We’re almost three-fourths through the year, and there’s no time like the present to revamp our makeup repertoire and experiment with some new techniques and colors. Western makeup has taken a turn in recent years to mimic the more fresh-faced, “no makeup” look that’s common in Asia, and for good reason. Somehow minimizing the look of makeup while maximizing the glow, Japanese makeup achieves a youthful, sweet look that’s simply classic. From how to achieve the most flawless base to trending colors, feather-soft brows to “wet” makeup, let’s take a look at some of the hottest trends in Japanese makeup happening right now in 2022, and the tools you need to achieve it for yourself.
Back to Basics
Japanese makeup has always been about fresh, clean skin. In Japanese, “translucency” is a word often used to describe flawless, glowy skin. This doesn’t translate very well in English (when thinking of beautiful, healthy skin see-through isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind), but it’s meant to describe the glowing-from-within, supple skin you think is only possible in adverts.
Well, we can’t facetune our faces in our daily lives, but we can get significantly close to the fantasy those Shiseido commercials are trying to sell us. Beyond skincare, the trick is to build up coverage slowly in thin layers to avoid cakiness, and know the right areas to highlight. “Glow” and “shiny” seem similar but are actually really different terms in the makeup world. You’re going to want to highlight where the light will naturally hit your face, i.e. the high points on your forehead, your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, your cupid’s bow and your chin. Then you want to powder the areas on your skin where your natural oils will make it appear shiny, i.e. everywhere else, but notably the triangle area under your eyes.
Since Japanese makeup is all about subtlety, cream highlights are a god-send to get that effortless glow. Try out these products:
CanMake Cream Highlight
Orbis Glow Skin Compact
Brows Brows Brows
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Right now in Japan, thicker, arched brows are in. Whereas straight brows were the norm for several years in Japan, trends have turned, and curved brows upward. Similar to Western trends where “feathered brows” are popular, the trick for trendy brows is to keep them fluffy and not carve them out too much, as well as keeping the arch minimal.
Go for a brow mascara to add volume to your natural brows and keep them in place. If you weren’t born with the bushy brow genes, use a thin brow pencil to mimic hairlike strokes. Check out these fan faves:
Dejavu Eyebrow Color
Ettusais Eye Edition (Brow Liner)
Glitter and Glow
If you’ve been anywhere near a fashion magazine or social media lately, you know that Y2K fashion is booming right now, and it doesn’t stop with clothes. A pop of color on the eyelids topped with a layer of glitter is giving us all the nostalgic feels. Japanese makeup has always been a fan of subtle, glittery makeup that looks wet under the light, so this trend just takes the usual glimmer up a notch.
Try going for a blue-toned color for a distinctly 2000s vibe, and run it along the lower lash line for a simple but eye-catching look. Pat on the glitter with your fingers or a damp, flat brush all over the lids and in the inner corners to really brighten the eyes. Here are some tried-and-true glitter eye shadows:
Innisfree My Glow [Sparkle]
CLIO Pro Eye Palette
Warm is the New Black
Like the leaves from the summer to a cooler autumn season, trending colors change frequently. Since this year’s trending fashion colors were said to be bright orange, green and pink, makeup trends naturally hopped on the vibrant-and-warm train as well. This summer, it was all about the pinks, yellows and oranges, and the warm-toned trend is still going strong. While these fun, warm-toned colors are still trending, stepping into the fall season you’ll see many magazines and runways opt for warm browns and reds with a bright purple, blue or pink as an accent color.
No matter what shade you reach for, you can use a cream blush or even lipstick on the cheek, lips and eyes for a cohesive look. (Just make sure the product is safe to use around the eyes, and wipe before use if you’ve used it directly on your lips!) Here are some products to add some warmth to your look:
Dior Backstage Eye Palette (Coral)
Chanel Les Beiges Stick Belle Mine
Bring On the Blush
Whether you’re opting for a summery peach or a more autumnal brick color, don’t be shy with the blush this year. Where Japan doesn’t favor sharp contours or bronzed skin, they do love a good blush, and this year is no different. Try experimenting with not only the basic pink or peach blush but tones of orange, yellow, brown and purple for a more refreshing look.
Rather than on the apples of your cheeks, place the blush a little higher than usual for a facelift effect. By blending the blush towards your eyes, you can achieve an elevated look. Here are some cream blushes that blend like a dream:
Integrate Melty Mode Cheek
MAC Glow Play Blush