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Japanese Beauty Products: My quest in Harajuku, Tokyo

Posted Mar 28 2013 3:43am

My blog has evolved over the past couple of years into a bit of a travelogue, but you know that beauty is always first and foremost on my mind. (Anybody who’s been in my bedroom and seen the stacked bins and overflowing beauty closet could tell you that!) Asian beauty is supposed to be a thing, with Japanese beauty even more of a thing, so I was eager to check out a Japanese drugstore and see what kind of goodies I could find.

Oh, man.

Revlon in Japan

Japanese Revlon

Beauty products galore.

Shopping in Harajuku Tokyo

Shopping in Harajuku

I wish I could tell you the name of the store I visited, but everything was in Japanese, so until I learn how to read Kanji characters, it’s lost to the ages. (It was in the Harajuku district, right outside the train station.) However, even in the various 7-11s and convenience stores I entered, it was obvious that beauty products were taken very seriously.

Maybelline Baby Skin BB Cream

Maybelline Baby Skin BB Cream

The cool thing about drugstores in Japan is that they stock products you can’t get in the US from regular brands: so, Revlon and Maybelline and L’Oreal were everywhere, but in all sorts of funky, Japanese-i-fied versions, with plenty of whitening creams. BB Creams started in Asia, so there was no shortage on that front, but I’m not the world’s biggest BB Cream fan. (My oily, acne-prone skin still wants to see other foundations–it’s just not ready to take it to the next level. We’re currently dating, and tentatively liking, Boscia BB , however, which is the most promising version I’ve tried for acneic skin.) Instead, I picked up a bottle of this Shiseido D Program Whitening Clear Essence Serum, which is also designed to tackle acne.

Shiseido at the drugstore!

Shiseido at the drugstore!

Yes. They sell Shiseido in drugstores.

travel skincare DHC Japan

Boom! One week in Japan and this is all I brought, skincare-wise (including the newly acquired DHC and Shiseido)

Another find: DHC Cleansing Oil, which is available in the states through the DHC catalogue, but was so much more fun to buy in Japan. I’ve loved cleansing oils since I was at Lucky and became obsessed with the Shu Uemura version, but that one costs around $70…and this DHC was only about $5. Score!

Other purchases: blotting papers, lip balm and collagen masks (you know, the kind that make you look like Jason wearing a hockey mask?).

 Amanda Seyfried is the face of Cle de Peau

Did you know that Amanda Seyfried is the face of Cle de Peau?  I did not.

I realized while writing this that I completely forgot to pick up mascara while I was there, which is another product that Japanese beauty stores are known for. Damn. I guess I’ll have to take a return trip!

shopping in Harajuku

And fashion-wise, how cool is THIS? You can try on clothes virtually by using this machine. Ohh, Japan.


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