but I find them too expensive so I switched to those sold in Daiso and they're completely perfect for me.