A friend generously returns from her frequent trips to Tokyo with tubes of Japanese charcoal cleanser. Last time she added in a face mask that does a pretty good job of lightening the skin. Although she'll take requests, I don't think I'll be asking her to pick up Kyobeni Rouge on her next trip.

Kyobeni Rouge is probably the world's most expensive lipstick. It costs between $675 and $2,850 for a pot that holds up to 50 applications. Isehan-Honten, the company that has just launched Kyobeni Rouge, says that this is justified because its green (crushed safflower petals), rare (said petals must be harvested from one particular mountain in July and before dawn), and has staying power (ever seen a Geisha touching up her lippy in the bathroom?).