By JESSICA CARROLL.
Intricate rituals, innovative ingredients, and a sustainable mindset – the west is only just catching up on traditional japanese skincare and beauty practices.
It doesn’t take much digging to find examples of the Japanese beauty influences that we routinely take for granted. Miyabi Kumagai, regional marketing manager at Japanese brand Shiseido, explains how our current obsession with natural beauty products (popularised in the West by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop) is nothing new for Japanese women. “For Japanese people, nature has always been a part of their life, they worship and respect it,” she adds. While it’s easy to become reliant upon beauty products that promise instant results, Kumagai explains that Japanese women typically focus their routines on prevention, living by the philosophy, “Sonae areba urei nashi,” or, “Anticipation will save you from troubles.”
“JAPANESE CULTURE IS ABOUT RESPECTING THE AUTHENTIC TRADITION BUT COMBINING OPPOSITE VALUES TO INNOVATE AND CREATE A TENSION BETWEEN THEM” – MIYABI KUMAGAI, REGIONAL MARKETING MANAGER, SHISEIDO
It’s important, however, to be able to distinguish between natural and old-fashioned. A common misconception about Japan’s culture is that it is fixated upon tradition, or stuck in the past. Just as the V&A’s aim is to prove that the kimono is a fashionable item, “not just a timeless, ceremonial costume.” Kumagai is quick to point out that Japan’s beauty industry is constantly evolving. “Japanese culture is about respecting the authentic tradition but combining opposite values to innovate and create a tension between them.”
This tension is something Kumagai refers to as harmonious dualities: “Modernity and tradition, perfection and imperfection, respectful yet audacious.” Yamamoto is also aware of how these contrasts influence her work, “Japanese people love natural make-up,” she explains.
Read more: https://www.dazeddigital.com/beauty/head/article/48418/1/japan-japanese-beauty-routine-make-up-skincare-sustainable-shiseido-shiro