April 27, 2017

The Best Japanese Eyelash Curler You Probably Never Heard Of

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

If you’ve read my blog a while now you probably know about the mad, passionate love affair I have with Shu’s Eyelash Curler but if you’ve been a really long time reader you know I cheat on my beloved Shu with the Koji Curving Eyelash Curler aka the best Japanese Eyelash curler you probably never heard of.

Koji makes an incredible range of curlers that were created with Asian lashes in mind. If you have shorter, stubbier hard to reach lashes this eyelash curler will be a welcome addition to your makeup routine.

Truly Koji is responsible for making one of the best eyelash curlers in the Japanese market. For one thing, it’s inexpensive at around 900 to 1900 yen which is around $8 to $17 USD. Secondly, you can actually get refill pads for the Koji not to mention most units come with anywhere from 3 to 5 refills. We all know that Shu includes one refill and does not sell refills. Yes, sure replacing your your eyelash curler is a necessary evil but you should still be able to get good use from it before tossing it but if you can’t buy refills that means into the garbage it goes. Now, some people will tell you to buy refills from another brand but I’m actually of the very strong mentality that the pad is part of what makes a curler good. Too dense a pad will pinch lashes and most units you buy at the drugstore tend to have a denser pad. I like the semi-soft texture of Shu’s pad so, refilling the curler with a pad I can purchase at the drugstore is a no go for me. Needless to say the fact that Koji actually comes with a good deal of refills is good thing.

Koji is a thing of beautiful. It has long handles, a flat cage that fits comfortable over the eye area and a longer body. The curler fits very comfortably in my hand and gives me a nice solid grip on the unit. The straight, flat cage has a wider curve so it fits right across the contour of your eye to grip every single lash. If you want you can grip lashes, hold the grip, and tilt the curler upwards which achieves a curlier finish to your lashes. This unit successfully grabs lashes and pulls them outwards while adding mega length and plenty of curl. You’ll find that this is a lot larger in sizer than a regular curler and you’ll be able to get much, much closer to your lash line which allows you to capture every single lash and also, grab smaller, stubbier lashes easily and it does so without pinching.

Since I recently purchased a new one and I haven’t talked about Koji on the blog since 2011 I thought I’d do a little short post about it!

I hope you haven’t discovered Koji that this post makes you want to explore it because truly it is the best Japanese Eyelash Curler out there.

Loves it!

Get it now at sasa.com, amazon.com, or ebay.com.

Own a Koji?

Share your results!

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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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  • Elaine G

    Thanks for this, Muse. I will get & let you know. I love your detailed review & photos. New is good…have a nice weekend early. Taking time off the boat-+to mountains of WV. Elaine G

    • Isabella Muse

      They have them in every drugstore in Japan plus they are typically 30% off on sale 😀

    • Isabella Muse

      Typical lash curlers have a 33mm curve where as some of koji’s have 38mm, it’s the largest one they offer and you’ll want that size if you want to grasp your entire lash line. Unless you have very smaller eyes in that case 33mm might be the better option (it’s the standard size anyway), look for the #70 if you want the 33mm size. You’ll also notice 33mm has a more traditional cage where as 38mm lays flat against your eye area versus the 33mm that creates a cage around your eye if that makes sense. The 38MM is the better experience though, because 33MM you can get at any drugstore in the US 😀 Look for the black box or this pink LE box if you want the 38MM.

      • Kristen

        I was debating which one to get! This is really helpful. I got the #70–but I will have to check out the 38MM size one as well 🙂

        • Isabella Muse

          the 70 is good but it’s a standard unit so it isn’t really unique but still a good curler regardless ;-D def try the 38mm, it’s an interesting unit, especially good for Asian eyes!

  • Christina

    Hmm, I’ll give this a go. I’m currently using Shiseido’s because I can buy refills for it, but this sounds promising. My lashes are long and thick, but I can’t get the corners with the shiseido one.

  • Jes

    I recently replaced my Koji with the Sephora Utowa one, which is pretty great, but you can’t be an amateur or you’ll get the pinch. I like the case with this new Koji! I’ll have to grab one on my trip next month.

    • Isabella Muse

      I was going to buy the Utowa but I felt the pad in stores and thought it was a bit too dense. What do you think? This is LE so, good time to grab it before it disappears! 😀 I like the regular brown case, but the pink is way cuter hehe!

      • Jes

        I like the Utowa (I love their brushes) because there isn’t any spring action, but it gets sooooo close to the base of my lashes, that some of my skin can sneak in there from time to time. I don’t know if it curls as prettily as the Koji though. The Japanese really know their lash products.

        Hopefully they will still have it in stores when I’m there in a few weeks!

