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.
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.
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:
- 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!):
- Majolica Majorca (Also the portal to Shiseido Japan)
- Kanebo (Main portal site which includes listings for Lavshuca, KATE, Tiffa, Lunasol, Etc…)
- Jill Stuart
- KISS Cosmetics
- Esprique Precious
- T’estimo (Gone but not Forgotten)
- Susie N.Y.
- Sana (Main Portal Site)
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!