100 years of beauty in Japan shown decade by decade in a one-minute time-lapse video

In the 16th episode of their “100 Years of Beauty” series, Cut Video provides a visual history of the past 100 years of beauty in Japan as modeled by Mei Kurahashi, whose hair, makeup and dance were styled in correlation with the trends of each decade.

Japan’s desire to preserve youth continues with collagen and protein fortified “anti-aging beer”

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Audrey Magazine:

The desire to preserve one’s youth or to achieve one’s ideal of physical perfection is now in full swing more than ever. Although plastic surgery is more common in Asia, I can see our fair share in my own backyard. With the recent viral Kylie Jenner lip challenge, it makes me think how much more obsessed society is becoming to look like the celebrities they admire (even though many of them are anything but admirable).

Recently, we showed you Japan and Korea’s beauty trends to achieve a younger look. However, makeup and beauty products are simply not enough. It seems that Japan is quite adamant about maintaining a youthful appearance because now, you can find anti-aging properties in their beer.

Japanese brewery, Suntory, produced a new beer called “Precious.” It contains collagen, a protein that is believed to contain anti-aging properties. This protein is what gives skin elasticity and it decreases as we get older; this is why we get wrinkles and our skin isn’t as… perky (yikes). Japanese women believe that using and ingesting collagen products will make their wrinkles magically disappear. Quite a smart move there, Suntory brewery.

There has yet to be studies that prove this beer’s anti-aging claims are true, but it’s certainly a smart marketing gimmick to attract women. I’m not sure if I buy into Suntory’s claims, but since it’s beer, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Courtesy of fooddiggity.com.

Japanese design firm SIDES CORE reduces the hair salon down to its essentials

10 weird and wonderful things you can find in a Japanese drugstore

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As we all know, Japan is full of many weird and wonderful things. A simple trip to the supermarket can turn into hours of wondering what this is and what that does, and the same goes for the drug store. We picked up 10 things from our local drugstore that might shock, amuse, or confuse foreign visitors.

1. Ear cleaners

Japan goes a step further than your usual cotton buds with these devices that claim to get all that icky wax out of your lugholes.

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▼One end is solid to get the more… solid bits out.

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▼The other end is made of soft rubber for the more flaky bits. Lovely.

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▼Apparently it feels really good, especially when someone else does it for you at the hair salon.

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2. Warming eye masks 

Available in a range of soothing scents, these are more than mere ordinary eyemasks. When you put them on the pads over the eyes start to warm up, and the combination of heat and smell works together to send you drifting off into the land of nod. It actually felt really relaxing when I tried it, and I’m definitely going to be purchasing some of these for my next long-haul flight.

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3. Hot pink anti-constipation pills

They may look like candy but you don’t want to eat them like they are or you’ll be spending a whole lot of time on the squatter. Surprisingly, Japanese people tend to be more open about their bowel movements than Westerners and, rather than hiding behind plain, unobtrusive packaging, these anti-constipation pills come in a bright pink packet that appeals to women.

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4. Anti-hangover drinks

This is something I’m sure would be a hit in Europe if they could market it right. Drink this “power of turmeric” drink before you go out on the town, and you’re supposed to wake up with a clear head the next day. (Whether it actually works or not is debatable, and something I plan to put to the test in the future. For science, of course.) I was put off by the bottle and the bright orange liquid it contained, but it was actually surprisingly tasty! It tasted a little like Calpol, that medicine from my youth that many a child would fake illness for in order to get a sip of.

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▼The liquid was bright orange and slightly thick.

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5. Hand warmers

Japanese people buy disposable handwarmers by the dozen during the cold winter months. They contain chemicals that produce heat thanks to exothermic oxidation, and these particular ones claim to stay warm for up to 9 hours. Many people like to stick them in their gloves or in their waistbands to stave off a chill.

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6. Anti-allergy spray

Kafunsho, or hay fever, is a huge problem here in Japan with millions of sufferers sniffling through the spring and summer months. Many people cover up with a mask and take tablets, but there’s a new defensive treatment on the market that promises to protect you from allergies just by spraying it on your face.

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▼The instructions tell you to hold the bottle about 20cm from your face and spray in a circular motion.

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▼Psssh! A fair amount comes out so you have to give it a few minutes to dry.

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7. Moist face masks

We’ve all seen the pictures of Japanese people hiding their faces behind their trusty masks. As I’m sure our readers are already aware, this is usually to avoid passing on an illness rather than avoid catching one, or to protect against pollen allergies. Apparently behind at least some of these masks a rather strange secret is lurking. This brand comes with moist pads that are supposed to stop your throat from drying out during the day. They’re also very useful on long flights for the same reason – give them a try!

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▼The mask comes with three packets of moist pads.

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▼ The pads are fairly thick.

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▼You slip them inside the pockets built into the inside of the mask.

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▼The pads felt strange and heavy against my face.

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▼I didn’t feel any of the moisture in the few minutes I wore it, but once you’d been breathing into it for a while the heat of your breath should cause it to steam slightly, moistening your nasal passages and throat.

