Kate — Lavshuca’s Edgier, Darker Sister

by PJ on Wednesday, July 25, 2007

in _Japanese Brand Profile, -Kanebo, -Kate, all about Japanese cosmetics, makeup

I can’t take credit for this description of Kate, Kanebo‘s consistently successful drugstore line.

One reader, Tammy, left a comment under one of my posts on Lavshuca and asked about Kate. She described Kate as “Lavshuca’s edgier, darker sister“. (Both are Kanebo’s “daughters”.)

She couldn’t have put it any better!

But so far I have never bought anything from Kate. (I almost did for several times though.) Somehow the brand does not appeal to me. But, am I not edgy? Am I not dark enough for Kate??

Well, looking at my avatar….


(Well hello!)

…ummm……maybe not. (I do blush too easily!!)

Kate definitely has an edgier image (its slogan “No More Rules” sums it up), while Lavshuca is all very dreamy (yep that’s me). But Kate is also one of the most established and best-selling drugstore brands in Japan. It has a strong brand identity and has survived a lot of competition (against the new wave of drugstore brands such as Integrate, Kiss, Makemania and Love Clover).

You can see some of Kate’s TV commercials on YouTube to see how Kanebo is branding Kate.

Aside from the image, some of Kate’s popular items include:

Dual Carat eyeshadow duos
Deep Eyes N eyeshadow palettes
Line Spicy eyeshadow palettes
Glam Trick Eyes eyeshadow palettes
Super Sharp Liner eyeliners

When it comes to continuously releasing attention-grabbing items, I also have to hand it to Kate. The wide array of eyeshadow palettes and the recent cream eyeliner and loose eyeshadow have indeed given Kate that little extra (and almost semi-professional) edge. (I guess this is what I mean by product designs under one of my Anna Sui posts.)

So, have you tried anything from Kate? And what’s your favorite? Let me know!

I can be convinced!


Updated on December 31st, 2012:

Finally I purchased my first ever Kate item, Gradical Eyes A in GD-1!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thanks for the credit PJ! ;) How flattering…

I actually don’t own a whole lot of KATE products, but I always stop by their section whenever I’m in the drugstore. Currently I have the Glam Trick Eyes quintet in blue and the Liquid Rouge gloss in BE-1, and I love both of them. I want to try their pressed powder, as it got good reviews on Cosme.net. I also can’t wait for their fall line to come out so I can grab the new gel mascara. You definitely don’t have to be “edgy” to rock KATE! They work on practically anyone. :) And for the price, they are definitely worth a try.

(Interestingly, blue eyeshadows are a hit in Japan, but I wonder if I can wear them when I go back to America? They always seem branded as a makeup no-no. Any thoughts?)


Empress Wednesday, July 25, 2007

hey PJ, (sorry it’s getting busy in the school year but I def added some items to my shopping list for HK)

I currently have the super sharp KATE eyeliner in black, it’s pretty amazingly consistent with a black smooth line like a chinese brush strokes. It does take several strong remover to take off. I haven’t perfected my application so more often than not, i skip the eyeliner because I just don’t feel it is worth that much to risk redoing my entire eye.

I also have the deep eye in neutral palette which I’ve really enjoyed in various occasions. It helps to make the natural eye more sharp, or it helps to define colored application for the glamorous evening. The shimmer is so finely embedded in the color it acts more as lighten application than overwhelming sparkle. I find it easy to blend and it’s complemented very smartly.

I guess i like the edge of Kate, it’s so defining. On another note, do you watch 女人我最大 (youtube it if you haven’t). My sister just pointed it out to me, I’m more of a brand-whore where she believes in giving everything a fair trial.


Pink-Lilly Thursday, July 26, 2007

I personally hate Kates’ boring black packaging – but their products are so, so good. Probably a little better than my beloved Lavshuca….eek.

Their glam trick eyeshadows are so soft, so shimmery. Their gel eyeliners are amazing too, esp the BK2 with glittery bits in it.

BTW I love blue eyeshadow. Of course it depends on shade, on the person, but I don’t understand why some people hate it so much!


