Five Top Japanese Beauty Products to Try in July
Lu Lu Lun Sheet Face Mask: High Moisture
Visit any Japanese drugstore and you will come across an impressive selection of sheet face masks. Sheet masks are a huge skincare trend at the moment, and the quickest and easiest way to achieve an extra boost of hydration and glowiness for your skin at home. Lu Lu Lun is one of the most readily available and popular brands of Japanese sheet masks, with three different formulations available (moisturizing is pink, high moisture is purple, and brightening is white). My favorite is the high moisture mask, which comes in the easily recognisable purple foil pack. This pack contains seven sheet masks, one for each day of the week, for only ¥400!
Lu Lu Lun’s essence formulation is sensitive skin friendly, as it contains no fragrance, color, or mineral oil. The high moisture mask is packed with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to hydrate, fruit acids to promote cell turnover, royal jelly extract to improve overall skin health, and algae which is a effective antioxidant and helps skin retain moisture.
How do you use a sheet mask? Gently unfold and apply the mask carefully to freshly cleansed skin, smoothing out any bubbles. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the mask and discard (they are single use only). Finally, gently massage any residual essence into your skin and follow with lotion and cream. If you are going to apply makeup directly after applying the mask, then gently remove the excess with a tissue or damp facial cotton, as some foundations can cause little rolls of excess product to build up on the skin.
Aube Couture Long Keep Rouge Lipstick
Looking for a long wearing but highly moisturizing lipstick? The Long Keep Rouge lipstick from Aube Couture is super smooth on the lips; the high emulsion formula ensures it’s comfortable to wear. Even the driest of lips will appear plumper and smoother. Best of all, it does what it says and stays put for considerably longer than other brands. There are 28 shades in the range, which range from soft pinks (my favorite is PK101) to soft reds and oranges. All of the shades are flattering, subtle and easy to wear (¥3,200 each).
Suisai Beauty Clear Powder
Don’t be surprised if you see tourists buying this product in bulk, as I recently did at Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Roppongi. Kanebo’s Suisai beauty clear powder is a star beauty product, with a serious cult following. A package costs ¥2,000 and contains 32 pods. Each pod of beauty clear powder contains a combination of gentle enzymes to exfoliate dead skin cells, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and a number of ingredients like tofu extract and royal jelly to brighten the skin. Use two to three times per week to really boost your complexion’s hydration and clarity by removing dead skin cells.
How do you use Suisai beauty clear powder? Empty the contents of the pod into your hands and add small amounts of water until a foam develops. Apply the foam all over a cleansed face and gently massage in light, circular motions. After a minute of gently massaging the product, rinse off with warm water and gently pat dry. Follow with lotion and cream. If you only want to apply your t-zone, only use half the pod’s contents.
Excel Powder and Pencil Eyebrow EX
If you’re not naturally blessed with full, defined eyebrows, this three-in-one product will make filling in your eyebrows so much easier. First, brush your brows with the spool brush at roughly a 45 degree angle, then faintly outline your desired brow shape with the soft pencil. Once you are happy with brow shape, use the brow powder to fill in the gaps of the outline. This Excel brow powder has a fantastic pointed soft foam applicator that distributes the product beautifully. When the brows have been filled, again brush brows carefully to ensure that any hard lines are removed, and the product is buffed into the brows for a natural effect. Amazingly, this product is available is eight different shades (in Australia there are often only two to three shades on range for most brands), so you are sure to find a shade to match your hair and skin tone perfectly. At just ¥1,566 for essentially three products, it’s a no-brainer.
Rosy Rosa Cotton Swab Cosmetic Applicators (Pointed and Moist)
One of the best beauty products you can buy at the Japanese drugstore are the amazingly convenient cotton swab applicators. There are so many different types to choose from, but two of my favorites are the Rosy Rosa pointed (¥194 for 50) and moist (¥259 for 30) cotton swabs. The pointed applicator helps to precisely clean up the line of kohl eye pencil and powder eye shadow, or can be used to lightly dab a small amount of concealer onto blemishes. The moist cotton applicators are great for tidying up not so perfect liquid eyeliner, or for removing eyeliner at the end of the day (especially handy when you are wearing eyelash extensions). The individual wrapping makes them perfect for keeping in your handbag (they are great for quickly wiping away any errant eyeliner or mascara flakes that appear while you are out and about).