Best Japanese Beauty products – Everything you need to know

I love searching for the best Japanese beauty products. Let me show you a few of my favourites and tell you why I use them and why they are part of my daily beauty routine. 



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If you ask me to recommend just one Japanese beauty brand, SK-II is my favourite Japanese beauty product. This product is one of the most famous products by SK-ll and has won the HALL OF FAME award for having the best essence. I have used this facial treatment essence for years.

In the beginning, I didn’t see amazing results overnight, but after a few weeks, I felt my skin was not as oily as before. Now my skin condition is steady, even if I go travelling for a week and don’t use it, my skin still feels healthier.

The secret ingredient is Pitera, which is full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids that work together to give your skins natural surface rejuvenation process a boost.

The Cosmetics Award

The first thing you wanna knows about Japanese beauty products is the “Cosmetics Award”. This award is the most popular and has the most authority because it is ranked by the scores that customers give the products.

This award is published twice a year, one in the middle of the year to publish the rankings of the first half of the year and another is published at the end of the year for the overall rankings for the whole year.

There are over 20 million women in Japan aged between 20-40 and more than 50% of them rank the beauty products.

There have been over 270 million visitors visit the website and rank more than 13 million products so you know that you’ll get some good recommendation by looking at the results.  

Grand Prize


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This year, the Grand Prize (each category has a ranking list, the Grand Prize combines them all and ranks them by both sales and reviews) winner is OPERA LIP TINT.

Opera lip tint gives a thin and smooth glide that’s even and glossy, in an oil tint glassy shine kind of way.

The colour is quite natural, to be honest, I can’t tell much difference between these 6 colours, and you need to apply it a few times to make the colour show up on your lips.

Well, the best thing about Opera lip tint is the great value for money you can get. But if you live outside Asia, I’m not sure this is as good value product for you, because of all the delivery fees and tax.

With that money, I’m sure you can find a better product than this one, but if millions of people have rated it highly it must be doing something right. (In Japan, the price is around 1,500 yens (around $14), take this into your consideration when deciding whether to get it from your country or not).


This Addiction eyeshadow won last years Grand Prize and this year came second, so still quite popular. It has every quality you look for in a good eyeshadow, and there are a wide range of colours you can choose from and make your own eyeshadow palette.

There is just one thing I’m not sure about which is the same problem I had with the lip tint I mentioned above, it won’t show much of the colour (I think this is just how Japanese people do their makeup, you can see from their celebrities, they tend to have the ‘I’m not wearing makeup’ look), so it suits people who like their make-up to look more natural. Again, the price is 2160 Yen (around $20) in Japan, think about it before purchasing.


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I bought a Noturie skin conditioner when I was in college, but never finished it. It is 500ml and only costs 650 Yen (around $6) which is a great deal for even just using it as a spray for every part of your body.

Notiurie claims it can whiten your skin, but at this price, I don’t think so… or probably you need to use it for a while to see the effects.

I think for dry skin, its probably better to use it as a facial mask before putting on your makeup, which helps your skin stay moist and it becomes easier to work on your waterproof foundation.



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This hall of fame ranking has an even better quality than the Grand Prize one because all the products that make this list have all been ranked first in their own category for three years in a row. So, you will see more famous non-Japanese brands as well.

The winner, SK2 Facial Treatment Essential, if you know about a little about Japanese beauty brands, you must have heard of this brand. I can’t say it’s my favourite but I have used SK-II for years.

I will talk about this a little bit more in the second section. For now, all I can think of is the high price is the only disadvantage of this product, everything else is very good.


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It has the nice flowery smell and good foaming ability.  Your skin won’t feel dry after the wash, even in winter time. I hadn’t heard about this product before, but I am willing to give it a try.


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Because this article is talking about Japanese brands, I’m just gonna to list this non-Japanese one and not talk about it 🙂


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Use this one before applying your mascara and after using a curler for your lashes. It has two bases, the white one is about volume, length and curl and the black one is about glossy and retaining your curl.

So, choose one depending on what kind of effect you want with your eyelashes. The disadvantages are that it feels a little bit sticky and can’t really separate your eyelashes well.



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This toothpaste is for whitening your teeth. It really works and I will give this credit but I think it’s a little bit strong.


