Which kawaii makeup is best?

In Japanese pop culture, kawaii is a trend that roughly translates to “cuteness.” All things can be kawaii: clothing, foods, home goods, stationery and, of course, makeup. If you’re drawn to adorable, youthful looks, you’ll love kawaii makeup products. For the best kawaii anime makeup, the ultra-kawaii Sailor Moon x ColourPop Pretty Guardian Eye Shadow Palette can’t be beat.

What to know before you buy kawaii makeup

What is kawaii makeup? 

Kawaii makeup is a continuation of the kawaii style, which emphasizes aesthetic cuteness, youth and vibrancy. Apply light tones like soft pinks and peaches to your eyelids rather than dark, smoky looks. Light and sparkly lip glosses are more kawaii style than deep red.

Big, vibrant eyes are a big part of this trend. Apply mascara in long, generous strokes starting from the base of your lash line. 

What to look for in quality kawaii makeup

Staying power 

Look for kawaii makeup that is long-lasting. Formulas that retain their appearance all day will ensure that your makeup is still vibrant, even after a busy day. 


Stick to light pinks and peaches for kawaii anime makeup. Darker shades should only be applied to the lash line. Overusing dark shades will create a dramatic or mature look, which isn’t the goal of kawaii makeup. 


Makeup comes in a variety of finishes: matte, satin, shimmer, glitter and more. For a kawaii look, pastel shades in matte are ideal. Adding shimmery details is great for highlighting your cheeks or making the inside corners of your eyes pop. 

How much you can expect to spend on kawaii makeup

Kawaii makeup ranges in price from as little as $3 for lip glosses and balms to up to $100 for sets of kawaii eye shadow palettes and high-quality brushes. Expect to spend between $15–$20 for most basic kawaii makeup products.

How to create kawaii makeup looks

  • Start with a clean face. Before you apply any makeup, wash your face with a cleanser, pat dry and apply a kawaii face serum to leave skin youthful, smooth and glowing. 
  • Apply a primer to keep your kawaii anime makeup intact. 
  • Apply a lightweight foundation to your face. If desired, apply concealer to any blemishes or dark spots. Kawaii makeup emphasizes brightness and youth, so applying concealer thoroughly can help. 
  • Kawaii eyes are large and cute and imitate the appearance of anime eyes. To get the look, use a jade roller stored in the freezer to reduce puffiness and make you look more awake. Next, apply a light pink or neutral pastel eye shadow as a base. Apply your lightest tone in the inner corners of your eyes. This technique makes anyone look more youthful.
  • Use black liquid eyeliner to draw a thin line on your upper lash line. Add a tiny wing for a whimsical cat-eye look. 
  • Apply white eyeliner to your lower waterline to brighten your eyes. 
  • Exaggerated eyelashes are a whimsical and flirty addition to kawaii makeup looks. Kawaii false eyelashes will accentuate and draw attention to your eyes. After you apply your falsies, curl your eyelashes and apply a generous layer of kawaii mascara.  
  • Be generous with blush for kawaii anime makeup. Select a light rose or peach blush and apply it under your eyes and along the tops of your cheeks. 
  • Apply a light pink or soft, colorless lip shine to your lips.
  • Brush a glittery highlighter on your upper cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and the cupid’s-bow area above your lip.

Kawaii makeup FAQ

What’s the best way to store and carry makeup for kawaii makeup looks on the go? 

A. A kawaii makeup bag is perfect for bringing your makeup with you for application and touch-ups throughout the day. Carry a kawaii makeup compact for optimal application. 

How long does kawaii makeup last before it expires?

A. The shelf life of a given kawaii makeup product depends on the specific manufacturer and the formula of the product. Liquid eyeliners and mascaras tend to have the shortest life span and typically require replacement at least every six months. Powders can last up to two years. Packages will always display a label indicating how many months the product is safe to use after opening.  

What’s the best kawaii makeup to buy?

Top kawaii makeup 

Sailor Moon x ColourPop Pretty Guardian Eyeshadow Palette

Sailor Moon x ColourPop Pretty Guardian Eyeshadow Palette

What you need to know: ColourPop’s Sailor Moon eye shadow palette is a popular product with kawaii packaging. 

What you’ll love: It would be hard to design a more kawaii palette. This one features all the colors you need for a kawaii eye look: pale peaches, vibrant tangerines, soft pinks and corals, all in mattes and shimmery golds. They blend smoothly for stunning kawaii eyes.

What you should consider: This eye shadow isn’t as pigmented as some users desire. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top kawaii makeup for the money

Best Pixi Hello Kitty Chrome Glow Palette

Pixi + Hello Kitty Chrome Glow Palette

What you need to know: You don’t get much more kawaii than Hello Kitty and this selection of sparkly shades. 

What you’ll love: This palette contains nine complementary shades in pinks and nudes, all with added sparkle. You can use this makeup anywhere on your face, but it’s most commonly used as eye shadow or blush. 

What you should consider: Some buyers found it lacked pigment, but that’s fine if you’re going for a subtle look. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Sailor Moon Makeup Brushes Set - 8 pieces Professional Tool Kit 

Sailor Moon Makeup Brushes Set 

What you need to know: This set of high-quality synthetic makeup brushes features bright and cute anime themes.

What you’ll love: This set includes a lip brush, eyebrow brush, eyebrow comb, powder brush, two blush brushes and two eye shadow brushes. Each makeup brush includes adorable decorations and gemstones. They are lightweight and easy to handle. 

What you should consider: The gems on these brushes aren’t very durable and should be handled gently. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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