To be utsukushi

A guide to J-beauty and
a comprehensive selection of products

At a glance

  • A core concept of Japanese aesthetics is wabi-sabi or the appreciation of the impermanent, incomplete, and imperfect.

PARAGON OF BEAUTY Japan has always had a fascination for beauty, which geishas represented

From the breathtaking cherry blossoms to the extensive subculture of anime, bullet trains, and kawaii, everything about Japan is charming. 


The East Asian country is all for beauty—but not the superficial kind. Japanese appeal is centered on human sensitivities, depth, and flaws. A core concept of Japanese aesthetics is wabi-sabi or the appreciation of the impermanent, incomplete, and imperfect.

BEAUTIFUL JAPAN The graceful conical form of Mount Fuji in the background and a cherry blossom tree

J-beauty, short for Japanese beauty, values the balance between simplicity and complexity and the notion of “less is more.” Today, the headline of every beauty magazine, J-beauty has become popular worldwide for its focus on long-term skin health, straightforward routines, and use of natural ingredients.

IN COLLABORATION Mitsuko Federal Retail Inc. president Yoji Kawaguchi, Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. merchandising division overseas cosmetic buyer Mai Okabe, and Mitsukoshi Federal Retail Inc. merchandising and marketing division head Jenny Start

The beauty philosophy seamlessly marries age-old traditions with cutting-edge technology. Japanese beauty routine is ritualistic. It involves multiple steps including double cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, nourishing, sealing, and protecting the skin. 


J-Beauty, however, is not concerned with the “how” but also the “what.” Japan’s strict regulation on ingredients used in cosmetics and skin care products also sets J-beauty apart from the global market. Each item is created with efficacy-focused development and high standards. The goal is to bring out natural beauty without using too many unnecessary products.

If you wish to explore J-beauty, these are some of the labels to look out for.

La Casta
An award-winning hair care brand that has received multiple distinctions from the 2015 and 2016 Vogue Natural Wonder Prize to the 2020 and 2022 WWD Beauty “Best Cosme,” La Casta is used by many professional stylists across Japan. Composed of only natural aromas and botanical ingredients, La Casta follows its dogma of “vitality and healing from plants.”

From left, clockwise: Gelai Penales, Pat Cortez, Myrza Sison, Mela Sison-Laxamana, Phem Baranda, and Aliza Apostol-Goco

Among the products are shampoos and conditioners made to treat scalp and hair concerns like thinning, tangled, frizzy, dry, oily, and even colored hair. There are also specialized brushes, masks, scalp treatments, and hair lotions. La Casta provides consultation services from their expert Beauty Advisors to figure out the best range and combination of products for one’s hair.

E Standard
Used among many five-star amenities all over the world, E standard is one of Japan’s top hair care lines with a wide variety of meticulous scalp and hair care solutions. Based on the idea that “hair care is also skincare,” E Standard encourages us to treat hair the way we do our skin. 

J-BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY These brands combine age-old tradition with cutting-edge technology

It pioneered the five-step regime of shampoo, hair serum, two hair treatments, and hair oil for luscious, healthy, and beautiful hair.
The products are organic, made from nine plant extracts and three essential oils. While a majority of hair care brands use purified water, E Standard relies on Hita Tenryosui natural mineral water to help revitalize and nourish hair.

When Atsuko Morita developed asthma as well as dry skin and hair as an airline steward, a French friend introduced her to phytotherapy techniques, a therapy that uses herbs and plants to treat medical conditions. This urged Atsuko to study medicine and botanical therapy in Paris.

Later, the former flight attendant returned to Japan and contributed to plant biology research, earning her various recognitions. Equipped with vast knowledge and experience, Atsuko established Waphyto, her skincare line that incorporates phytotherapy with biotechnology and herbology.

Made for both women and men of all ages, Japan’s first plant bio methodology brand offers products for skin, hair, body, and intimate care. The plants and herbs in Waphyto products are sourced from Mikawa, Japan, where the soil is rich in vitamins.

TOOLS OF THE JAPANESE TRADE Some of the highlighted brands during the event were E Standard, La Casta, and Waphyto

These brands can conveniently be found at the beauty and wellness zone of the flagship Mitsukoshi branch in the Philippines, located along 8th Ave. in North Bonifacio Global City and at the podium of The Seasons Residences.