Korean beauty has gone boom in the past few years, with brands like Huxley, Erborian, Too Cool For School and Dr. Jart taking centre stage. But according to Glory Mart's Anna-Marie Solowji, it's now Japan's time to shine.
'So much of what is exciting in K-beauty originally stemmed from Japan,' she reveals. 'With a struggling economy and South Korea investing in beauty R&D, K-beauty stole the limelight. Now, Japan is taking it back.' And she's right.
From RMK to Kate Moss' favourite, Decorté, check out the very best Japanese products no beauty stash is complete without.
If Decorté is good enough for Kate Moss, it's good enough for us, right? Beloved by beauty editors everywhere, this serum boasts aqueous algin-mesh to keep moisture in, and environmental aggressors like pollution out, as well as potassium and magnesium for an extra hit of hydration. It's so light, it almost feels like a toner but the results speak for themselves - smooth, plump, glowy skin.
The charcoal in Biore's foaming cleanser has the might to cut through heavy make-up, oil and everyday grime, leaving skin satisfyingly squeaky clean but never uncomfortably taut. Don't let the colour put you off - it foams white and rinses clear, so you won't have to scrub the sink afterwards!
There's a reason why one of these facial cleansing oils is sold every ten seconds. The luxurious golden elixir melts away even the heaviest of make-up to leave skin feeling soft and supple but never greasy. We'll take two more bottles, please.
The only mascara we purchase time and time again, this is chock-full with teeny tiny fibres and inky pigments, which build full, fluttery lashes in as little as one single swipe. If you go for the waterproof version, be sure to invest in a good eye make-up remover - it's that sturdy.
If you haven't yet trawled Asian beauty hub, Yes Style, do it right now. This amazing liquid liner is a cross between Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner (which serves up the truest black and incredible staying power) and Eyeko's Black Magic Liquid Liner (which boasts firm but malleable pointed tip to fashion the sharpest of feline flicks in seconds). The best of both for a mere £2.68.
RMK's double-sided liquid eyeshadow serves up a pigment-packed matte colour on one end (perfect for those with oily lids) and a pearly, watercolour-esque texture on the other end for those who prefer a subtler look. Simply shake, swipe and blend with your fingertips.
Combat cold weather flakiness with a generous slathering of this stuff, just don't let the word 'emulsion' fool you. Instead of a cloying cream, you'll find a silky, nourishing moisturising lotion that absorbs with no greasy residue and protects even the most sensitive skin against the elements and central heating.
It took twenty years of intense research to perfect this serum, so it was always going to earn a cult following. It may take seconds to sink into the skin but the results are long-lasting. You can expect a much brighter, clearer and even-toned complexion. Apply immediately after cleansing and before your moisturiser for best results.
According to make-up artists, this is the holy grail of all eyelash curlers. The soft-close hinge and plush cushion means they won't snag, snap or snip your lashes in half. Instead, they'll leave them impressively perky for hours on end, no matter how short.
- £100 for 10
Filled to bursting with glow-giving vitamins, skin-refining acids and Pitera - a smoothing, softening ingredient also found in Japanese rice wine sake - a few minutes under one of these masks is akin to an hour-long professional facial. Plus, they cohere tightly to the skin without the claustrophobic feeling.
Sweep your blush brush over the two shades in Suqqu's sleek powder compact for a charge of vivid colour - see ya, pallid winter cheeks. Not only does it look Instagram-worthy, but it really sticks around.
OK, Surratt might not be a Japanese brand as such, but every single one of their Artistique Eyeshadows takes inspiration from Japanese make-up craft. The powder is milled so delicately that it feels like a cream on application. Expect a blanket of colour, excellent staying power and zero creasing. The shade range is impressive, too.
Japonesque's travel-sized brushes fit neatly inside even the smallest of make-up bags. The bristles are ultra-soft but densely packed to deposit just the right amount of blush, bronzer or setting powder and to blend both concealer and eyeshadow seamlessly. The best part? They won't splay or lose their shape, no matter how many times you wash them.