Japanese people like to dress up. Various commentators like to point to social phenomenon like cosplay (literally, “costume play”) as examples of how people seek escape in role-playing and dressing-up. This can be seen in all walks of life, from the sex industry to the unfortunate folk roped into dressing up as mascots at sports games, malls and almost any major public event across the land.
And so when we saw the Animal Face Pack, we weren’t in the least bit surprised. A face pack that turns you into a tiger? Why of course!
These are not just costume pieces and you won’t find them in Don Quijote. They are genuine face packs and we don’t wish to lessen their quality by drawing an analogy to cosplay, though it is tempting to ponder how much influence cosplay has on the Japanese cosmetics industry..
The Animal Face Pack has been created by Isshin Do Honpo, who previously brought the world the Kabuki Face Pack, the mask that improves your skin and turns you into a performer on the traditional Japanese stage.
The Animal Face Pack is similar, a brilliant and visually-arrested concept that takes a face pack, makes it more interesting and in the process turns you into an animal. The creatures in question here are a panda and tiger (it’s a set of two). But this hasn’t been done by halves, the makers have gone to Ueno Zoo, Japan’s most famous zoological garden, and found two popular residents to base their face packs on.
The results then are replicas of the faces of actual Ueno Zoo animals, Sumatran tiger Kunde and giant pandas Ri Ri and Shin Shin. But again, it’s not just a gimmick — the face packs contain water, glycerine, BG hyaluronan, hydrolysis collagen, water-soluble collagen, and vitamin C — and the intention is sincere, since part of sales are being donated to the animals’ upkeep at Ueno and also to protecting pandas and tigers in the wild.
Charity. Cosplay. And cosmetics. You can’t argue with that combination!
Shiseido SK-II Pitera-rium Dock beauty counselor bus tours Japan telling women the future of their skinWritten by: William on June 5, 2014 at 11:56 am | In LIFESTYLE | No Comments
Have you spotted this red bus?
Shiseido is currently running a big SK-II Bihada Pitera-rium Dock campaign where women can see their “future skin” in 20 minute counceling sessions. A special pop-up store bus is now touring Japan for women to go and get predictions of their skin at special Pitera-rium events. It launched in January at Roppongi’s Midtown, and there are also similar services being offered at Shiseido branches and counters at department stores nationwide.
It starts with a photograph being taken of your cheek using a large red round machine called a “Magic Ring”. This is then analyzed as a map of five elements, the results of which are printed out into a carte for women to take home and study.
The campaign is fronted by Shiseido regular actress Haruka Ayase and is a campaign for its SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Here is Haruka demonstrating how to use the “Magic Ring” measuring device.
Here is the bus around Tokyo.
It’s actually an old American school bus that has been re-decorated red for the campaign.
This is what the inside of the bus looks like.
Japanese department store beauty counters and cosmetic brand flagship stores have long offered free beauty counseling services with use of sophisticated skin analysis devices. The idea is that the brands are not just flogging make-up to you; they are looking after your beauty and offering customized cosmetic experiences. This SK-II campaign is using the special “Magic Ring” device developed for Shiseido, which they claim is the most sophisticated in the world.
Do you remember in the 1990′s when everyone wanted to have Jennifer Aniston’s “The Rachel” haircut? Well, right now in Japan girls are also trying to copy a look. Nothing new in that, except this “copying” itself has become the trend.
It is called monomane meiku, literally “imitation make-up”, and involves the use of both cosmetics, hair styles and strategic face masks to turn yourself into popular models or celebrities.
TV personality Zawachin (21), aka Kaori Ozawa, started things off by posting pictures on her official blog where she impersonated famous people’s look, especially former AKB48 idol Tomomi Itano. She attracted such a following that a talk event in late April attracted 300 women, many of whom were wearing her signature face mask and make-up.
