Korean beauty may have had its moment in the spotlight, but Japanese beauty will always have a place in our heart
For a while, Japanese beauty was shunned from the spotlight as the world became obsessed with Korean beauty. It seemed that our love-affair with K-beauty would never end, but Japanese beauty is set to become popular once again in 2018.
The truth is that Japan has exported some of the very best cleanser, lotions and best face serum that the whole world has to offer. In fact Japan’s best-selling brand, Decorté, invented the world’s first face serum; their Liposome Moisture formula is still the number one selling serum today.
Much of the obsession with perfect-looking skin comes from the geisha community. Japanese-inspired brand Tatcha’s founder, Vicky Tsai, spent close time with geishas, who take skincare incredibly seriously – any flaws show up easily under their theatrical, brilliant white make-up.
‘Underneath their iconic white make-up is the most breathtakingly pure skin I had ever seen in my life,’ she writes in a blog post. ‘I have met trainee geisha as young as 19 and senior geisha as old as 70, but regardless of age they all share the same exquisite complexion.’
So how can you get some of that flawlessly soft, baby-skin complexion for yourself?
Keep scrolling to learn about 10 of the best Japanese beauty products you can get your hands on in the UK, from fragrance to skincare.
Japanese skincare and lotions go hand in hand, and SK-II's is possibly the most famous out there. Cate Blanchett constantly raves about the Pitera-rich essence, which clears and refine's the skin's appearance and texture over time for a "crystal clear" look.
Inspired by the Geisha ritual of gentle cleansing and exfoliation using rice water, Tatcha's rice powder exfoliates super gently every day for that smooth, 'baby skin' look.
This one is Japan's best-selling serum, and it's a hydrating dream. Dehydrated and unhappy skin's thirst is quenched almost instantly, with tiny capsules that absorb into the deepest layers of the skin, and slow time-release technology keeping its moisture levels topped up throughout the day.
Licorice is a big name in Japanese beauty when it comes to trusted ingredients, as it calms and detoxifies the skin while brightening the complexion. Kosé's medicated lotion is full of the stuff, and improves radiance and skin texture over time.
Fairy Drops was born when Japanese celebrity, Aya Yasude, customised her own mascara brush. Struggling to find a mascara that was just right for her TV appearances, she took a pair of scissors to a mascrara wand and cut away until she was left with a brush that made her eyes pop. The distinct 'bobble' wand is the perfect companion for the jet-black, water-resistant formula that leaves lashes big, bold and camera-ready.
Think of this cream as being to Japan what something like E45 is to the UK: it deeply soothes, protects and repairs skin and is found in most homes across the country. It goes on with a strong smell of camphor that disappears within seconds.
Taken from the Japanese word meaning 'posture with attitude', SUQQU is all about the modern woman with a fresh, polished and radiant approach to beauty.The Designing Colour palettes contain four complementing shades that are everything you need to define, shadow and contour the eye area for day or night looks. We wouldn't be without one (or four or five) in our beauty kits.
If you have sensitive skin, this facial wash is a great exfoliating option for you; the powder transforms into a light foam as you wash and cleanses the skin leaving it feeling fresh and smooth.
One of the brand's most popular products, the Ibuki Concentrate is a great pre-moisture treatment lotion that soothes and smoothes. A great step in your journey to that coveted 'baby skin' texture.
Technically this is a French perfume house inspired by Japan, but it's too good to miss. Each bottle is engraved with a Haiku, a traditional Japanese poem, and the names and ingredients are inspired by Japanese culture and imagination. In the Rain is an intense woody concoction of Cedar, Bergamot and Musk that's rich and sophisticated. (And they come in a beautiful Bento box with a travel spray too, so what more could you ask for?)
The teeny-tiny wand on this mascara allows for the ultimate precision when trying to lengthen out every single lash. As indicated by its name, the formula is only removable with water at a temperature above 38 degrees, making it sweat and humidity resistant.