Regular readers will already know of my love for all things Japanese, and their beauty products are special favourites. Japanese women take their beauty ritual very seriously, so brands there always seem years ahead of the West in terms of innovative beauty technologies, potions and lotions. By way of example, they were using brightening treatments, serums and BB creams for ten years before they arrived here, and there are still entire product categories that are yet to penetrate the Western market (softening lotions, essences, washing powders, moisture foams…). And it shows. Japanese girls have skin so luminous it’s as though they have their own candlelit glow. In short, for a product to perform in the crowded Japanese beauty market, it must be good.
So on my last trip to Tokyo, I performed my usual tradition of heading for the beauty hall of Isetan (my favourite Japanese department store) and collecting as many old favourites and entirely new and novel products as I could carry. (Handily, the Clever Boyfriend has ‘fluent in Japanese’ amongst his many talents, so I wheeled him around to every counter to translate the strange new descriptions for me in exchange for sushi afterwards).
Here are the hero brands that I can’t leave Japan without (though all are now available in most countries):
SKII: The ultimate Japanese cult brand, promising unrivalled brightening and luminosity. Favourite products: Treatment Essence, Cleansing Oil, Cloth Masks.
RMK: I am very enthusiastic about this brand. Great skincare and adorable makeup (theirs is the most perfect pink blush). Favourite products: Cleansers (balm, oil or mousse), Brightening Skintuner, Rose herbal face mist, blush, eyeshadows.