Five Top Japanese Beauty Products to Try in January
As we enter January the temperatures continue to drop and the dead of winter gets even closer, so this month's recommended beauty products are all about locking in moisture and looking great even when bundled up.
Pure Smile Choosy Lip Pack
Chapped winter lips are definitely going to be more fun to remedy now that I have found Pure Smile’s cute Choosy lip packs. Choosy has taken the popular sheet and hydrogel face mask concept and made a version for your lips. Sold in individual foil packets, each pack contains a cute lip shaped hydro gel mask that is infused with super hydrating ingredients like vitamin E, collagen and hyaluronic acid. There are five flavors to choose from: peach, milk, fruit, herb and honey. To use, just apply the lip pack over clean, dry lips and leave on for somewhere between five and 30 minutes. The mask adheres well to the skin, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping down constantly. On my first try I used the lip pack for 20 minutes, and I have to say the results were really noticeable. My lips were definitely plumper—and as a result the fine lines were reduced—and they felt comfortably moisturized. The major difference of using a lip pack is the feeling that the hydration has penetrated beyond the surface of the skin (like you get with lip balms). I applied the mask before bed, but the results were still noticeable in the morning, with the condition of my lips greatly improved. For ¥108 this is a great product that is a bit of fun. Your lips will definitely thank you. Available at drugstores and beauty specialty stores.
Suqqu Eyebrow Liquid Pen
Defined brows are still having a moment, but if you are not genetically blessed with beautiful, thick brows it can be tricky to fill them and have them still look natural. After much trial and error, I found that filling in brows will a soft pencil (like the one mentioned here) with lots of brushing with a spool brush delivered the best results. But then I found the Suqqu Eyebrow Liquid Pen (¥3,240), which is a very fine felt tip pen (just like a liquid eyeliner) that draws super fine lines within your natural brows, sort of like drawing individual hairs onto your skin. Adding the Suqqu eyebrow liquid pen on top of your eyebrow pencil immediately afterward makes the effect more natural, as rather than a block color on the brow the hairs are emphasized. Layering the liquid pen over eyebrow pencil also increases the longevity of brow color, as the liquid pen’s long wearing formula is resistant to oil and water. So your defined brows will stay in place all day, with no need to touch up throughout the day. Suqqu is available at Japanese department stores like Isetan and Mitsukoshi.
Dolly Wink False Lashes and Long Mascara
Long, fluttery eyelashes is a beauty look that will always be in fashion, and if you want something less a permanent than eyelash extensions, a true lengthening mascara or a set of false lashes can be a girl’s best friend. Dolly Wink launched in 2009 with a collection of false eyelashes, a collaboration between cosmetics company Koji and Japanese star Tsubasa Masuwaka. By its fifth anniversary Dolly Wink had sold a whopping 10 million sets of false eyelashes! There are 22 different styles of lashes in the Dolly Wink range (¥1,296 for a set of four lashes). Japanese false eyelashes are renowned around the world as they are so natural, light and there is such an extensive array of styles and colors readily available, and at such a reasonable prices. False lashes are often seen as a little too tricky or high maintenance, and they definitely take some practice to apply, but the dramatic effect they create makes it worth your while.
For when false lashes are too much but you still want a long lashes, Dolly Wink has a fantastic long mascara (¥1,460). To get into mascara specifics, Dolly Wink is tube mascara, which means the formula contains polymers and fibres (rather than waxes and oils used in traditional mascara) to wrap around and coat the entire lash from the base and extend past the end of the natural lash. Tube mascaras have a wetter consistency than traditional mascara, which means they take slightly longer to dry. When the formula sets, lashes are long and smudge free all day. Remove mascara carefully at the end of the day by splashing thoroughly with warm water and loosening with your fingertips. Dolly Wink is widely available in drugstores.
Shiseido Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo and Conditioner
Drugstore shampoos and conditioners can be hit or miss. If you have colored hair they usually shorten the life of color as they are too strong, and often lead to product buildup (and lank tresses), as they contain high amounts of silicone. Recently, I tried Shiseido’s Tsubaki Extra Moist shampoo and conditioner (¥832 each for 500 milliliters) and was really impressed. This product takes its name from the key ingredient, tsubaki, or camellia. Camellia oil is a very popular ingredient in Japanese hair products due to its extremely high quality and nourishing oils, rich in oleic and linoleic acid, which are easily absorbed by skin and hair. After washing, my fine, colored hair was soft, smooth but with a nice amount of body. Tsubaki has a nice subtle fragrance and definitely delivers a gorgeous sheen to your hair. Suitable for fine, dry or thick hair types. Shiseido Tsubaki Extra Moist range is readily available at drugstores and beauty stores.