Who hasn’t harboured fantasies of celebrating a wintry Christmas? We know we have. And one of the best places to spend a wintry Christmas is, undoubtedly, Tokyo.
Still, it can be pretty hard to snag a ticket to Japan’s most populous metropolis during this period of time. But don’t go bidding adieu to your wintry Christmas fantasy just yet! Sure, you might not be able to take a trip down, but you can still feel like you did with these 9 authentic Japanese Christmas gifts that you can get in Singapore instead.
Having achieved holy grail status by locals, we promise that these recommendations will make everyone think you braved the eight-hour flight to the Land of the Rising Sun. Let’s get started!
1. Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Hyaluronic Acid
One of the best authentic Japanese Christmas gifts out there that is actually easier to get your hands on in Singapore?! Nope, you’re not reading that wrong! Apparently, this mask is so adored by locals, they are constantly sold out in Japanese drugstores.
Known as the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Hyaluronic Acid, this mask contains a whopping 33g of jelly essence – how generous! It is also formulated with two types of Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and moisturise dry, irritable skin, with it being free of artificial fragrances, artificial colourants, mineral oil, alcohol, silicon and UV absorbers. Instead, it contains the scents of natural essential oils such as Lavender, Palmarosa and Geranium.
This means it is suitable for most skin types, even those with a sensitive complexion. Nice!
If hydration isn’t necessarily what you (or the recipient of your gift) is looking for in a mask, they also happen to have a whole range dedicated to common skincare concerns. Hoping to get firmer, perkier skin? Opt for the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Collagen instead. Need something that helps with aging? The Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Royal Jelly is the one for you, then. If you prefer a formula that hydrates and tones more, then go for the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Rose.
There are four separate types within the range in total, and they are the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Hyaluronic Acid, the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Collagen, the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Royal Jelly, and the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask Rose. Each of them are priced at an ultra reasonable SGD16.90, which just sweetens the deal!
Alternatively, if sheet masks aren’t your thing, there is also the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Lotion. Containing five types of moisturising ingredients as well as gold foil, it acts as an booster, penetrating deeply into skin and working in conjunction with your other skincare products to help add instant radiance and luminosity to skin.
You can use it after cleansing or as a booster before complementing it with one of the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Masks. This is highly recommend as research shows that skin hydration increases to 121% by using both! For those busy bees who don’t have 20 mins for the mask, you may try the cotton packing method instead: just put this baby onto your cotton pad and leave it on your face for just 3 to 5 mins.
The Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask range and Golden Jelly Lotion is available at selected Watsons stores, as well as at Tokyu Hands, Welcia BHG, Don Don Donki, Robinsons Departmental Store, Metro Departmental Stores, and ecommerce platforms such as Qoo10, Redmart, Shopee and Lazada.
The Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask range retails at SGD16.90 per box, while the Golden Jelly Lotion retails at SGD35.
2. Shiseido The Collagen Drink
Ever wondered how Japanese women maintain their youthful appearance? Well, it could be due to their love for Shiseido’s The Collagen Drink. Sure, this product may be available exclusively in Japan Shiseido outlets, but you can easily get it online now from stores such as Shopee and Qoo10. Plus, the fact that you can only get it in-store in Tokyo just adds to the authenticity factor!
Formulated with ingredients that are great for your skin such as Star Fruit Leaf Extract, Cowberry and Amla Fruit, this collagen rich drink keeps your skin smooth, moist, and radiant. It is also fat free, caffeine free, and preservative free, making it an amazingly healthy (and beneficial!) treat for just about anyone. Oh, and did we mention that it is only 85 calories?
Trust us, health junkies and beauty junkies both would adore this.
3. Japanese Lacquerwear
You can’t get more authentically Japanese than with a great set of lacquerwear! Classy, elegant, and oh so pretty, they would make a perfect addition to just about any vanity table. Opt for the accessory cases, which are spacious enough to accommodate a majority of beauty products. The split, separate cases also make it that much easier to organise your loot, which makes it a perfect gift for beauty hoarders out there.
There is a wide variety available in major departmental stores such as Isetan, Takashimaya, and BHG. Prices vary according to the intricacy of the lacquerwear, though, if you’d like a more affordable option, we recommend checking out Muji for some great deals.
4. Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick Regular
At the top of the list when it comes to authentic Japanese Christmas gifts you can get in Singapore? The Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick Regular, of course. Considered to be a essential in many Japanese women’s makeup bags, this portable stick helps style loose, stray hairs that escape from your carefully constructed hairdos.
The best part? The recipient of said gift doesn’t have to get their hands dirty whilst doing it! Unlike conventional wax formulas, the Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick Regular was designed for maximum convenience. With a firm base to grip onto, the hair stick can be applied easily onto locks, slicking back unruly baby hairs so as to keep hair slick, polished, and oh-so-ready for the day.
It is also travel-friendly, of course, and fits into just about any bag. Effective, efficient, and super easy to use? It’s no surprise why it is considered to be one of the best authentic Japanese Christmas gifts around!
