Blue glitter, healthy rice drinks, and ‘roulette face’: Japanese makeup and beauty trends for 2018

Fashions in Japan – especially in Harajuku and Shibuya – are often ahead of the curve. Think like… mori girls, skin painting, super long deco gel nails, and that red/pink under-eye blusher that makes you look hungover.

What the hell’s gonna be next? It’s unpredictable. Almost.

We’ve searched everywhere for hints on what’ll be trending in Japanese cosmetics for 2018. And here’s our roundup of the most hyped beauty and makeup rumours.

Skincare as the new base

Before even thinking about your base makeup, how’s your skin doing?

See, the real base for your makeup isn’t a layer of sunscreen, or a BB cream, or primer. It’s your actual face. And your facial skin condition affects how things like foundation and concealer look when applied. The colour might seem off, or your pores could be really visible. As if anyone wants that.

So skincare’s the new first step. Trust Japan to come up with some crazy (useful) gadgets to help. Some people swear by using an electric toothbrush – so why not use the same tech around your mouth? A ‘face washing brush‘, or ‘pore care brush‘, is what you should look for.

Electric skin brushes like this can be used on the face and body. The brushes, and ultrasonic power, get right into your pores for a proper cleanse. Plus you get a nice skin massage with it, which stimulates blood circulation and makes you look even healthier. Japanese convenience, modern skincare, and a little personal pampering time, all rolled into one.

Black hair, red lips

Or what we’ve decided to call ‘roulette face’.

Natural jet black hair, paired with bright red lipstick, is back in fashion with many Japanese women.

We say ‘back’, because this iconic look’s been around for a long long time. Check out this video of makeup styles from the last 10 decades:

White skin, black hair/eyes and red lips defined the faces of geisha, kabuki actors, and actresses from the 1920s to 1950s. These 3 colours are commonly known as the ‘primary colours’ of Japanese makeup. Other shades didn’t get a look in until the Meiji Era started (the turn of the 20th century).

Finding a lip colour red enough is super easy right now. KATE by Kanebo has loads, and that’s just a starting point.

‘Enclosed’ eyes

So far, autumn/winter 2017’s been super defined by bold, colourful eye makeup. For this trend, keep the eyeshadow going… all the way underneath both eyes.

Applying eyeshadow fully around your eye line (top and bottom) creates the ‘enclosure’ effect. Like the ‘halo eyes’ look, without the shimmer finish. There are so many YouTube makeup tutorials for this, you can hardly get it wrong.

This trend’s called ‘enclosed eyes’ (囲み目) in Japanese. And it isn’t new, exactly, more like making a comeback for 2018. We like how simple, quick and achievable this style is. Maybe that’s why people are still doing it.

Decide which eyeshadow colour to use, or several, and get applying. Ah, you might need some new eyeshadow brushes as well.


Drinking something for beauty purposes is a long-running tradition. Like the urban legend that soy milk makes your chest bigger.

For health benefits and extra nutrition, pour yourself a mug of amazake.

It’s made with fermented rice, and ‘amazake’ literally means ‘sweet alcohol’, but most types are low-strength or not alcoholic at all. The drink’s traditionally served chilled in summer, and we’ve seen the hot version at festivals and in vending machines.

Amazake had an impressive image change a while back – from a winter warmer, to the latest in-vogue Japanese health drink. A 2014-5 research study showed that regular drinkers have smoother hair, sleep better… and get smaller bags under their eyes.

Sure, the study was sponsored by major amazake maker Morinaga, but science doesn’t lie!

Some people say that making your own amazake’s best. We say: with so much amazake from Japan freely available online, why bother?

Lip tints

Japan’s cosmetics brands are doing some fun, interesting things with lip tints and lip treatments.

A great example is shiro, a brand bringing out mint-ginger scented lip butter in new colours for 2018. They’ve already made a ginger one, in a plain nude shade. The range expansion feels fresh! With both the colours and the extra mintyness.

The glittery finishes on these lip butters keep an autumn/winter trend going. And so do the bold shades of blue. (The aim with blue tints is ‘frosty’ glossed lips, not to look like you’ve got hypothermia.)

Try out this trend in a more ‘Asian beauty’ way with lip tint packs. Like the imaginatively-named Berrisom My Lip Tint Pack, which has ridden a popularity wave from South Korea to Japan.

Apply the gloss, leave it for a while to dry, then peel back off. Not gonna lie, the peeling step looks and feels super weird. Watching someone else take this stuff off is awkward. But it’s worth doing yourself, for the awesome end result. You’re left with smooth, tinted lips that last.

Pinks and browns

These 2 colours are already trending, and the look’s set to continue for both eyes and lips. Think deep winter colours for the new season, with cosy names like ‘wine’ and ‘spices’. If only using blusher really made your cheeks feel warmer…

Canmake Tokyo’s latest Perfect Multi Eyes pallettes all have brown/pink names: Antique Terracotta, Urban Caramel, and Rose Brown (duh). You can get similar eyeshadow colours, at similar prices, from Lunasol and Majolica Majorca.

For lips, check out the new range by Shu Uemura (that purple looks awesome too). Darker pinks and browns feature in Kanebo’s Creamy Lasting Lip colours and Chifure’s ‘kuchibeni’ lipstick lineup.

See what you look like next year!

Do any of these beauty trends sound like your next big obsession? Whenever you want to try out Japanese makeup and skincare, you can shop with DEJAPAN. We help you buy from Rakuten, Yahoo! Auctions and Amazon Japan, with no service fee or commission.

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