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Exotic Products: The Best Japanese BB Cream and Mascara

July 10, 2013

Eriko Kay is a gloss48 summer intern, Harvard student, and card carrying beauty junkie.  Thanks to her upbringing in Tokyo, she has the 4-1-1 (shi-ichi-ichi) on the best Japanese beauty products.

One of my favorite things about traveling is checking out the local makeup brands – they always seem to have the coolest ingredients and adorable packaging that makes you feel like you absolutely need another (yes, even if you already have five) lip gloss. Having grown up in Tokyo, I have been surrounded by products and brands that would most shoppers in the US have no idea exist.

Most of my go-to products are your run-of-the-mill purchases from Sephora, CVS or department stores, but I do have two Japanese standbys that have yet to be replaced with anything available in the US. The amount of anxiety I feel when I can’t stock up on them is ridiculous.

The first product I want to share is Kanebo’s Freshel Mineral BB Cream UV. There are three types – moisturizing, whitening and mattifying. I always get the mattifying, which does a great job of keeping my normal oily face shine-free. My mom is a big fan of the moisturizing – she is actually the one who introduced me to this cream.

Japanese BB Cream: Kanebo's Freshel Mineral BB Cream UV

Kanebo’s Freshel Mineral BB Cream UV

This product is my favorite for a few reasons – one, it lasts. I don’t have to reapply, which is so helpful. Second, because it is produced by a Japanese company and Japanese women are incredibly careful about sun protection, this BB cream has a whopping SPF of 41! BB creams in general are a big favorite of mine because they save time, provide light to medium coverage and can double as a primer for special events. This one by Kanebo is by far the best one I’ve tried, and I am happy to keep stocking up.

The second product I want to introduce is Fairydrops Volume Burst Mascara. This mascara started somewhat of a media storm in Japan after introducing a revolutionary wand and “film” type mascara.

Japanese Mascara: Fairydrops

Fairydrops Volume Burst Mascara

The packaging is adorable – to be perfectly honest, its what first drew me to try it. The reason I love this mascara is because it is natural, long-lasting and most of all, consistent. After an initial craze of popularity, many new brands came out with similar products in Japan, and now it is actually quite hard to find Fairydrops in stores. I tend to order it online, which is easy considering it’s even available on!

What are your favorite exotic products?

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