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.
And while there are certainly some strange-looking (but still theoretically functioning) beauty gadgets out there, it doesn’t mean the major Japanese manufacturers aren’t creating products for the industry.
Take Panasonic, one of the biggest producers of cosmetic tools and electronics. Its line of steamers and other skincare gadgets are very successful, and it has established itself as a leader in the field through marketing such as the series of “beauty tutorials” that play on the JR Yamanote Line in Tokyo.
The Panasonic Beauty Premium Booster Mask EH-XM10 is a new addition to its catalog. We were interested in this product because it combines both the skin steamer and beauty mask genres.
While there is an unmistakeable Darth Vader vibe to the publicity images, this is a hi-tech solution designed based on data collected from some 5,000 female research subjects.
You soak the mask’s water plate in water and then warm it on the stand, before setting it on your face for 10 minutes. You can also combine the gadget with regular cosme items, such as face pack sheets, which can be placed over the Booster Mask.
The Panasonic Beauty Premium Booster Mask EH-XM10 is available on pre-order from JapanTrendShop now.
Japan has its fair share of wacky but fascinating beauty gadgets. There are also lots of inventive cosme items too. For example, we’ve already had the Cats Face Pack, the Kabuki Face Pack, and the Animal Face Pack.
All these face packs were created by Isshin do Honpo and designed based on genuine characters.
Now comes the Fashion Face Pack by Kansai Yamamoto, which features two face packs recreating actual make-up used by the eponymous veteran designer in a London fashion show.
These were in turn inspired by Kabuki kumadori make-up, so this is very much a mixture of avant-garde art from both the past and present.
Isshin do Honpo calls the series the “Japanese Face” brand.
JAPANESE FACE is a cosmetic face pack brand that introduces uniquely Japanese faces to the world.
With illustrated sheet masks and carefully selected moisturizing lotions, consumers have fun wearing the masks and then enjoy the benefits of beautiful skin afterwards.
It is a new kind of Japanese souvenir that introduces the great Japanese culture to people around the world and here in Japan, as well.
The Fashion Face Pack by Kansai Yamamoto is available worldwide from JapanTrendShop. It officially goes on sale in select stores in Japan on September 21st, which is actually the same day that Japan’s first ever fashion show was held at Mitsukoshi in 1927.
We can’t wait to see what Japanese Face is next! Tengu, perhaps?
A little over a week ago people around the world began talking about a particular, and peculiar, Japanese beauty gadget.
Plus ça change, we hear some of you say.
But the Facial Fitness Pao Smile Trainer became the latest Japanese oddity to sweep the globe’s digital spheres not just because it is a rather unusual item but because its marketing prominently features Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo.
We’re not really sure of the connection between the biggest soccer player in the world today and a beauty gadget — surely Ronaldo of all people doesn’t need this! — but he appears in the posters and even a TV commercial.
Significantly, Ronaldo doesn’t actually try to use the Pao himself!
How does it work? All you do is pop the bar-shaped tool in your mouth and bob to swing it up and down. It will then help exercise your cheeks to give you a better, younger smile. The unique rhythmical technology is simple and charming, and has been created in consultation with experts so it’s intuitive but effective. You are meant to use it for two 30-second sessions per day and the balanced exercise created by the Pao apparently has a 94% success rate!
While a lot of people write these products off as more the usual “wacky Japan” nonsense — and it can understandably make expats in Japan angry that blogs like this even feature them — we think there’s more to it than that.
This is a genuine beauty gadget. But it is novel, bordering on the silly. The makers are aware of that and so, rather than risk being laughed at,they turn it into a marketing strategy. The silliness becomes if not part of the appeal, at least a way to gain attention and also to offset any unease people feel about these kinds of anti-aging products. It’s quite typical of Japanese companies to do this. Marketing for male baldness is also quite tongue-in-cheek in tone and one major campaign a few years ago for hair loss services successively employed two famous comedians. Laughter can be a greater way of communicating.
Not all beauty gadgets do this. Plenty of massage tools and so on are marketed and sold in perfectly ordinary ways. But this also makes certain products like the Beauty Lift High Nose that are both unusual in their design, functionality, and (perhaps, by extension) their presentation really stand out.
The MTG has obviously spent a lot of money. Firstly, they snagged Ronaldo to front the ads and brought him to Japan for a promo event. Everything is well-made. The music in the videos and the bright visuals make it very slick and professional. They made a special Pao website and spent money on getting decent copy and photos done. Many Japanese beauty products often come across as even more bizarre because the marketing, while sophisticated if you accept our argument above, is nonetheless quite cheap and shoddy. But here MTG have also got some other actors and models involved — keen-eyed Japanophiles might have spotted the ubiquitous veteran foreign performer Ian Moore, from the Navitime ads — and invested in lots of advertising. For us, the results are less wacky Japan and more United Colors of Benetton.
