My mom couldn’t have said it any better. Recently, when Manila was in a Muji frenzy after its launch locally she said “Isn’t it strange how the non-brand Muji business has become a sought after brand?”. She said she missed when it was “special” to her, meaning to say when hardly anyone knew about it as she crept through its abundantly stocked aisles in Hong Kong. Muji’s remoteness added glee to the experience of being there. I was in Muji at the Fort yesterday for the first time to pick up a few of their cosmetic items and after hearing the salesladies say “Out of stock, po” more than ten times to different customers including myself, the first visit somewhat fell flat for me, but I still walked away with a smile on my face. I was tempted to get the mascara and foundation as well, but I know my limits.
A quick one for those who don’t know, Muji is a Japanese general home store with an inventory long enough to scroll down your street and around a block or two. Check out this image link from the blog of http://becausecandysaysso.blogspot.com
Muji has everything from cosmetics and toiletries to clothes and a variety of stuff storage options. If you have their loose powder compact, they even sell the puff of that compact separately in individuals in case you lose it. The products are labeled for what they are, not for a brand, or at least…that was the original idea. Minimalists go mad over Muji merchandise.
Only a few months ago, Muji finally opened a store here in Manila. I get how Mom feels. To me, it’s a somewhat inexplicable type of dismay coupled with a very mixed fruit salad of feelings, an increased heart rate plus a half-hearted “Really!? Oh my that’s great!”. In my mind, are we selfish? Unintentionally, but perhaps yes. We’re artists. We think a lot about what we like, how that’s sacred, and weave baskets with our thoughts that way and sometimes they come out a really odd-looking shape. I believe, simply put, I don’t think a kid would like an entire school to find out that his favorite candy at that small store on the street corner is awesome and neither would he love seeing a crowd block the tiny storefront come dismissal. Anyway, you get it. It’s human nature. I was even wondering whether I should post this at all lest my fave finds over there disappear after I share how great they are, but hey, I can be better than that LOL. Stuff fades.
Muji carries simply scented white bath bar soap with the label “Bath Soap”. In this complex world where products are sometimes marketed and made over till they bleed Muji makes a lot of people happy with its offering of sophisticated Japanese simplicity. Who would’ve ever thought unbranded and sometimes blank notebooks, pens, and pencils would be a huge breakthrough for some? However the difference with Muji merchandise from any other similarly made simple stuff is that beyond the beloved blankness, neutrality, and minimalism of Muji lies world-class quality. Here are photos of my first purchases at Muji. Sorry these are the estimate prices, the receipt is at home. I’ll provide in-depth blow by blow features for the items in separate posts with the exact prices.
MUJI Loose Face Powder
(good cheaper dupe for Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder)
MUJI Lipstick in Rose Pink
(My fave purchase. There was only one color, and this is amazing. It looks dark in this photo but it doesn’t go on that dark, similar but not quite what you expect.)
and two high shimmer MUJI Face Color pans in Crystal White and Crystal Orange (pressed convertible color I believe, probably can be used as an eyeshadow, face shimmer, or blush.
The sparkle these pressed colors give off is uncommon, sharp, and pretty, but not visible in this photo. They are more obvious when applied. They supply a more subtle but similar effect comparable to Make Up For Ever’s Diamond Powder which is high grade loose sparkly pigment powder. I’ll swatch these for the individual feature.
The Muji store is currently not well-stocked so I’d rather wait awhile before my next visit. Most of the best items have sold out in droves and I’m not surprised because I can feel the Spirit of Christmas chasing me down already. Shopping areas are slowly getting congested. Finish your Christmas shopping this November while you can!