Our Favourite Japanese Makeup Brands And Why We Love Them

J-Beauty has definitely made a massive impact on the makeup industry. After all, they’ve brought us many pigment-packed lipsticks turned staples and granted luminous, satin finishes to the masses. Is it any wonder then, that these Japanese makeup brands are intent on constantly delivering stellar products all while beautifying our moneymaker? Brands like SK-II and Shiseido are a shining specimen.

To get the inside scoop, we asked Japanese ladies living in Singapore about their favourite Japanese makeup brands you need to start name-dropping.


Photo credit: @Kumamiki

Not one to rest on their laurels, SK-II has flooded the beauty market with their slew of cutting-edge skincare and makeup products. Need proof? Take a gander at their Pitera Essence or moisturising makeup bases promising crystal clear skin and a dewy finish. Please tell us makeup expansion plans are underway.

SHOP: sk-ii.com.sg

Majolica Majorca

Photo credit: @Majolicamajorca.official

Minimalistic packaging, dare we say it, dead in the water since we discovered Majolica Majorca. This whimsical Japanese makeup brand whips up eyeliners, mascaras, blushes and foundations that promise an unapologetically feminine look. All that’s left? Complexions like a dream that had us wishing they never left our shores. Consider this an open letter to bring them back.



Photo credit: @Kosesg

Owned by the parent group Kose, Esprique encapsulates the playfulness and delicateness of today’s young Japanese woman. Expect a soft, muted palette of gold, red, pink, and purple within their range of lipsticks and eyeshadows. Their best-selling sequin-finish Eye Colour is also recently available in Singapore and allows for super vivid pearl-like pigments and sparkle.

SHOP: kose.com.sg/esprique

shu uemura

Photo credit: @Shuuemura

A favourite brand for OG cleansing oil, shu uemura’s stellar lineup also includes their famed eyelash curler and cushion foundation. You get the best of both worlds here: 1) seamless colour payoffs; 2) products suitable for Asian skin tones. Our only gripe? Their limited foundation shade range.

“Their brand aesthetic is very romantic and grown-up. My older sister introduced me to their cleansing oil and it’s truly a miracle worker. I can’t really afford to splurge $50 on a makeup remover so I just continue to borrow hers! Their red lipsticks are equally iconic to me and I actually wore it to my interview.” — Kaida, 22



japanese makeup brands
Photo credit: @Shiseido

Despite being a pioneer in the beauty game, Shiseido has always been one to watch as their high-performance-meets-beauty is poised for greatness. With their Visionairy Gel Lipstick already proving to be quite the hit, you’ll want to watch their future launches with bated breath.

“My mom let me use her Shiseido stuff when I was much younger. I started off using their skincare products then followed suit into their makeup range. I find the products bodes well for me especially since I entered my thirties. I am obsessed with their Aura Dew Face, Eyes, Lips.” — Tessa, 34



Photo credit: @Kaneboofficial

If you like your makeup to be subtle with a side of grace, Kanebo is the brand offering both. Expect to find modern chic colours and nourishing formulas in their range of foundations, lipsticks, and compacts — not to mention the drugstore-friendly price tag that comes along with it.

“Been using Kanebo basically every single day! Alright, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do love the brand and re-purchase the eyeshadow quad every few months. I also tried out their latest liquid rouge while I was visiting home. Guess its time to invest in a new lipstick!” — Rumi, 26

SHOP: kanebo


japanese makeup brands
Photo credit: @Lunasolofficial

Brimming with glittering eyeshadow palettes, nail polishes and glosses, Lunasol promises to leave a trail of radiance and egotistic-chic in its wake. The beauty gods, thankfully, have heard our prayers of a matte and shimmer duo. In answer? Their Dress For Lips product is double-ended with a matte colour and an illuminating gloss.

“Hailing from Japan, I love nothing more than fair, glowing skin. With Lunasol, their makeup products are well-suited for my skin tone, particularly their glosses and sheer eyeshadows. All in all, this looks great and feels great.” — Ellena, 23

SHOP: lunasol


Photo credit: @Albionsg

Having cemented a stellar reputation in Japan and even the U.S., most of Albion’s makeup products include skincare benefits such as intense hydration. For those that have yet to find The One, you might just find the perfect match with their luminous pressed powders or liquid foundations promising flawless coverage.

“Given Singapore’s climate, I usually opt for lighter makeup and colours when it comes to Japanese makeup brands. As I have been using Albion since I was still living in Japan, I wasn’t very happy that their full range isn’t available here. Despite this, I still support them as they are my favourite Japanese makeup brand! With such luxe gold packaging and shimmery colours, what’s not to love?” — Maxine, 29

SHOP: albion-cosmetics.com/sg