Beauty & Skincare in Japan - Shopping in Japan

Where To Buy Makeup In Japan

Last Updated on 2024-03-04 by Teni

Ready to try out the latest makeup products in Japan but don’t know where to start? Here’s a rundown on where to buy makeup in Japan, and tips for finding the right makeup for you.

Where To Buy Makeup In Japan

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Department Stores

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If you’re in a major city like Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, you will no doubt find a Takashimaya, Seibu, Sogo, Daimaru, Matsuzakaya, or Isetan. These Japanese department stores carry big name brands like Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Shu Uemura, and so on. If you can’t make it to the city, the major Japanese department stores also have online shops.

Be prepared to pay a premium on your coveted western brands. In my case, I use(d) MAC and still can’t get over the fact that Lipglass costs nearly 3,000 yen while Studio Fix costs around 5,000 yen.  That’s near twice the US price! My only consolation is that I can earn T Points at Isetan or bonus credit card points and ANA miles at Daimaru/Takashimaya.


If you miss Maybelline and L’oreal or want to try Japanese makeup brands and don’t know where to start, just hit up a drug store like Matsu Kiyoshi or Welcia.

You’ll find local brands like Chifure, Cezanne (low priced); Fasio, Majorica KATE (mid-price); Coffret D’or and Integrate (high, Integrate even had an ad campaign with Hollywood star Angelina Jolie when they first hit the market).

For what it’s worth, KATE is my go-to substitute when I can’t get to a department store to buy MAC. Their 05 (formerly Ochre G) is just about my color.

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100 Yen Shops

100 yen shops or hyakkin (百均) as they are casually called in Japanese, are the holy grail of makeup shopping. There are 3 major chains of 100 yen shops: Seria, Daiso, and Can-do. 

Whether you’re saving yen or need a substitute mascara until you get your hands on your fave product, 100 yen shops have everything that you need.

As of April 2019, Daiso Japan stocks UR GLAM, their own makeup brand with *98* products in its line up. See more: UR GLAM, the Makeup Brand from Daiso Japan

Convenience Stores

The walk of shame doesn’t exist in Japan. Why? Not because Japanese girls are “good girls” but because there’s simply no excuse when you’ve got convenience stores all over Japan that are open 24 hours a day.

This is not a MUJI store, but the MUJI section at Family Mart! Unfortunately, MUJI products are no longer sold at Family Mart, but at Lawson.

Convenience stores are where you go when you need eyeshadow at 3 a.m., or makeup remover, nail polish, sheet masks, and even spare panties. See more on shopping at Japan’s convenience storesHow To Find What You Need At The Combini

7-Eleven even released their own line of makeup, Para Do,  (パラドゥ) late last year.


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You’ll find plenty of stationery, western snacks, character goods, and collaboration items in Plaza. But one section you should definitely check out is the beauty aisle.

Plaza stocks skincare items as well as foreign and domestic makeup brands. Plus, you might even come across a few items exclusive to Plaza (like Saborino Morning sheet masks!)


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Similar to Plaza is Loft, but Loft’s core customer base is in their 30s. (Plaza’s core customer base is female office workers in their 20s.)


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It’sDemo sells clothing and accessories along with makeup. While their selection is limited, what makes the makeup at It’sDemo stand out is that nearly every package is adorned with some sort of character.

In addition, these products are exclusive to It’sDemo. In past years, they’ve done Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Minions, and Disney princesses.

You’ll often find It’sDemo in train station shopping malls, so it’s worth checking out if you’d like your compact or eyeshadow palette to make a statement.


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MUJI, Japan’s minimalist lifestyle retailer mustn’t be overlooked when buying makeup in Japan. The quality of the products go beyond the price and many of MUJI’s makeup items routinely make appearances on Japanese beauty blogs.

In late 2018, MUJI’s makeup packaging got a sleek redesign, and new colors were added to its product lineup. See More: Top-Rated MUJI Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

Tokyu Hands

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Tokyo Hands (now known as “Hands”) is Japan’s self-professed home of one-stop shopping. While you’re there picking up things for your home or searching for souvenirs, head to the beauty section where dedicated concierges will help you find products suitable for your skin type.


You might be wondering why I’m telling you to go a bookstore (本屋さん | honya san) in a makeup article, but here’s why: Fashion magazines in Japan are super generous when it comes to furoku (付録), or free swag. 

The best part about the free makeup samples is that there’s a special section in the magazine dedicated to looks you can recreate with the sample cosmetics.

Magazine samples are a great way to try out seasonal trends without breaking the bank!

Beauty Boxes

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I’m adding beauty boxes to this list after trying out Rakuten’s Raxy Beauty Box for a few months.

Each box has a monthly theme and items are curated to your beauty profile (skin tone, skin type, preferred shades of eye shadow, eyeliner, eyebrows, mascara, blush, and lipstick). It’s only 1,980 yen a month, so it’s a great way to try the latest makeup and skincare items without going over budget.

I’ve also fallen in love with My Little Box Japan, where I can try domestic and international high-end cosmetics for 3,380 yen a month.

Tips On Finding The Right Makeup For You In Japan

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Brush Up On The Language

Get familiar with makeup-related vocabulary to help your shopping go as smooth as possible. Here’s How To Talk About Cosmetics and Skin Care Products in Japanese.

Bring Your Own Foundation At First

Being in Asia, certain foundation colors will be hard to come by, that’s just how it is. Those of us with fairer or darker skin should bring your current foundation until you can color match with something comparable.

When trying out Japanese brands for the first time, I suggest Decorte DECORTÉ ZEN WEAR, a Japanese brand that comes in 40 shades.

Read my product review here: Discover The Best Japanese Beauty Products From Decorté

Color Match With Different Brands

Say you have a favorite brand, but it’s not sold in Japan or they don’t have your color in stock. What should you do? Go to a site like Temptalia that will suggest you different brands based on your current brand an

Test Everything

With the exception of 100 yen shops, you will be able to test nearly every cosmetic product on sale. Being able to test everything reduces the risk of disappointment or buyer’s remorse.

UPDATE: Now with stores doing their best to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, testers may no longer be available.

Shop Online

Sephora ships to Japan (albeit with restrictions on some products) so you can always shop there too.

But, if you love a good deal (and who doesn’t) it’s worth it to create a Yahoo! Shopping or Rakuten account so you can shop online and earn points in Japan like a boss!

When all else fails, there’s always Amazon Japan, where you can find shop top Japanese beauty brands like KATE, Canmake, Visee, and Excel from the comfort of your home!

Where To Buy Makeup In Japan

Don’t underestimate the importance of a quality makeup remover: Top Japanese Cleansing Oils

Be sure to check out these posts for more Japanese makeup guides:

Japanese Makeup Brands and Japanese Makeup Products You Need To Try

Discover The Best Japanese Beauty Products From Decorté

Japanese Eyeshadow Quads You Need To Try

Best Japanese Lipsticks Worth Trying

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