It has been a couple months since my trip to Tokyo, but I can't stop missing it. Instead, I will have to settle for dreaming of when I can visit again and share all the incredible beauty purchases I made! I saved up for months because my wish list was a mile long. Now, makeup shopping in Japanese department stores is a time-consuming adventure so prepare yourself! Swatching seemed to be highly discouraged, and there is strict 'no returns' policy. The sales associates will open up every box to confirm that you are taking home the color(s) you requested. More details after the jump!
Overall, I found shopping in Tokyo to be very pleasant because of the excellent customer service. I first purchased the Cle de Peau Brightening Powder Foundation (Asia exclusive) at a duty-free shop, either in Singapore or Narita. Most of the shades were out of stock, but a couple lighter shades were available, so I brought O20 home. Unfortunately, it was too dark and too red, so I made sure to stop the by Cle de Peau counter to grab a lighter shade. I still haven't tried it on, but I think 00 will be a perfect match! I just adore the pearly white and platinum compact.
Then we have the gorgeous SK-II Pitera Essence Starter Kit, a Japanese Exclusive that is perfect for traveling. The deluxe sample size 30ml bottle of the Clear Lotion should last a week with morning and evening use, and the 75ml Facial Treatment Essence is too adorable! The bottle is made of glass just like the standard full size 150ml bottle, but 75ml is approximately 2.5 oz so you can pack it into your carry-on luggage! Plus you get a Facial Treatment Mask, which is one of my in-flight essentials. I hear women complain about dull dehydrated plane skin all the time, but ever since I stopped feeling so self-conscious and started using masks during my flights, my skin suffers significantly less! Trust me, I wouldn't do it if the results were not impressive. And no, I've never scared a flight attendant.
Let's move on to some of the best purchases I made in Japan! THREE skin care has blown me away. I generally don't use sample packets, but because most of these products are not easily accessible, I tried as many as I could. Good thing I did because I wouldn't have discovered or purchased THREE's cleansing foam otherwise. I sought out the cleansing oil since so many Asian beauty editors like my friend May swear by it, and the dry formula and bright lemon fragrance definitely lived up to the hype. I even bought a back-up! The cleansing foam, however, turned out to be equally impressive. It is ultra rich and highly concentrated, so I use this one sparingly. Since I loved the cleansers so much, I also decided to splurge on their lip balm. It reminds me of jelly candy, and it melts so easily into the lips.
I also purchased THREE makeup after watching one of Japan's most celebrated makeup artists use a few products on my friend Nayoung. I own a few of THREE's Flash pencil eyeliners, so I decided to branch out and try the eyeshadows, a new eyeliner pencil, lip gloss, brow pencil, and brow powder. The cream base and loose powder eyeshadows are truly refined and sophisticated, but more importantly, they are easy to wear! You don't even need brushes because a clean fingertip works just as well. Totally foolproof! I especially love makeup shopping in Japan because the sheer and glittery highlighter shades I'm so fond of are literally everywhere.
Les Merveilleuses de Ladurée is one of the hottest Japanese brands at the moment, and the prices reflect it. The compacts and cases are quite expensive, more than I would have liked to pay for plastic. Still, curiosity got the best of me and I walked away with a couple bags. My initial impression is that the pressed blushes are the best "bang for your buck" buy, and I wish I had brought home a few more. I love that the colors are intensely pigmented and the brushes in the compacts are surprisingly soft and actually useful. I skipped the delicate rose petal blush — despite how beautiful it was — but I couldn't resist the loose face powder. Since I do not wear blush daily, I figured the powder would be a smarter commitment. I also chose a couple lipsticks, two face brushes, the brush holder (because they might as well have a matching home), and the eyebrow palette.
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SUQQU makes some of my favorite base makeup, so of course I stopped by the counter to learn more. All the Japanese makeup girls are very professional and well trained, but the SUQQU reps go the extra mile and don white gloves when handling your goodies! I ended up with a cream compact foundation, two powder foundations, medium eye brush, face scrub, brow palette, and my new Holy Grail — the eyebrow pencil. It's so amazing that I went out of my way to buy a back-up of the refill while I was in London. Some of SUQQU eyeshadows and lipsticks are phenomenal, but I was saving room in the color budget for ADDICTION.
I spent hours looking at the shades on ADDICTION's website in preparation for my trip to Tokyo. Seeing the beautiful selection in person, however, was a totally different experience. From the font styling to the sleek black packaging, every little detail is perfect. I limited myself to twos except the eyeshadows. I ended up with 7 eyeshadow singles and 6-pan case, the powder foundation and case, the liquid eyeliner, the eyeshadow primer, the SPF 50 sunscreen, 2 pencil eyeliners, 2 lipsticks, and 2 lip glosses. I would have bought more when I discovered that the entire lineup was sold in duty-free, but I had no more room in my luggage (or my budget). Just kidding; I had just enough wiggle room for one of the duty-free exclusive eyeshadow compacts which came with a satin brown and sparkling pink. There were 3 different variations available. If I'm ever back at Narita, though, I will be sprinting to the ADDICTION and THREE bays!
And many of you may already know this, but Japanese drugstore makeup is far superior to what you find in American pharmacies like CVS. Even high end brands like Maquillage are available in the makeup aisles! Pretty impressive. I stocked up on Dollywink, Miche Bloomin' and DUP lashes, DUP lash glue, Rohto eye drops and eye cleansers, heated eye masks, sunscreen, and other random goodies like salon pas. I also discovered an affordable cleanser, Shiseido's Perfect Whip, thanks to a few Korean bloggers I met. It's about $5 USD and outperforms all $20 cleansing foams. If you're ever in Japan, buy half a dozen and give them away as gifts (which is what I did).
My Japanese beauty blogger friends Asahi and Risa bought me these cool cotton pads and face masks. I'm super excited to try them!
As I have mentioned before, I'm still in the process of photographing and testing all the products. In due time, I will review everything here on the blog. I will also dedicate a post to where I shopped, since that was highly requested. If there is anything else you're interested in, please comment below!