I checked out a couple blogs and YouTube videos to familiarize myself with Japanese cosmetics and see what's worth buying. Two blogs I really like for Japanese makeup are:
The first two brands are from department stores. On YouTube, professional Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge has used several Suqqu products but the brushes was what I was mostly interested in. They are handcrafted made of 100% fine grey squirrel hair and the way Lisa described the softness of them (compared them to a kitten's paw!), they really are. But that luxuriousness doesn't come without a hefty price:Yes I know, it's a ridiculous amount to pay for brushes, or for any beauty product really, but if you felt the quality of them and took care of them, you'd see that they're worth it and would last you for a really long time.
I also bought the Nuancing Glow Loose Powder for 6,000 Yen that's supposed to give a subtle glow to the skin. There isn't any glitter in the powder but there is a pearlescent sheen that's really pretty. I think the loose powder is being discontinued (I think that's what the SA said anyway) but there is a pressed compact version that's still available.
The second department store brand I shopped from was Jill Stuart and I bought the Jelly Eye Color N, which are 2200 Yen, and chose 2 colors (although all were really pretty):
- 13 Antique Chiffon: metallic light purple-taupe with silver glitter
- 03 Platinum Satin: metallic pinky-champagne with pink glitter
These are unique eyeshadows to me because the textures are sort of squishy, gel, mousse-like. They are easy to apply with your fingers or a brush (which I prefer) but do set quickly so make sure you blend before it dries. Both colors can be worn sheer for an iridescent effect or layered for more intensity. The glitter isn't super chunky, more like sparkles, but they do migrate all over the eye after several hours.
The next several products are by Canmake and one by Lavshuca, both considered inexpensive brands but with good products. I bought:
- Gokunobi Mascara: 600 Yen; Waterproof, with fiber-rich film (similar to Fiberwig Mascara) to lengthen lashes. Decent mascara that holds the curl, separates my lashes, and doesn't smudge but I don't notice that much lengthening.
- Gokubuto Mascara: 600 Yen; Waterproof, with fiber-rich film to add volume to lashes. Honestly, this looked the same as the Gokunobi mascara except that it looked a little darker.
- 01 Strong Black Gel Eyeliner: 880 Yen; Waterproof, tear-proof, smudge proof. I bought this because I thought it was neat that the cap had a brush attached to it so you can take it on the go. But the size of the pot is really small and is actually difficult to pick up the product.
- 01 Natural Brown Eyebrow Liquid: 500 Yen; Long-wearing eyebrow pen, similar to a felt-tip liquid eyeliner. The shade 01 is a medium taupe brown (02 was more of a red-tone brown). I noticed alot of Japanese brands make eyebrow pens like this, including Suqqu which is actually waterproof. This one does stay on well and it has a nice fine pointed tip to draw thin "hairs".
- 06 Candy Stripe Cheek Gradation: 800 Yen; This was my first Canmake product that I've tried and have almost all the colors. I like these because each set has 3 different shades plus a highlight shade. I like to apply the blush shades, mixed all together or with just certain colors, on the apples of my cheeks and the highlight on the cheekbones. It is a shimmery blush product but is not overly glittery and the pigmentation is nice.
- Lavshuca BR-2 Star Decorations Eyes: Don't know the price, sorry! A quad that contains a pale frosty pink, medium frosty cool brown, pale frosty champagne, and a frosty dark cool brown. All the shades are pigmented and have a smooth texture that makes it easy to blend.
- Quick Lash Curler: 680 Yen; A clear mascara that is meant to do 3 things - freshen up and revive the curl of your lashes, as a top coat over your mascara to help keep the curl, and on it's own for a natural look.
- 07 Coral Orange Cream Cheek: 580 Yen; A gel-cream blush that can be used even on top of powder foundations. This product is easy to blend, has a subtle hint of shimmer that doesn't look too dewy but just looks very natural on the skin.
If you've watched my Japan trip video, you'll know I went to a pharmacy that had a whole wall just for beauty stuff. I just picked up some random drugstore items: eyeshadow quad, cheek highlighter, 5-pair false lash set, and lash glue.
Also in the video you'll see that we stoppd at Topshop and while this isn't a Japanese brand and I didn't buy any clothes, I bought a bunch of their makeup. I didn't know that they carried a cosmetics line but from what I tested at the store, the quality seemed nice so I thought I'd take a chance on it. I bought 3 Lip Sticks which are lipsticks in a giant pencil form. They are very creamy and pigmented with a nice glossy finish. The shades I bought were:
I also bought 3 Cream Eyeshadows which are a cream-to-powder shadows in a squeeze tube packaging, similar to Laura Mercier Metallic Cream Eyeshadows and M.A.C Paints. They 're very pigmented but can be blended out for a sheer coverage, and have a shimmery-metallic finish to them. The colors I bought were:
- Snow Storm: metallic silver-white with white shimmer
- Darkness: metallic gunmetal-black with silver shimmer
- Velvet: metallic medium purple with purple shimmer
In the US you can buy Topshop in NY or online at http://us.topshop.com/. The Cream Eyeshadows retail for $14 US but I think the Lip Sticks are discontinued or were limited edition because they're not on the website anymore. I've noticed other brands have lipstick pencils like this though, such as Buxom, Clinique, and Sephora, so you may want to check those out.
These last few items are miscellaneous beauty and accessory items.
- Small 2-zippered makeup bag to put in my purse.
- Banila Co. Primer: 2,500 Yen; silicone-based primer. I normally don't like silicone primers but this has a really nice smooth texture.
- Rose phone charm with a mirror on the other side.
- Mini Bourjois 1 Black Colour Exciting Eyeliner: It's just a basic matte black color but I bought it because I just thought it was so cute and good for on-the-go touch-ups.
- Roman-numbered ring
- Not pictured but I also stocked up on Shu Uemura Lash Glue since Shu Uemura can only be bought online in the US.
Whew! That was a lot to post just on the beauty items. Up next will be accessories, clothing, and other miscellaneous items. :)
♥ Glamour Girl