Beauty Abroad

A Guide to Shopping for Japanese Cosmetics

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I get a crumb load of questions asking me how to shop for Japanese Cosmetics.

Where can I buy Japanese Cosmetics?
How much do they cost?
Any online shops I can buy them from?
Where do you get your Japanese Cosmetics?

I was going to do this post a very long time ago but I just never really had the chance and it was long forgotten on the bottom of my draft pile of blog entries that never got posted!

I’ve tweaked it a bit and rewrote most of it so here it is in all it’s glory!

First of all many Japanese brands are unavailable within the US, UK, and Europe in general. I’ve discussed a few various brands available in a few countries such as Korea, Japan, etc…this particular post will be a guide for purchasing Japanese Cosmetics but in a future post I may cover a few other countries.

If you’re purchasing Japanese Cosmetics online you’ll have to educate yourself a bit on prices and also arm yourself with a few tools.

My first suggestion is install a Chinese and Japanese Language Pack for your browser so you can view various Japanese Websites and get prices on various items prior to purchasing. Downloading and installing these packs will also unable you to copy the text and paste it into a translation tool which helps when trying to figure out what is going on at certain sites.

Click here to download the Japanese Language Pack

Click here to download the Chinese Language Pack

Note: For viewing Taiwanese, Hong Kong, and a few select Chinese sites you may need to install the Traditional Chinese Language Pack as these countries, cultures, and regions use a traditional, more complex form of character than other sites.

I’ve actually found that it doesn’t matter too much which Language Pack you choose however I have all three installed as I find it does make it a tiny bit easier during the tedious translation process!

The reason I recommend this is because most online shops charge anywhere from $5 USD all the way up to $12 USD on top of retail prices. Prices are a good deal higher online then if you happened into a drugstore in Japan and purchased the item yourself!

I almost always pay retail for my Japanese Cosmetics because I have some sincerely beautiful, wonderful friends that live in Japan and do shopping for me. However, on occasion, I am forced to buy items online. In cases like this I want to be sure that I am getting the best deal possible so I do alot of homework prior to purchasing items.

You should also keep in mind that many drugstores in Japan discount various items 25-30% which means the retail prices online do not reflect the discount.

Example:

T’estimo Palettes are shown on the Kanebo website at the price of $30 USD or so however upon purchasing one in a drugstore in Japan the actually cost would be $20 USD or so due to the drugstore discount.

This means it’s an open market for online sellers to charge you $30 and upwards for a palette they paid $20 USD or so for.

Currently, the Yen is very, very strong so you might want to Google around a bit and see if you can locate any Taiwanese shops that sell Japanese Cosmetics as the cost is a bit lower.

I highly recommend JPmon which is located within Taiwan. I’ve done a “how to order” from JPMon on another tutorial page you can find that article by clicking here and here. You’ll be happy to know that the prices measure up pretty nicely with what you’d see on Japanese sites however not the discount you’d get within a Japanese drugstore as mentioned above!

I’ve ordered from JPmon many, many times and I’ve always been very pleased with their services so I highly recommend purchasing from them! If you have a few online friends or friends in general into cosmetics doing a bit of “spree” with friends can cut shipping costs and each of you can split the total cost of shipping which always helps!

Another important tool you’ll need is a currency convertor. This is especially helpful for converting Yen to your currency of choice. This is good tool to have when you’re browsing various Japanese websites and looking at prices to see what the original cost of an item is versus what the online shop you’re buying from is charging. I use XE for conversions. It’s not the best convertor in the world but it does an ok job and is off a few cents at most.

Click here to bookmark XE.

Finally the last tool you’ll need is a translator. This is especially helpful for figuring out what certain items are for, what the details are for an item, etc…

Babel Fish does an ok job with translations but definately not word for word as the language is so complex that “literally” translating it into English (or your language of choice) doesn’t always mean you’ll understand exactly what is going on!

Click here to bookmark Babel Fish.

Babel Fish is especially useful as it translates both simplified and traditional Chinese plus Japanese as well!

I don’t use Babel Fish as much as I do a simple add on for Firefox entitled Translator. It works a treat and makes translating full websites a snap!

You can download this extension by clicking here!

Not many shops online sell Japanese Cosmetics but there are a few that I’ve used in the past and have had great experiences and success with!

Those sites are, as follows:

  • www.adambeauty.com
  • www.bobodave.com
  • www.facial-shop.com
  • www.ichibankao.com
  • www.jpmon.com
  • www.gooddealer.com
  • sh1.yahoo.edyna.com/hijapan (I’m sorry but I do not have a tutorial for ordering from Hi Japan but maybe I’ll do one in the future!)

The best possible prices are located at Adam Beauty and JPMon in my humble opinion and Facial Shop also has some incredible deals as well!

Other places you might see Japanese Cosmetics from would be E-bay. E-bay has many sellers that sell various Japanese Cosmetics. I find asking for a deal on shipping, asking for lower prices, etc..sometimes works with E-bay sellers. Remember to be courtesy when asking and reasonable. If something is marked as $39.99 USD and they want $9.99 shipping don’t go and ask them to give it to you for $20 with Free Shipping. I think you understand my point?

I also find that dealing with the same E-bay Seller over and over again makes the chances of scoring a deal from them easier!

