Much mocked it may be, the industry is never less than innovative and evolving.
The Iyashi Octopus Sucker Massager is another great example.
It offers “skin suction” treatment with special suckers, similar to the kind that octopi have on their eight legs. Okay, if that sounds gross, then perhaps this item is not for you!
How does it work? Place your hands or feet inside to get a mini shiatsu-style massage from the suckers, which will “stick” to you and pull on your skin (painlessly, of course).
Or you can inverse it so you can apply the same stimulating treatment to your skin elsewhere on your body, such as your neck, arms, legs — or even your face.
The suckers firmly but harmlessly “pull” on the skin, applying a massage that helps improve blood circulation and the flow of water in the layers of your skin.
The design is actually inspired by the tako-tsubo, a type of earthenware octopus pot fishing trap used in Japan since the Jomon Period. We love the tongue-in-cheek marketing images!
We think this might be one of the most original and ingenious beauty tools we’ve seen yet.
And that’s saying a lot.
Japan is a nation that has produced a serious wealth of beauty items, from hi-tech examples like the Panasonic skin care moisturizing steamer masks to the frankly wacky face gadgets like the Face Slimmer Exercise Mouthpiece, plus incredibly innovative face packs.
To be fair, it’s the anti-aging beauty tools that look the most outlandish, though that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.
The best thing about the Long Piropiro Lung Exercise Tool, though, is how simple it is.
All you do is blow.
This exercises your chest and helps increase lung capacity over time. Your physique will be gradually strengthened just by blowing on the tool ten times a day.
It stretches up to 1 meter so it’s actually hard work to blow it fully out ten times in a row. Markings along the party horn-like tube show you how far you’ve achieved. But don’t bring it to kids’ parties, though, since it doesn’t make any fun noises.
The name comes from the alternative name in Japanese for a party blower or party horn. Strictly speaking they are called a fukimodoshi but kids also call them piropiro.
Could this be the most stylish new hair salon in Tokyo? Or the most hirsute coffee shop? Or both?
SALON & is opening this March in Yutenji, a neighborhood in Meguro ward, Tokyo, as a cafe-cross-hair salon concept space.
Produced by hair artist KITA3 and graphic designer and concept advisor Tetsuya Chiba, SALON & will offer hair cutting services and more. Much more. A coffee stand will serve original coffee blends, cafe lattes and espressos, while a gallery space will sell crafts and other exhibits. Books are also available to browse while you wait your turn in the salon.
What SALON & is doing is actually just the next logical step. Hair salons in Japan often look more like cafes from the outside. Many a time we have had to stop ourselves before entering what we thought was a charming coffee shop, only at the last moment to spot scissors snipping away at female customers’ hair. It’s not helped by the fact that hair salons often put signs outside with their prices — and invariably title the boards “menu”. No drinks are listed, just various cuts and treatments.
Our only concern with SALON & is what happens to the hair? Is there a danger of getting a stray strand in your coffee? Judging from the pre-released images there seems to be a sensible (but stylish!) window partition between the coffee stand and the hair salon space.
SALON & opens March 3rd. Find it at 2-8-10 Yutenji, Meguro-ku, Tokyo.
Flamboyant rock band KISS continue to conquer Japan. The makeup-loving rockers have for years been a staple of both summer music festivals and mainstream advertising campaigns.
And now they have joined the likes of Kabuki actors and animals from Ueno Zoo.
Isshin Do Honpo Inc has created the KISS Face Pack, a genuine mask meant to be worn by men or women to improve skin. It comes in two different two-packs based on the makeup of the glam metal band’s performers: Starchild (Paul Stanley) and Spaceman (Tommy Thayer), or Demon (Gene Simmons) and Cat (Eric Singer).
Despite their penchant for tongue-licking guitar solos and rumors of Satan worship, KISS is seen as harmless fun in the land of the rising sun.
The face pack series so far includes JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the musical Cats, classic Hollywood horror movie characters, Kansai Yamamoto fashion, and even a spin-off Hello Kitty version from different makers.
The makers of the Kabuki Face Pack just keep on finding new source material for skin care tools that blow all the competition out of the water.
Now comes two face packs inspired by the popular manga and anime series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
The JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Face Pack is a genuine beauty tool, like regular face packs designed to reinvigorate your skin and help fight the signs of aging.
This time the masks are based on the Stone Mask and the Star Platinum. As JoJo fans will know, the Stone Mask was featured in the first story in the JoJo series, while the Star Platinum is the Stand of Jotaro Kujo, from Stardust Crusaders.
The pack includes both masks… so which do you want to be?!
Shiseido has rolled out a new ad campaign featuring 50 selfies by Lady Gaga. Each selfie will be published in a different newspaper over two days this month: 46 were featured in national and regional newspapers on January 1st, and a further four will appear in four final newspapers on January 5th.
While it’s common to use western stars for ad campaigns (a current, slightly notorious Toyota TV ad campaign has Hugh Jackman), a “personal” campaign like this stands out. Gaga has taken the selfies exclusively for Shiseido to show off their make-up in use in the icon’s life.