On a final note, keep in mind that this is not just Japan. The BBC also recently ran a very “wacky Japan”-esque article about a Chinese beauty trend called the “face-kini”.
Japanese people like to dress up. Various commentators like to point to social phenomenon like cosplay (literally, “costume play”) as examples of how people seek escape in role-playing and dressing-up. This can be seen in all walks of life, from the sex industry to the unfortunate folk roped into dressing up as mascots at sports games, malls and almost any major public event across the land.
And so when we saw the Animal Face Pack, we weren’t in the least bit surprised. A face pack that turns you into a tiger? Why of course!
These are not just costume pieces and you won’t find them in Don Quijote. They are genuine face packs and we don’t wish to lessen their quality by drawing an analogy to cosplay, though it is tempting to ponder how much influence cosplay has on the Japanese cosmetics industry..
The Animal Face Pack has been created by Isshin Do Honpo, who previously brought the world the Kabuki Face Pack, the mask that improves your skin and turns you into a performer on the traditional Japanese stage.
The Animal Face Pack is similar, a brilliant and visually-arrested concept that takes a face pack, makes it more interesting and in the process turns you into an animal. The creatures in question here are a panda and tiger (it’s a set of two). But this hasn’t been done by halves, the makers have gone to Ueno Zoo, Japan’s most famous zoological garden, and found two popular residents to base their face packs on.
The results then are replicas of the faces of actual Ueno Zoo animals, Sumatran tiger Kunde and giant pandas Ri Ri and Shin Shin. But again, it’s not just a gimmick — the face packs contain water, glycerine, BG hyaluronan, hydrolysis collagen, water-soluble collagen, and vitamin C — and the intention is sincere, since part of sales are being donated to the animals’ upkeep at Ueno and also to protecting pandas and tigers in the wild.
Charity. Cosplay. And cosmetics. You can’t argue with that combination!
Do you remember in the 1990′s when everyone wanted to have Jennifer Aniston’s “The Rachel” haircut? Well, right now in Japan girls are also trying to copy a look. Nothing new in that, except this “copying” itself has become the trend.
It is called monomane meiku, literally “imitation make-up”, and involves the use of both cosmetics, hair styles and strategic face masks to turn yourself into popular models or celebrities.
TV personality Zawachin (21), aka Kaori Ozawa, started things off by posting pictures on her official blog where she impersonated famous people’s look, especially former AKB48 idol Tomomi Itano. She attracted such a following that a talk event in late April attracted 300 women, many of whom were wearing her signature face mask and make-up.
Japan is an imitation culture. The idea of mane is ingrained, from cosplay (dressing up as characters, typically from anime or manga) to fake food samples in restaurants and the way Japan has long imported, assimilated and then reproduced (with changes) foreign ideas and objects, from weapons to cooking.
Combine this with a strong native idol culture, where on top of “idols” like AKB48, models, actresses and singers also attract a following for being talented or attractive, but also for representing a certain kind of look that female fans want to acquire. This means that fashion models regularly release books and get thousands of hits on their blogs where they post pictures of their look that day (along with their lunch).
Zawachin can transform herself into actress Keiko Kitagawa, singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, figure skater Mao Asada, model Miranda Kerr (who is very popular in Japan), and more. Her book “Zawachin Make Magic”, released in January and in which she gives tips on cosmetics, has sold 120,000 copies. Her blog, in which goes into detail about the transformation process, has at times attracted over 1 million hits a day.
Zawachin has a repertoire of 60 people, including even male pop idol group Arashi. She says that “monomane meiku is different to ‘monomane‘ (impersonation) since anyone can do it”. With the right techniques and know-how, apparently you can become a star.
According to the Nikkei Marketing Journal, Zawachin is inspiring people as young as five years old to get in on the trend.
So next time you see someone on the streets of Tokyo who looks like a famous singer or actress, think twice before asking for their autograph. It might just be Zawachin or one of her many disciples.
While Japan’s beauty and skincare product designers have produced no shortage of original and sometimes alarming-looking face masks, this might just be the most intriguing we’ve encountered in a while.
The Kabuki Face Pack comes as a set of two colorful masks that, like any standard face pack, work to rejuvenate your skin. However, here’s the difference: They also cast you as Kabuki actors!
Yes, as any glance at the visual design of the masks will reveal, the face packs come in red and blue inspired by the genuine makeup that Kabuki stage performers when playing two roles in the classics “Funabenkei” and “Shibaraku”.
Isshin Do Honpo Inc produced the Kabuki Face Packs with the cooperation of Ichikawa Somegoro, a real and respected Kabuki actor, and the design matches actual makeup used on the stage. After all, why should skincare be dull?
Meanwhile, if you’re suffering from hay fever at the moment, slip on a Doraemon face mask or these Hello Kitty Anti-Pollen Glasses. Whenever there’s an ailment or allergy, trust Japan to come up with a fun way to deal with it.