They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Much has been said and done in order to achieve the best kind of beauty that one sees in the mirror. Because beauty is indeed subjective depending on the person looking at it, the cosmetic industry has a vast array of beauty products that aim to cater to the different kinds of beauty that people are looking for. In order to achieve a certain look or a specific type of beauty, women, and even men, from all over the world turn to makeup products to somehow alter or improve the way they look. These days, the makeup industry has seen a huge boom when it comes to its sales because more and more people are advocating the use of makeup products and how these boost the confidence of individuals. However, when using certain beauty products, it is important to take note of their quality. After all, these products are being put on the skin. If these contain certain chemicals that may react badly on the skin, then the opposite of beauty may come to effect. This is especially important when choosing the right type of foundation as it is considered the base of the look. Now some of the best makeup brands that truly enhance the skin hail from Japan as the country is known for not just the quality of their products, but also for their women who take such great care of their skin.
Japanese Foundation: How Makeup Started in Japan
The idea of makeup in Japan began way back in their history. As early as the year 300 during the Kofun period, there has already been a custom of painting the faces of Japanese people. This can also be seen from the varying colors on the haniwa clay figurines molded during this era. On the second half of the sixth century, cosmetics such as powder and rouge were imported from the Chinese and Korean peninsula, which developed the use of makeup in Japan. There is a theory that the first lead-based face powder in Japan was made by a Buddhist priest in the name of Kanjo in the year 692. This product was then presented to Empress Jito and obviously pleased her. During the Nara period from the year 710 to 794, more women used a white powder called oshiroi on their faces.
It was during the Heian period from the year 794 to 1185 that makeup in Japan evolved; instead to imitating the Chinese model of beauty, cosmetics in Japan began to adhere more to the style and sensibility of Japanese women. It was also during this time that women in Japan were more conscious of their looks and applied white powder on their faces. Upon the arrival of the Muromachi era from the year 1333 to 1573, application of rouge and face powder were common among the urban people. It was during the Edo period that concentration on face powder was at its peak. Because the Japanese regarded beauty as women with white skin, and because foundation was yet to be invented, women applied white face powder on their faces to enhance the whiteness of their skin and in contrast to their black hair. A notable brand of face powder during this time was called Bien Senjoko.
During the Meiji period, there were concerns regarding cosmetics containing lead as it was poisonous. Hence, in the year 1904, a lead-free face powder was introduced. On the other hand, it was during the Taish period from the year 1912 to 1926 that women began wearing face powder in varying shades instead of just white. Because this era was highly influenced by the West during this time, creams and emulsions also started being sold in the country. Upon the arrival of the Shōwa era, Japanese women began choosing different hues that matched and enhanced their skin tone and foundation then was still created from oshiroi. After the Second World War, makeup in Japan was highly influenced by Western style; hence, their products progressed to oil-based foundations, false eyelashes, mascara, and much more.
Homegrown Makeup Brands Famous in Japan
While there are definitely a lot of great makeup brands all over the world, some of the best can still be found in Japan. Because Japanese people prioritize quality, it is not surprising that many Japanese brands, even just the drugstore ones, provide great coverage, color, and effect. If one is visiting Japan and is interested in affordable makeup products that were made in the country, one should list down these Japanese brands that are a hit in Japan. First is Canmake. Canmake can be found almost anywhere in the country. Because it is a drugstore brand, Canmake is accessible to any girl who wants to try out their products. Canmake offers foundation, eyeshadow, lipsticks, and much more. Their products are so affordable that an eyeshadow costs as low as just 600 JPY. Some of their lip products even have SPF20 PA++ in them, which protect the lips from the sun.
Another drugstore brand to check out is Cezanne. Although the brand offers products that are low in price, one does not need to worry about the quality. Many women prefer using Cezanne products as these are meant for everyday use. Established in the year 1964, Cezanne is best known for its face powders and lip products. If one is looking for another makeup brand for everyday use, then look no further than Coffret D’or. Another drugstore brand, Coffret D’or makes products affordable but of great quality. Even famous actresses such as Satomi Ishihara and Masami Nagahara use this brand on their faces. Their best-selling products include their face powder and lip products. These are great to use from day to night.
If one is looking for a more glam or darker look, then definitely check out Kate. While the brand is mostly going for that daring look, anyone can still use their products for everyday. Still, their products were made for those creating a vampy look for a night out and weekend dates. On the other hand, if one is looking for a cute, fantasy-themed brand, then definitely check out Majolica Majorca. Not only are their products affordable, each one also has its own short backstory. Its packaging is whimsical and almost childlike in design. Try out their face products, mascara, and lipsticks. On the other hand, for those who would like to get that makeup look on point but still maintain the natural condition of one’s skin, one might like to try organic Japanese makeup brands. Two good ones that are worth the try are Three and Naturaglace. Not only are their products safe to use on the skin because of their natural ingredients, but they also give great results in terms of coverage and pigmentation.
