Japan's department store cosmetic brands that won't break the bank!

I wrote an article recently about a surprising place you can find cosmetics in Japan - the 100 yen store. If you have a bit more spending money to play with, but maybe not quite enough to justify the super high end stuff, a good place to check out is any one of Japan's department or drug stores. They usually have several different brands stocked at each - here are three that you'll commonly see around!


Maquillage is a subsidiary brand of the parent company Shiseido, which you may well be familiar with already. The whole concept or business philosophy behind Maquillage is that they want to empower women to feel refined, sophisticated and feminine. They offer all manner of products from face makeup (liquids and powders) to lipsticks, eyeshadows, blush and even nail colors.

A great buy from Maquillage is...

Their lipsticks. They have a great range of shades, they give you solid color without feeling heavy on your lips, and actually provide your lips with quite a bit of moisture and hydration - this is unlike many other brands that will see your lips feeling dry and the color cracking shortly after you put it on!


Kate is said to be Japan's top cosmetics brand (measured by sales quantity) so you know it's popular with loads of women across the country. One of the business goals of the company is to offer on trend and innovative make up at reasonable prices - which they definitely achieve. Most Kate products hover around the 1500 yen or less mark, which isn't bad at all!

A great buy from Kate is...

Their eyeshadow palettes. They're easy to use - you get several shadows in each, and there is a guide for where to apply each shade on your eyelids (see the picture below and the A, B, C, D and E instructions). Quite a few of them are shimmery - but not unbearably so (and I'm usually not a fan of shimmery shadows, so hopefully that's a guide that they're not over the top).

Majolica Majorca

Majolica Majorca are another subsidiary brand of Shiseido's, but in a different vein to Maquillage. Maquillage tends to go for a more refined and sophisticated feel, but Majolica Majorca is much more youthful and playful. Their packaging goes down the cute route with brighter colors and fun designs, and even their makeup colors are more adventurous than some of the other department store brands on the market.

A great buy from Majolica Majorca is...

Their "nude make gel" is great. If you hate having way too many products on hand, and love those beauty items that are a "do-it-all" wonder product, this is a super convenient addition to your beauty repertoire. It works like a moisturizer, BB cream, primer and sunscreen all in one - doing a pretty fab job of giving you an even complexion fast. The only downside is that the skin tone range is fairly limited.

This stuff is a great multi use product that doesn't break the bank!

Hopefully this gives you a bit of an insight into some of the easily accessible and reasonably priced makeup brands that you can find at Japan's department stores - have a look and pick up a few pieces if you'd like!

Enjoy your trip, and Happy Shopping!

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