Everyone is going on and on about K-Beauty (or Korean Beauty) right now, but I’ve always been more obsessed with J-Beauty than anything else. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you’ll know that I religiously use these J-Beauty products, way before they were ever available here. I’m so happy that now you can purchase these products in Canada because honestly Asians do skincare way better. Today I’m talking about a few authentic Japanese beauty brands that you can purchase in Canada. When I talk about authentic Japanese, I’m not talking about the Tatchas or Boscia that are Japanese inspired, or simply made in Japan. I’m talking about brands that originated in Japan, are based in Japan, and all of their manufacturing and R&D is done in Japan. Essentially products created for the Japanese woman.
The first and most obvious brand I wanted to share was Shu Uemura. I think Shu has been around at department stores long enough that it doesn’t seem that exotic anymore, but they are the original creators of the oil cleanser, which is a wonderful invention that allows for easy removal of makeup. Another one of their cult classic products that everyone has in their beauty case is their amazing eyelash curler. Created for the Asian eye shape, this is fantastic at curling and your lashes without crimping, and for some reason the curl tends to last longer too. Shu Uemura is available at The Bay and on ShuUemura.ca.
One brand that I am so happy to see available at certain Shoppers Drug Marts here now is Sekkisei. Owned by Kose, a massive Japanese beauty company (think the Japanese version of Estee Lauder), I started using Sekkisei over 10 years ago when I was still in school. At the time I had to purchase on eBay because it wasn’t available here. Its Medicated Lotion is one of the original essence lotions in the beauty industry, and is a cult classic product in Japan and in Asia. I still use the Enriched Medicated Lotion to this day, and its one product I will continue to return to years later. Sekkisei is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and at beautyboutique.ca.
While this fashion brand is French, the Japanese beauty company Albion (another big company like Kose) licensed the name to create Paul & Joe Beaute. Known for its whimsical patterns and soft textures, this brand was made for the young professional generation. You’ll notice that the products tend to have sheerer pigmentation and also contain a lot of shimmer, this is generally how Japanese makeup is created, because the women there prefer softer colours for their makeup. Their skincare is also fantastic, and all of them have the orange flower scent, which is soothing and refreshing. My top picks are their lipsticks (for the soft texture and hydration factor) and their foundation products, which can double as skincare. Paul & Joe Beaute is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and at beautyboutique.ca, as well as at Beauty Court in Richmond.
Anna Sui is another one in the same bucket as Paul & Joe Beaute. They are both owned by Albion so there are some similar products. I used to LOVE Anna Sui (their mascaras are one of my favourite mascara formulas ever), but my biggest issue with them is that they have package changes and formula changes almost every year. To me that’s super risky because what if I find a formula I love and then the next year it gets reformulated. I’ve fallen out of love with the brand because of that. The products all smell like roses, which I am obsessed with, and the designs are also very feminine and beautiful. My favourites from the brand include the lipsticks and the mascaras. Anna Sui is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and at beautyboutique.ca, as well as at Beauty Court in Richmond.
You can’t have a Japanese beauty brand post without mentioning Shiseido. Shiseido in Japan is another huge brand that owns a lot of sub brands. While I don’t really use a lot of Shiseido products from the main line, I’m a fan of a lot of their other sub brands which sadly aren’t available here. Shiseido is big enough that the products they sell in North America are specifically designed for the Western Market, so there is more of a mesh culturally that way. Shiseido is available at London Drugs and Murale.
Lastly, Muji recently just opened their second location in Greater Vancouver, this one on Robson Street, and the other in Metrotown. Muji has some amazing skincare items that are simple, to the point, and at very reasonable price points. My favourite beauty product of theirs is actually the organic cotton pads which are super soft and gentle on the skin, and very inexpensive compared to other Japanese beauty brand cotton pads.
Do you have any favourite J-beauty brands that are now available in Canada?