J-Beauty Brands That Are Insanely Chic | Clozette


Even though maximalist aesthetic has officially taken over these days, we still have a special place for the minimalist look in our hearts — especially when it comes to packaging. With many brands becoming more eco-friendly when it comes to product packaging, there's a budding renaissance for sleek and chic packaging, which, without the unnecessary frills and colouring, has a higher chance of being recycled. And which ones are thriving in this category? Japanese beauty brands! 


Aside from popular ones like SK-II, Shiseido and Shu Uemura, there are other J-Beauty brands with insanely chic packaging that should be on your radar. Keep reading to get to know them.


SENSAI



SENSAI, a beauty brand under Kanebo Cosmetics, is known for two things: its elegant ripple-like packaging and their very special ingredient called Koishimaru Silk. According to SENSAI, this precious material has the power to promote the natural production of hyaluronic acid in our skin and is key to achieving a well-moisturised and healthy complexion.


DECORTÉ



Despite having a western-sounding name, DECORTÉ is actually a Japanese brand. Although, when it comes to packaging, it does draw inspiration from the chic look that's associated with the French aesthetic. We can't help but swoon over those sophisticated-looking lipsticks with the signature scallop detail on the cap and the rose gold platings on the face makeup products.


dear mayuko



dear mayuko's packaging is a good example of geometric minimalism in product packaging done right. Its minimalistic take is thoughtful and reflects the value of the brand, which is to enjoy simple, everyday life. Just like other skincare-focused J-Beauty brands, products of dear mayuko put a premium on hydrated, clean skin.


Integrate



Shisiedo Integrate has a youthful vibe in terms of packaging. Their signature red shade is more vibrant in tone compared with Shiseido's and the products have cheeky details like heart-shaped prints. In terms of aesthetic, it’s in an ‘in-betweener’ place between the cutesy teen designs and sophisticated grown-up look. Still chic, nonetheless!



Ishizawa Lab



Considered as a 'best-kept' secret by many skincare lovers, Ishizawa Lab offers additive-free makeup and skincare alternatives for those with sensitive skin. Their packaging is as straightforward and pleasantly simple as its actual products. In particular, their best-selling Hahagiku Watery Foundation looks so uniquely chic that it will surely level up your shelfies.


(Cover photo from: @decortebeauty)


In other news, check out Shu Uemura's collab collection with Pokémon.


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Shu Uemura is back again with another exciting launch! Fresh from their collaboration with French fashion label Maison Kitsuné, the beauty brand now introduces a new makeup collection starring one of the most adorable Pokémon species of all time.  



Wittily named Pikashu, this electrifying holiday collection (which will be released next month) features the iconic Pikachu donning a new look that's never seen before. The story goes that on 'a holiday night', Pikachu gained special colour powers from Shu Uemura and turned into Pikashu, an evolved version that wears festive makeup complete with cheerful orange cheeks, bright red lips, lovely purple eyes, and has a thunderbolt heart-shaped tail. So cute, right?


Pikashu Shu Uemura Pikachu

Photo: ©2019Pokémon


This collaboration includes Shu Uemura's hero products like their beauty cleansing oils, facial brushes and top-rated eyelash curlers. Ahead, our favourites from this charming collection.


ultime8∞ sublime beauty cleansing oil


Pikashu Shu Uemura Pikachu

SGD165/~USD120 (450ml) and SGD65/~USD47 (150ml) Photo: ©2019Pokémon


We doubt that you'd ever want to skip double cleansing again when you have this dressed-up version of the cult classic ultime8∞ sublime beauty cleansing oil on your vanity. It's the same beloved formula consisting of eight oils that work together to cleanse and hydrate skin, but made more fun.


Eye palettes


Pikashu Shu Uemura Pikachu

pikashu eye palette thunder shock, SGD98/~USD71 Photo: ©2019Pokémon


For this collection, Shu Uemura will be releasing three limited-edition eyeshadow palettes (thunder shock, which is the most versatile of the bunch; mythical purple, which emphasises plum and berry shades; and brick blast with the gold and bronze colours) featuring hues inspired by Pikachu. Of course, that includes yellow and purple but complementary neutral colours are also included so you can create a broad range of looks. 


electric gold pikashu premium eyelash curler


Pikashu Shu Uemura Pikachu

SGD30/~USD22 Photo: ©2019Pokémon


How can something look so sophisticated and cute at the same time? This premium limited-edition sleek gold version of Shu Uemura's award-winning product is a must-have collectable piece for any beauty lover who's a big fan of Pokémon. We know you won't be able to resist the super adorable Pikashu keychain!


Lippies


Pikashu Shu Uemura Pikachu

rouge unlimited lacquer shine in rosy shot and rouge unlimited amplified in flame thrower, SGD42/~USD30 each Photo: ©2019Pokémon


It's not a Shu Uemura special collaboration without the repackaged rouge unlimited lippies. For this batch, our eyes are on the rouge unlimited lacquer shine in rosy shot (perfect shade for everyday wear) and the rouge unlimited amplified in flame thrower (for showstopping beauty looks). 



catch'em all pikashu premium makeup box


Pikashu Shu Uemura Pikachu

SGD580/~USD422 Photo: ©2019Pokémon


Keep all the Pikashu goodies you 'captured' safe in this mini-sized premium makeup box designed with Pikashu doodles. It has all the necessary compartments where you can securely store fragile beauty goodies for when you're travelling or attending a special event. In Singapore, this special item will be exclusively available at ION flagship boutique and Bugis boutique.


