We’ve done a ton of investigative reporting about the ins and outs of Korean skincare and the current beauty trends according to our K-beauty correspondent and Peach & Lily founder Alicia Yoon and all-natural Korean skincare website Glow Recipe founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang. But what we haven’t tapped into yet is all the magical, effective, and innovative products hailing from Japan. There are a few we’ve all heard of but many that have flown under the radar in the U.S.
So we’re about to make all your beauty dreams come true. Keep reading for 10 of the coolest makeup and skincare products from Japanese brands.
The thin membrane located inside an egg is actually made up of 18 kinds of amino acids! This supplement blends together those amino acids with collagen, hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, and vitamin C for a powerful anti-aging pill that truly seems like a miracle. Digestible beauty is in, and we’re officially on board.
Ed. note: Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen.
Faith Xue, Byrdie’s editorial director and fellow brow fanatic, emphatically says that this is the best brow product ever—so I believe her. The tip is really thin, so it’s easy to make natural-looking strokes and really difficult to mess up (which is perfect for accident-prone folks like me). The pencil’s from a Japanese dollar store and actually only costs a buck if you buy it in person. So treat yourself—your wallet won’t get mad this time.
This makeup-removing oil completely dissolves all traces of dirt and cosmetics—even waterproof mascara and eyeliner—while nourishing your complexion with antioxidant-rich olive oil. Doesn’t that sound just divine? It is. The texture transforms from a silky oil to a rich milky lather as you massage it into your face, so I like to take my time and really get in there. It’s no surprise that one of these gems is sold every 10 seconds worldwide.
I was drawn to this mascara because of the formula, of course, but more so because of the name. Fairydrops seems like a fun magical potion, and Scandal Queen reads like its sassy, evil counterpart. Turns out the product worked on my lashes just as quickly as the name tickled my fancy. A blend of jojoba seed oil, vitamin B5, collagen, and sodium hyaluronate (the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid), it’s wondrously nourishing to your lashes but also won’t budge once you apply it. The formula is waterproof, so no smudging, flaking, or annoying messiness will ensue. All you need is an oil-based cleanser to remove it. (I like to use coconut oil to keep things moisturized.)
Haba skincare products are popular in Japan because of their natural properties and real-time results. Use this lifting serum to banish sagging skin, frown lines, or visible pores in no time.
This overnight mask is actually made up of vitamin capsules that melt upon application. I mean, talk about luxury. Smooth it on, go to sleep, and you’ll literally wake up prettier.
Shu Uemura’s “watery type” lotion is made to “boost the skin’s self-cleaning mechanism and draw out crystal clear skin from within.” Sounds pretty great, right? Recommended for average to dry skin, the product has a not-quite-milky texture that’s refreshing and nourishing at the same time. Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, it works wonders. Just trust Shu Uemura—I always do.
You’ve all probably heard of the Facial Treatment Mask ($17), but this pack of goodness takes anti-aging one step further. The cotton mask has a 3-D stretch design to better fit your face—so every single crevice is covered and treated. Your skin will feel so good, and look visibly tighter, brighter, and more contoured after continued use.
What’s better than custom-blended skincare? I’ll tell you: nothing. This brightening serum set comes with vitamin A, chlorella, and hyaluronic acid for fully hydrated, radiant skin. And it’s fun—you can play chemist for a minute and mix and match your favorite ingredients.
This is yet another great eyebrow import. It gives so much control and allows you to easily fill in any sparse areas. Here's a tip: Store it upside down so the product flows into the brush. Otherwise it may take some time to get the product out.
This creamy, water-activated enzyme exfoliant will leave you feeling baby soft, without any of the harshness that comes with your usual exfoliator. It combines rice bran, green tea, and red algae extract to easily lift off dirt and makeup and smooth your delicate skin.
Do you have any favorite under-the-radar products? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.