Imagine you’re at home or in a hotel, getting ready for the day ahead. Maybe you have a crucial business meeting first thing, or a Shinjuku shopping spree planned. As you open your concealer, you realize the product is dried out or worse, you left your makeup bag in your home country. It’s early, and the drugstore down the street isn’t open yet. Neither are the department stores. What now? There’s no need to panic as Japanese convenience stores have got you covered.

To help out, I went around Tokyo’s major convenience store chains — Family Mart, Lawson, Ministop and 7-Eleven — to pick up some makeup items to test. In this article, we’ll dive into what I found and see how these products measure up.

convenience store makeup

FamilyMart Makeup

First, I asked my two close girlfriends what their go-to makeup would be at a convenience store. They both replied “concealer,” so I begrudgingly doled out more than ¥1,800 on Sopo’s liquid concealer. FamilyMart was the only convenience store offering this kind of product. Available in two shades (Fair Light 01 and Light 02), I chose the second one. I then crossed my fingers hoping it would slightly resemble my skin tone. Sopo’s concealer leaves the skin with a hydrated silky matte finish and is by no means heavy or cakey. 

A little product goes a long way, as the formula effortlessly blends into the skin, offering a natural medium coverage. While I found this concealer corrected pigmentation, the downside was that it slightly accentuated the texture. The under eye was slightly creased, but the skin stayed well-hydrated thanks to the five ceramides in the concealer’s formula. As I gave the concealer time to sit on the skin, I found it sunk in and smoothed out. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this liquid concealer and, for a fast fix, would recommend you check it out.  

convenience store makeup

Lawson Makeup

In March of this year, K-beauty brand Rom&nd partnered with Lawson to create Rom by Rom&nd. The Rom range features mini-size cosmetic products and is exclusive to Lawson stores. Having heard much hype surrounding Rom&nd’s renowned lip tints, I couldn’t resist trying the glassy bomb tint. Following the in-store promotion for the most popular glassy bomb tint, I chose the shade rose bean. When I tell you I love this lip product, I am not exaggerating. Rom&nd’s glassy bomb tint feels and looks like gel. The semi-transparent formula adds a film of color to your lips, making them look naturally tinted. 

The shade rose bean rewarded me with a dusty, cool-toned pink, giving my lips a “your lips but better” color. The Valentine’s day shade, milky cocoa, offered a light brown tint to the lips, perfect for an autumn day. With a sweep of the soft doe-foot applicator, don’t expect the product to cling to dry skin, as this magical formula keeps your lips hydrated through the wearing time. Rom&nd’s formula tinted the lips but wore off after an hour and wasn’t transfer-proof, yet with such a nice user experience, I didn’t mind reapplying. I love a good mini-sized lip product for hygienic reasons, and I recommend trying out Rom by Rom&nd’s glassy bomb tint next time you drop into a Lawson. 

convenience store makeup

7-Eleven Makeup

Following Lawson’s example, 7-Eleven recently teamed up with famous K-beauty brand Clio. Starting May 25, it began selling Clio’s Twinkle Pop collection in stores. You bet I was there come drop day, scouring the stores for this new collection. The product I chose to try was Clio’s jelly glitter in the shade opal banzzak (banzzak, or banjjak, the Korean word for twinkle or sparkle). The signage recommended cherry blossom banzzak, a light pink glitter, but with summer around the corner, I thought Opal Banzzak’s blue glitter would add a cooling pop of color to my eyelids. I was not mistaken. 

The gel-like product is transparent, yet within it drifts captivating pieces of ice blue and light green glitter. Holding this product felt like I had the cosmos in my hands. Though visually stunning, I encountered problems with how the gel laid over other products like concealer and eyeshadow. Unfortunately, the formula was hard to work with, clinging and budging whatever was laid underneath. It also took quite a while to dry. Applied on clean eyelids, this product performed well, causing no irritation and it was easily removed with my Muji mild cleansing oil. Overall, with Fuji Rock Festival and Summer Sonic around the corner, I think Clio’s jelly glitter offers a playful way to embrace and express your inner fun side.

convenience store makeup

Ministop Makeup

My Ministop shopping experience was quick and easy. I swung by for my favorite white chocolate-covered strawberries and ended up buying an eyebrow pencil from Chifure. Chifure, a Japanese cosmetic and skincare brand, offers affordable cosmetics ranging from ¥440 to ¥1,100. Chifure’s affordability makes it the most budget-friendly convenience store brand for cosmetics, with Chifure’s eyebrow pencil being one of its most popular and inexpensive products. Ministop offers two shades: light brown (shade 21) and dark brown (shade 22). Opting for the latter, I quickly made my purchase and went home to indulge in my chocolate and test out the product. 

Chifure’s eyebrow pencil features a retractable crayon on one end and a spoolie on the other (helpful when blending the product and a rare feature on products in this price range). When applying at first, the formula slightly tugged at my skin due to its waxy texture. I found the pigment a bit patchy and inconsistent when trying to mimic brow hairs. Once the product warmed up, however, it was very smooth, buttery and glided on like a dream. The eyebrow pencil had a medium pigment, giving the brows a natural look without appearing too harsh or overdone. The shade, too, felt very warm for my hair color, so I found using it for faux freckles and eyeliner worked best. For under $5, Chifure’s eyebrow pencil is definitely worth giving a go.

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