Review: Shiseido Sharpener shows that brand name does matter

Did you know that a great makeup sharpener such as Shiseido Sharpener #231 can make life so much easier? How so? Isn’t a sharpener, well, just a sharpener? How different can sharpeners be?

Well, I thought so too until I tried Shiseido Sharpener #231. My immediate thought was, “Why didn’t I buy it earlier?” 

Shiseido Sharpener 231

Some of you may know that I just came back from Okinawa. Just like any lady would, I brought home a huge pile of Japan-made beauty products. Shiseido Sharpener #231 is the first to be reviewed and I’m so glad that I’ve found another 5-star gem to add to my Japan Must-Buy List!

Update (Aug 2020): This post was first published in 2018. Two years on and I’m still so impressed. This morning, the tip of my brow pencil broke and I conveniently reached out for a random unbranded sharpener. But the core kept breaking even though the wooden part was well shaved-off.

Then, I thought of Shiseido Sharpener. And whoa, one rotation was all it took to produce a well-sharpened brow pencil. I’m so amazed!  


4 Reasons why Shiseido Sharpener is Holy Grail Material

First, I have to declare that I’m not an expert as far as sharpener is concerned. Such a tool has a long shelf life, hence giving me very little opportunity to experiment with different ones.

So far, I have only used drug-store sharpeners. Well, actually, this Shiseido Sharpener #231 was also bought from a drug store in Okinawa, Japan. 

Today, let me share with you why this S$4 sharpener is entering my beauty holy grail list.

1. Pencil doesn’t get stuck; Less Wastage

Have you ever tried sharpening your pencil, and when you are done, you couldn’t pull it out because the wooden strip was not completely sliced off? What happened next was the need to twirl it further, hoping that it would get detached somehow. But this also means the pencil getting shortened unnecessary.  

All along, I didn’t know there was a solution to this problem. And I lived with the “extra-shaving exercise” for years (decades maybe?).

Shiseido Sharpener #231 was an eye-opener for me. The wooden strip miraculously and effortlessly detached from the pencil once sharpening was done. I could pull out my pencil anytime without experiencing any form of resistance. How it was done, I’m not quite sure. But it just works!

2. Pencil doesn’t break!

Perhaps, it’s because the sharpener is still new, and hence the blade is still sharp. But I would like to think that Shiseido Sharpener #231 is engineered with precision to prevent the core of the pencil from breaking.

I’ll know after a few months of usage, and would surely update this review should Shiseido Sharpener #231 fail to withstand the test of time.

Update (Aug 2020): After two years, this sharpener is still working perfectly! 

Shiseido Sharpener 231
Old eyeliners, newly sharpened!

3. Adapter Ring to Fit Different Pencil Sizes

Shiseido Sharpener #231 comes with an adapter ring which you can remove to enlarge its circumference. One product – two sizes. How useful! And it’s so compactly-built. Definitely great for traveling. 

Most standard eyeliners should fit into the larger circumference, while some slimmer lip pencils can go into the smaller hole.

Shiseido Sharpener 231
Original state to fit slimmer makeup pencils
Shiseido Sharpener 231
Detachable adapter ring to fit pencils of larger circumference

4. It’s Cheap

Shiseido Sharpener’s recommended retail price is ¥400 (excluding tax). When I saw it selling at a discount, I couldn’t resist and got hold of it at just ¥320 nett. That’s less than S$4.

OMG! That’s probably cheaper than an unknown brand from Watsons Singapore. You can view its latest price on Amazon.

Shiseido Sharpener 231
Branded makeup sharpener at affordable price


What’s not to like about Shiseido Sharpener #231? 

1. Need to Squat in front of the Bin

Shiseido Sharpener #231 doesn’t come with a storage body to hold the scraps. So I had to squat in front of my dustbin when using it. I stood for quite a while because I was so fascinated with this sharpener and went on to work the magic on all my pencils in one go.

It was quite shiok! LOL!

So, that’s it. I could only find one thing that’s not too great about Shiseido Sharpener. 


How to Care for Shiseido Sharpener #231?

Thank god, we have things like Google Translate because the instruction was in Japanese. To take proper care of Shiseido Sharpener, please remove scraps using a cleaning stick and wipe off residue with tissue or dry cloth.

Language Barrier: Did you know that I had a hard time buying beauty products in Japan because I didn’t know what I was buying most of the time. Was it one for dry or oily skin? Waterproof mascara or not? Matt or dewy finish?

In any case, I took a gamble on my purchase because I didn’t have internet connection to seek help from Google Translate. Next time, I better make sure I get data plan before heading to Japan. LOL!



This is a straight forward one. GRAB IT! I can’t find any reason why you shouldn’t buy Shiseido Sharpener #231 given its great quality, price and functionality. It’s not an everyday affair when you can find a product that solves a long-term problem and prevents wastage. Rating: 5/5


View latest price on Amazon


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(This post was first published in July 2018 and republished in Aug 2020).

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no cost to you. Read mfull disclosure for more info.

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