February 13, 2017

5 Things to Love from Japan

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I’ve made no secret that I love most everything about Japan. The culture, the people, the beauty, the makeup, the skincare, I love just about everything related to Japan! But I think sometimes with the popularity of Korean beauty here in the US, I tend to sometimes forget to focus on some of the wonderful offerings from Japan!

So, to start Monday off, here’s 5 Things to Love from Japan!

Hada Labo Rohto Goku-jun Hyaluronic Milky Lotion (Review)
If you have dry skin Hada Labo’s Hyaluronic Milk is the way to go. I love the texture and consistency of the milk compared to any of the other Hada Labo products. It’s thicker, creamier, and a little more difficult to get to absorb but it leaves my skin super hydrated!

Kit Kat Maccha Green Tea
I absolutely LOVE the deliciousness of Kit Kat Maccha Green Tea. There’s something so delicious about crispy wafers that have a soft maccha green tea flavored cream sandwiched between them. Yum!

Biore Moisturizing Jelly 4-in-1 Very Moist (Review)
I pray hard for the day that Biore decided to introduce this brilliant essence/emulsion to the US market. The thick jelly texture is a perfect pre-moisturizer prep and it leaves skin smooth, soft, and very well hydrated.

Sana Hadanomy Deep Moisturizing Mist
Hadanomy Deep Moisturizing Mist is one of very favorite facial mists for nearly ten years. I haven’t found a facial mist I like more and believe me I’ve tried plenty. It’s a thicker essence-like facial mist that’s highly hydrating and leave my skin soft, smooth, and prepped for skincare. I can’t rave or recommend it enough!

Yûki Furukawa
I don’t know if you consider Yûki Japanese, Canadian, or American. He’s a little of everything. I hate to say this because Joe Cheng really captured my heart but Yûki is one of my favorite actors to play Irie-Kun. He’s isn’t as much as a hard ass, unemotional robot as most actor’s that have taken on the role. Sure, he comes across arrogant as hell but he’s also very passionate. For example, when he starts reciting Kotoko-chan’s love letter at the dinner table and she slaps him. He unexpectedly stands up and yells at her for it and begins to completely lose his cool as he argues and bickers back and fourth with her. Not to mention this is right in front of his parents, her father, and his sibling. It’s very un-Naoki-like behavior. Even Joe Cheng always remained cool and in control when playing Zhi Shu and let’s not even go into details about what a cold fish Lee Dino is when taking on the role (I’m waiting so very, very, very, very patiently for him to simply lose it and snap but I’m nearly half way through Miss in Kiss now and he still has yet to do so and I’m doubting he will!). Yûki gives the role heart but don’t worry, he’ll always be emotionless genius boy in most scenes 🙂 He is most definitely on my things to love from Japan list.

What are some things you love from Japan? Snacks, makeup, beauty, celebs, name them!

Do share ’em!

I receive a small commission if you shop through my link.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kimmyyy

    I’ve tried so many times to get into some foreign dramas but never can! They just seem so stiff and silly to me. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one. I love anime and pretty much anything Japanese so I figured it would be a no-brainer for me!
    Also, thanks for the reminder of some good Asian skincare picks! It’s so overwhelming trying to pick things out and since you and I have different skin types (I’m very oily), I’ve always been hesitant to try some of this stuff, but I may give these few a shot.

    • Isabella Muse

      Mmmmmmmm they are! 😀 It’s from high schoolisher in most cases but here are actually a lot with more mature themes. You might be searching out the wrong ones. I tend to navigate to the cute dramas, YA ones if you will. But there are plenty of more mature ones that aren’t as goofy 😀 Oh yeah, most of my recs are for hydrating sadly 🙁

      • S

        Have you watched Kill me, Heal me? It’s probably my favorite K-drama. Also loved Time between dog and wolf, Pinocchio and Two Weeks.
        I would watch anything starring either Lee Jun-ki, Ji Sung or Park Shin Hye. City Hunter is not bad either. Lee Minho is great in that one. His hair in Boys over Flowers is just so wrong though. Urgh! Everyone keeps raving about Boys over Flowers but let’s be honest, Meteor Garden came out first and is the best one of all 4 versions based on Hana Yori Dango.
        Just like It started with a Kiss starring Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin is the best version based on Itazura na Kiss. The Korean version and the Japanese one are not bad either but the “kiss in the rain” scene just proves how bad the acting is in comparison. My favorite Japanese drama is probably Ryusei no Kizuna closely followed closely by Tokyo DOGS, Liar Game, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (2007) though the latter is really cheesy.