However, for those looking for high-end brands, Japan has no shortage of that. Probably one of the most famous Japanese brands in the world is Shiseido. While the price is more on the steep side, the quality is also definitely up there as well. Founded in the year 1872 in Tokyo, it is among the top skincare and makeup brands in the world. Women rave about Shiseido in their reviews and results can really be seen after using their products. Their makeup line does not only provide good coverage and color to the skin but also takes care of it. Shiseido as a company itself created a number of other cosmetic brands, one of which is Maquillage. When in Japan, the number one product that Maquillage is known for is their foundation. Many women view Maquillage foundations as their holy grail products; that is just how good the foundations are. While it is more on the pricey side, various women swear by the beautiful effect of this product on the skin. Other Japanese brands to check out are Shu Uemura, Jill Stuart, RMK, and Cle De Peau.
Brushes Working Hand-in-Hand with Foundation
The tool used to apply foundation on the skin is equally as important as the formula of the foundation itself. Even if the formula is great, if the foundation is now applied well on the skin, the end result would still not look as good. The main tool used for foundation application is a brush. Now there are many kinds of brushes that can be used when applying foundation depending on the consistency of the product. In Japan, there are two main brands that specialize in creating these brushes that would give that nice, smooth, and flawless look on the skin. First is Hakuhodo. Hakuhodo is known for its two foundation brushes, namely S5555 and S5557. These two foundation brushes can be used for both powder and liquid foundation. Both brushes are also made of goat and synthetic hair. S5555 has a brush length of 170mm, hair length of 23mm, and hair thickness of 21.7mm while S5557 has a brush length of 166mm, hair length of 26mm, and hair thickness of 26mm. The finish that both brushes give is smooth and even. Most women like that the look is almost airbrushed.
Second is Koyudo. Koyudo has a lot of brush series but the two famous ones are the Fu-Pa Series and the High-Class Series. The Fu-Pa series is obviously the more affordable one between the two. What makes the Fu-Pa Series unique is its build. The height of the brushes in the series range from just 3.5 to 4 inches, which is considerably short compared to normal brushes. On the other hand, the bristles are densely packed and the performance is just superb. Many prefer Fu-Pa14 for powder foundation and Fu-Pa02 for liquid foundation. As for the High Class Series, the height is comparably longer than those in the Fu-Pa series. What sets it apart is its BP013 foundation brush. Made of Hakutotsuho goat hair, the bristles are also densely packed and work really well with a liquid foundation with a thick consistency.
The Best Powder Foundations for Oily Skin
Women with oily skin usually prefer powder foundation as most powder foundation can control the oiliness of the face. If one is looking for notable powder foundations in Japan, then look no further than Maquillage Dramatic Powder UV. While it works great on oily skin, it can still be used by women with dry skin because of its unique “mousse press method” wherein there is essence water in the foundation. It comes in seven different shades; hence, it caters to an array of women with varying skin colors. It stays on for hours and controls sebum as well. If one is looking for a slightly cheaper version of this, then try the Maquillage True Powdery UV. The packaging comes in gold just like the Dramatic Powdery UV. It is a micro-fine pressed powder that offers full coverage. It conceals pores well and a little goes a long way for this product. This product offers six shades and can also be used with either a wet or dry sponge or brush.
Another great powder foundation is the Ipsa Powder Foundation. It ranked No. 2 in the Cosme 2016 Powder Foundation review. What is unique about this product is its “Thin Film Trump Magnet Powder,” which basically means that the powder can stick to the skin in an even layer. It comes in six different shades and has a light airy finish. It also controls sebum so the face would not be oily throughout the day.
The Best Liquid Foundations for Dry Skin
As for women with dry skin, using liquid foundation is recommended. If one is looking for a liquid foundation in Japan and is willing to splurge for that extra nice product, then try Shiseido Radiant Fluid Foundation. While it is a bit expensive, many women swear by this liquid foundation. It offers full coverage and blends really well on the skin. While the price is on the heavy side, a little goes a long way for this product; hence, it will last a while. Using a damp brush on this product would give that nice, even finish.
If one is looking for a lighter feel on the skin, the Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation may be the one for you. It comes in a sheer and lightweight texture thanks to its water-based formula. While it does not offer full coverage on the skin, it can still even out the skin tone and provide a cleaner look. The finish is sheer and breathable for the skin. On the other hand, if one has hyperpigmentation, then one may also opt to use concealer as well. One can also try the Cle de Peau Sheer Fluid Veil for that lightweight and silky base on the skin.