To talk about cosmetics, you have to start with mascara in Japan. It is the key to present manga or anime looking kawaii girls. There is a culture of kawaii in Japan, which literally means the cutest ever culture. Everything looking cute is usually quite acceptable and popular among the mass in Japan. This applies to all kinds of industries in Japan, directly like cosplay, anime and manga, pet cafes, girls groups and entertainment as well as generally like cartoon mascot design for bullet trains, police or government official recruitment, and even for every single prefecture in Japan. Living young is not that difficult in Japan with the kawaii culture and this is reflected in cosmetics for sure.
Curly and extended eyelashes stand for cuteness. As eyes are the window of people's hearts, first impression can come from the eye area and eyelashes are the most obvious place to show off cuteness. That might be why around 1980s, princesses or female heroine characters in Japanese mange or anime usually have super long eyelashes and the eyes of the characters usually occupy more than half area of the face. "Kiss Me (Heroine Make)" product lines successfully package their cosmetics with that type of character and won over customers quickly since 2005. As we are focusing on mascaras today, take a look at this video from Tokyo Street Fashion KAWAII-PATEEN that introduces top 5 common highly recommended brands. None of them is experience, either.
To share with our own experience, Kiss Me mascaras are awesome for the looking but requires more efforts to remove as the product is water proof and holds the shape long.
All the products above and in the video can be found in drugstore chains in Japan and usually under $15. As shopping online is so easy nowadays, we haven't used any western mascara for a long long time. Try any of those if you haven't!