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Only five years after its launch, Thai skincare brand Namu Life SNAILWHITE is slowly becoming a vanity staple for beauty junkies in the Philippines. With their products enriched with a signature formula called the Snail Potion, SNAILWHITE promises to unlock your healthy glow. And it seems that they really do deliver, based on the rave reviews their products receive on local beauty e-commerce sites.  Burning with curiosity, I’ve decided to try Namu Life SNAILWHITE products and see whether or not they are worth the hype.


In my years of trying out skincare products, I’ve found that ones with snail extract agreed with my skin the most. That’s why I really had high hopes for the best-selling Namu Life SNAILWHITE products, especially since they are a bit pricey. Both the Namu Life SNAILWHITE Moisture Facial Cream and CC Sunscreen with SPF50+/PA+++ comes at a price of Php995/~USD19.31. The Whipp Soap, on the other hand, costs a bit lower at Php295/~USD5.72. Let's see if they're worth these investments after a few weeks of usage.



Packaging and appearance


I was sceptical before using the Whipp Soap. I thought it would take me a few minutes before I can build up a foam as fluffy as they show in the pictures. But, once I fished it out of its resealable foil packaging, I saw that it included a handy net pouch, which helped create a luxurious lather. Also, because of that pouch, I didn’t need to worry about melting the bar with excess water. Instead of placing the soap after use on a tub holder, I simply hung it to let it air dry. 


Namu Life Snailwhite Whipp Soap


The packaging for the other two SNAILWHITE products is also pretty and straightforward. Unlike the soap, they were in a box with minimal designs that stuck to their signature white-pink-and-grey colour scheme. But what they perfectly achieved on the outside, they overdid on the inside. Their boxes had unnecessary flaps inside that made the products quite a task to pull out.


Namu Life Snailwhite Moisture Facial Cream packaging


But the struggle didn’t end there. I was expecting the SNAILWHITE Moisture Cream to be a regular tub of moisturiser, but what greeted me when I removed the cover confused me. Maybe it’s just me, but it probably took me around five minutes to figure out that I was supposed to push the top to dispense the cream. A short note on the box really would have been helpful. Additionally, it took me around three more tries before I perfected the amount of pressure I applied so it would dispense just the right amount.


Namu Life Snailwhite CC Sunscreen packaging


Thankfully, the CC Sunscreen was far easier and more convenient to use. It came in a pump bottle — exactly what liquid bases should be in. The pump was great in that it helped me control the product I dispense easier.




Texture, scent, and application


The SNAILWHITE Whipp Soap was definitely a blast to use. In a matter of seconds, I had more than enough soft lather in my hands to cover my face with. To further exfoliate my skin, I lightly scrubbed the net-covered soap onto my skin, which wasn’t the best idea as it wasn’t really made of a soft material. The soap has a floral fragrance. It was alright with me but it can be a bit overwhelming for others with a sensitive nose, especially when it covers the whole of your face.



Though we didn’t get on quite well in the beginning, SNAILWHITE Moisture Facial Cream quickly made its way up to my favourite moisturising creams. Because even during the times I accidentally got too much cream, I’m pleased to say that none of the product went to waste. No matter how thick of the gel-cream product I applied, in a matter of minutes, the stickiness would be gone, leaving my face smooth. Of course, a pea-sized amount was more than enough, but I was glad that it didn’t leave me feeling heavy and greasy unlike when I apply other moisturisers too much. Not to mention, it had a citrusy scent which is refreshingly gentle.


Namu Life Snailwhite Moisture Facial Cream swatch


The SNAILWHITE CC Sunscreen, sad to say, didn’t quite meet my expectations. To be fair though, it was creamy and easily blendable. I was also glad that it was lightweight and didn’t feel oily despite leaving a dewy finish. I think it would have been great if its shade just fit my brown skin tone. 


Namu Life Snailwhite CC Sunscreen swatch




Results and overall thoughts


The Whipp Soap was enjoyable and convenient to use. Not to mention, it left my face oil-free but not squeaky clean and dry after use. However, I found that it doesn’t really thoroughly cleanse because when I apply my toner afterwards, my cotton pads still end up lifting up dirt. But I’m thankful that, despite that, it never caused me any breakouts. 


As you’ve probably have guessed, out of all three Namu Life SNAILWHITE products I used, I definitely loved the Moisture Facial Cream. It went beyond what I expected. My face was never greasy in the morning, and it made my skin plumper after use. Also, despite the hassle in the beginning, I ended up loving the way it dispenses the cream. I realised it was more hygienic than dipping my hands into a tubful of cream.


Namu Life Snailwhite products

Best-selling Namu Life SNAILWHITE products



But I wasn’t happy at all with the CC Sunscreen. As you can expect from a shade that’s too light for my skin tone, the tinted sunscreen left a white cast on my face no matter how thinly I spread it. It was unfortunate that it’s only available in that one shade. Aside from that, it also wasn’t great with coverage and only lasted for less than six hours. 


Still, despite the issues, I figured the trio does a decent job of giving your face a nice glow. Continued use of the Whipp Soap and Moisture Facial Cream made my skin softer and smoother. And the CC Sunscreen leaves a dewy but non-greasy finish — maybe I’ll try it again if they released it in more shades. But the star for me is definitely the Moisture Facial Cream. It comes with a price, but it’s a hydrating gem I’d be willing to pay for.  


(Cover photo from: @snailwhitephils)



Looking to add more skincare products to your routine? See what's worth trying here.

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