Purchasing Japanese Beauty Products

I've personally purchased from each of these sites below. This is a mini review of the pros and cons of each store.

Amazon JP
Pros: You can be sure that the products sold by Amazon are 100% authentic and fresh. Offers multiple brands (albeit not a huge range of each) such as HABA, 24h Cosme, Naturaglace, Biore, Kose
Cons: Does not ship beauty products to the UK, although they will happily ship magazines with beauty freebies. I use with Tenso

Pros: Reasonable prices, cheap & quick shipping (only $2 for registered mail and orders take around a week to arrive to the UK from Hong Kong), stocks some popular products as well as hard to find brands. As shipping isn't based on weight, it's the best place to order heavy items such as shampoos, body lotions, etc.
Cons: Not a huge selection of products, takes a long time to restock.

Pros: Next day delivery for addresses in the UK, so I usually receive my orders within 2 days. Really great prices in their clearance sales though the products are usually short dated. Decent UK source for Naruko products.
Cons: UK's 20% VAT means that products are expensive compared to their normal retail prices. For example if something retails for $25, expect it to be sold close to £25 here.

No longer recommended. When a real problem arises, their customer service is nonexistent.

Pros: Fast shipping with EMS (from Taiwan), occasionally has some good value deals & limited edition/hard to find sets.
Cons: Shipping gets expensive if you order heavy items. You'll probably need to understand Chinese to navigate the site and make a purchase. Though honestly, due to their limited range of products, unless they have something you're specifically looking for, I'd recommend going elsewhere.

Pros: Stocks just about everything from drugstore brands (ettusais, Majolica Majorca, Kate, Lavshuca) to high end department store brands (SUQQU, CHICCA, LUNASOL), plus you can email the store owner with any special requests. Ships free worldwide.
Cons: No real search option, can only filter by brand. Gigantic mark ups on every single item i.e. E X P E N S I V E! If you're buying a lot of stuff, it's almost always cheaper use FromJapan or Tenso. For that reason I no longer shop at Ichibankao.

Rakuten Japan
Pros: Where do I begin...♥ this is my favourite place for Japanese beauty products! Naturaglace, Only Minerals, 24h Cosme, HABA to name a few. Products are mostly sold at RRP with the occasional discount or bonus Rakuten Super Points. This is the best site, by far, if you prefer buying lots of things in one go.
Cons: Need to use a proxy or parcel forwarding company because not all sellers ship internationally, and the ones that do, use EMS by default. You can't have your orders combined so if you order from multiple stores shipping adds up very quickly.

Pros: Huge selection - stocks Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Western brands.
Cons: SLOW shipping to the UK (think my last order took around 3 weeks to arrive), plus my parcels have been stopped by customs every single time without fail, even on low value orders (approx $25). They're another one of the stores I no longer purchase from, but if your country is more lenient on imports, they're worth checking out.

Pros: Occasional super deals in their Specials section, free worldwide shipping, will refund taxes/duties (including any handling fees!) if you email them your receipt. Basically, you can shop to your heart's content, tax free!
Cons: Doesn't have a large selection of Asian brands, though they do stock some of the more popular ones including Kanebo, Cle De Peau, Kose, Shiseido, etc. Shipping takes around 2 weeks.

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