J-Beauty Love: My three favorite things from Kate Tokyo's new collection

Sparks flew the first time I experience Kate Tokyo in the summer of 2016. It was during a media event launching a line of eyeshadows and face bases that I found myself captivated with this J-beauty brand’s take on edgy makeup. More so, it was when I learned to do the life-changing vertical gradation eyeshadow technique that made my monolids look bigger and brighter! I’ve been doing my eye makeup that way every since.

So when I found myself at their Base Zero makeup launch a couple of weeks ago, my expectations were high. Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed! I was able to try three products from their latest lineup, and my happy thoughts cannot be contained.

Kate Powder Foundation.jpg

The Secret Skin Maker Zero Powder (P720) initially made dry-skinned me nervous as it is touted as an oil-control powder foundation. Would it emphasize my dry patches? My worries were swiftly put to rest as I managed to get two to three layers of the lightweight, finely-milled powder on without getting flaky cheeks or a cakey look, even without moisturizing beforehand! 

Coverage is sheer to light, lessening the redness of my complexion but not doing much for hyper pigmentation or acne scars. If you have blemishes to hide, use a full-coverage concealer underneath first or apply the powder to set your liquid foundation. The finish is a smooth, velvety matte that faded on my nose and chin by hour three but it stayed velvety with minimal shine on the rest of my face. Shade 01 (formerly OC-B) is a suitable match for my NC15 skin but with a slight peachy tinge.

This is a great powder foundation for achieving natural, evened-out skin. It's also ideal for retouching since it doesn't add a lot of coverage per layer.

On your left: No concealer underneath; on you right: With concealer underneath

On your left: No concealer underneath; on you right: With concealer underneath

This year, the glowing eyeshadow trend is replaced by a more sultry metallic alternative in the form of the Metal Glamour Eyes (P840). The compact five-pan palette consists of the holy triumvirate of light, medium, and dark shades, plus the addition of a glitter shadow (more like a light sparkle shadow) and a dark metal shade to spice things up. Also included is a dual-ended sponge applicator with one end flat and wide for easy blending, and the other pointy for working the color onto the lashlines.

The shade I have, BR-3 Grayish Brown (an ashy neutral brown), features mostly finely-milled shadows with the exception of the darkest one that I find to be slightly patchy. While the ideal application more closely resembles the horizontal gradation method to deepen the creases, my monolid situation led me to experiment using all five shades for a vertical look.

Eyeshadow Swatch.jpg

First, I dab on the glitter shadow all over the lid for added dimension. Then I proceed with the darkest shade on the outer corners. The medium shade is used as a lid wash, and the lightest is used to brighten up the inner corners and highlight the brow bone. I finish by using the dark metal shade to intensify the eyelid wash and make the transition from dark to light look more fluid. After five hours and with no eyelid primer, the shadows fully creased on my lids by the fifth hour. With primer though, I was able to get all-day crease-less wear.

Kate Mascara Wand.jpg

To finish off with lush lashes, the Glamorous Lash Mascara (P840) is a two-step mascara that starts with a bluish-gray volumizing base with fibers to create thicker strands, and ends with a bold black mascara with a curved wand to elongate and fan out lashes. This is actually the very first two-step mascara that I've tried. I didn't feel that the two-step process is inconvenient!

Lashes.jpg

At 15 strokes each for the base and for the mascara, I got long strands with a pleasant level of volume - no roach leg lashes! Though the formula didn't hold the curl, I was thrilled that it did not smudge or flake despite my “mascara-eating” eye shape that usually causes smudging on the outer corners. After 10 hours of wear, my mascara was still fully intact but came off easily with cleansing oil.

From left: powder foundation, eyeshadows in light, medium, glitter, metallic, and dark

From left: powder foundation, eyeshadows in light, medium, glitter, metallic, and dark

Overall, I can see these three products making their way into my daily rotation. The pricing may be above drugstore levels but I think it's worth it. You can feel the high quality formulation in the way the products apply and, of course, the finished look. I’ve gotten quite a few compliments in the week since I started using these daily.

You can find Kate Tokyo at selected SM Beauty stores, Watsons, Landmark, and Metro Gaisano Cebu.