        • Isabella Muse

          I have! That was a good one 😀 And yes on Time Between Dog and Wolf because I used (still do shouldn’t say used to) to have a mega crush on Lee Joon-gi, those tears in my Girl did me in, haha! I haven’t seen Pinocchio but heard some good recaps of it. Haven’t seen Two Weeks either. LOL I laughed about his hair. Yeah, the perm. But hey, Joe Cheng’s hair too right? Meteor Garden I and II is a much better Yoko Kamio’s series. I always find the Tdramsa a little more intense and liberal compared to the kdrama remakes. I actually really enjoyed Mischievous Kiss as it kept more true to the manga but It Started with a Kiss/They Kiss Again is way more interesting and the series is much longer. Miss in Kiss is very, very silly but Wu Esther is so adorable I can’t help but love it! I can’t believe she’s 24! She looks 12! Thanks for sharing, S! I do so enjoy talking dramas!

    • Annie


      I’m not big on dramas either (foreign or domestic) for the same reasons, but I loved the silliness of the KDrama Coffee Prince, in which a gal looking for work tries to pass herself off as a dude for a gig at a coffee shop whose main gimmick is good looking dude baristas, which is really an entrepreneurial punishment enacted by supposed handsome bad-boy’s grandma after he goofed off squandering his wealth overseas. Those two main characters start to have inklings of feelings toward one another and start questioning their sexual orientations, which makes this series more comedy than drama.

  • It’s Gamayun

    Canmake is killing it with their new releases lately!

    Also, no love for Jpop? I just started converting all my old L’arc~en~Ciel CDs (finally) to mp3 so I can take them wherever…

    • Isabella Muse

      oh don’t get me started on jpop 🙂 We’ll be here all damn day! You know I love me some Hyde! I know they have such cute stuff lately, I wish I could find it closer to retail in the US. Did you try the Canmake Lip Tint Jam? the are awesome during this cold weather 😀

      • Miss D

        Yeah, I LUVS me some Hyde and jrock/jpop men too (I was so happy he had his hair long and black for so long, but it was only a matter of time before he cut it and dyed it blonde…again!).
        Also love Japanese models, clothing lines, dramas, food, the culture and…just EVERYTHING!
        Btw- I’ve used my Sana Hadanomy mist for several years now almost every single day and I love it- I hope they never get rid of it…oh, and my Softymo cleansing oil and Dr. Ci: Labo moisturizer! Pretty much all of my daily skincare routine consists of Japanese products.
        Thanks for doing this posts!!

        • Isabella Muse

          I don’t like him with blonde hair at all. No bueno. He instagramed some pics recently that all made him look ahem old. It’s hard to digest the fact he’s nearing 50 now! Aw my pleasure, enjoyed listening to your Japanese loves 😀 P.S. gackt has been posting some rather risque pics on Instagram 🙂 Go stalk and perv! You’re welcome 🙂

          • Miss D

            LOL- I totally agree about the hair and how he looks older with it. I feel like I’m always talking with you about Hyde now…the Halloween costumes, the hair…I just gotta talk about these things, ya know? 🙂
            Yes, I found out about 2 or 3 months ago that Gackt was on Instagram- and I must say, I’m enjoying the pics VERY much, LOL! Malice Mizer (and Gackt) were pretty much my first big introductions into Japan and the culture, and I’ve been hooked every since!
            Happy Valentine’s Day, Muse!!

