Like its Korean counterpart, K-beauty, Japanese beauty—also known as J-beauty—is rooted in skin care, which is why celebrities from Jourdan Dunn to Emma Watson swear by the skin-care-first culture for their crystal-clear complexions and baby-soft skin. But J-beauty isn’t only about skin care. Many J-beauty brands have ventured into the makeup world as well, in addition to their essences and masks, with celebrity-favorite mascaras and beauty tools.
To inspire your next J-beauty shopping trip, we’ve rounded up the Japanese beauty products celebrities swear by. From the tried-and-true clay mask that a pop star uses to clean out her pores to the cult-favorite serum one supermodel uses for her runway-ready skin, these products are worth the sometimes-hefty price tag. Check out eight celebrities’ favorite J-beauty products ahead.
When it comes to J-beauty, SK-II is the crème de la crème, with most beauty lovers knowing the brand's Holy Grail essence. Containing 90 percent pitera (a bioingredient from fermented yeast), the product promises to brighten skin and smooth wrinkles over time. Dunn was first introduced to the product on a trip to Tokyo where she tried the brand's customer-favorite sheet mask.
"I use my SK-II Essence. It’s one of my favorite brands to use. I found it on a trip to Tokyo when I tried the sheet mask," Dunn told Into the Gloss. "In Tokyo, their skincare regimen is next level and I was so intrigued that they had 11 steps. So after I use my toner, I use the essence, and I feel like it just works together with everything."
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, $179 at Sephora
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Jonathan Van Ness
Van Ness is known for his long, silky, Jesus-like hair, and to keep it clean he swears by two products: Hairstory's New Wash Conditioner and Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil Shampoo—the latter of which is a J-beauty product. Specifically, Van Ness loves the products' detergent-free formulas, which leave his hair feeling clean but not brittle.
"I wash my hair 1-2 times a week. Most days I use a co-wash or cleansing conditioner like New Wash by Hair Story, or the cleansing oil by Shu Uemura. These have no detergents whatsoever, and remove dirt and yuck but leave behind the correct balance of natural oils," he told Cosmopolitan UK.
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil shampoo, $40 at Amazon
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Mitchell was introduced to Shiseido's Aura Dew Highlighter after her makeup artist, Patrick Ta, used it on her at a photo shoot. Mitchell swears by the product for a natural-looking highlight, thanks to its breathable, near-invisible formula.
"The Shiseido Aura Dew Highlighter is sort of my thing ever since Patrick showed it to me at the shoot. I apply it in a C formation on my temples and cupid's bow, but I like my skin to look natural, not too highlighted," Mitchell told Cosmopolitan.
Shiseido Aura Dew highlighter, $25 at Sephora
Long before she became a duchess, Markle shopped at Sephora like the rest of us. One of her consistent buys was Tatcha's Rice Enzyme Powder, a gentle, water-activated exfoliator made out of Japanese rice.
"I really love the Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder. It just sort of foams on your face and gives you a really subtle exfoliation," Markle told Allure.
Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder, $65 at Sephora
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Eye creams are a must for a red carpet, and one Aduba loves is Koh Gen Do's Macro Vintage Eye Treatment. The product, which was used on the actor at the 2018 SAG Awards, contains water from the Alps to plump and rehydrate the skin.
Koh Gen Do Macro Vintage Eye Treatment, $158 at Amazon
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Watson is known for her love of vegan beauty products, so when she was looking for a mascara, she needed something that was both animal-free and sensitive on her skin. She landed on DHC's Perfect Pro Mascara, which she says comes off with simply warm water and without a makeup remover.
"The only mascara I use is from DHC. The thing is, I really, really hate using harsh makeup removers, especially around my eyes. They sting and make my eyes water and don’t feel good to me. But the DHC mascara only comes off in warm water," Watson told Into the Gloss. "And the brush is really nice. I swear by it."
DHC Perfect Pro mascara, $17 at Amazon
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Charcoal masks were huge a couple years ago, and one of Grande's favorites was from a J-beauty brand. In an Instagram of her and a couple of her friends, including her hairstylist Dalina Rebollo, Grande touted Boscia's Luminizing black charcoal mask, which is chock-full of antioxidants and activated charcoal for clean, radiant skin. “Slumber party with my crazies! We be looking flawless thanks to @boscia," Rebollo wrote in a caption.
Boscia Luminizing black charcoal mask, $34 at Sephora
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As an actor and influencer, Chung is constantly on planes. To refresh her tired-looking skin, she swears by a thorough nighttime routine, which includes Skin Inc.'s Tri-Light, an at-home spa device that combines LED chromotherapy and low-frequency stimulations to revitalize dull skin in a flash. In a YouTube video detailing her nighttime routine, Chung uses the tool after her serums.
Skin Inc. Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light, $265 at Sephora