        • Isabella Muse

          Hm! I might try! I hate springs! OMG they are the tools of the devil! Tarte makes one and I kind of made peace with it but I hate how it snaps back! no like! 😀 I agree. Out of all the curlers I’ve tried, Japanese ones are by far the best. Even simple, dollar store curlers in Japan are superior to anything you can get in the US. People tell me that ELF’s curler is just as good as Shu’s and I’m like no, sorry, but NO! ;-D I’m sure they will or some other LE version haha! Are you getting any Sailor Moon stuff? It seems like it is everywhere lately. That domed blush is so Les Merveilleuses Laduree!

          • Jes

            I do kind of want that blush. I have two Laduree petal ones, and I’m not sure there is room on my vanity, but soooo fun! I’m actually interested in the Maquillage moon prism compact foundation. Is that weird? I love Japanese powder, cream, and liquid foundations. And the case is so pretty. I’m not sure I’m excited about any spring Laduree stuff, though, which is a shame. I’ll probably check out some Jill Stuart. The boutique in Harajuku looks cute.

          • Isabella Muse

            ha, there’s zero room on my vanity at this point! I don’t blame you, it’s really pretty! I kind of wanted the Dramatic Skin Sensor but what’s the point? Can’t refill it. At least the compact you can refill! I don’t think it’s weird at all! I used to collect the Raycious Compacts! Still have the Fall 2007 one! https://www.musingsofamuse.com/2007/07/raycious-compact-fall-2007.html ;-D I find I don’t use Laduree because it is so pretty so I banned myself from buying it. I just don’t have the hear to use any of the products I own. I never even did photos for the blog of them in fear someone would ask for swatches lol! Speaking of JS it is now sold on the US website! I wish I was going with you 😀

          • Jes

            That’s a pretty compact! Yeah, no refills are a deal breaker. The cushion compacts without refills drive me nuts. I hardly use my Laduree blushes as well. The loose powder is wonderful so I do use it. I had no idea Jill Stuart was sold here now! I’m going to pretend you didn’t tell me, hehe.

            Wish you were going too! Would be so much fun!

          • Isabella Muse

            Me too! I can’t understand why you’d sell a cushion without one because really cushion goes fast! Likewise, some stuff is just too pretty to use 😀 They started out selling at the Soho store but recently started selling items online. It’s not all the newest but at least it’s retail and easy to get 😀 Haha! Totally understand! Save $$$ you’re headed away soon so might as well wait to get it at the source 😀 God yes! I’d love too 😀 I haven’t been to Japan in over ten years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kristen

    I looked at a few reviews after reading your blog and decided to buyone of these! I have a Shu Uemura curler and have been looking for something better and cheaper. I am asian and have monolids so finding curlers that work for me is such a struggle–I’m cursed with short lashes that always point straight down! Thanks for suggesting this curler I’m excited to try it out 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      My pleasure 😀 Let me know how it goes. Def turn to Japanese brands for a good curler, they were created with Asian eyes in mind and personally compared to any other country, Korea included, Japan makes some excellent lash curlers for monolids imho!

    • Isabella Muse

      I dunno, does Dischem and Clicks carry Japanese makeup/beauty products? I’m in New York, not sure where you can buy in South Africa! Sorry :-/ aside from online!

  • fannyanddailybeauty

    Very interesting, especially since my eyelashes can sometimes be very stubborn and straight! Lovely review 🙂

  • Isa

    Ooh, I have a Koji curler, but with a different case (bought it years ago). This one is prettier cos it’s pink!

    My favourite curler is still my Shiseido one though. It’s ancient, I think it was the second curler I ever bought, after deciding that the one I had from The Body Shop just straight up sucked (for me anyway). At the time, the mags were recommending Shiseido or Shu Uemura as the best curlers for Asian eyes. I went with the Shiseido cos it was a smidge cheaper and it’s probably the best makeup related purchase I ever made; I think I’ve had it to 20 years or so!

    • Isabella Muse

      I dunno why but Shiseido’s pinches me so so badly! Everyone raves it but I couldn’t get on board with it for some reason and it’s collecting dust in my drawer somewhere 😀 Not to mention cheaper but also had refills 😀

  • Isa

    I think how a curler performs is in large part due to one’s eye shape. How convex your eye is and whether it is more round or almond, etc. The Shiseido is actually smaller across so it might be too small for your lovely big brown eyes! 🙂

    Oh, I know this is not recommended practice but I don’t actually bother replacing the pads in the Shiseido. I did it once just because I’ve been told I’m supposed to but it really made no difference. I don’t see any indent on the pad still so I don’t bother.

  • Lorraine. E.R

    Oh man I love my Shu but it’s past due for replacing. Wayyyyy past due I will look into this one next time I can shop.