          • Isabella Muse

            He looks a lot younger when it is black. Haha who doesn’t want to talk about Hyde? I mean come on 🙂 ! Anytime you want to talk about Japanese cuties I’m your girl! Haha, I am too….! He’s gotten older though, not as baby faced as he once was. I think Hyde looks better but now with the blonde hair not so much! Malice Mizer was def some of my first intros to VKR. I remember the first time I saw Moon Child swoon! At the moment, I’m hooked on all these dumb boy bands from Taiwan. It’s like I’m going backwards instead of forwards. kei rock to boy bands eh!?

  • lizziefs

    The food especially sushi! Anime, Hakuhodo, heck all Japanese made make up brushes, the culturally instilled politeness and respect, and cherry blossom trees and green tea. I love going into San Francisco’s Japan town and hanging out in the book store, video store, and grocery store such a guilty pleasure.

  • Annie

    Thank you for introducing me to the Biore Moisturizing Jelly — I’m really surprised it hasn’t becoming a darling of the Asian Beauty subreddit, considering:

    1) It’s manufactured by arguably the world’s most popular Asian-style easy-to-wear facial sunscreen (the Biore Watery Essence is a cult favorite)

    2) I noticed many people who previous didn’t care about skin care until getting into Asian Beauty because AB introduced them to other textures that still moisturize and hydrate, namely watery toners (as opposed to astringent ones), essences, and ampoules that are still novelties as opposed to affordable staples in the US skin care market.

    3) There seem to be two kinds of Western AB consumers: Those who love Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion, and those who wanted to but couldn’t either due to breaking out or lackluster results still pining for a product. I suspect this would be a hit with both groups.

    • Isabella Muse

      My pleasure 🙂 Biore Watery Essence is beyond one of my very favorite sunscreens! I’m always somewhat confused why essences/emulsions, etc are not as popular in Western market as they are in the Eastern. I keep seeing most US users being confused by them and assuming they are more of a toner and I disagree strongly that they are and perform the same function as a toner. Toners in the US are extremely different from the lotions/toners/essences we see from Asia. It’s makes me cringe when people assume they are the same thing and this in fact leads people to not use them as they assume a watery tone is nothing special. I agree, there is life outside of Hada Labo and most people haven’t yet realized that yet, but hopefully they will soon 🙂 and take on something as great as Biore Moisturizing Jelly! I’m so happy you enjoy this. It’s a fav of mine!

  • Lesley A.

    What do I love from Japan, you ask? My husband 🙂

    and I’ve also been fascinated by all things Japanese since the age of maybe 7 or 8.

    I love being in Japan too. We went a few times years ago but life got in the way and delayed other trips. Finally last summer we went back, after 11 years. So much to love but my favorite thing is that it is really, really hard to find bad food there– no matter what style of food you are talking about, it is hard to find any that is bad quality or bad tasting. There is amazing food everywhere, in great variety too.

    • Isabella Muse

      that made me smile Lesley 🙂 Too cute. I couldn’t agree more about the food especially as someone who’s just visiting. There’s no shortage of discovering new and interesting things things to eat in Japan whether it’s prestigious restaurants or street food.

  • Carrie

    Agreed on the green tea kit kat flavor. I also recommend green tea milk flavored candy and Japanese strawberry chocolates. I’m *very* fond of trying sweets and junk food from other countries, but particularly Japan.

  • kjh

    Don’t forget the Hada Labo with the orange top that has 5 different molecular weights of hyaluronic! OMBFG, I had a pic of it on my iPad, until I finally found it. Massively good food, though I forego (raw) sushi now, r/t too many episodes of Monsters Inside Me. The Hada second cleanser is a perennial darling, if a workhorse product. I like some cheap masks, Vit C, Kose, I think. Kose is the parent Co for Tarte. Many sheets clog me up. Lululuns are decent. Don’t think the Japanese have as well developed BHA products as they might. And just about to get my first foundation in 100 years! Koh Gen Do, and prob the lt pink powder, too. All the light-med cool shades, including the palest, look so natural! If I don’t outgrow some allergies, I’m with KGD forever.