If you’re looking for something with a tad more staying power, there is also the Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick Strong Hold. This one guarantees that hair stays in place for hours on end, so it’ll be perfect for anyone who works long hours or simply doesn’t have the time to conduct touch-ups.
Or, if wax feels a little too strong for your liking, opt for the Utena Hair Arrangement Water instead, which is form of liquid wax that keeps hair in place while still ensuring your tresses remain soft and glossy. The addition of camellia oil, argan oil, and baobab oil also ensures that hair stays healthy throughout use, with this new and improved version (released just this year for both the Arrangement Water and Styling Sticks) containing a moisture absorbing ingredient that can sustain hairstyles even in hot and humid climates! Oh, and did we mention that it is water resistant too?
Plus, it can be used in conjunction with the Utena Matomage Hair Styling Sticks. Simply use the Styling Water to tame messy locks first, before sealing it all with the Utena Matomage Hair Styling Sticks. Voila!
The Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick Regular, Strong Hold, and Hair Styling Water is available at selected Watsons stores, Tokyu Hands, Welcia BHG, Don Don Donki, and Robinsons Departmental Store. It is also available on e-commerce platforms such as Qoo10, Redmart, Shopee, and Lazada. They retail at SGD9.90 each.
5. Pelican For Back Medicated Soap
Regarded as one of Japan’s most underrated beauty products, the Pelican For Back Medicated Soap makes a perfectly thoughtful gift for anyone with oily, acne-prone skin. Formulated with blended coal mud, charcoal, and papain that helps to deep cleanse skin thoroughly, this one is particularly effective on acne that grows on your body— especially those along your back, chest, and arms.
Not only does it effectively clear out said acne, it also cleanses your pores all without stripping your skin of its natural oils, leaving a dewy, luminous finish after. Back in the day, you could only get this in Japan’s drugstores, but you can now get them online as well on Qoo10 and Lazada.
One of the most authentic Japanese Christmas gifts around that is both effective and inexpensive? No doubt about it.
6. Breath Palette Flavoured Toothpaste
A toothpaste that is… caramel flavoured?! Yup, it doesn’t get anymore inventive (or Japanese!) than this. The Breath Palette Flavoured Toothpastes are actually a big hit amongst Japanese locals, with advocates of the brand raving about the fact that it is made of natural ingredients and extracts.
Sure, this means that the toothpaste doesn’t foam as much as commercial ones, but it also does mean that you’re a lot less susceptible to the various health risks that comes with using them. Gift this to any one of your health-conscious friends and or family. Or, perhaps even someone who simply enjoys the novelty of using pumpkin-flavoured toothpaste.
Oh, and did we mention that it’s only SGD1.90? Yup, if this doesn’t make it a perfect stocking-stuffer and one of the best authentic Japanese Chrismas gifts around, we don’t know what will.
The Breath Palette Flavoured Toothpaste is available at all Don Don Donki outlets and retails at SGD1.90 each.
7. Kiss New York Professional Makeup Sponge
Know of someone who has a beauty sponge on their Christmas wish list? Well, they (and you!) are in luck then, because the Kiss New York Professional Makeup Sponge is the perfect gift for them. A 3-D, multi-functional makeup sponge that is suitable for every part of the face, there are even interestingly shaped ones that help blend your foundation, concealer and powder effortlessly along hard-to-reach areas such as the corners of the nose or along your eyes.
And yes, it may be called the Kiss New York professional sponge, but this is most definitely a Japanese product. In fact, is is another one of those hidden beauty gems that locals love to purchase for themselves. One of the best authentic Japanese Christmas gifts in the beauty market? Check!
The Kiss New York Professional Makeup Sponge is available at all Don Don Donki outlets and retails at SGD4.90 per sponge.
We may think of them as ordinary coin pouches, but did you know that these are actually called Gamaguchi, and are super popular amongst the youth in Japan? Translated directly to mean ‘toad’s mouth’, they traditionally come in floral designs and a metal clasp that is meant to fit all your loose change.
These cute cases also work great when it comes to storing beauty samples, travel-sized products and the like, though! Gift it to loved ones who frequent fliers, and perhaps accompany it with a few of their favourite mini beauty favorites and skincare products for maximum convenience.
If you’d like it to appear as authentic as possible, we recommend going for floral designs in dark colours. If not, you can simply go for any design that you think would appeal to the recipient of the gift! Check out Qoo10, Carousell, and Rakuten for a wide variety of options that is sure to please.
9. Muji Sensitive Skin Body Milk
You may know Muji for their range of great storage materials and scrumptious snacks, but did you know that their beauty products are a favourite amongst locals as well? One of them has to be the Muji Sensitive Skin Body Milk, which helps quench dry, parched skin effortlessly.
The inclusion of purslane extract also helps strengthen skin against external sources of damage such as UV rays, pollution, and dehydration, making it an ideal gift for us Singaporeans. It is even suitable for those with sensitive skin, with it being fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free. Score!
The Muji Sensitive Skin Body Milk is available at all Muji outlets and retails at SGD13.