5 Weird Japanese Beauty Products that Look Suspiciously like Torture Devices

Does this fix your nose, give your cheeks a lift, or re-arrange your jaw? Scroll down to see!

Does this fix your nose, give your cheeks a lift, or re-arrange your jaw? Scroll down to see!

Ryosuke’s parents live out in the middle of nowhere – which wouldn’t be a problem, except this is the first time Ryosuke and I have visited them for more than a couple days without being a student or having a job. Today our “date-night” consisted of driving to the Mega Donki-Hote (kind of like a Japanese Walmart, but more sketchy and more wonderful) and laughing at the funny “Engrish” signs.

My favorite part of Donki-Hote, though, is their beauty isles. Picture this, rows and rows of fake eyelashes, weird beauty products that look suspiciously like torture devices, and awkward makeup – in between sets of “form correcting socks” and expensive wrinkle cremes in glass containers.

For more freakishly weird (and kind of useful) Japanese inventions, check out my all-time favorite book:The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions

And of course, in order from MOST horrific to LEAST horrific, I present:

5 Weird Japanese Beauty Products from DonkiHote that Look Suspiciously like Torture Devices

1. The “Little Face Corset”

No really, I invite you to read the name of this one more time. The “Little Face Corset” is exactly what it sounds like – a soft pink corset for your face that promises to make your face smaller (and therefore cuter).

Weird Japanese beauty makeup products torture devices crazy japanese beauty

Ta-daaa. We have a winner.

This is, hands down, the most ridiculous beauty product I’ve seen in Japan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are MUCH weirder devices out there (usually in places that you’re not allowed to take pictures) – but the fact that they had about twenty of these on display meant that someone was buying them.

And, you know, if pink isn’t up to your liking, they also have a versions in purple.

So that’s cool.

2. The “Hourei Lift Bra”

Take a look at this picture. Any ideas what this purple plastic thing does?

Weird Japanese beauty makeup products torture devices crazy japanese beaut

Beep. Time’s up. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t get it – it took Ryosuke and I a while to figure out exactly what the “Hourei Lift Bra” does.

It lifts your cheeks – making you cuter and more fashionable (or at least that’s what the box says). Apparently high cheeks are a thing in Japan (?).

While I can kind of see this on working a little bit better than the “Little Face Corset” (I mean you’re only changing your cheek position, not the size of your face) – I still have strong doubts on whether this “Hourei Lift Bra” actually works.

Also, why is it called a lift bra? Someone who was in charge of the “Engrish” for this thing got sorely confused on what part of the body a bra works with.

3. The “Aluminum Spa for Face” and “Face Aluminium Mask”

Seriously, what is with these facial devices?

Weird Japanese beauty makeup products torture devices crazy japanese beaut

Lets just get one thing straight – this legitimately looks like the iron masks soldiers in the middle age wore. Or at least what Hollywood tells me that soldiers in the middle age wore.

I get Japanese face masks. I like Japanese face masks. It took me like three tries to get it right, but once I finally figured out how to put on a regular Japanese face mask, I wore them from time to time.

But this?

I don’t get it. Aren’t face masks supposed to be soft, spongy, and full of cleansing fluid? Not, like, aluminum sheets.

Don’t look so happy, lady models. The “Aluminum Face Mask” doesn’t look that comfortable.

4. The “Sauna Body-Wear to Give you Beautiful Curves”

This one probably works – but still, wearing shape-wear specifically designed to make you sweat?

How about no.

Weird Japanese beauty makeup products torture devices crazy japanese beaut

Anyone who has spent any time in Japan during the summer (especially the Southern regions like Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima) can tell you that Japanese summers are hot, humid, sweat-inducing, and miserable. That’s the curse of never being more than a couple hours away from the ocean.

After the horrific tsunami off the coast of Ishinomaki back in 2011, there has been a movement to cut back on “wasteful” air conditioning during the summer. This is good, don’t get me wrong, but it also makes you sweat a lot.

So why, for the love of God why, would you want to wear something designed to squeeze your body and make you sweat at the same time. All for beauty.

5. The “Epi Tweezers, Spring Roller”

My husband’s younger sister has one of these. She let me use it once. I didn’t like it.

It was… painful? I got a strand of hair stuck in the wires (ouch) and after less than a minute of rubbing my cheek, I decided it totally wasn’t worth it.

Weird Japanese beauty makeup products torture devices crazy japanese beaut

The “Epi Tweezers, Spring Roller” is a small spring wrapped tightly around a handle. You rub it across your face and cheeks to remove all those tiny, invisible hairs on the side of your cheek because apparently they aren’t small or invisible enough.

Talk about unnecessary pain.

All for the sake of beauty, I guess.


Also – if anyone has any other funny pictures of beauty products in Japan, please send them along so I can add them to this list!




Add me on Google Plus: +Grace Buchele

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

9 Comments on 5 Weird Japanese Beauty Products that Look Suspiciously like Torture Devices

  1. Is Donki-hote pronounced like Don Quixote?

  2. Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  3. Svetlana S. // 13 March, 2014 at 1:45 pm //

    This makes me miss my donki in tokyo. I lived near one, my bf and i would always go there for the random stuff like toilet paper and snacks, but would of course eventually end up at the cosmetics section trying to fathom how people use those contraptions :O! Thanks for the post, makes me miss japan even more!

    • Hahahaha. I’m always happy to find another donki fan :)
      I used to get ALL my snacks there. Never mind their awesome collection of cheap wines and whiskeys.

  4. And I thought I’d seen some bizarre beauty products here in China! So funny!

    • Oh my gosh, I can imagine :)
      I would LOVE to see a “Chinese” version of terrifying beauty products (next time you’re in a main city, I guess!)

  5. Lisa Hopkins // 11 March, 2014 at 9:47 am //

    Grace, this post is delightful! Thank you for a hearty chuckle!!

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