As beauty editor, I constantly search for those items that I can vouch for, that’s been raved about by others or simply those that gets re-purchased the most. We spend so much time focusing on beauty that often the beauty supplies gets forgotten.
To be honest; what products on your vanity, in your bathroom or on those beauty-shelves do you use the most? Like every day, a couple times a day? Toothbrush and hairbrush excluded.
This is my most frequently used items, and as I want them to be as natural, high quality and stylish as they can come, I only ever turn to MUJI.
Cotton Buds, or Q-tips, as Lisa Eldridge calls them, are actually a huge deal for me when it comes to makeup application. I need them to perform, to be in a great material suitable for my skin and for the products to soak into and as they are not the most beautiful items it doesn’t hurt that someone has given the design some extra thought! Posh and sleek.
First comes first; almost everyone in the beauty community knows about Muji, but if you are new to the “brand”, here’s the lowdown:
born in 1980 in Japan, at the crossroad between Mujinishi = no brand and Ryohin = the value of good items, Muji became the new way of consume. Customers striving for simple, yet elegant and functional items for their everyday life needed to find a store that wasn’t branded but still focused on producing high quality to a lower cost.
In The ME, Muji is more known to the market as a high-end Japanese lifestyle brand.
Muji focuses on the selection of materials to simplify the design and often be able to buy large quantities. Industrial materials are often used, making the Muji-look quite scaled down without any frills or add-ons. Maybe typical asian to some, but for me as a Scandinavian, I can see why the range is gaining so much popularity in Denmark and Sweden where less is more and clean design in light materials usually wins over the more ornamented and extravagant items. Raw materials in simple colours gives the home a light and airy feeling and with this in mind, I’ve been using Muji since it first came to Scandinavia, then starting with the Filing accessories and moving on.
In order to maintain their values, Muji also tries to streamline all processes within the company, making sure nothing is done without adding value to the end consumer. I find it very much in line with Toyotas Lean Manufacturing and it can’t be a coincidence that they both are Japanese producers with a bit of the same philosophy when it comes to high quality to a lower production cost. Last, but not least: all packaging is simplified. Natural materials, no bright colouring or extra print and labels are used on the items. Only what’s needed: name, ingredients and price. Sometimes this can create some difficulties, when western consumers (read: Me) are trying to understand the Japanese signs on the packaging 🙂
All in all, I love this brand for everything it stands for, and not stand for as they are clear to point out not to be under any special agenda, doctrine or “ism”. I find it liberating to be able to shop for great design and function, even with the small things in a store where it feels calm and easy to navigate.
Let’s get back to my vanity. I’ve selected some of the Muji-items I particualrily think are must-haves.
First up: the Thin Cotton Buds. To the left, you’ll see a regular bud from a regular brand, and then to the right is my magic wand. So tiny and fine, it makes eyeliner application, cleaning the tear duct or those extra mascara dots on your skin much easier than before. I reach for these whenever I’m applying makeup and they never fail. It is a pin-point precision and lipliner-wizz in all it’s glory! Made out of 100% cotton for the tips and paper-bodies, they are naturally sourced and never seem to irritate the delicate skin around my eyes or lips. I even use them to clean up the mess I always make when trying to paint my nails…
Then follows the Black Cotton Buds: I’m not sure if these items can be referred to as sexy, but they sure are stylish. As a detail for my, somewhat monochrome home (I like a lot of black and white with) these are cool. Sitting on my vanity, they look like an interior item instead of just boring plain disposables.
What’s great about these tips are the fact that they’re shaped like a twist. They work so well for makeup clean up, especially after applying mascara and you just put them under the lashes to whirl away any access product. We don’t want spider leg-lashes, do we?
All cotton buds by Muji are coated with chitosan, often used in biomedical applications as it’s antibacterial and hypoallergenic (not a medical term but something the beauty industry seem to enjoy using!).
And finally; give it up for the Individually wrapped Cotton Buds! I’m not usually a fan of too much packing materials, but for these I’ll make an exception. It’s great to know that they will always stay fresh and sanitised when I travel or in my makeup pouch. I hate to but in regular ones, and then fish up some fuzzy pin that look like it has been used! Gross. I like everything neat and clean, and specially it I’m going to use them on my face! Do you also buy makeup accessories at Muji? I have so much of their supply and they all are great. I will also recommend the mirrors for eyeliner application! ♥