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Beyond the hustle of Tokyo, where fashion-forward neighborhoods like Harajuku take beauty to the extreme, makeup is minimal. Japan can be credited with perfecting the “no makeup makeup” look, favoring a flawless complexion and a natural, understated touch.

FACE: Flawless, pore-free skin is what the Japanese are known for. Beyond their well-crafted skincare, soft, dewy makeup helps to enhance complexions. Base makeup comes in many formulas—liquid, powder, and cream foundations as well as BB creams and cushion compacts. Concealers are applied under eyes and “problem areas” but never appears cakey or creased. Base makeup is often used in a shade lighter than skin tone. It looks natural, with a translucent matte finish.

CHEEKS: An innocent “flush” subtly defines apples of cheeks with soft swipes of pink and red-tinted blush. The term koshoku means blood-colored or naturally flushed, and is the basis for the healthy, fresh, and blushing-from-the-inside look that Japanese women desire.

EYES: The facial focal point tends to be the eyes, where bigger is always better. Because of this, lash products are important. Curlers, mascaras, and extensions are constantly being updated with new technologies. Smudge-proof shadows and liners that add dimension to the eye are also essential.

LIPS: Like cheeks, lips are less defined (so that focus remains on the eyes). They are enhanced with washes of translucent tints in shades of rosy pinks and reds as well as lighter nudes, corals, and peaches. Full, plump, and shiny lips are considered beautiful, and there is an abundance of glosses, balms, and lipsticks to create this look

Photo: Joanna Kosinska via Unsplash 

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