Here are five of the best, high quality cosmetics that line the shelves at Japanese convenience stores, according to one of our Japanese reporters.
It’s no secret that convenience stores, or konbini, in Japan are your best bet when you’re looking for ready-to-eat food, snacks, and now even cancer screenings, but one of our female reporters, who admits to being something of a “cosmetics nut”, says they’re also the prime place for makeup shopping, too.
That’s great news considering convenience stores are also probably the first place that pops into the minds of women living here in Japan when plans change and they need a toothbrush or an overnight kit stat, or after realizing they’ve forgotten their makeup bag at home.
Granted the mindset of someone who picks up a tube of lip gloss along with their corn mayo bread or a rice ball might be different from your average brand-name make-up consumer, but don’t be fooled! There are a lot of high-quality cosmetics available right at your fingertips, too. In fact, some of these brands have special domestic lines you can’t find anywhere else.
So, without further ado, let’s present our reporter’s top five picks.
1. 7-Eleven’s ParaDo Cleansing Milk (1,200 yen/US$11)
The ParaDo line of cosmetics can only be purchased at 7-Eleven, and is manufactured by a company with several other fine, successful brands to its name. Though everything released by ParaDo is quality stuff in our reporter’s opinion, she’s says you’ll be hooked on their Cleansing Milk after one try, also noting that it was originally recommended to her by a certain skincare brand representative. The asking price of 1,200 yen seemed a little steep at first, but our girl reports that that it’s well worth it. This product will completely remove your make-up and leave your skin feeling moist and smooth thanks to its special formula, which includes conditioning ingredients that make up 89 percent of its volume.
2. 7-Eleven’s Sekkisui White Facial Cleasing Cream 80g (460 yen/US$4.05)
When famed cosmetic maker Kose released its convenience store sister brand, Sekkisui, expectations were high, but the good news is that, even coming from such a big-name brand, this item can be purchased with a single 500-yen coin! This cleansing cream’s foaming action gives you skin that feels fresh and smooth, which is exactly what a cleansing foam should do. Our reporter said it’s honestly just that good.
3. FamilyMart’s mfc Premium Oil Blotting Paper (340 yen/US$3.00)
mfc is a line of cosmetics good made especially for FamilyMart by mega-brand Kanebo, and among the items they offer is this Premium Oil Blotting Paper. This oil blotting paper, made from traditional Japanese paper, quickly absorbs any oil on your face. It even falls in line with your typical convenience store pricing at 340 yen per 50-sheet pack. Amazing!
4. 7-Eleven’s ParaDo Foundation (1124yen)
Our reporter discovered this one after she once forgot to pack her makeup pouch, but she was definitely not disappointed! It may not impress ladies who look for a lot of coverage in a foundation, but when it comes to natural coverage its fine powder leaves your skin feeling light and looking good. For someone who’s approaching 40, she mentions that foundation with a lot of cover tends to look clumpy with wear and draw attention to your pores, but this one stays on nicely all day. It’s also great for people with naturally fair skin or teen girls just getting into make-up. Unfortunately the compact doesn’t come with a mirror, although it’s hard to be too picky considering how inexpensive it is.
5. 7-Eleven’s ParaDo Premium Essential Rouge (1,200 yen/US$10.60)
This lipstick has a rich blend of moisturizing ingredients like squalene and ceramide. Not only does it give you moist-looking lips, but also a beautiful splash of color! Another thing that makes this lipstick so excellent is its thin stick shape for easy application. For reference, our reporter says the rosy RS01 is a good skin tone match.
So, what do you think? At a glance it looks like 7-Eleven’s line takes the cake, but our reporter reasons that it’s partially because she’s had more opportunities to try out ParaDo than some of the others currently out there. She goes on to say that while the mfc line is also quite nice, there’s still has a little room for improvement. She’s confident that these picks are worth going out of your way to find, and aren’t just for grabbing when you’re in a pinch. Check ’em out if you have the chance and let us know if you agree!