Everything you need to know about J-beauty

It’s the latest industry fixation, but what exactly is J-beauty? And should you be trying it? DANIELLE FOX has the lowdown


You may have heard of K-beauty: formulation innovations hailing from Korea. However, when it comes to smart skincare and complexion perfectors that offer imperceptible coverage, it’s now Japanese products – aka J-beauty – that are leading the way.

Famed for their quality in textures and efficacy of formulations, Japanese beauty brands are regarded as more sophisticated than the west in terms of research and development. Clé de Peau Beauté, for instance, has been an insider secret since it was launched in 1982. Its iconic concealer – known for its long-lasting wear and ultra-blendable formula – is considered an all-time best, with makeup artists and celebrities including Chrissy Teigen, January Jones and Kate Hudson all swearing by it. The Foundation, as it is simply known, has become an industry icon; a skincare/makeup hybrid with such high levels of pigment that it delivers dewy, filter-effect skin without excessive coverage.

But it’s not just the makeup we love – Japanese skincare is fully deserving of its cult status. Moisturizing, anti-aging, soothing and retexturizing, Clé de Peau Beauté’s The Cream is the most extraordinary product you will ever put on your face, while the much-feted Intensive Eye Contour Cream (which comes with a foolproof massage tool) is the perfect cool-aid for tired, puffy eyes. Meanwhile, with essences now becoming a standard step in our regimens, SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence is a serum-like hybrid that packs a powerful punch. With a concentrated cocktail of ingredients, it balances the skin after cleansing, while also hydrating and priming pre-makeup.

Also inspired by age-old Japanese rituals and ceremonies – such as the art of ikebana flower arranging or the well-known tea ceremony – are Floraïku fragrances. The beautiful wardrobe of scents is not only visually striking – each is housed in a bento-style box – but also offers unique blends, some of which have been created to be worn with other scents to bring lightness or depth to your fragrance mood. For those that simply can’t choose, opt for the Coffret Discovery Kit, which houses 11 scents in mini glass vials.

Finally, Japan has also mastered the best in daily-use beauty tools. Kumano in Hiroshima is where Shaquda’s Body Brushes are handmade by local craftsman using the softest goat hair (so soft it can also be used for face brushing) and walnut wood. Wish lists at the ready…


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown