8 Popular Japanese Makeup Brands: A Guide To Top Beauty Picks

8 Popular Japanese Makeup Brands: A Guide To Top Beauty Picks

25 April 2024Rasmiya Assadi

Here are the best Japanese makeup brands for you!

Ever wanted a flawless, natural look or a bold, fashion-forward statement? Japanese makeup offers the best of both worlds! 

Dive into this guide to discover top brands known for innovative formulas, long-lasting wear, and a focus on healthy beauty.

Key Takeaways

  • Japanese makeup brands are globally recognized for their quality and innovation.
  • The popularity of these brands is reflected in their sales and consumer following.
  • The diversity of Japanese cosmetics offers a variety of choices for beauty enthusiasts.

Which Is The Best Japanese Makeup Brand?

Out of the numerous renowned cosmetics brands, Shiseido stands out to me. Their iconic Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation is a testament to their commitment to skin health. 

This brand consistently delivers high-quality products that merge safety with effectiveness, making it a trustworthy choice in the realm of J-Beauty.

Popular Japanese Makeup Brands

Best Japanese Makeup Brands

Best Known For

Example Products


High-quality, innovative formulas

Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation, Zen Zome Eyeshadow Palette

Dr. Ci Labo

Dermatologist-developed, sensitive skin-friendly

Perfect Water Cleansing Oil, Aqua Rouge Glow Lipstick


Extensive range, catering to diverse needs

Sekkisei Lotion, Visee Eye Shadow Gradation

Pola Orbis

Science-backed, anti-aging focus

White Lotion, Moisture In Lip Color

Naris Cosmetics

Natural ingredients, long-lasting wear

Rouge Dior Lipstick, Aqualuminous Foundation


Clean beauty, paraben-free formulas

Mild Cleansing Oil, Fango Clay Mask


Drugstore staples, affordable options

Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, Meishoku Makeup Remover Sheet


Innovative, multi-tasking products

Hyaluron Moisture Lotion, Moisture Charge Eye Cream

Top 8 Best Japanese Makeup Brands


Founded: Over 140 years ago, cementing its place as a stalwart in the beauty industry.

Product Range:

  • Skincare: Emphasis on moisturizers and anti-aging serums.
  • Sunscreen: Optimal formulations for protection against UV damage.
  • Makeup: A spectrum of color cosmetics renowned for quality.

Innovation: At the forefront, incorporating cutting-edge science and exquisite ingredients.


  • Award-winning brushes, designed for precision application and blending.
  • High prestige lines like Clé de Peau Beauté, merging luxury with science.

Noteworthy Product: The unique, handcrafted Shiseido powder brush, celebrated for its design and ease of use.

Cultural Impact: Shiseido has substantially influenced both Japanese and global beauty practices, setting high standards for excellence.

For insight into Shiseido's acclaimed UV protection, one can look at their products like Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF 50+, renowned for not disturbing makeup. 

Additionally, the brand is applauded for its high-quality makeup tools, for instance, the flower-shaped powder brush identified by Good Housekeeping for its innovative design that contours to the face.

Dr. Ci

Founded in 1999 by the dermatologist Dr. Yoshinori Shirono, Dr. Ci has made a significant impact in Japan's skincare industry. Below, I've outlined key information about this prestigious brand:

  • Establishment: Emerged from a dermatological clinic.
  • Popularity: Holds the reputation as a top medical cosmetic brand in Japan.
  • Innovation: Known for science-backed product development.

Products Range:

  • A collection that addresses various skin concerns.
  • Noteworthy for quality and effectiveness.

Key Ingredients:

  • Utilizes unique blends of ingredients for their formulations.
  • Often incorporates natural extracts like green tea.


  • Markets both within Japan and internationally.
  • Several of their products can be purchased online.


  • Esteemed as the number one clinical skincare brand in Japan.

In my journey as a skincare enthusiast, Dr. Ci has consistently stood out with their emphasis on scientific research and commitment to skin health. 

Their products are a testament to the fusion of dermatological insight and skincare innovation, something that's evidently respected by consumers and the beauty industry alike.


In my experience exploring beauty products, I've found that Kose stands out as a distinguished name in the Japanese cosmetics industry, known for their innovative approach to skincare and makeup. 


This company's philosophy centers around blending sensuous experiences with smart science to create products that are both delightful to use and grounded in effective formulations.

Key Offerings:

  • Decorté: Elegance and advanced science merge in this prestigious line, recognized for marrying traditional Eastern medicine with cutting-edge research.
  • Tarte: Acquired by Kose in 2014, Tarte is celebrated for its eco-friendly beauty solutions that combine natural ingredients with vibrant colors.


  • Tarte Cosmetics: A noteworthy addition in 2014, enhancing Kose's global footprint by integrating Tarte's environmental consciousness with Kose’s scientific background.

Innovation and Values:

  • Passionate about cutting-edge research, Kose channels scientific breakthroughs into the creation of its products.
  • Sensuousness and intelligence are at the core of Kose's brand ethos, ensuring that their offerings are not just effective but also create a luxurious experience for the user.

By marrying high-end skincare principles with modern beauty trends, Kose has solidified its presence among the top Japanese beauty brands on the market. 

Their commitment to research and quality ingredients is evident in the products that grace both local and international shelves.

Pola Orbis

As a seasoned observer of the beauty industry, I've followed the progress of Pola Orbis Holdings closely. Established in Japan, this entity has left a significant imprint on the beauty sector globally. 

With a portfolio of brands that offer a symphony of cosmetics, skincare, and personalized beauty options, Pola Orbis has positioned itself as a go-to for premium beauty products.

Key highlights of their offerings include:

  • POLA: Known for its sophisticated anti-aging products, POLA has a legacy of intertwining beauty with science. Their B.A line is particularly acclaimed for its innovative skincare solutions.

  • ORBIS: As a sister brand to POLA, ORBIS markets products free from added preservatives and is revered for its water-based skincare formulas, encapsulating the essence of a minimalist skincare routine.

  • THREE: Capturing the essence of nature, THREE offers beauty products that insist on an all-natural ingredient list. A brand that prioritizes eco-conscious manufacturing and packaging processes.

  • FIVEISM × THREE: Geared toward men's makeup, this brand expands the boundaries of beauty, offering products that cater to a typically underserved market.

  • DECENCIA: Tailored for sensitive skin, DECENCIA's array of products accommodate those seeking gentle yet effective skin treatments.

  • Fujimi: This personalized beauty care range emphasizes a bespoke approach, providing consumers with products that adapt to individual beauty needs.

  • Jurlique: Although an international arm of Pola Orbis, Jurlique brings a touch of Japanese beauty philosophy to its Australian botanical products.

The strategic movements of Pola Orbis in the beauty landscape have been marked by innovation and cultural resonance. 

It's something I always keep an eye on, given their profound contribution to both tradition and modernity in beauty standards, not only within Japan but across the world.

Naris Cosmetics

Naris Cosmetics, established in the 1930s, has distinguished itself within the Japanese beauty industry through its commitment to skin health and beauty. 

The brand emphasizes the harmony between science and nature, using advanced research to extract the best from natural ingredients.

  • Founding Year: 1932
  • Philosophy: Balancing nature with scientific innovation
  • Flagship Products:
    • Quintessential moisturizers infused with natural extracts
    • Rejuvenating serums that cater to diverse skin needs
    • Makeup line celebrated for its nourishing properties and elegant finish

What sets Naris Cosmetics apart is their use of unique formulations that aim to enhance skin's inherent qualities. They specialize in products that not only beautify on the surface but also nourish the skin deeply. 

My respect for the brand stems from their dedication to meticulous research and commitment to customer welfare.


In discussing the landscape of Japanese makeup brands, FANCL invariably comes to attention. Known for its commitment to skin health, FANCL stands out for its avoidance of preservatives and skin irritants in its products. 

My knowledge of this brand tells me that it's a heavyweight in the realm of skincare and makeup due to its philosophy of purity and gentle effectiveness.

  • Product Range: The lineup includes a variety of skincare and makeup products, with an emphasis on foundations and powders. They prioritize products that are friendly to sensitive skin.
  • Foundation Options: Users can find a selection of base makeup like the Powder Foundation Bright Up UV, which is available both as a product and in refill form.
  • Price Point: FANCL products are situated in an affordable price bracket, considering their commitment to high-quality, additive-free ingredients.

