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The beauty game changer: Japanese innovations

J-beauty is the latest industry fixation, but what is it and should you be trying it? DANIELLE FOX has the lowdown

Shaquda Suvé Body Brush; SK-II Facial Treatment Essence; Clé de Peau Beauté La Crème

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 infamous 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 every bit deserving of its deserved 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.

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…


  • Clé de Peau Beauté
    The Foundation SPF21 - O40 Medium Deep Ochre, 27ml
  • Clé de Peau Beauté
    Concealer SPF25 - Honey
  • Clé de Peau Beauté
    Intensive Eye Contour Cream, 15ml
  • NARS
    Mizubake Kabuki Brush