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Appearances are paramount in Japan, and electronics companies are cashing in on people’s desire to look good on the go by offering a wide range of mobile beauty devices, from basic functional items like travel hair dryers to more unconventional products like eyebrow shavers and scalp massagers. Panasonic has been leading the way in the “moba beau” segment(short for “mobile beauty”) since establishing its Panasonic Beauty division in 2008. Here, some of the newer and more interesting moba beau products to hit the Japanese market.
This story first appeared in the June 15, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
PANASONIC HEAD SPA
Panasonic realized it had a hit when it sold 200,000 of these devices in 2011, so with this year’s release it added a version for men. Designed to be used in the shower, it has rubber nubs that rotate and vibrate while lathering shampoo, imitating a professional massage and stimulating the scalp. 12,800 yen (about $160)
SHARP PLASMACLUSTER IONIZER
Sharp sells air sanitizers and ionizers using its “plasmacluster” technology in markets around the world, and last summer it released a travel- size version in Japan. The company claims the device improves skin’s texture by bringing out its natural elasticity and glow, while also boosting one’s mood. 6,500 yen (about $81)
KOIZUMI FACE SHAVER AND NOSE CARE
This pen-size gadget takes a normally embarrassing product and reinvents it as something sleek and discreet. It includes two head attachments that can be used for trimming nose hair or shaving unwanted facial hair. To up the cuteness factor, it comes in Barbie-branded versions with pink polka dots or leopard print. 1,980 yen to 2,480 yen (about $25 to $31)
PANASONIC ROTATING EYELASH COMB
Designed to curl even the most stubborn downward-pointing lashes, this battery- powered device has a comb that rotates 360 degrees, separating lashes as it curls. Panasonic claims it is especially effective at curling lashes of single-edged lids, a key concern in Japan and other Asian countries. 3,980 yen (about $50)
PANASONIC HANDY MIST
This slim metal can easily fits into a purse or briefcase and can be used to diffuse a fine mist of moisturizing lotion on the face, giving the complexion a pick-me- up any time of the day. Shiseido teamed up with Panasonic to offer one of its best-selling lotions in a special size designed to be used in the device. 13,000 yen (about $163)
PANASONIC NECK REFLEXOLOGY
This pocket-size machine provides relief to the stiff necks and shoulders of multitaskers without taking time out of the day for a massage. Panasonic’s promotional material shows images of women wearing the necklacelike massager on the train, in the office and while chatting with friends. 6,980 yen (about $87)
TANITA BREATH CHECKER
For those who want to judge whether or not they need a breath mint, Tanita has just the thing. Users blow onto this device and within five seconds a cute drawing and a number from one to six lets them know how badly their breath is likely to offend those within close proximity. 4,200 yen (about $53)