Welcome to Japan Week, a celebration of beauty, dedicated to the culture that brought us Sailor Moon, Pocky, Tomoko Spa, and much, much more. For the next few days, we’ll be exploring all the best beauty that Japanese Drugstores have to offer. Oh, and on Instagram, we’re rounding up all the Japan inspiration you’ll ever need if you’re into art, models, photography, food, and travel from that part of the world, too. Stay tuned to this spot for more reviews through Friday- and up first, makeup!

1. Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara

Kicking it off with the product that inspired this whole week: Kiss Me Heroine Mascara. I don’t care what mascara you *think* is your holy grail product because I know with 100% certainty that this is better. Best to just put yours back in your makeup bag and head over to Amazon so you can order this one. My lashes are stupid long, which in theory is fantastic, but since they’re thin and relatively straight, most mascaras weigh them down and make my already-puppy-dog-eyes look even sadder. Since Heroine Mascara was designed for Japanese lashes (thin and easily weighed down), my mascara woes are no longer an issue. The color is also what I’ve started to call True Black because it makes my “black” Dior mascara look like a soft brown. You didn’t even know your lashes could be this dark and your eyes this doe-like. People always tell me my expectations are too high, that eventually, I’ll have to compromise. Those people are wrong on a lot of levels because this cheap, volumizing, lengthening mascara that lasts through a showing of Moonlight with not one streaky tear has just proven that perfection is indeed possible. Never let the haters win, guys.

2. Dolly Wink Eyeliner

One of my less attractive (and rarely discussed) features are my oily eyelids. I mean, my whole face is oily, but my eyelids are the real problem since powders and blotting papers can take care of the rest of the mug. Add some lovely L.A. heat and humidity into the mix and you’ve got a holy trinity working against your face. A few hours in, my liner is shifting and sliding until that sharp wing I spent 20 minutes crafting is a mere smudge. If I wore eyeshadow, I’d just use an eye primer- there are some great eye primers on the scene ATM- but I’m more of a baby wing, liquid brown liner type of girl, so eye primer doesn’t do much for me. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner has been my default to-date, and under non-sweaty circumstances, it worked fine, but the day fine is good enough for me is a day that will most likely never come (see above paragraph). So were the 200+ five star reviews of Dollywink Eyeliner that claimed it was the eyeliner to end all other eyeliners right? Yes, yes they were! Here’s the breakdown: the brush tip is fiiine, which makes application of a wing-tip easy and smooth, the formula is smudge-proof, and it dries down totally matte. And despite this borderline mystical staying power, it comes off at night with my normal face wash?? Don’t ask me how they do it, just enjoy.

3. Bonus! The Best Lip Products

While not technically makeup, there are two lip products worth adding to your arsenal since you’re already shopping, and regular use of both makes a great canvas for any lip color you might want to add later on. The first is Pure Smile Chushi Night Lip Pack in Bergamot. I liken it to a thicker, better smelling Carmex that works best as an overnight treatment. It smells exactly like you would expect it to smell based on the packaging: sweet, candy-like, with a hint of earl gray tea undertones, and I am in love with it.

Then there’s DHC Lip Cream, the Japanese answer to chapstick. I have tried everything from your garden variety drugstore brand Dior’s $30 Creme De Rose Lip Balm– DHC Lip Cream is so much better, I wouldn’t even put it in the same category. My research suggests the ingredient lanolin- and not much else- is the reason for it’s effectiveness. It’s made up of the fat taken from the fleece of sheep with a structure that’s similar to the one that makes up the outermost layer of skin, which means all of the softening properties are ultra-compatible with skin and help heal cracking and dryness. Boom. Science.


Team Highbrow