New-in Japanese beauty finds to haul home

New-in Japanese beauty finds to haul home

Konnichiwa makeup

Text: Angelyn Kwek

You won’t need to travel to Tokyo to get your hands on these Japanese makeup, skincare, and haircare goodies

Before K-beauty, there was J-beauty. And while its heyday in the early noughties may be long past (who's throwing back to the era of J-pop and J-drama fever right about now?), any beauty junkie who's been around the bend knows the iron staying power of made-in-Japan eyeliners and mascaras. Even the regular drugstore stuff is legit as heck. Though now quietly taking a backseat to all things Korean, it doesn't mean the Japanese beauty scene has stagnated. In fact, some pretty cool, innovative launches have made their way onto the shelves you just might want to give a whirl. Below, some J-beauty offerings of the drugstore variety to pique your fancy:

1. K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Tints
You've most likely had a K-Palette something in your makeup pouch at one time or another, but what you might not realise is that the brand has undergone a revamp in honour of turning the big 10. As in it's been a decade since its entry into our market, we meant. This milestone sees a revival of its classic packaging, and includes a new eyeliner option in the shade Natural Black, as well as the launch of the entire best-selling 1-Day Tattoo Tint collection. From brows to lips and cheeks, the long-lasting stain effect of these products — hearsay pegs it at up to as many as three days for the brows — means you'll be able to spend less time in front of the mirror, and more time in bed.

2. Heroine Make Gel Eyeliners and Multicolour Palettes
Hands up if you got into this label because the anime-esque brand character with her blonde coronet-rolls and unrealistically huge eyes tickled your goat (what, only us?). The distinct branding aside, Heroine Make is seriously up there when it comes to the Mascara Games, and after so many years of stocking only liquid eyeliners, brow gels and mascaras, they've now branched out into eyeshadows and gel liners. You get two 10-shade palettes in Rose Brown, which works the red-rust eyeshadow trend, and the other in neutrals aptly named Beige Brown. A quintet of waterproof gel liners round up the collection, with colours going from a sparkly beige that's great for highlighting the inner eye corners to a burgundy brown to amp up said trending red-toned eye look.

Heroine Make Eyeshadow Palettes

3. Kosé Cosmeport
Yes, you read that right, the drugstore arm of Japanese beauty giant Kosé has finally established a local presence. Its launch sees three of its cult sub-brands entering the beauty fray, namely Je l'aime, Softymo and Clear Turn — haircare, skincare, and a dedicated mask range respectively. While we haven't tried enough Japanese shampoos to call it, Je l'aime comes with a non-silicone label that sounds promising, and is also formulated with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and extract from the Swertia Japonica flower. And while we're talking toiletries, consider trying out the Softymo Lachesa Hot Gel Cleanser, which is a facial wash that heats up upon massaging it into your skin so you can get right into the pores for that extra deep clean.

Last but not least, put aside your Korean masks for a tad and switch it up with the Japanese version, aka Clear Turn, which happens to be Japan's sheet mask authority for the past 11 years. Up to six different types address various skin concerns, from moisturising and whitening to a premium pack made with royal jelly and a black mask that tackles enlarged pores. With a totally affordable price tag to boot, we say go the whole hog and get yourself one of everything.

Available at leading drugstores, pharmacies, and selected department stores