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This Maquillage powder can be used as a foundation as well if you use a wet puff to apply it on your face, the powder is very light and won’t give you the cakey look and has a great effect on covering pores and uneven skin tone.


Do you feel your feet are humid and smell a little bit when you wear high-heels with bare feet? The Sara Sara cream is your cure.

It can keep your feet smooth and dry for the whole day, you can say bye-bye to the awkwardness and don’t need to feel embarrassed when you want to take your shoes off for a moment to relax your feet.


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I will talk about this more in the next section.



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Well, this is the end of the Hall of Fame list.. there are still so many lists for these awards that we haven’t covered. Each category has a list such as skin care – cleaning, make-up – eyebrow etc.

Besides categories, the YEARS END BEST NEW BUYS is the list for the new products in the last half of the year, the TOP BEAUTY TREND stand for the current trends in beauty.

This year is enhancing, defining and anti-aging and each of these trends have a product ranking list as well, @COSME STORE BEST HIT and @COSME SHOPPING BEST HIT are for the best sell products in the store and the most popular products.

Expensive Line

We often hear beauty bloggers share their opinion of a product, calling it a cheap version of XX (another famous and expensive brand), I always fall for it and can’t wait to spend the money and get the XX brand experience.

But through all these years’ experience, and all the “lessons” I’ve paid to learn the ultimate truth that is “you get what you pay for”. I learnt this the hard way, however, I hope you can take it from me with paying to make the same mistakes I did.

PiteraTM Line

The normal package is like the left picture, but Pitera always releases limited editions like the one in the middle.

The company just want to tempt us with these beautiful bottles, however, I’m not falling for it because I never keep empty bottles, when I finish it no matter how beautiful the bottle is, it has gone in the dustbin, so I always get the biggest bottle from the duty-free shop.

I think it is the cheapest way to get it (I haven’t compared the price from different countries and different shops because I always forget how much I get it for).

Besides the lotion, this “ex-boyfriend” facial mask is my favourite as well. The reason why it is called by that name is that it will give you the most glowing skin ever after use, and you can go meet your ex to let him see what he is missing.

Anti-ageing Line

I just starting to use this two weeks ago. In their advertisement, it says: In just one day, this moisturizing cream gives you firmness from every angle. In 10 days, signs of ageing skin diminish so that skin becomes firmer, smoother, tighter, and more radiant. After one jar, fine lines appear less defined.

My skin doesn’t have as many problems now, so I can’t tell whether it is working or not, but it is moist enough for winter use. If there isn’t another cream I want to try, I think I will continue to use this except for it is too oily for summer.

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This 3D stretch mask is drenched with a potent cocktail of Pitera™, Oli-Vityl™, Signaline and Niacinamide to noticeably firm and contour areas that are most prone to sagging. I like the 3D design, it covers your face really well.

For the effect, it is good obviously, but I can’t tell the difference between this one and the ex-boyfriend one. So, I think for people who don’t have any skin problems, you can choose either. This 3D one does give you a luxury feeling though, feels like it was designed for you.

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Whitening Line

I used one bottle before, for a spot under my eye. The Sad news is it didn’t work, my lovely spot is still under my eye. To be honest, I didn’t expect that my spot would disappear using a skincare product, so I’m saving money now to get the laser treatment I talked about in the other article.

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Luxury PiteraTM

I haven’t used this line before, so I don’t want to say too much about it but it looks really expensive, so I will probably give it a try when I’m older and richer 😛 

Clé de Peau Beauté

Don’t let the name fool you, it is a Japanese brand and you can get it easily from America. Cle De Peau Beaute is my favourite Japanese beauty brand, and the main reason is that it just looks so beautiful like a piece of art. This brand has a skincare line and make-up line as well. I haven’t used their skincare line, so I’m just going to talk about the make-up line.

There is a unique thing about Japanese makeup products, you have to buy the case separately. At first, I felt so strange doing this, then I think it is probably better because next time you can just buy the refill, so it can save some money.


Radiant Cream Foundation

There is a rumor that the international version of this foundation is drier than the Japanese version. I’m not sure about it, I bought my one from Japan and I would give it a 4 stars rating. The good thing about this one is it is really brightening, whitening your skin and hiding your pores to give you a porcelain skin.