Japan is an imitation culture. The idea of mane is ingrained, from cosplay (dressing up as characters, typically from anime or manga) to fake food samples in restaurants and the way Japan has long imported, assimilated and then reproduced (with changes) foreign ideas and objects, from weapons to cooking.
Combine this with a strong native idol culture, where on top of “idols” like AKB48, models, actresses and singers also attract a following for being talented or attractive, but also for representing a certain kind of look that female fans want to acquire. This means that fashion models regularly release books and get thousands of hits on their blogs where they post pictures of their look that day (along with their lunch).
Zawachin can transform herself into actress Keiko Kitagawa, singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, figure skater Mao Asada, model Miranda Kerr (who is very popular in Japan), and more. Her book “Zawachin Make Magic”, released in January and in which she gives tips on cosmetics, has sold 120,000 copies. Her blog, in which goes into detail about the transformation process, has at times attracted over 1 million hits a day.
Zawachin has a repertoire of 60 people, including even male pop idol group Arashi. She says that “monomane meiku is different to ‘monomane‘ (impersonation) since anyone can do it”. With the right techniques and know-how, apparently you can become a star.
According to the Nikkei Marketing Journal, Zawachin is inspiring people as young as five years old to get in on the trend.
So next time you see someone on the streets of Tokyo who looks like a famous singer or actress, think twice before asking for their autograph. It might just be Zawachin or one of her many disciples.
Today Bandai continued its commemoration of 20 years since Sailor Moon’s first TV broadcast with an interactive publicity event featuring the range of cosmetics released earlier this year by CreerBeaute to celebrate the anime series.
The third in the series of cosmetics products was being promoted by five ladies dressed up like Sailor Moon characters, to a specially invited audience selected by lottery from over 3,000 applicants.
Sailor Moon will likely need no introduction for JapanTrends readers. The iconic anime series not only was integral in spreading the general popularity of Japanese anime overseas for the generation now in their twenties — especially girls — but also cemented a lot of the funky images we have about Japanese schoolgirls in anime. (The magical girls’ clothes in the series are modeled on “sailor”-style girls’ school uniforms.) The anime was first broadcast in 1992, adapted from the original manga by Naoko Takeuchi.
This event took place at Spiral in Aoyama and showcased the latest in the Sailor Moon cosmetics, set to be released simultaneously in Japan and also Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore where the franchise is popular.
The new products are Miracle Romance Star Power Prism, a series of three types of eyeliner in five colors inspired by “Moon Prism Power, Make Up!”, the phrase the main character, Usagi Tsukino, uses when she transforms herself.
Visitors could also get their photo taken with the Tuxedo Mask, one of the characters from the series, and also get a closer look at the make-up products a day before they went on sale.
This isn’t the first time that the Creer Beaute has collaborated with anime to create new cosmetic products and brands. Past inspirations include Urusei Yatsura, Creamy Mami, Evangelion and The Rose of Versailles.
This coming winter, Japan’s iconic cosmetic brand, shu uemura, will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of its beauty boutique in Omotesando in central Tokyo with the Christmas collection “Six Heart Princess by takashi murakami for shu.”
On August 29th, the brand had its first opportunity to present the collection in public at Shibuya Hikarie.
In collaboration with contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, this collection of nineteen cosmetic items is themed around “transformation,” featuring pink and black as the two primary colors that represent the duality of women. Six Heart Princess (6HP) is Murakami’s animation work which was first introduced at his exhibition in France, “Murakami Versailles,” back in 2010.
For this collaborative project with shu uemura, Murakami created a new character, Black Princess, and made a special version of the anime in the promotion of various cosmetic items which will all help women “transform” into beauties — or anything that they wish to become. The collection features a wide variety of cosmetics (priced from ¥1,470 to ¥27,300), ranging from single items such as eyelash extensions, gel pencil eyeliners, UV under base mousse, cleansing oil, to more convenient sets such as Palette Kit, Brush Set and Makeup Box.
