Okay, so I bought a lot.
You know that holiday-buzz that makes you buy something because 'if you don't buy it now, it'll be gone forever'? That's my conscience.
And it's a convincing little voice! Which resulted in me buying a heap of beauty products when I was travelling Japan a fortnight ago (yes, this post is a little late - who else can relate to the not-wanting-to-unpack-your-suitcase feeling?).
From skincare to makeup, here's my haul from visiting all of the many beauty stores that I came across - read on to see what I brought back!
I have an obsession with Asian sheet masks - they're so easy to use and travel with, target any skin problem you can think of, and are so, so affordable (in Asia at least!). And with Japan (and Korea) being so famous for their skincare, I couldn't help but buy upppppp. My two favourite brands that I picked up are Lululun and Pure Smile. Definitely worth grabbing if you're in Japan!
Kanebo Evita Beauty Whip Soap
Foamy whipped cleansers are so popular in Japan, and it's easy to see why. They're gentle on the skin, aren't drying, and honestly, just so much fun to use! I saw this cleanser in a viral video on Facebook before I headed off on my trip, and kept an eye out for it in Japanese drugstores because it's so unique. You basically dispense the product by pushing down on two buttons, which releases the product in, get this, A ROSE SHAPE. This is why I love Japan (and yes, the cleanser smells like roses too!).
Natural Aqua Gel Cure
Japan, with just this one product, your reputation for amazing skincare is LEGIT! Beauties, this cleanser is incredible, and it's a cult favourite in Japan for good reason - it's a clear gel cleanser that ridiculously effectively REMOVES ALL YOUR DEAD SKIN. See the back of my hand? All those little white bits are dead skin that the cleanser has picked up and exfoliated. It's not drying, it doesn't sting, and my usually red cheeks have actually improved in skin tone and become more evenly coloured. This is a MUST HAVE if you have dry skin prone to flaking; the ¥2700 (around $35AUD) is easily worth it.
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream
Maybe it's just me, but using a moisturiser that comes in a jar makes me feel like a real grown up lady - just reminds me of my mum's amazing skincare drawer of lotions and potions! This Korean cream moisturiser is really famous in Japan and after receiving a sample of this to try at the Etude House counter when I was shopping in Osaka one day, I decided to grab the full size after loving the trial. It's super hydrating, can be used both morning and night, and makes my skin feel so soft and plump afterwards!
Maybelline Pure.BB Mineral Cushion BB Fresh
My favourite foundation formula in summer (it was HOT in Japan when I was there!) are cushion compacts, because they're easy and convenient to use, the coverage is light/medium and they give your skin a really lovely glow. Maybelline doesn't actually have a cushion foundation in the Australian range, so I took the opportunity to grab this one. There were only two shades available, 'natural' and 'beige', so I picked up the beige as the natural was literally transparent! I've been using this one for about three weeks now (you can tell from my dirty packaging!) and regret not buying another one, because the finish on the skin is so gorgeous.
Maybelline Lip Flush
One of the biggest beauty trends in Japan is that 'just kissed', very subtle ombre lip look. Usually the look is achieved by patting your lipstick onto just the centre of your lips using your fingertip, to get that soft gradient effect. Maybelline Japan has taken it one step further, with a three-toned lipstick that creates that ombre look in one swipe! I swatched the entire range when I was in Ainz Tulpe (the drugstore I bought this in) and they certainly do the trick on the back of my hand, but I've yet to actually try this on my lips!
Pokemon Love It's Demo Collaboration MakeupNow that Pokemon is well and truly back and mainstream again, it's no surprise that Japan as the land of cute things released a makeup collection purely based on the characters! Makeup store It's Demo did a collaboration with Pokemon, and I couldn't help but pick up a few bits from the range. It was a hard decision among all that kawaii-ness, but I ended up choosing a Pikachu pressed powder, a red lip and cheek tint, and a sparkly nail polish. They're almost too sweet to use!
Etude House Finger Masks & Nail Polish
While I love having my nails done nicely, I'm absolutely rubbish at keeping my cuticles neat. I tend to have dry hands, so my cuticles sometimes get a bit flaky and gross (sorry for the mental picture!). These little individual finger 'masks' pop onto your hands like finger puppets and moisturise your nail beds! I haven't tried these yet, but am looking forward to it. I also picked up a deep silvery grey nail polish that has tiny, rainbow flecks of glitter through it. You can't see it in the photo, but when worn, this polish has an 'oil slick' metallic effect!
Cuticle Poro Poro Cotton Swabs
When I saw these, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to get these to try. This pack comes with five individually wrapped (because everything is individually wrapped in Japan!) cotton buds with a skincare product infused in them, which is meant to help clear out the pores on the surface of your nose. This is a problem area for me, so here's hoping this works and isn't just a gimmick!
K-Palette Alice in Wonderland 1 Day Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner
I'm a sucker for Alice in Wonderland and was already planning on buying this eyeliner because it's really famous in Japan, so when I saw the limited edition packaging, I really couldn't resist! This is your standard liquid eyeliner pen with a brush tip, and I've already been using it for about a fortnight or so. It's a little hard to handle (the formula is very pigmented and intense) so I have to take it slow when applying, even for a liquid liner lover like me!
Mote Mascara Long
Japan are renowned for their incredible mascaras that lengthen your lashes, and the Mote Mascara is one of, if not the, best mascara you can get. This particular formula has little fibres in it, so it not only elongates your lashes, but also thickens your lashes. Its curved wand also helps to define and create a curl in the lashes, so you won't need to use an eyelash curler.
MUJI Lip Liner & Lipstick
Okay, I think it is safe to say that MUJI is waaaaaay better in Japan than Australia! Not just limited to homewares and storage, MUJI in Japan also sells food (both packaged and in their restaurants!), electrical appliances and... MAKEUP! In Australia they do sell their own brand of skincare, but I've never seen coloured cosmetics during my visits there, so I was really excited to see what the original Japanese stores stocked. I ended up choosing a nude lip liner and a glossy retractable lipstick, which I wore both of everyday of my Japan trip (I bought them on day two haha!). Worth. It.
Rimmel London Limited Edition Marshmallow Look Lipstick
And finally, the limited edition Rimmel lipstick that I've been posting all over my Instagram! It's so rare to see specially designed packaging on drugstore makeup, and this is easily one of the cutest I've seen among both drugstore and high end. The casing features three drawings of a girl in different outfits, that you can rotate to 'change' the clothes. So cute!
What are your favourite beauty products that you can't get in Australia? Let me know in the comments below!