Shiseido is famed for its cosmetics that keep Japanese women’s skin looking young and beautiful, though it almost always uses Japanese models (of all ages). So a series of selfie with a western music superstar is striking, not least because it makes a stark contrast to the Photoshopped images of Japanese actresses Shiseido usually employs, with their perfect skin and smiles.
Here the emphasis is on “Shiseido with you”, the makeup brand supporting women who want to create their own style — something Gaga has certainly done. Shiseido has also created a new “Vision 2020″ strategy looking ahead to the Tokyo Olympics, which will see the brand diversify and personalize.
Gaga herself tweeted: “I’m so excited to start a makeup revolution in Japan! The 50 Selfies celebrate Haus of Gaga creations & the future of the face w/ @Shiseido!”
For Gaga fans, the Japan-only selfies will all also be available online by January 13th on Shiseido’s marketing website. If you can’t wait that long, fans have been taking photos of the newspaper ads and uploading them.
Well, now how about the Monster Face Pack?
Makers Isshin Do Honpo’s next remarkable skin care tool is a series of four face packs inspired by classic Hollywood horror ghouls. They not only make you look like something straight out of an old movie, they are appropriately made with rosemary, a plant that has traditionally been used in Europe to ward off evil spirits.
First up is the Vampire Face Pack.
The red and white colors are as vibrant as you’d expect from the creators of the Kabuki Face Pack. The details are great, from the bat wings around the eyes to the fangs and the drip of blood on the mouth. Isshin promises that wearing it won’t make you develop an appetite for other people’s blood!
Here’s the Wolfman Face Pack, which transforms you into a werewolf. Feel free to wear the face pack at full moons or any other time of the month for that matter. Don’t worry, it’s not hairy.
The Skeleton Monster Face Pack is, of course, black and white. We love the teeth! Since the one thing skeletons are seriously lacking is skin, we do wonder about the irony of a face pack with this particular undead creature!
Lastly, Frankenstein’s Monster Face Pack is inspired by the classic Boris Karloff look of the creature Baron Frankenstein makes, from the green skin to the “stitches”. You don’t have to do a silly walk while wearing the face pack but it might help!
While these are obviously novelty ideas which put the fun back into skin care, they are still nonetheless genuine beauty treatment tools that contain nutrients and ingredients designed to improve the quality and vigor of your face. Such face packs are popular in Japan with women as daily items worn before bed.
Isshin Do Honpo have also issued a new Kabuki Face Pack, the Kabuki Face Pack Kotobuki with two new colorful designs based on Kabuki make-up.
JapanTrendShop is having a sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering 10% off on all items in its online catalog.
Just use the code blackfriday2014 or cybermonday2014 to claim a discount on your purchases.
So now there is no excuse for not getting yourself that latest gadget from Japan.
How about this one? The King Jim i-glaco Touchscreen Cleaner is a special pen-style cleaning agent that dispenses a protective coating over your phone or tablet to stop dirt accumulating.
Another way to keep your life hygienic is with this Sharp Plasmacluster Ceiling-Mounted Ion Generator unit, which releases ions into the air to kill bacteria lingering in your bathroom.
Our favs are still ultimately the tech stuff, though, such as the Rolto iPhone Screen Printer by King Jim. So useful for recipes and other short lists!
And this is bound to be a hit with the younger members of the family over the holidays. The Omnibot Hello! MiP is a nifty two-wheeled robot from Takara Tomy dances and carries things for you.
Check out more of the latest arrivals at JapanTrendShop.
First we had the Kabuki Face Pack, a skincare tool based on genuine Kabuki make-up. This was a hit and was followed by the Animal Face Pack (a charity model based on a real tiger and panda in Ueno Zoo) and Cats Face Pack (based on characters from the musical Cats), and then the Fashion Face Pack (inspired by the fashion of by Kansai Yamamoto).
Now the inevitable has happened.
We have the Hello Kitty Narikiri Face Pack.
This is exactly what it sounds like — a face pack that looks like the Sanrio character. (It’s not made by the same people as the Kabuki, Animal, Cats or Fashion Face Pack, though.)
Japan’s most popular and enduring ambassador of cute is now helping you look better by transforming you (narikiri) into the famous cat. One pack features two face masks, each one a genuine face pack that can improve your skin quality. There are three versions with different ribbon colors (red, pink, purple). The colors also have varying scents: red is rose, pink is cherry blossom, and purple is lavender.
Currently the Hello Kitty Narikiri Face Pack has limited availability at certain stores like the Sanrio souvenir shop at Tokyo Tower. Also look out for them on pre-order from Japan Trend Shop. A second set of Hello Kitty Face Packs is planned for early next year, though, which should have a wider release if these first ones are a hit.
Of course, there is already a host of other Hello Kitty merchandise out there, from vacuum cleaners to toasters, clothes, memory cards, cameras, and more.