At the event, a live makeup show was performed on stage. Another highlight was a dancing performance of Tempura Kidz, most famous as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu‘s backup dancers, complete with original mascot characters for the project.
Murakami has previously collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, while shu uemura has previously hired the artistic talents of film director Wong Kar-wai and photographer Mika Ninagawa.
Having conquered the female market, Shiseido is next targetting younger consumers.
It has created a beauty salon for kids since the children of today are the customers of the ftuture. The salon will foster cosmetic experiences for kids so they get used to and grow to respect and admire beauty consultants (and Shiseido) from an early age.
It’s not the first time Shiseido has turned its powerful eyes towards juvenile consumers with pocket money (or at least, with future salaries) to burn. It previously ran interactive seminars for kids to learn about beauty treatments and how make-up is made, as well as online portals introducing the brand and how to be “beautiful”.
At the beauty salon, beauticians will be on hand to teach kids how to make themselves more attractive and take care of their skin. There will also be “make-up camp” to try out cosmetics, and a nail care experience. Each “course” is limited to three or four participants each and lasts around fifteen minutes.
The popular anime franchise Evangelion is well know for creating all kind of Evangelion-themed products. To promote the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the latest movie Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo on April 24th, another collaboration campaign started one month ago.
On March 25th the cosmetics brand Creer Beaute released a new line of three special scented sprays which are based on three main characters Ayanami Rei, Ikari Shinji and Asuka Langley. The EVANGELION 2WAY fragrance mist for men is said to make them irresistible to the ladies.
The perfume comes in a stylish 110ml bottle for ¥1,280. Even if you are not a fan of Evangelion this amazing product is worth a try.
Each scent has three elements, a “top”, “middle” and “last”.
TYPE-R (fragrance of the aqua citrus) is the fragrance reflecting the image of Ayanami Rei, erasing her her sadness and painfulness by this refreshing perfume
The top: grapefruit, raspberry, coconut
A middle: jasmine, a ylang-ylang, rose and oceanaut
The last: musk, vanilla
TYPE-01 (fragrance of the fresh musk) is a spicy fragrance inspired by Ikari Shinji
The top: bergamot, lemon, green
A middle: nutmeg, spice of the paper, lilac
The last: woody, umber, musk
TYPE-A (fragrance of the red citrus) is the fragrance of Asuka Langley. Just like her character the perfume fuses passion and sweetness
The top: orange, lychee, apple
A middle: rose, jasmine, cyclamen
The last: musk, umber
We’ve seen it around for a while overseas but we just read an interesting report about how so-called eyelash art is apparently starting to pick up more adopters among Japanese women in their twenties and thirties.
The British brand Paperself is now being imported and sold in Japan. Inspired by Chinese paper-cutting techniques, the paper eyelash designs include animals, flowers and other motifs.
For a country as obsessed with make-up and with paper (origami et al), this should not come as a surprise.
With the spread of “gyaru” fashion to mainstream Japanese women from around the year 2000 these kinds of elaborate and striking cosmetic decorations have started to gain in popularity. Regular OL fashion has been veering towards the casual for years now, alongside the spread of items to enhance your “eye power”.
The Nikkei Marketing Journal introduces some examples of women who are now trying matsuge aato (“eyelash art”) for wedding parties and special occasions, like Halloween. Japan, with its culture of cosplay and imitation, means there is a ripe market here for this kind of cosmetic product. Plus Japanese people frequently seem concerned about how “small” their eyes look and go to lengths to give emphasis and “oomph” to the impact their eye make-up can create.
The eyelash market reportedly went from 22 billion yen (nearly $300 million) in 2006 to 50 billion yen (over $600 million) three years later.. Some local printing companies have started to offer new paper make-up products, such as paper eyelashes and paper eyeliners. One such manufacturer launched the PaperMake1 online store recently with some 26 examples of paper eyelashes.
Most are indeed delicately made from paper but other companies are offering cheaper products made from low-cost polyester.