Before my Japanese grandmother arrived, I had armed her with a fairly substantial list for her of Japanese drugstore products for her to bring back. Most of them have been firm favourites for years, and having not been back to Japan since 2012 my stocks were getting low.
First on my list was DHC’s deep cleansing oil. I was lucky enough to get an adorable limited-edition Alice in Wonderland packaging. This olive-oil based cleanser is a cult favourite, and for good reason – nothing makes my skin feel as clean. It’s quite heavy, and as I usually rely on micellar water to do the job at the end of the day, so I include the DHC oil in a weekly cleanse. I put a couple of pumps of the oil on my face, and let it sit for a minute or so, before washing it off. Even without wearing any make up underneath, it feels slightly grainy when I wash it off as it gets deep into the pores. After an application of light moisturiser my skin feels so soft and fresh – this oil is incredible!
Next up was another cult favourite – Fiberwig mascara. I still haven’t tried any other mascara like it. Gives great length and separates the lashes well, with absolutely no smudging. It doesn’t budge, but melts off the face when you wash it off in warm water. It’s composed differently from other mascaras, in that it forms like a tube around each eyelash. When I remove it with a cotton pad the results are almost like something out of a sci-fi movie – instead of a smudge of black, you get these little squiggly tubes. Its a great product as it allows you to be gentle around the eye area which can be particularly sensitive. I also love that his one comes with a mini ‘Tiny Sniper’, which is a mini brush perfect for the lower lashes.
In the UK and the US Shiseido is a rather upmarket makeup brand, but in Japan they also have a more affordable range of personal care products, including facial cleansers and hair products. I was a massive fan of their Perfect Mousse facial cleanser, and was eager to try their Perfect Gel cleanser too. It has the same soapy clean smell as the mousse, but I’m not so sure about the texture. It doesn’t foam up, which always makes me feel that much fresher so the jury’s still out on this one.
Shiseido also have a more affordable makeup range for the Japanese market known as Integrate. I got a lipgloss from their Integrate ‘Touch my Lips’ range in RD717 which has a great texture – scentless and tasteless, which is a plus and a nice natural looking colour and finish. I’m a fan of the spatula-style applicator, too.
Have you ever tried any Japanese products? Any favourites?