Japanese Makeup Shopping: My Experiences

Today I’ll discuss some of my observations and experiences in shopping for makeup in Japan. Hopefully this will help someone out there who might be taking a trip to Japan.
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First thing. There are SO. MANY. BRANDS.
It’s overwhelming! In an average Canadian drugstore, there may be about 8 key brands. In Japan, there’s at least double that amount. And some of them look so similar, it’s hard to distinguish between them (cue joke about how all Asians look alike 😛 ) I spent some visits in the beginning just surveying my options and noting down potential buys without buying anything – I didn’t want to buy things I’d regret. As far as I know, there are no returns on makeup in Japan.

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Japanese Makeup Haul!!!

Yeah you were all waiting for this, weren’t you! 😛

Personally, I didn’t think I went completely overboard with makeup shopping. For one thing, I was supremely worried about wandering around Tokyo at night by myself to go shopping. Why I had to go shopping in the evenings was because my days were filled with sightseeing! And then, by the evening, I was so tired from walking around all day, I didn’t spend too much time shopping.  Also, I was shopping rather critically: lots of Japanese makeup is super sparkly and sheer. If it wasn’t something I’d truly use, I passed on it – so that left me with a more narrow band of items I’d spend my money on (not to mention, haul home).  Here’s what I got:

CANMAKE
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• Marshmallow Finish Powder in MO Matte Ochre and MB Matte Beige Ochre
• Cream Cheek in #05 Sweet Apricot and #14 Apple Cream Red (I swear I had another shade in my basket but it didn’t make it home with me!)
• Gokubuto mascara (volumizing)
• Gokunobi mascara (lengthening)
• Colourful Nails polish in #33 Pink Glitter
• Lasting Multi Eyebase WP (eye shadow primer)
I had some ideas of brands I’d want to look at when I was in Japan. I originally glossed over Canmake as being too girly for me. But it turns out their products are quite well reviewed and very reasonably priced! I ended up researching a lot on @cosme awards (which seems to be the Japanese makeup Bible) to find out which items to try and several of these were award winners. I do wish I’d gotten more cheek products – they have so many cute ones to choose from.

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