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All The Makeup You Need To Hoard On Your Next Japan Trip

Here's your Japanese makeup shopping checklist!

Shopping for makeup in Japan can get a bit overwhelming, especially if you step into one of the branches of the famous Matsumoto Kiyoshi or Don Quijote, where products are stacked like they’re preparing for the apocalypse. Plus, the country has a lot to offer in the beauty department—it's hard to decide which one to take home!

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To make the task less daunting, we’ve compiled a checklist of Japanese cosmetics to make a beeline for. These are makeup products that are either hard to find in Manila or more affordable in Japan. Feel free to browse other goodies that are not on this list, of course, and make your own J-Beauty discoveries! Meanwhile, here are some of our picks:

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  1.  Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara

    It makes sense that this mascara is called heroine—it’s the Wonder Woman of mascara! It gives you longer, curlier, and thicker lashes minus the clumping (even when you layer it on) But its real superpower? It stays put even in the PH’s sauna-like climate!

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  2. D-UP Eyelashes Fixer 552

    This heavy-duty water-, tear-, and sweat-proof falsies glue is made for warfare. Top MUAs swear by it! And when the professionals are the ones hoarding it, you know it’s legit.

    Available in Don Quijote 

  3. CanMake Cream Cheek

    If you’re a fan of the natural flushed look, use this highly pigmented cheek tint that comes in a variety of shades. It doesn’t melt off in humid weather, giving you a pretty glow from morning till night. It also comes in tiny compact cases that you can take with you wherever you go. ~whispers~ Get them all.

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    Available in Matsumoto Kiyoshi

  4. Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush

    This foundation brush has reached cult status, which is what we’d expect from one that actually has the word “perfect” in its name.  It works with almost all kinds of foundation—liquid, powder, gel, or cream—and helps provide an even and complete coverage.

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    Available in Takashimaya Department Stores

  5. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

    Here’s another cult favorite from Japan that makeup junkies swear by. It gives you great coverage without feeling too heavy or turning cakey. It evens out your skin tone and gives it a fresh, dewy look.

    Available at Ainz and Tulpe

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  6. Shu Uemura Eyelash and S Curlers

    Ask any MUA and they’ll tell you that Shu Uemura is the holy grail of eyelash curlers. And now that the brand has left our shores for good, this should definitely be on your makeup must-buy list! Their classic eyelash curler hugs the contours of Asian lids without tugging the lashes, while the S Curler is for all eye shapes and sizes. 

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    Available in Takashimaya Department Stores

  7. K-Palette Lasting Eyebrow Tint

    When it comes to eyebrow pens and pencils, K-Palette is top of mind. And for good reason: It has given many a kilay-less girl hope and, well, eyebrows. It works like a temporary tattoo: You draw in your brows freehand or use the stencils that come with the kit, leave the goop on overnight, peel them off in the morning, and voila—pretty, defined arches that last for five days! 

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    Available in Don Quijote and Matsumoto Kiyoshi

  8. Kate Tokyo Rouge HG

    Meet Kanebo's younger sister, Kate. The Rouge HG lippies are moisturizing without being thick and heavy. And with 15 pretty colors to choose from, there’s bound to be a hue that’s perfect for you.

    Available in Matsumoto Kiyoshi

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  9. Nars Orgasm Blush

    Little known fact: Nars was acquired by Shiseido in 2000. So if you’re a fan of their often sold-out Orgasm blush, Japan is where you can buy as much as your baggage allowance will let you. It’s widely available there, and it’s more affordable, too! 

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    Available in Isetan Department Store

  10. Opera Sheer Lip Color Gloss

    We discovered this tinted lip gloss while checking out different drugstore makeup in Japan and it was love at first swatch. It’s a light, non-greasy, and non-gloopy gloss that’s perfect for everyday use. It gives your lips a subtle hue and an irresistible sheen.

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    Available in Ainz and Tulpe

  11. Three Angelic Symbiosis Foundation

    This Japanese luxury cosmetic brand uses natural and organic ingredients in its products. Their Angelic Symbiosis Foundation delivers medium to heavy coverage. It glides on like powder once applied to your skin, giving it a flawless and velvety matte finish—just like an angel’s!

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    Available in NEWoMan Shinjuku

Shops directory:

Ainz and Tulpe
1F B1F, Harajuku Quest Bldg.
1-13-14, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Don Quijote 
3-6-3 Sanno Ota-Ku Tokyo, 143-0023 
28-6 Udagawa-cho Shibuya-ku Tokyo, 150-0042

Isetan Department Store  
3 Chome-14-1 Shinjuku, Tokyo 

Matsumoto Kiyoshi
1-26 Roppongi 6 Chome, Minato-ku

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NEWoMan Shinjuku 
4 Chome-1-6 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022,

Takashimaya Shinjuku
5 Chome-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-8580