Please keep in mind prior to purchasing cosmetics that freshness is important! I find in some cases some online shops do sell older items. This is particular true of BoboDave on occasion and Hi Japan. The good thing about this is that some items, such as LE, are still available from these shops but the bad thing is the product is older. Keep that in mind prior to making your purchase! This is one reason I do not shop at Strawberry.net. Items are awfully old and beyond shelf date!

Below is a list of links for various Japanese Brands that I adore (I’m sure I left a few out!):

I think I pretty much covered everything you need to know about ordering Japanese Cosmetics. If you need any help do comment and I’ll happily help in anyway I can!

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

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Lavshuca Summer Collection 2008

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Lavshuca has updated it’s website with the Summer Collection!

It appears this Summer they are releasing two new palettes similar in style to the Holiday Palettes however these appear far better quality. Each palette seems to hold six eyeshadow shades. These come in two variations a cooler version which include blues, silvers, and greens and a warmer version which include golds, browns, and beiges. Both look simply gorgeous. Although I am missing the normal style of palettes released from Lavshuca I’m really not minding these at all! They are most definately in my cart for purchase when they are released!

The Holiday Palettes were made of cardboard and these appear to be made of either plastic or metal (I’d say plastic) which is nice as I found the Holiday Palettes a bit delicate!

I’m unsure of the price at this point as Kanebo has not yet updated the catalog with the info but as soon as I know I’ll pass it on to you!

I can’t wait to get my hands on these! These are simply beautiful and I’m positive if you’re a Lavshuca fan you’ll want them as much as me!

Want ‘em?

Love ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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Click here
to enjoy my review on the Lavshuca Winter Make Holiday Palettes!

Click here
to enjoy my review on the Lavshuca Spring Collection 2008!

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Majorca Majolica Summer Collection 2008: Miss Treasure Hunter

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Majorca Majolica’s website has been updated with the brand new Summer Collection. The theme for the Collection is Miss Treasure Hunter.

You have to use your arrow keys on your keyboard to “walk” through the scenes of the website and find the hidden clues of the Collection!

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A-ha I’ve found something! The following look is created using some of the items from the brand new Collection! It’s very Summery with gold and bright orange on the eye area! Take note that the model is also wearing the latest version of Majorca Majolica’s Mascara!

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The new mascara is a burnt orange color and appears to go very well with golds! I’m very eager to get my hands on it!

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The Collection also includes three new nail varnishes in orange, silver, and blue colors!

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And finally a shimmering loose powder in a beautiful burnt orange color that will go perfectly with the new version of the mascara!

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Although small the Collection appears to pack a nice punch! I’m looking forward to getting both the mascara and the loose powder!

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Take a blast through the Muse’s past and peek at my post about Majolica Majorca’s Spring Collection Website Update by clicking here!

Enjoy my latest review on Majolica Majorca’s Mascara by clicking here!

Read about Majorca Majolica’s other loose shimmering powder that was released with the Holiday Collection by clicking here!

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Beauty on a Budget: Mini Bourjois Paris First Impressions, Haul, and General Babbling

My mate Rows from Mostly Makeup sent me over some Mini Bourjois Paris from jolly old England! Thanks Rows the Muse loves you lots and lots and lots!

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This is my first time trying out Mini and I love it! I love the regular Bourjois Paris line anyway and this is amazing quality and just as good as the full size products!

I’m shocked and delighted at how great these are. It’s really nice to be able to indulge in such a cute, inexpensive cosmetic that has the quality to back itself up!

I know a few people aren’t really loving Bourjois’s normal baked eyeshadows. For whatever reason you might have for hating baked eyeshadows you’ll be able to happily indulge in Mini as the shadows are not baked. These are just regular old eyeshadows with great pigmentation for the price!

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The shadows do not come with a compact and I believe they are around $6 or so each. I’m not sure if they fit into a MAC quad as I haven’t tried. You can purchase a cute little cardboard box which holds three shadows which costs $2! Not a bad deal in my opinion!

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Pop it out!
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and Pop It in here!
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Colors 64, 60, and 58
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The range carries not only eyeshadows but a ton of other mini items such as gloss, nail polish, pigments, etc…! I haven’t tried everything but I do like what I see so far!

The pigments are probably my favorite of the lot. They aren’t sheer by any means and you get a nice beautiful finish with them! Very pigmented for the price and just enough in the jar to last ages! I wish MAC pigments were available in this size!

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Finally the lipgloss is the exact same formula as the regular size! It’s just cheaper and smaller! It has a little string you can use to attach it to your iPod, Cellphone, Etc…!

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All in all Mini Bourjois Paris is definately something to keep your eyes out for! I know Ulta is now selling some of the line which is awesome as it was unavailable stateside prior to that! I’m hopeful that maybe Sephora will catch up and start carrying this!

If it’s inexpensive you seek without forsaking good quality this is exactly something you might try! These are excellent for traveling light as well or for those of you who are unable to finish larger size products!

Tried these?

Love ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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Majolica Majorca Majolook FOTD

I was talking to a reader about Majolook Palettes so I decided to do an FOTD with one this morning!

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What I Used:

Eyes
Majolook Palette in RD332
Maquillage Comb Mascara

Lips
Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips in Candi (I thought I’d haul this out as I was discussing it a few days ago!)

Face
MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Sweetness

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Click here to see my FOTD using the new Spring “Trick On” Palettes from Majolica Majorca!

Click here
to see my FOTD using the Holiday Collection Palette plus a tutorial for the look!

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