When I’m out with friends, we always end up in a drugstore by the end of the outing — usually at my request. With so many drugstores in Tokyo, the temptation to explore the beauty aisle is irresistible. Here are some of my favorite Japanese drugstore beauty finds I always recommend to my closest friends.

best japanese drugstore makeup

Momori Hair Keep Brush

Price: ¥990

Flyaways are a pain, right? With summer just around the corner, be prepared to constantly battle the humidity to keep your hair frizz-free. In my first summer here, I discovered the point hair stick. It is a clever product that packages clear hair gel in a mascara tube. The application wand is double the size of a normal mascara wand and is perfect for combing pesky flyaways back into place. 

While drugstores offer many hair point stick options, I always recommend Momori’s Hair Keep Brush. Not only does it effectively tame flyaways, but Momori’s Hair Keep Brush also smells like fresh, juicy peaches; a novel twist from the typical soapy scent most hair sticks have. The large wand is perfect for creating a sleek, slicked-back bun or smoothing down baby hairs. Momori’s Hair Keep Brush can also double as an eyebrow gel, keeping your brows in place all day without irritating your eyes. The drugstore offers many versions of hair point sticks, but Momori’s will forever remain my favorite. 

best japanese drugstore makeup

Kiss Me Mommy UV Aqua Milk SPF50+ PA++++

Price: ¥990  

I’ll be honest with you, I’m incredibly selective when it comes to sunscreen. With sensitive skin, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tried new sunscreen, only to be disappointed by either skin irritation or a noticeable white cast. My criteria are strict: the sunscreen must be alcohol-free, leave no white cast, be gentle on the eyes, feel lightweight on the skin and offer at least SPF50+ protection. After testing all the sensitive and baby friendly sunscreens found in the drugstore, Kiss Me Mommy UV Aqua Milk has been the only sunscreen that has ticked all the boxes. 

UV Aqua Milk is great for people with sensitive skin, as the hypoallergenic formula is free from color, fragrance, preservatives, mineral oil and alcohol. The texture feels like a gel moisturizer, delivering a skincare-like experience rather than the thick and gloopy feeling you expect from sunscreen. The product is milky-translucent, sinks seamlessly into the skin and leaves a dewy finish without any white cast. Moreover, UV Aqua Milk lays well underneath foundation and won’t disrupt your makeup when reapplying throughout the day. This sunscreen is suitable for kids as young as 1, making it the perfect sunscreen for families to share. At under ¥1,000, why not give UV Aqua Milk a go next time you are on holiday in Tokyo?  

best japanese drugstore makeup

Cezanne’s Watery Tint Lip

Price: ¥660

With its airy whipped mousse texture, Cezanne’s Watery Tint Lip effortlessly glides onto your lips, smoothing away fine lines. Formulated with honey, hyaluronic acid and water-soluble collagen, it leaves the lips feeling plush and hydrated. To my surprise, Cezanne’s take on a lip tint is different from Rom&nd’s lip tints. While the name “Watery Tint” may suggest a thin and runny formula, Cezanne’s Watery Tint feels thicker, more pigmented and oil based. Rom&nd’s lip tint, on the other hand, has a watery texture. Like my other lip products, Watery Tint typically lasts between one and two hours and leaves a slight transfer when drinking from a cup. There is no need to reapply in a hurry, as once Watery Tint has faded, you’re left with a subtle tint. 

With nine shades to choose from, expect to be hunched over the drugstore aisle wondering which shade will suit you best. My go-to shade, 03, is the color I recommend to my friends. Universally flattering, it’s a hit with everyone who tries it. Cezanne’s packaging is light, simple and streamlined, making for a fuss-free user experience which is appreciated when you’re on the go. With such a wonderful formula, and priced at ¥660, you’ll find yourself avidly collecting Cezanne’s Watery Tint Lip shades like Pokémon cards.

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