Izzy Thursday, July 26, 2007

PJ! Funny you mentioned this! Our minds always think alike my friend!

I was just creating a video blog for “musetv” hehehe about Kate!

I tried Kate for the first time about two weeks or so ago??? and fell in love almost instantly with it! I actually like it more than Lavshuca!

The shadows are extremely pigmented! I have a ton of the Dual Carats and I’m enjoying them very much!

If you love alot of shimmer, glitter, and sparkle to your shadows Kate packed a might punch in that department!

I’ve yet to try the blushes, liners, or mascara but speaking for the shadows they are great!

I didn’t originally purchase Kate because like you I love cute package and Kate leaves a bit to be desired!

But it’s actually a very high quality makeup for an affordable price!

If you want to start simple go with the loose shadows! They are divine! They actually come with a spatula applicator which makes applying a snap!

I’m duly impressed with the line and now I want everything!

You need to try these! I think you’ll love ’em!

Love ya!

PS You probably seen it, but I did a darn great smokey sparkly eye for my face on Monday using mostly Kate products it came out great for a mere drugstore brand!


ParisB Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kate has great stuff for something from the drugstore. I have reviewed the gel eyeliner but I much prefer their eyeshadow palettes. Nice colours and great quality. btw, I love blue eyeshadow too, and whether it works depends on how its applied – don’t do a thick blue stripe on your lids and you’ll be ok. :) I’ll be back for more soon!


PJ Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello Tammy!!!

I am so happy that you are the first one to comment here! After all, this post is mostly inspired by you.

First of all, you have just gave me the idea to write about blue eyeshadows. I do have a few things to say about them! (See how you have started a mini discussion here.)

Liquid Rouge is actually the closest I have ever gotten to buying anything from Kate. They do look really lovely. I am seeing them crawling back to my shopping list…

I think, with me, it is partly the packaging thing. I see it as a spending-controlling mechanism. Sometimes (but by no means all the time) if the packaging of, say, an eyeshadow palette (with the colors I want) is a bit plain, I will say to myself “I will find another palette with similar colors but with better packaging”. This does help me to save a bit of money.

(Of course this is purely subjective, and my preference does change.)

But I have no doubt that Kate has great products. Also, like you said, at these prices, it really doesn’t hurt to pick up a couple of things to try. And, yes, with a good range of colors, I can definitely find something interesting…:)

Now, onto blue eyeshadows. I always believe that anyone can wear any color. The key is to get the right shade/shimmer/pigmentation and to apply it in the right place and in the right way.

I think in Japan, probably more people realize that a dust of light blue eyeshadow makes the eye area look brighter, lighter, more transparent, and more energetic. (It seems that the kinds of blue eyeshadows that are popular in Japan are mostly light shimmery blues. This is the kind of blue I like as well.)

As for darker blues…Lunasol’s Summer 2007 Skin Modeling Eyes EX02 comes to mind. It’s the one with a light blue and a dark blue. I haven’t had a chance yet (I live in the UK) to see it in person. But, looking at various photos on websites and magazines, I feel that this understated dark blue should be a good shade, in the sense that it can add dimension and a touch of sophistication to the eyes without taking over center stage. It should be an easily wearable and flattering blue for many people. (Again, it may not suit some others…)

I think fewer and fewer people in America/Europe are seeing blue eyeshadows as a no-no. I am not sure if it is because the 80’s is back, but I tend to think that the textures (loose powder, gel, mousse, cream,…) and the designs of the shades have evolved. There is a wider variation among warmer/colder and deeper/lighter blues with different levels of pigmentations. As you might have seen, Dior summer 2007 collection also features a blue eyeshadow palette and I think it looks really gorgeous.

I will have more to say about this when I write a separate post on this topic (again, inspired by you). So do stay tuned, Tammy! Thank you so much for stopping by again!


Empress, Pink-Lilly, Izzy, Parisb, and whoever else that contributes to this discussion…I will get back to each one of you tomorrow!

Keep it coming…I love all your great comments!


PJ Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello Empress,

That’s fine. Hope everything goes well with the exams!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your Kate items!! I have always been thinking about buying an eyeliner with a Chinese calligraphy-brush applicator.