The brand's approach appeals to those who are conscious not only of the aesthetics of makeup but also of its impact on their skin's health. 

I've noticed that there's a consistent demand for FANCL products, likely due to this unique brand positioning and the growing awareness of skincare as an essential aspect of beauty routines.


As a connoisseur of Japanese beauty products, I find Kao stands out due to its heritage and innovation in skincare and cosmetics. 

In my exploration of popular Japanese makeup brands, Kao emerges as a notable conglomerate with an impressive portfolio, encompassing a variety of brands that cater to diverse beauty needs.

  • Kao Beauty Brands: A pioneer in fusing traditional Japanese skincare principles with scientific advancements.
  • Sensitive Skin Solutions: Renowned for providing gentle skincare that restores moisture and enhances the complexion, especially for those with dry or sensitive skin profiles.
  • Innovative Products: The MegRhythm Steam Eye Mask, a Kao innovation, exemplifies the brand's commitment to improving lifestyle and wellness through unique products.
  • Fashion-forward Lines: Brands like Kate Tokyo Makeup under the Kao umbrella resonate with young women for their modern and chic cosmetic offerings.

I've also noted that their commitment to sustainability and global reach is reflected in their business practices and product development strategies. 

Moreover, they're consistently recognized for their excellence, such as garnering acclaim from Japan's @cosme Best Cosmetics Awards. 

It's evident that Kao's blend of utility, beauty, and responsibility helps them maintain a dominant position within the beauty industry.

Noevir HD

Noevir HD is one of the premium selections in my rundown of admired Japanese makeup brands. It's distinguished for its high-definition finish that caters to those seeking a flawless and professional look.



Key Attributes:

  • Finely-milled powders: These promote a soft-focus effect and minimize the appearance of imperfections.
  • Nourishing ingredients: My experience shows that the inclusion of skin-care components enhances both makeup performance and overall skin health.
  • Long-wear capability: I vouch for its durability throughout the day without the need for frequent touch-ups.
  • Shade selection: They offer a range of colors that work well across different skin tones.

Product Lineup Includes:

  • Foundations
  • Concealers
  • Powders
  • Eye makeup

I appreciate the brand's commitment to combining cosmetics with skincare, resulting in products that not only beautify on the surface but also nourish the skin underneath.

Best Japanese Makeup Brands: FAQs

Top Japanese Makeup Brands by Sales

Japanese makeup brands are highly sought after, often leading in sales both domestically and internationally. Among the most popular are:

  • Shiseido: A pioneer in the beauty industry, offering a wide range of skincare and makeup.
  • SK-II: Known for their luxury skincare products, including the iconic Facial Treatment Essence.
  • Kanebo: Produces a variety of makeup lines offering sophisticated beauty solutions.

Luxury Japanese Brands to Consider

For those interested in indulging in high-end Japanese cosmetics, several brands stand out:

  • SUQQU: Offers premium products with a focus on natural-looking skin and subtle elegance.
  • Clé de Peau Beauté: Renowned for their advanced skincare and luxurious makeup.

Budget-Friendly Japanese Cosmetic Lines

Japanese makeup offers quality even at more accessible price points. Notable affordable brands include:

  • Canmake: Provides a variety of playful and trendy makeup products.
  • Kose: Includes multiple brands with a wide range of beauty products that are reasonably priced.

Japanese Makeup with Attractive Packaging

Japan is also famous for brands that not only perform well but look charming on your vanity:

  • Jill Stuart Beauty: Their ornate and feminine designs are as delightful as their cosmetics.
  • Anna Sui: Features signature purple and rose motifs, appealing to those who love vintage aesthetics.

Availability of Japanese Brands at Sephora

Those looking to shop for Japanese makeup at Sephora will find:

  • Shiseido: A staple at Sephora, offering both makeup and skincare favorites.
  • Tatcha: While not traditionally Japanese, it's inspired by Japanese beauty rituals and is popular among Sephora customers.

Essential Japanese Makeup Buys

When in Japan or shopping for Japanese cosmetics, some must-haves include:

  • Cure Natural Aqua Gel: A top-selling gentle exfoliator, beloved for its ability to reveal smooth skin.
  • DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: A cult favorite for melting away makeup without stripping the skin.

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