I used it for a while and then I bought a Burberry Cashmere foundation, so I turned to use the Burberry one, and one morning when I was doing my makeup and I saw this one I decided to use it for the first time.

My skin didn’t look much different in front of my bright mirror, but when I went out and saw myself in the reflection of a window, I found my skin is glowing a lot more than before. The disadvantage of this one is after midday, my skin will be oily.

Translucent Loose Powder

I love this. Even when I’m traveling, I have to carry this big case with me. After applying, my face looks like using a booster skin filter and it is very natural as well and can last a very long time (not the whole day though, but I’m a combination and oily skin type, so if you are a dry skin, it can probably last a whole day).

The only drawback is it is not for travel, firstly, the case is so big and when you arrive at your destination and open this case, the powder is everywhere, you can lose a lot if you didn’t seal it properly. But still, I have to carry it with me.

Extra Rich Lipstick

The extra rich lipstick Colour is very nice but a little bit dry so you need to use lip cream first. The case is very nice as well, it is made of plastic but still doesn’t feel cheap.

You have to buy the refill and the case separately and put it in by yourself. I think if you buy this from the counter, the salesperson will help you put it in, but my one was a gift from a friend, she gave me them separately so I did it by myself. It is easy to put them together, but somehow, I still managed to ruin the top… 

Enriched Lip Luminizer

I put this one together by myself as well, but this time, it was perfect. I think I like this one better because it is a moisturizer and I like the design of the case, when you turn it, it only lets a little bit out, so after use, you don’t need to turn it back (it can’t be turned back).

I think I lost my one, I haven’t seen it for a while…its probably hid in one of my coat pockets or probably in one of my bags…..


Skin Conditioner Essential

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This lotion is Albion’s most iconic lotion which will boost the skin metabolism and regulates cell renewal, promoting healthy skin that is less prone to breakouts, irritation, and dullness.

The Albion skin conditioner essential looks like a lotion but you have to use this after applying Milk Lotion. When you’ve got acne or a pimple, this one is great for calming your skin down, however, it is not moist enough to use during the winter time.

Exage White White Conditioning Powder

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This powder also called “night night” powder. Used as the last step of a skincare regime to condition and ensure whitening ingredients are absorbed into the skin for a clear complexion.

The Exage night night powder can keep your skin fresh all night, so when you wake up in the morning, your face won’t feel like an oil slick.

I always use this on long-haul plane travel, after I’ve cleaned and applied a mask on my face, I use this powder to make my face fresh and smooth instead of sticky.

Elegance La Poudre  

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It is the same company as Albion. I fell in love with it on my first glance. It looks like the flat version of Guerlain Meteorites Light Revealing Pearls of Powder, but more exquisite and expensive.

The perfect mix of five carefully selected colours bring about never-seen-before clarity to any of your skin tones. The translucent veil makes pores less visible to achieve a polished skin surface.

A Light and the smooth texture feels as comfortable as ultra-fine silk. The Superior resistance to water and oil and the pure clarity and smooth skin will last all day.

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This concealer has been featured in magazines everywhere and I think it is a really cool idea to blend the colour and make your own concealer.


IPSA The Time R Aqua

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My friend has quite sensitive skin and she likes this one, she said it is easy for skin to absorb, doesn’t feel sticky at all and she already finished 3 bottles and it really helps her skin to stabilize and reduces sensitivity.

IPSA The Time reset Day Essence stick

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This magic stick can make your skin moist whenever and wherever. You can use it after you put your make-up on, just apply it on the dry areas and it won’t destroy your make-up.


Impress Cream Foundation

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Impress is the luxury line under Kanebo, and among all the products this cream foundation is the most famous one. The Impress cream foundation will appear with separate layers so just use the sticker to stir it before use.

Les Merveilleuses De Laduree FACE COLOUR ROSE LADURÉE

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Another product that I would pay just for the look of it. This make-up line is produced by the French famous desert brand Ladurée and the Japanese beauty brand Albion. Take up the product with a large brush by stroking the petals gently. Dust off excess powder on the back of your hand, and then apply to cheeks. Colours blend in. Beauty-in-expression is now in bloom.

Lunasol Eye Shadow

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This is my first eyeshadow palette and the only one that I throw away because I’ve finished it. This beige colour is suitable for daily use, and it is not too shimmering and not too sparkly, everything is just perfect.


