New Finds: 3 Japanese Beauty Must-Haves

Tokyo is the undisputed beauty champion of the world. Every week I see game-changing products at the counters and in the speciality shops, and especially, and somewhat surprisingly, at the drugstore. There’s a reason SO many beauty blogs are dedicated to Japanese drugstore loot– it’s inexpensive and generally pretty awesome. Because the market is so saturated here (seriously you can buy BB cream at the convenience store) the big beauty companies know they have to give up the goods.

Anyway– that’s a long intro just to say here are a few new finds I’m playing with, from fancy shops to the corner Matsumoto.

Shiseido Pore Smoothing Corrector


Shiseido is one of my favorite brands even before I moved to Japan. I picked this up at the amazing Shiseido the Ginza store a couple weeks ago. LOVE. I’m a primer and BB cream fanatic– I’ve tried at least 20 types in the past 12 months. This primer is matte, goes on silky, and doesn’t do that weird cakey thing when you apply foundation afterward. PS? Shiseido the Ginza is amazing– it’s been described as a “Beauty Theme Park” and I totally agree. If you’re in Tokyo you have to check it out. The displays are so cute and they have every product under the Shiseido sun at every price point… I could spend hours there. If you’re in the States, you can get the primer here.

photo 1 (3) photo 3 (1)

Tuberose on the rock please….The perfume bar at Shiseido the Ginza. 

Now. Onto to some of the drugstore finds:

The Konjac Sponge


I was chatting with a reader the other day about the konjac– it’s been a big buzz product in the US market for a while now, and after picking one up at Tokyu Hands the other day, I think I see why, but the jury is still out. Konjac sponges have been around in Japan forever– it’s a 100% natural, super gentle exfoliator and facial sponge. Surprisingly, they come moist in the package, and have a really interesting texture. Soft and spongy like you’d expect, but also kind of like foam rubber? I just started using it and can definitely say it leaves my skin squeaky clean without stripping or being too abrasive, which is nice since I’m microderming like a nut after all the sun I got in Vietnam last week. It’s more gentle than my Clarisonic and more effective than a wash cloth, so my guess it that it’s great for sensitive skin or for anyone doing a peel series or any kind of med-spa treatments. At 700 yen (15 bucks at Sephora), I say give it a try and tell me what you think.

Smile Cosmetique


Cheap, effective, available at any drugstore in Tokyo… these kind of blew me away. I’m kind of addicted to tooth whiteners and wanted to try a Japanese brand, and let me tell you,  these seriously work. Totally gentle, they’re kind of like Crest Whitestrips but they’re padded so they stay in place really well and the formula foams up nicely. These are really only available in Japan as far as I know, so for my expat peoples, these are worth checking out.


You don’t have to leave them on too long– the online translation says a few minutes, but I left them on for like an hour? My teeth are flipping WHITE. Maybe too white? I’ll back off for a while… in this shot they’re whiter than my pearls… whoops.

Wishing you smooth skin and pearly (but not TOO pearly) whites. 🙂




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