Last year, I tried to plan a trip to Japan after reading and hearing about several experiences from people who’d been. It’s exhilarating! Dreamy! Stunning! The beauty Mecca! I researched potential hotels and restaurants, cataloged various shopping destinations to visit and made a list of all the candy I couldn’t wait to stuff my suitcase with, but disappointingly, not-a-one of these plans ending up coming to fruition. I should note that it’s very possible the trip was only ever going to happen in my dreams; all planning was done knowing I had no time to take off and jet halfway across the world. Regardless, I tabled the topic and moved on.

Then a few weeks back, one of my girlfriends showed up to coffee with the most amazing lashes I’d ever seen. “They’re natural!” “No, your lashes are not that long. I just saw you two weeks ago!” “It’s this new Japanese mascara I got on my trip to Tokyo- but I heard you can buy it on Amazon.” I put all of my (very limited) hand-eye coordination to the test whipping my phone out in that moment, but lo and behold, there it was in all its hot pink glory: Kiss Me Heroine Make Long And Curl Mascara. I barely registered her telling me how, actually, most of the products she found in Japan were on Amazon now, and I could shop them all from the comfort of my living room sofa. I was already on a J-Beauty bender before she finished talking.

I searched for everything I had on my original shopping list, and guess what? Amazon had it all. The obscure sheet masks, cleansing oils, lip cushions, and eyeliners were all up for grabs, and with free Prime shipping to boot. As a disclaimer, this new information is not meant to replace a trip to Japan. Traveling to expand your wold view is priceless, invaluable even, but because I know vacation time is limited and we’re all impatient, think of this new knowledge like a taste of the real thing. Nothing will replace the experience of shopping in a Tokyo drugstore, though access to some of the best product offerings can tide you over until that’s a reality.

I like to believe that Highbrow’s purpose on a bigger scale is about showing you things in life you may not need, but that make waking up each day more interesting or exciting. This week is no exception; we’ll be documenting the best of Japanese makeup, body, and skincare that you can buy right now, and if you follow along on Instagram, hopefully, a compelling mix of new cultural ideas re: people, art, fashion, and places from that part of the world, too. Enjoy!

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Team Highbrow