By Jessica A Paje
For all of the budding make-up artists, it’s your time to be a princess! The playful Korean cosmetic line, Etude House, is a sure hit among women worldwide and in Japan. Based on the thousands of rave reviews and YouTube tutorials on the make-up line, I just had to check it out for myself. Besides, I am always wondering how these beautiful Japanese women keep their skin bright, blemish-free and youthful. Practically speaking it’s a likely combination of a healthy diet, exercise and protection from the sun. Nonetheless, I’m still convinced it might be the next best thing for me.
From what I gather online, there are several Etude House locations or shops that offer these cosmetics in the Kanagawa region: Haneda Airport, Yokohama, Harajuku & Shinjuku (if you can read Japanese, you can also order products through their website). Since I was already in Shinjuku after I hopped off a sightseeing tour on the Hop Line route, I decided to visit the store located at Lumine EST. Do not get this confused with the Lumine 1 or Lumine 2 buildings. Lumine EST is adjacent to JR Shinjuku Station and Etude House is located on the North end of the 2nd Floor.
As a woman well beyond her twenties, I walked in with an open mind. My immediate impression was "Kawaii" (cute)! As stated on the website, the shop resembled a dollhouse with trinkets and various stations to test the cosmetics. With stars, hearts and dreams throughout, all I was missing was a tiara and a magical wand; the shop is so charming. I noticed the customers appeared to range in age from school age to senior citizen. This is due to having a vast product line for troubled or aged skin types, hair, body and nails. And complimentary shades that one could wear day-to-day or a few dramatic colors for the evening.
Have you heard of BB Cream (Blemish Balm cream)? It’s like a 6-in-1: moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer, and foundation. So, why not grab one for ¥1,500; this is what Etude house is globally known for and is available in five different shades. After making my way to the other side of the shop, I found another sign that read “Best Seller #1.” So, I stood there trying to figure out what it was. Most of the directions are printed both in Korean and in English. Luckily, I also had the assistance from a lovely staff member and she explained it was a nighttime moisturizer. Perfect! Let me give it a try and see if it helps during the harsh, dry winter months.
Don’t be alarmed by the life-size posters of the K-Pop male group SHINee. They became the Etude House Models in 2011 and actually, their faces look as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I wonder if they actually use any of these cosmetics?
In summary, I would highly recommend a visit to Etude House if you happen to be near. If their products are not for you, I’m sure they’d do great as stocking stuffers for the holiday season or gifts for the special women in your life since they are very affordable cosmetics. Have fun and let me know what you bought! Or, if you have time, join the crowd and create your unique video blog online! Thousands are waiting to hear from you.
Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Yokosuka, Japan, for 5 years. In 2010, I arrived with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect ...