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Favourite beauty products from Japanese drugstores

June 18, 2018
What to buy at Japan's drug stores?

After 3 trips to Japan in a span of 12 months, you’d think I finished combing through the wondrous catalogues of Japanese drugstores. However, with so many products to try, I’ve only managed to scratch the surface of the sheet masks selection and a bit of the makeup. Here are the Japanese beauty products that I would absolutely repurchase:

Keana Rice Mask

What to buy at Japan's drug stores? Keana Rice Sheet 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 drug stores we visited only sold them if we buy with some supplements which was like 4000+ yen? This pack of sheet mask only cost 600+ yen! In the end, we found the masks in the ‘outskirts’ of Shinsaibashi at a marked up price.

Anessa Sunscreen

What to buy at Japan's drug stores? Anessa Sunscreen

Another one of my favourites (I’m on my third tube already) is the Anessa essence UV sunscreen. This thing legit works. I get dark very easily and this sunscreen prevents that. No white cast too and the serum-like texture makes application very easy and no need to tug at your skin. It’s a little on the oilier side, so may not be for everyone. I like the dewy finish though.

Deju Vu Mascara

What to buy at Japan's drug stores? Deja Vu Mascara, K Palette, Flow Fushi Mote Liner

This is not yet at the holy grail standard but works for now, until I find something better. 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’ve got this in black and the pigment is dark, like pitch black. A lot of eyeliners in the market is 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.

Downside 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 the 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 which 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.

Kose Lip Gel Magic

What to buy at Japan's drug stores? 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. Less touchups than usual.

Saborino Morning Face Mask

What to buy at Japan's drug stores? Saborino Morning Mask
What to buy at Japan's drug stores? Saborino Morning Mask - Whitening

These are quick 60-seconds masks to use in the morning. I’m still on the yellow box (after a year perhaps….) and haven’t touched the white one. If internet can be trusted, 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

What to buy at Japan's drug stores? Kate eyeshadow palette

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 simple, natural day look. I sometimes use the fairer shades for the inner crease. p.s. the 2007 pink is super super pretty.

That’s pretty much it for now. You can get the listed products at most Japanese drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Loft, Sundrug, Tsuruha etc. Leave a comment if you have any products you love and will absolutely purchase if you go to Japan. 🙂

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