Anyone who’s been to Japan will tell you that commodity prices in the country are expensive — and that includes cosmetics. That’s the reason why — surprise, surprise! — some Japanese beauty brands are cheaper to buy in neighbouring metropolitan areas like Hong Kong and Taiwan or, in some cases, even in your hometown. However, it doesn’t mean that you should skip the beauty shopping if you’re in Japan. There are numerous beauty brands that are definitely a better bargain when you buy it there. Here are some that you should check out.
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Even though CANMAKE is considered a drugstore makeup for teens, its quality is comparable to high-end brands’ and is often cited as a good dupe for expensive favourites. Be sure to bring home the Cream Cheek Tint, which is loved for its natural, dewy and long-lasting finish. Its price is definitely cheaper in Japan for just around JPY300 (~USD2.66) a pop. In Tokyo, you can find CANMAKE products at drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi.
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Hailed as one of the best makeup brush brands in the beauty world, Hakuhodo boasts an array of handcrafted, high-quality tools. Each brush uses mostly natural hair tips instead of the usual laser-cut strands that make it overall softer and bouncy on the skin. For beginners, the J-Series, which features goat and horse hair combined with synthetic fibres, is perfect due to its resilience and great colour blending. You can head to their flagship shop in Kyoto or at their Minami Aoyama shop in Tokyo so you can buy directly from the producers.
It’s quite easy to get your hands on Shu Uemura products but if you’re already in Japan, why not stock on some of your favourites especially when they’re sold for a cheaper price? Don’t forget to include the famous Shu Uemura beauty cleansing oil on your shopping list! There are a lot of Shu Uemura stores in Japan’s major cities but it’s said that the lowest prices are at the Duty Free shops in the airports.
While some DHC Skincare products, such as their deep cleansing oil, are available locally for competitive prices, some of their newer releases are still more budget-friendly if you buy them in Japan. For example, the latest CoQ10 collection, which is an antioxidant-packed line, is still not readily available at beauty stores and most online vendors sell it for a high price. Buy it for less in Japan at Ainz & Tulpe stores.
Paul & Joe Beaute
Despite having a French founder and an English name, Paul & Joe Beaute is actually a Japanese brand. It’s famous for its vintage and feline aesthetics with a splash of chic Parisian vibe. Get their must-have items such as the cat-shaped Lipstick UV, which has SPF25 PA+, and their illuminating pressed powder with lavender pearls that reflect light for a brighter-looking skin. All these products have lower prices compared to importers’. Drop by at their Takashimaya Shinjuku beauty counter to shop these goodies.