A little while ago I was very kindly invited to John Lewis Kingston to have my makeup done at their Japonesque counter - which was the first one to open in the UK! I hadn't ever tried anything from Japonesque before but I had heard wonderful things about their makeup brushes. I met the very lovely Kim (a very charming and experienced makeup artist who's worked with celebrities such as the Saturdays and David Beckham) who expertly talked me through Japonesque's incredible range of products before doing my makeup. I was blown away by the quality of the brushes (I would highly, highly recommend the Japonesque Pro Stippling Brush for applying foundation - I've actually just bought it for myself so I'm sure a review will follow next month) and I also really, really loved their lightweight Luminous Foundation (in Shade Two) and Velvet Touch Concealer (in Shade One). When I left the counter I was also very kindly given a couple of products to take home with me. I wasn't asked to review my experience or talk about any of the products but I've been so impressed that I wanted to share my thoughts!
free with the purchase of any two products from John Lewis Japonesque Counters
Kim showed me how to use this brush when she applied my makeup and she encouraged me to use this for concealer. It's quite a dense brush and it works perfectly at applying just the right amount of coverage under the eyes and around the nose, which is exactly where I need a bit of extra help! It's a gorgeously soft brush and this travel size is perfect for on-the-go touch ups, whilst the larger sized brushes have a gorgeous weight to them that makes them feel incredibly luxurious to use. Before I started using this brush I didn't actually use a brush to apply and buff in my concealer, but I can notice a big difference. I think the application is so much better, and more consistent, than just using your fingers. I'm a convert!
available from John Lewis for £15.00*
This is another brush that Kim used when she applied my makeup. It's quite a small brush which makes it perfect for smudging eyeliner or precisely applying eyeshadow. It also works very well for doing your eyebrows. I'm not sure how I personally feel about spending £15.00 on a small eye brush - it seems expensive to me - but the quality of the brush is definitely very high and it would be a good addition for anyone really into trying new makeup brushes.
available from John Lewis for £15.00*
This is definitely not what you might imagine when you think "lip lacquer". It's an incredibly creamy and luxurious feeling lip product that's really enjoyable to apply - especially as it isn't at all sticky! However, this does mean that it isn't as long lasting as you might want it to be. That being said, because it's so creamy it really works wonders at plumping up lips and making them look fuller. I love Shade 01, it reminds me a lot of my Ilia Lip Conditioner in These Days as it's a similar warm, bronzed nude with a similar hydrating formula. I don't, however, love the brush. It just doesn't feel as high quality as the rest of the products and applies product quite thickly onto my lips. I much prefer applying a little bit of product from the brush and then blending the product into my lips using my fingers.
available from John Lewis for £12.00*
I'm not usually one to reach for kohl liner as I find that it can often smudge on my hooded eyelids. However, Kim used the brown shade on me when she did my makeup and I was really impressed at how quickly and easily this eyeliner could transform the appearance of my eyes. And no, it wouldn't last all day (I found it smudging underneath my eyes after eight hours) but it would last through an evening making it perfect for evening make-up looks. Kim recommended dotting it along the upper and lower lash line before smudging downwards into the lash line using the Small Eye Detailer Brush. As the Eye Defining Pencil has a very creamy, but not slippery, formula it's really easy to use like this and the finished effect leaves the lashes looking incredibly full and thick, without any heavy or thick line in sight. Overall I was really impressed and I'd recommend it over Mac's Kohl Eyeliners any day.
My overall experience with Japonesque's products has been overwhelmingly positive. Although there are a couple of things that aren't perfect, on balance all the products feel very high quality at a reasonable price tag. I particularly like their makeup brushes, they really are incredibly soft and luxurious. I've actually already gone and ordered the Pro Stippling Brush - coupled with the Point Foundation Brush it gives an incredible finish to the skin that I want to replicate everyday! My advice is to definitely stop by one of John Lewis' Japonesque Counters - and if you're in Kingston then do say hello to Kim, she'll be more than happy to help you :)