Extra Rich Cream Foundation

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Beauty favorite Suqqu has produced this wonderful extra rich cream foundation. The Extra Rich Cream foundation is made of 12 different ingredients found in plants. They leave the skin glowing with extra moisture and shine. The consistency is light and produces a smooth finish when applied, making it a great choice foundation.


Designing Color Eyes Makeup Eye Shadow

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SUQQU’s compact eye shadow has a four in one colour palette. The silicone coated powders and pigments of amino acid are used to improve the health of your skin and also last for a long time on your skin. You can mix the shades together using different blends to create the look that suits you best and brings out the great qualities and colour of your beautiful eyes.

Facial Machines

We are all sometimes impatient and tend to want to take a shortcut when it comes to beauty. Well, thanks to Japanese people, their creativity and pursuit of beauty bring us so many easy to use and productive facial machines.

In this last section, I’m going to talk about the Japanese facial machines that I have used or want to get for my next skincare journey.

I just realised that I have repeated saying one thing in every recommendation, so I decided to say this at the beginning that these facial machines can give you the effect you want and most of them will surprise you, but it works only when you keep using them regularly.

And most of them are quite expensive and high quality, so if you are just gonna use it once or twice and leave it aside, my advice is don’t waste the money.



The first facial machine I’m gonna talk about is this worlds-first facial cleaner with 3D Sonic Ion technology. We all know that cleaning your face is of fundamental importance for skin care. If your skin is not cleaned, then all the expensive skin care products you put on are all wasted.

This product cleans dirt and grime from the skin’s surface and pores without putting pressure on delicate skin.

It is no doubt that this is a great cleaner, however, the one thing I want to mention is its brush portion which was adopted from KUMANO FUDE, which have been involved in quality Japanese traditional craftsmanship since 1869. Being handmade by craftsmen, the quality of the brush means even softer skin contact and brilliant application. Any impurities can be removed without any negative effect on your skin.

Facial Massage Instrument Beauty Products Roller Massager 

I believe you all saw this one in a fashion magazine somewhere, because it is so famous for producing a firm and tighter skin . After I saw it in magazines ten times, I finally can’t stop myself and I rushed to get one.

At first, I used it twice every day and followed the instruction to massage my face, I can clearly feel the difference after using it for a few days.

However, this only lasted for a week, the next week, I only used it once per day and just rolled wherever I wanted and by the third week, I think I probably forget I even have this…so, in the end, it became a “weapon” when my boyfriend are play fighting. So make sure you don’t stop using it and you’ll see results for sure.

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And another thing is I thought the solar panel could store solar power so I always put it beside the window until I read somewhere that the panel can’t store the solar power, every time you use it, you have to go somewhere bright.

This product is not cheap so if you are as lazy as me, then I don’t recommend you to get this, but if you have a good self-discipline, then it is a good product to rejuvenate your skin.

HITACHI Facial Massager

You probably know Hitachi by the Magic Wand J however, that product doesn’t have anything to do with Hitachi anymore. This facial massager is the new Hitachi magic.

They just released the new version N5000, with an innovative spot detecting sensor (while using, it can detect your spots and other skin problems and treats them with different vibrations).

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I have an old model N3000, I like it so much, it has cleaning, moist up, mask and cold mode, you can use each one separately according to your skin condition, and you can use them all together, it will take around 10 mins. I used this one once per day for one week, my skin feels so smooth and tight.

Exideal LED

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I’ve already talked about the LED Light Therapy in another article but this one has all the different colour light treatments and can fix all your skin problems, you can have your own beauty salon at home, however, the price is very high as well. It comes in two sizes, you can choose which is most suitable for you.

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YA-MAN HRF10T RF-Beaute Photo PLUS

If you don’t have any facial machine yet, this is the one you should start with. It has all the mode that Hitachi has and add another red-light treatment. But if you only need Hitachi mode, get Hitachi then, because I read all the reviews about these two products, I think Hitachi perform better.


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I’m considering getting this one or the Nuface one. The Zogankin Hyper uses radio waves to create a warming effect and vibration that stimulates facial muscles with 1 million radio wave vibrations per second.

This warming method is loved by many, I haven’t tried this method personally but check it out and see what you think. 

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