The Next J-Beauty Trend: Mini-sized Beauty Products Sold at Convenience Stores?!
For years, Japanese and Korean cosmetics and beauty trends have been at the forefront of the international beauty industry for their affordability and high quality. Japan has taken this to a new level in 2019 with a hot new trend: “chiccosme,” which are mini-sized, adorably packaged makeup and skincare items found at convenience stores across Japan. Read on to find out what types of chiccosme you can find, and which ones to pick up for yourself!
Jul 08 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
Chiccosme (ちっコスメ) is a portmanteau of “chiisai” (small) and “cosme” (cosmetics). At first glance, mini-sized cosmetics are hardly groundbreaking. However, with an average price point under 1,000 yen, they are an attractive choice for beautyholics who want to try the latest skincare items or introduce a new color to their existing makeup palette without spending a significant amount of yen. Their cute, mini size also makes them ideal for carrying around in your everyday bag or on a trip!
MAQUIA, one of Japan’s monthly beauty bibles, did a feature on chiccosme for its July 2019 issue. Editors catalogued their top picks sold at Japan’s three major convenience stores: Family Mart, 7-Eleven, and Lawson. Since this issue of MAQUIA hit the shelves, chiccosme has become a buzzword in the Japanese beauty community, with loyal readers searching convenience stores in hopes of discovering coveted makeup shades and beauty products.
Just How Tiny Are Chiccosme?
As mentioned previously, chiccosme are mini versions of products typically seen in retail stores. But exactly how small are they? To make it a little easier to picture, here's a side-by-side comparison next to a rechargeable train pass, which is roughly the same size as a credit card.
Where Can You Buy Chiccosme?
In addition to convenience stores, you can easily find them packaged inside Japanese beauty magazines or offered as samples with a purchase at department stores. However, the focus of this article is on items sold at convenience stores, so here is what you can expect from the top three convenience store chains in Japan:
Family Mart has long stocked the best-selling skincare items from MUJI, a famous Japanese brand for no-fuss stationery, clothing, and so on. This partnership ended in January 2019, and now Media - a brand under long-established Japanese cosmetics maker Kanebo - has taken its place. Media's makeup comes in stylish navy packaging and is aimed at career women who have a no-fuss approach to beauty.
7-Eleven is Japan’s largest chain of convenience stores and actually has its own in-house beauty line called ParaDo. Despite having overseas branches that also sell makeup, you won't find this line of products sold outside Japan. You'll find all the basics you need packaged in sunshiney yellow plastic, including foundation and even nail polish!
In addition to ParaDo cosmetics, 7-Eleven also has a collaboration with FANCL. Most beauty insiders will recognize this Japanese brand for its cleansing oil, which won first place in 2018 for the Best Cleansing category of Cosme, Japan's top cosmetics and skincare review site. The products under FANCL's plant-based, additive-fee “Botanical Force” line can be found exclusively at 7-Eleven.
7-Eleven also stocks Sekkisui skincare products, including 7-day and 10-day trial kits that are perfect for traveling. Sekkisui's products are formulated to make the skin smoother and brighter. They are made by parent company KOSE, a long-established Japanese brand so well known across Asia that you can find products from its brands stocked in most Asian department stores and drugstores.
Integrate, a line of makeup products by one of Japan’s oldest cosmetics companies, Shiseido, has several products sold exclusively at Lawson. Aimed towards trendy women in their mid to late 30s, Integrate features bold, flirty colors in eye-catching packaging. If you're on a budget, don't miss out on their mini base products, which are reputed to be some of the best in Japan's drugstore beauty world.
Our Top Convenience Store Beauty Picks
ParaDo Nail Polish
A peachy pink shade that flatters all skin tones and adds a feminine touch to any wardrobe. Japanese users have commented on its gorgeous glossy finish and easy application.
Media Mini Lipstick
Available in 4 flattering shades of red that compliment all skin tones. Formulated to be both moisturizing and long lasting. If you want a smoother application or a more sheer color, apply over lip cream.
Integrate Eyebrow Crayon
Comes with a base that you apply first to help the color and shape last all day long. Despite the thickness of the crayon, it is surprisingly easy to use and rather precise.
Integrate All In One Essence
This tiny bottle of essence is a miracle worker when it comes to minimizing pores! As an all-in-one product, it moisturizes, tones your skin, and covers up any tiny imperfections. Note that it isn't extremely hydrating, so we only recommend it to people with oily or normal skin.
ParaDo Color Palette
This attractively packaged palette comes with 3 pearlescent shades of eyeshadow and a soft peach blush with reflecting particles for the perfect amount of highlight to the face. It lasts for a long time and suits people of all ages.
Chiccosme: Great Drugstore Alternatives
To recap, chiccosme are great to have on hand when you want to:
→ Introduce a new product to your skincare regime
→ Experiment with trendy seasonal eyeshadow, lipstick, and nail polish shades
→ Minimize space in your handbag
→ Pack for a holiday
→ Refresh after an all-nighter or overnight stay
→ Touch up your makeup at the office or after a trip to the gym
With itty-bitty makeup and nail polishes retailing at just under 600 yen and a 7-day skincare set going for 1,200 yen, it’s easy to see the appeal of chiccosme. Plus, they’re made by established Japanese brands, so quality isn't compromised, either. Are you ready to try Japan’s latest makeup trend?
Header Image: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.