Last month I wrote my first post in what is going to be a series of posts, investigating the question, What is Japanese beauty? (If you missed it you can read it here)
To start, I thought it was important to discuss the concept of wabi-sabi which is an important philosophy, which is the heart of the concept of beauty in Japan. One of the key principles of wabi-sabi is the beauty of simplicity.
Simplicity is a vital characteristics of Japanese culture as a whole and the very essence of Japanese beauty. The Japanese aesthetic of beauty appreciates simplicity. Japan’s cultural love of minimalism is not for architecture and interiors alone, it also much prized and coveted in the world of Japanese beauty as well. In the Western world we are often shown pictures of the elaborate Tokyo fashions in Harajuku, however these unique and elaborate beauty and fashion styles are a phenomenon that make this eccentric part of Tokyo so special. Generally, Japanese style of fashion and beauty appreciate simplicity. But don’t be mistaken that simplicity equates to boring or lazy. In fact it is quite the opposite.
In Japanese beauty…
Simplicity in beauty is carefully considered
Design and quality is paramount
Is expertly restrained. Nothing more than what is necessary
How does this translate to Japanese Beauty?
For skincare, a few methodical steps with high-quality products
Unlike the famous K-Beauty 10 step routine, to follow a Japanese beauty routine you don’t have to combine too many steps. Keep your skincare routine simple.
Some of the steps are unique to Japanese beauty, like lotion, but many are just the same as your usual routine. The basics are double cleanse (there are many ways to do this and you are probably doing it already- the most important thing is to tailor it to your skin type), lotion, serum/ face oil, cream and sunscreen. The most important thing is to use high quality products that are suited to your skin type and adapt according to the skins needs.
Minimalist product design, sophisticated and grown up
Minimalism has a huge impact on skincare and beauty packaging and design. Japanese beauty brands tend to be minimalist in their branding, packaging and advertising. Perfect examples of this are the hugely successful THREE, Shiro and Shigeta brands.
Makeup to reveal and enhance natural beauty
Japanese beauty is quite natural and feminine. Not overtly made-up, bronzed and contoured like Western beauty. Makeup is used to enhance your natural beauty, not transform you in to a completely different person.
Beautiful skin that shines from within – tsuya and mochihada
Beautiful skin that is clear, smooth, plump and has tsuya or a lit from within glow or radiance eptomises Japanese beauty.
Skincare focus to create a beautiful canvas
Skincare first. Taking care of you skin is important factor of Japanese beauty. Creating a beautiful canvas to then apply subtle, natural make-up is key.
I hope that you have gained an insight into one of the most important characteristics of Japanese beauty- simplicity. It is absolutely essential when defining Japanese beauty and what sets it apart from other beauty cultures around the world and what make it so unique.
Next month, I will continue the discussion on Japanese beauty by looking at the importance of tradition.