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M.I.S.S. Michelle’s Beauty Picks of the Week: Big In Japan – My Top 3 Japanese Beauty Picks


I LOVE Japanese beauty products. My love for them has nothing to do with their cool packaging, or the kawaii factor (Japanese pop cultural expression for all things cute), nor the fact they are imported and thus a more desirable commodity than their domestically made contemporaries. For me, it is a love based on a high level of quality and overall good value, aspects unfortunately not as well represented in the American cosmetics industry. Quite often you get more for your money when you buy Japanese, and I’m all about it, especially in this fluctuating economy. So the following are my top three Japanese beauty products to date.

1. Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

Nostalgic, affordable, and extremely useful, I’ve been using these Salux washcloths since I was a kid thanks to Grandma, who always had one hanging in her tub. The idea of an exfoliating washcloth is utter simplistic perfection to me. The Salux washcloths do not get that weird sticky feeling shower poufs tend to get when used with bar soap, and in fact works BEST with bar soap, which I am a huge fan of. These put those shower poufs to shame in terms of reach (they reach across the back), and texture (if you like to FEEL your exfoliation then this is the shower companion for you!) And when these start to look ratty, all you have to do is assign another role to them, like washing the tub. A Japanese bath staple.

Price: $1.00 – $3.00
Value: Excellent!
Accessibility: Moderate
Where to buy: *Most local Japanese and Korean markets have these, asianfoodgrocer.com

2. Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Enriched

The right oils are good for your skin. Despite this fact, most people freak out when they contemplate oil to skin contact. The Shu Uemura Cleansing oils have a cult like status these days in the realm of department store cosmetics, and was actually the make-up artist’s first product branded with his name. It’s an incredible skin cleanser, the High Performance Enriched formula (orange one), is one of the very few products which leave my ultra sensitive, combination skin feeling perfectly clean and naturally moisturized, something I always keep well stocked. Available in a variety of formulas for different skin needs, and in two sizes.

Price: 5 oz. for $28.00 ($5.60 per oz.) or 15.2 oz. for $62.00 ($4.08 per oz.)
Value: Moderate
Accessibility: Moderate
Where to buy: Nordstrom.com

3. Shiseido Tsubaki Golden Repair Shampoo and Conditioning Hair Treatment
“Tsubaki shampoo brings out the charm in Japanese women.? If this catch phrase isn’t squirrely, then I don’t know what is! Made for the Japanese market in Japan, Tsubaki, Japanese for Camellia, is a line of shampoo and conditioners made with Camellia oil extract, and has caused quite a haircare sensation in Japan since its debut in 2006. That year, Shiseido launched its original Tsubaki haircare line (red bottles), backed with a $43 million ad campaign and plenty of Japanese female celebrity endorsements, and in September of last year, Shiseido introduced its newest addition to the Tsubaki haircare line, Tsubaki Golden Repair (white bottles), which I recently picked up at Ichiban Kan (Japanese market/dollar store) on a San Francisco Japantown excursion.

Since my hair is very fine and chemically treated, I’m very picky when it comes to shampoo and conditioners. The Tsubaki Golden Repair haircare line is much better than any American brand comparable in price that I’ve used. The shampoo is gentle and non-stripping, and the conditioning treatment is incredibly fast acting and concentrated, so a little goes a long way. (Since my hair is so chemically treated, I prefer to use intensive conditioning treatments rather than using regular conditioner.) The scent of the Tsubaki Golden Repair products is much better than the original formula, a pleasant light floral similar to the smell of clean laundry. After one use, I notice improvement in my hair’s body and texture, feeling thicker, more flexible; moisturized without a heavy feeling, and the only shampoo my sister and I have been using the past few weeks.

REVIEW: Price: $5.99 – $19.80
Value: Good! *Best value if purchased at an Asian Market like Ichiban Kan vs. an online retailer, as the (19 oz./550 ml) bottle of Tsubaki Golden Repair Shampoo, Conditioner, and Treatment was only $12.99 each, and the (7 oz./220 ml) bottles were only $5.99!!!!
Accessibility: Moderate
Where to buy: Local Japanese Markets, Click here to find link to find your Japanese Shopping/Culture districts in the US, sasa.com, ichibankanusa.com (original formula only)

Enjoy and stay posted for more beauty tips and picks to come next week!

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One Response to “M.I.S.S. Michelle’s Beauty Picks of the Week: Big In Japan – My Top 3 Japanese Beauty Picks”

  1. bottoms_up says:

    I love the She Uemera cleansing oil, too! I only use it a few times a week (mostly I use Cetaphil) but this face oil is great for taking off eye makeup, and it leaves your skin so soft. I bought the giant bottle like two years ago and I have about a third still to go. The shop girls told me to use three full pumps, but maybe my face is tiny cuz I only use like a half pump. So delicious.


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