I know the program* you are talking about. I watch it sometimes on YouTube but I have not been following it very regularly. I have been sticking with magazines and on-line resources since I can get more information more quickly.

(Obviously for TV programs, everything has to go at a certain pace. For this reason, I watch it more when they do fashion-related topics like hair, clothes, and accessories, since it is much more dynamic than reading magazine editorials.)

I don’t know…sometimes I feel they create very unnecessarily hype for average makeup/skincare products. What do you think?

I guess I am between you and your sister, but more like you. There are many brands that I constantly buy from, but there are some very popular brands that I have never shopped from…

Thank you again for your comment, Empress!

*The program that Empress mentioned is a very popular 1-hour weekly TV program in Taiwan, which discusses all aspects of beauty/fashion, from drugstore toners to designer handbags. It has been very popular in the Chinese-speaking part of the world. It has been so popular that it launched its own quarterly magazine in 2005.

(The English title of the program is “Queen”, and a slightly more literal translation of the Chinese title is “We Women Rule” (my own translation).)


PJ Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello Pink-Lilly,

Thank you for making a comment!

Another fan for the Glam Trick. Very interesting.

I have come across some good reviews of Kate’s cream/gel eyeliners. It seems like a good and cheaper option if people want to try products of this type.

I am sure many people feel like you do…the packaging is average but the quality is superb.

Personally I like blue eyeshadows as well. Some blue shades are obviously trickier to get right than others, but most of them can look really stunning!

I am definitely going to write a post to convince people to try them! :)


PJ Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello Izzy,

Thank you for stopping by again!

One vote for Dual Carat!

I had a feeling that you might like Kate, as their eyeshadows are well-pigmented and many shades are loaded with shimmer.

The loose eyeshadows did really catch my eye when I first saw them on magazines. I’ll definitely give them a thought.

Yes, I saw the look you created. It looked great, with depth and dimension from all the subtly different shades. It looks quite soft and sensual as well!


PJ Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello Parisb,

Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I have read your review on the Kate gel eyeliner. It is very helpful. It’s good to know that it has a quality brush. (I also have one T’Estimo Frame Impact eyeshadow palette. I am fine with the little liner brush but it can be a little fiddly.)

Also, I definitely agree with what you said about blue eyeshadows!

Look forward to hearing more from you later!! In the meantime, I will enjoy reading your blog.


Tammy Thursday, July 26, 2007

Well, after this post and the following comments, I had to go out and get more KATE products! Lucky me, my local HAC drugstore had already stocked up on the new Fall line, scheduled to be released on August 1. I ended up getting the gel mascara, eyebrow pencil in BR2 and the new Gradical Eyes palette in BR1. I think KATE is known for having a lot of shimmery makeup, targeted towards a younger demographic. But I’ve noticed that, with the exception of Dual Carat, their palettes seem to be a little more muted than Lavshuca. For instance, Gradical Eyes BR3 is almost identical in color to Lavshuca’s Grade Color Select BR1, but Lavshuca’s is way more shimmery.

I’ll save any more comment about blue eyeshadow for your next post! Can’t wait to read it :)


PJ Friday, July 27, 2007

Hello Tammy again!

That’s an interesting observation between Kate and Lavshuca to read about. Thank you! I do like muted shimmer, so I might really pick up something to try!

I will do the blue-eyeshadow post sometime next month. I have marked it down on my blog calendar!

Let me know how you think about your new Kate items later on. :)


A-Mused Sunday, July 29, 2007

soft and sensual? moi?


LOL! But thanks ;)

I really am loving the entire Kate Line at this point! I got the new Fall palettes, some of the gel eye liner, gel mascara, and a few other bits I’ll be adding to my blog shortly!

The entire line is high quality and affordable!

Duly impressed!

Bow down to the greatness of the Japanese and their awesome cosmetic lines!

Wish we can get something similar here!


PJ Monday, July 30, 2007

Hello A-Mused!

I just finished watching your videos of the fall collections!

