The Beauty Products Tokyo It Girls Swear By

Americans would be wise to take a cue or two from the Japanese. Over there, across the world from us, the people do not litter. The trains rarely ever run with delays. Gun deaths are unheard of. They clean their hands with an oshibori — what we call a wet washcloth in the States — before eating a meal. That trend never quite caught on at Applebee's, and the MTA isn't ever going to reward us with a bullet rail, but there is one thing we can easily start to implement from the culture: their beauty routines.
Ahead, three Japanese influencers living in Tokyo walk us through their favorite skin, makeup, and hair buys — all of which are available here in the good ol' U.S.A. Get ready to invest in a softener and re-think your pre-sushi routine. Then call your senator about those gun laws, goddamnit.
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Who: Kishiko Maeda

What: Freelance writer who focuses on beauty, fashion, and travel

"I'm a writer studying the value of beauty among Japanese women. Recently in Japan, I feel that awareness of beauty is increasing because social networking is making it easier for women to get access to information. People tend to become too obsessed with beauty sometimes here, though; it's almost an addiction and they feel like we all need to look a certain way and should be doing the same things, but there are supposed to be a variety of ways to interpret beauty.

"Of course, I do make sure to have my skin-care regimen in place and I want skin that feels comfortable to me and makes me look nice. But rather than feeling the pressure to have to do certain beauty rituals, I want to have fun and enjoy the process."
2 of 20
"Out of all of my beauty care, I spend the most time on my skin, which allows me to wear less makeup. After I cleanse, I apply this Kiehl's oil to make my skin more plump and resilient. I wanted a good everyday oil I could use regardless of what season it is or what my skin's condition happens to be. Right now in Japan, there's a lot of hay fever making my skin sensitive, but this still works."
3 of 20
"Sometimes at night, I apply this mask, which is almost like a cream and gives more translucency to my skin. In the spring, I start applying more whitening products because I tend to have a duller skin tone and the UV rays enhance it. Japanese women love whitening."
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"Body care is part of my beauty regimen for day as well as night; I use Santa Maria Novella Melograno Body Milk and Jo Malone body oil. They're both so pretty, which is important to me with products because I use them every day and display them on my counter. You want to feel excited to use something.

"The body oil has a light perfume, so I can't always use it if I'm meeting a certain client. For example, if it’s a lunch meeting and we're going to a sushi restaurant, perfume tends to ruin the sushi taste and many sushi restaurants do not allow perfume."
5 of 20
"Japanese women never leave the house without makeup. If you're just going to a convenience store a minute away, then maybe it's possible, but if you're meeting your friend or a boyfriend, you would never go without makeup. I choose my foundation for the day based on my fashion and hairstyle. I want to make sure the finish is right so that everything will be balanced. When I want to look really natural, I use the Shiseido Synchro Skin Tinted Gel Cream, but the La Mer foundation looks more complete, so that’s for a party, never with a t-shirt."
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"A friend went to Paris and got this lip cream for me engraved with the Eiffel Tower — it made me so happy. Normally I always lose my lip cream, but this is like an amulet that I hold close and never want to lose."
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"I love Tom Ford eyeshadows. When I'm wearing them, I don’t need to fix my makeup throughout the day and it lasts until nighttime with no dullness. Usually, shimmery or glittery shadows crease easily, but this never does. The quality is amazing."
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A post shared by maki (@mtmmaki) on

Who: Maki Kaneko

What: Mother and founder of TESORO, a company that produces children's clothing

"Beauty is essential to my daily life. My mom was in the beauty industry, so I was always watching her take care of her skin and naturally learned from her. I'm not really interested in things that are simple to use or less time-consuming. I want to use products that are really good for me and I don’t hesitate to take the time to properly care for myself."
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"To cleanse, I use an enzyme powder I was prescribed at the dermatologist. Then I follow that with a lotion, a milk, and a beauty essence in order to promote the turnover of cells. I use a lot of Clinique skin care and really like this lotion."
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"This is a very light foundation base that makes my skin tone brighter and has UV protection. After it, I use a liquid foundation that I spread on very lightly with my hands. Then I put on a powder for matte skin."
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"I love that this palette is a gradation, with highlighter, contour, and blush. I feel that my face is a little more plump recently, so I try to shade it to look thinner, and I use the highlighter around my eyes."
12 of 20
"This is like an essence, or nutrition serum, for my lashes. Since using it, I no longer need to use a lash curler to lift my lashes, which is great."
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"I have a lot of lipsticks that I use, but this orange Chanel is my favorite — I'm on my third or fourth tube."
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A post shared by 星 玲奈 (@reinahoshi1015) on

Who: Reina Hoshi

What: Mother, model, and founder of a brand consulting and production company

"When I was 18, I came to Tokyo to start college. I was walking in the street one day and someone working in the editorial department of a magazine stopped me and asked me to model for them. I'm not a dedicated model, so I appear as someone of the general public on a fashion page wearing the product. I'm your everyday person, so people felt that I looked relatable, which got me a lot of popularity on social media. Rather than being perfect on Instagram, I just want to be myself."
15 of 20
"Skin is very important. When I have skin concerns, I go to the clinic immediately to make sure it's addressed. When I get up in the morning, rather than washing my face, I wipe off with Bioderma lotion, then I use a lineup of dermatologist-prescribed products."
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"Depending on the season, I tend to have pimple issues, so I have to make sure my skin doesn’t clog up. Ultimune helps to keep it healthy."
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"For UV care, I use Shiseido Synchro Skin. Most of the time, I only use that, but I'll put a powder foundation on top if I feel I need more coverage."
18 of 20
"I do a lot in a day — sometimes I'm picking up my kids, sometimes I'm going to meetings — so I want to have makeup that’s good for all scenes. That's usually brownish or beige eyeshadow and a pinkish-nude lipstick with buildable intensity."
19 of 20
"I use the same Aveda Invati shampoo and root essence. I'm going to be in my 40s soon and I find my roots tend to be very flat and stick to my scalp. I want my hair to have more volume and fluffiness at the root, and that’s what this gives me."

Travel and accommodations were provided by Shiseido for the purpose of writing this story.
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appearance by Mi-Anne Chan.
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