Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

FOTD: Trendspotting in Japan

This post is part of my Japan 2014 Beauty Series. It's my take on "beauty-travel blogging" where I post exclusively about fashion, makeup, skincare and shopping while travelling to another land.
Click here for the Japan 2014 Beauty Series overview post. Summary of posts is at the bottom!

So gradient lips were a bust.

It doesn't matter though. Japan has such a unique culture that I was easily able to distill the everyday-Japan look by the first commute and first mall tour we did- all on the first day.

The Look: All About The Eyes

Everyone knows the Japanese are all about the eyes and I assumed I could go graphic and colorful here, which would explain me packing tons of colored eye liners. No, not really.

They love big eyes but they achieve this through 'black' eye makeup, false lashes and circle lenses. Yes, even people just randomly walking the street or taking the train have false lashes on!


I only recently conquered my fear over contact lenses but I tried my best to copy the rest of their eye look during my year-ender vacation. One thing I noticed was that they "matched" their lashes to their eyeliner. I only saw huge eye liner on those who wore gigantic lashes. And I guess it makes sense, right? The falseness of lashes is more obvious over bare skin- so they hide lash-to-skin junction with tons of eyeliner.

Heroine Make Eyelash in 01, Php 345

I brought the relatively discreet Heroine Make False Eyelashes in 01 and stuck it with the Andrea Modlash Adhesive for Strip Lashes. This glue was bequeathed to me by mom, who had no use for it after one of my sisters' weddings. It's a fantastic lash glue! It's greyish in hue but dries up black. It doesn't take that long for it to become tacky enough for application, which I love because other lash adhesives (especially The Face Shop's!) take soooo long to be workable. This thing survived Universal Studios Japan: splashes on the face, A FUCKING FLURRY and overall harassment from a pretty active day.

The lashes were great. The longest and thickest tines (can I call them tines??) were about 3mm longer than my longest lashes. Lengthwise, they fade out naturally and have spaces in between hairs so your lashes can blend in really, really well. The hairs are also shorter at the corners and really long at the tail so it helps create a cat eye shape.

That said, even this may be a little too discreet considering what's normal in Japan. I could have definitely gone thicker, but maybe not longer.

Rest of the Eye:

Lt. Bronze (Lorac PRO 1) over a thin layer of MAC Soft Ochre

I used MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre to prime Lorac PRO Palette 1 shades in Champagne, Gold or Lt. Bronze. The common eye look was just skintone shimmer. It's creased here but it was pretty perfect on the other daysOther options in my stash: Etude House Glimmer Sticks or MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.


Cheeks are a more confusing matter. They do them either really severe, almost burnt-looking, or none at all. The severe blush, I think, relates to their admiration of pale skin. The deeper of a contrast you have against blush, the paler your skin appears to be underneath it.

I personally went without blush most days because I didn't bring a striking enough blush for that look.


QUE HORRORE. I love my bold colors but here, the faintest and nudest pinks rule. Don't get me wrong: a clean base and muted lips make for a good look. I just felt so.... limited :(

A note on bases and contouring:

Japanese ladies don't seem to be very fond of contouring, based on what I saw. I think they dislike anything that can look muddy, such as darkly smoked eyes or heavy contouring. Even though 3D Palettes are being released by several brands (K-Palette and Heroine Make off the top of my head), the ads seem to still focus on glowy skin rather than a contour face map.

Ad by

Now that I think about it, they don't seem to mind a "flat" looking face. They love their highlighters and complexion enhancers anyway!

Final Notes Japan's Makeup Culture:

I really appreciated being in a culture that doesn't mind dressing up and putting on makeup. I didn't see random cosplayers out on the street but there were a few people who went all out with their clothes and makeup. Cocktail dress! 5-inch stiletto boots! Cleavage up to her throat! Butt-length wig! And nobody made nasty catcalls nor comments. I love that about Japan.

I think they don't have a culture of catcalling because the Japanese are extraordinarily polite and non-confrontational. I was telling a friend (hi Milli!) how much safer and un-bothered I felt in Japan. Compared to Singapore, some sleazeballs will stare for days despite me giving a full-frontal stink eye.

Don't even get me started in the Philippines. Jeje Kings, a breed of street scum, have this rabid need to CLAIM your attention by making loud, pointed remarks that are obviously about you specifically. They will shout it while following you around, then giggle amongst their dirty selves and scurry away when you glance at their philistine foolishness. That's actually the best case scenario. Some Jeje Kings assume interest when you glance up, and will actually swell with swag or, que horrore, initiate a pickup.

And that's not even the worst of it. Though I try not to mind them, I sometimes still feel stifled by Entitled Style Observers. Like yeah, I feel like wearing Guerlain Orgueil today but I'll just wear a nude pink lipstick because I don't feel like dealing with assholes.

It feels nice to put on makeup and not worry about fending off nasty comments. Unsolicited feedback is not a public privilege in Japan and I feel really despondent upon realizing how awful it is for Filipina makeup lovers that we are subject to this stress every single day.

OOTD: All The Layers!

How To: Easy Gradient Lips