I watched the Kate TV commercials on their website as well. I am now thinking about getting the green eye palette. I have pastel greens and aqua-ish greens, but not deeper, olive greens. I’d also like to try a palette with a cream shimmer. So I am definitely going to think about getting something from Kate!


心。葵 Wednesday, January 23, 2008

finally tested kate foundation in OC-C whole day, 9am to about 9.30pm

here’s the review:

a lil bit is enough for the whole face. very nice to spread on. altho it may look thick, but it’s quite sheer. can cover almost 90 to 95% of skin problems – my big pores n some pimples n dark undereyes. oxidize just a bit but is too lil to be noticed. didn’t need any touchups… lasted whole day (when i got back my face still look radiant n smooth, altho a bit here n there ady came off, but no big deal, by the way, i didn’t apply any powder to set it). for oil control i would say ok ok only, maybe cuz my face is the super oily kind, and even with biore sunblock oso kenot block off all the shinies . can also be used as concealer

overall this is a good product for it’s price!

gel liner:
i’ve got their BR-1, BK-1 and BK-2, the other colours aren’t out in malaysia so i’ll have to wait :P. Doesn’t smudge easily, waterproof, colour slightly on the sheerer side, but if u wan intensity, just apply a bit more will do. the brush is soft n nice to use, but if possible it must be cleaned immediately after usage so it won’t turn hard, oh, the gel liner must also be closed tightly so it won’t dry up.

basically the gel liner is cheap n nice to use, compare to liquid n pencil :P

i also have their eye palletes n blusher but I haven’t try it out yet, will let you know once i’ve tried them out!! :D


PJ Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hi 心。葵,

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on the Kate products you have tried.

Your reviews are very informative and have touched upon all the major aspects of the performances of the products.

I am particularly interested in the foundation. Apart from the possibility that it might not be very oil-absorbing on my face, I think it might be a good foundation for me to try.

The gel liner sounds very nice too. It has obviously been a really popular product! It’s certainly a very pocket-friendly gel/cream eyeliner.

Thank you again for sharing your reviews. I really look forward to hearing what you think about the eyeshadow palettes and the blusher! :)


Fi Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hi PJ, I love your work and website! Thanks so much for the Ichibankao link, I’m so happy I will be able to get Japanese brands in the UK now! I bought some KATE in Feb 08 and stocked up on more last month, as I don’t have plans as yet to visit Japan again soon. The Glamtrick Gold1 eyeshadow set is the most beautiful set I have ever used so far, and I have bought so many eyeshadow sets before. It’s just the right kind of shimmer and the colours blend so well together that you can create really different lookds from that one palette.

After looking at the new Flash website, I’m going to get the gel eyeliner now!
Their long dollish mascara stays put and doesn’t run, KATE is really good!


PJ Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hi Fi,

You are very welcome, and thank you for your kind words about my blog!

Thank you as well for telling me about the Kate items you have. I am very glad that you are enjoying using them! The Gram Trick palette you have sounds very good (and very on-trend for fall 2008).

I still haven’t tried items from Kate yet, but I am keeping an open mind. If I get to try anything, I will definitely share my thoughts on my blog.

Hope you will continue to enjoy Japanese cosmetics, and thank you very much for your comment! :)


kee-rah's world Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hi there!

I just bought Kate cheek colour blush in PK-1, the shade is absolutely perfect. It could give Loreal’s Shine Delice blush in Pink Marshamallow are run for its money.

Looks very natural on the skin :)


PJ Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hi Kee-rah’s World,

Thank you very much for letting me know! It sounds like the kind of blusher I will like. I will definitely look into it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)


Jan Thursday, February 18, 2010

KATE products are amazing! I have the Powder Foundation (which I've just reviewed on my blog) and the diamond cut eyes palette (BK-1) It's a really beautiful dark glamorous blue that makes you look like a japanese celebrity! No joke! I'd keep buying their eyeshadows in the future :)


PJ Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hi Jan,

I enjoyed reading your review of Kate's powder foundation. I think it might suit me as well and I am quite interested in trying it. :)

I still haven't tried anything from Kate yet. I will certainly keep you posted on my blog if I get something from the line.

Thank you very much for stopping by my blog! :)


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