From dark to sparkle, with purple in between: Japan’s autumn 2019 makeup trends

Same way that leaves turn from green to red, yellow and orange in autumn, we all change the makeup colours we put on our faces to match the season.

It’s September, so autumn makeup collections are out everywhere. If you’re not sure what’s in style, keep reading – we’ve checked J-fashion websites and picked out the trends getting the most mentions.

Goth face

That’s what we’re calling it. Japan wants to call it ‘black cosme’, which is kinda boring… and a little misleading. Sadly, real awkward attempts at blackface and super deep spray tans still happen in this country. We’re not showing you that stuff, don’t even ask…

Luckily, this autumn cosme trend’s just applying point makeup in black and other dark colours. It def doesn’t mean trying to make your whole face look unnaturally POC. (Big sigh of relief all round.)

Smoky eyes are making a comeback, and they’re smokier than ever. Is that even possible? Fashion mags say it is, if you layer on dark shades of brown and grey so the smoke looks even more real. (Hey girl, do you need a glass of water? ‘Cause your face looks like it’s actually on fire.)

Global high fashion brands Chanel and Givenchy are obvs leading the way, with new season eyeshadow palettes full of blacks and greys. For Japanese options, try SUQQU Tone Touch Eyes in black and Lunasol Glam Wink in Sparkle Onyx.

Swap your blusher out for a moody alternative, too. RMK’s limited-edition Stone Blossom Glow Gel can be used for darker cheek accents – shade 01 is ‘platinum grey’ and 02’s ‘black diamond’.

And it’s not a goth look if you’re not wearing black lipstick. That’s, like, international emo kid law or something. Except that lipsticks seem real hard to find this season – gloss is still winning. Stick with Stationery Cosme’s Coupy jet black gloss, or Canmake ‘Your Lip Only’.


A pale purple with hints of both pink and grey – perfect for the run-up to winter.

Dior’s gone all in with the mauve makeup trend for autumn, as a big example, so copycat cosmetics by Japan labels aren’t hard to find.

Let’s go back to that RMK Stone Blossom collection for a second. Stone Whip Eyes has 2 options that can count as mauve in the right light. For a bolder colour that’s very clearly purple and proud, pick out Lunasol Glam Wink in the 02 ‘Lavender Frost shade.

And if you want your makeup as ‘made in Japan’ as possible, Etvos has Mineral Classy eyeshadow with locally-sourced ingredients. Their ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Mauve Brown’ palettes both include a mauve colour (2nd one’s kinda obvious for that).

We’re not covering mauve nail polish here, because we can’t – yet another thing Japan Post won’t ship internationally. It’s not that they hate mauve… we hope… in any case, always check the prohibited items list on our website before ordering.

Glitter and glow

There’s glitter in everything now! It’s kinda hard to escape it.

When we try thinking of a Japanese brand that’s embraced the glitter eyeshadow, KATE’s ‘Crush Diamond Eyes’ is the obvious choice. Followed by Chicca Lid Flash and SUQQU Tone Touch Eyes (again).

We also like that Lunasol Nuance Shade palettes have lighter and darker options for the same colour, a classic ‘autumn looks’ move if you ask us.

Here’s what we’ve heard is the ‘autumn’ way to apply your eyeshadow: the lightest colour goes across the top right of your eyelid, with the darker and contrasting shades as accents top left and bottom right. Let us know how you get on…

You don’t have to limit the glow to the top half of your face, if you don’t want to. Take your mouth on a wild, psychedelic ride with THREE Lyrical Lip Trip – it’s called Liquid Space Dream and packed with glam.

Japan’s makeup trends in the palm of your hand

Did you know Japan has 4 distinct seasons? Thinking about the near-constant new cosmetics, beauty and skincare releases over here, it feels like way more than that.

Check back sometimes for more blogs about Japanese makeup and beauty trends. We’ll include URLs wherever we can, so you can order direct from Japan in English with no service fee.

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