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8. Ghostly face masks

Face masks are a popular beauty treatment the world over, involving slathering a usually green (why is it always green?) mud-like goop onto your face and leaving it to sit. However, the ones you usually find in Japan are a paper-like mask soaked in an essence.

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▼One-size-sort-of-fits-all.

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9. Eyelid tape

We’ve already written a lot about the desire for double eyelids in Asian countries. For those not wanting to take the surgical route there’s always the marginally less painful-looking eyelid tape sold at drug stores all over Japan.

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▼Looks more like an implement of torture, but then again most beauty tools do.

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▼Detailed instructions on making just the right fold.

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▼Before (left) and after (right) – It does make a difference, but is it really worth it?

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10. Themed bath salts

Stores like Lush have proved the appeal of smelly things to put in your bath, but Japan takes it a step further with anime-themed bath salts.

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▼We tried out the Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) salts. Each one dissolved to turn the water into a vibrant colour, and smelled good enough to eat.

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▼The scents were kiwi, lemon, grape and apple, respectively. They both looked and smelled kind of like flavoured vodka shots, but they sure didn’t taste like it!

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Japanese drugstores can be a wonderland of beauty and health products, ranging from incredibly useful things that you then wonder how you ever lived without, to the most pointless things that have you questioning why anyone ever thought they were necessary. And many stores, such as Matsumoto Kiyoshi, are now offering tax-free shopping to tourists so you can stock up on things you won’t find anywhere else!

If you’re in Japan make sure to drop by and check out what’s on offer – I’d definitely recommend picking up some of those warming eyemasks for the long flight home!

Photos © RocketNews24

Modern day women transform into historical beauty figures

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Audrey Magazine:

Societal ideals of beauty are constantly shifting. For instance, a recent ambition for many women in the United States is no longer looking like a thin runway model. Instead, many want to look healthy and strong while embracing curves (think Beyonce). We like big butts and we cannot lie! Of course, ideals of beauty vary from culture to culture.

Buzzfeed took three women from different ethnicities and transformed them into historical figures that represented the cultural beauty of that specific time. The results? Beautiful transformations and makeup looks! Check out the video below:

Despite how entertaining the video was, I’m left wondering what exactly are the components of these traditional beauty looks? What’s the cultural and historical significance?

Let’s take a peek back into history.

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Traditional Indian Beauty


The first woman in the video expresses that she is Hindu and “everything that Indians do has a meaning or culture to it.” This concept is also reflected in their ideals of beauty. Women, and sometimes men, wear “kajal” which is essentially eyeliner. It’s believed that wearing kajal would strengthen their sight and protect the wearer from bad luck.

What about the dots? Although the makeup artist took a creative route with this look, the dots represents the traditional “bindi.” The bindi is a dot between the eyebrows and is worn for spiritual and religious purposes. It comes in many shapes, sizes and colors, but it is traditionally red, which represents love and honor.

 

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Chinese Beauty from the Tang Dynasty


The third woman in the video shares that she is an “ABC” or “American-born Chinese.” During the Tang Dynasty, there was prosperity. As a result, women who were more plump were considered beautiful because they were able to live a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle.

I love that bold lip color, don’t you? Lips were considered to be the sexiest part of a woman, so what better way to draw attention to them than wearing a bold color? Women in the Tang Dynasty would even dye their lips to achieve that cherry hue. But one thing hasn’t changed. For women in China smooth, light skin sans imperfections has been considered beautiful for thousands of years.

 

Kobi Wu Pasmore shares beauty advice from the top

VP of Strategy & Creative at Blue Flame, Kobi Wu Pasmore.

Loud Mouth: 

*What’s your beauty advice for young women launching into the work world?

I think the soundest advice I can give is that people are observing not only the way you work, but they way you carry yourself. It’s important to employ the things you need to maintain your confidence. I would always say, simple make up is best so your colleagues or your boss are not distracted by poorly applied or too much make up.

 

*Describe your own ‘sure thing’ beauty look at work.

Keep it simple. Clean hair. Tinted lip and cheeks. Mascara.  I get a blowout almost every week keeping my style classic and loose or a simple ponytail. For make up, I moisturize and do a neutral tint on the lip and cheeks.  And always – and I do mean always -keep mascara on hand to make sure that even if I’m wearing my glasses, my eyes pop.

 

*Who’s your beauty inspiration and why?

I suppose beauty is inspired by an attitude in which case it’s difficult to name just one person. There are so many people I admire. But if I have to pick someone, I’ll go with Diane Von Furstenberg.  She’s elegant and beautiful in her imperfections and she knows that the simple things make the best foundation for everything else.  Get the simple things down first and then everything else becomes the cherry on top.

 

Tips from Japan to make your skin extra beautiful

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RocketNews 24:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, in Japan, beauty is in the water of the bath taker. Over here, winter has arrived, and many people woke up to falling snow in much of the country this past week. And while pets are finding ways to stay warm and stylish, there isn’t much for us ol’ humans to do besides desperately stand in front of the heater or soak in a nice hot bath. Besides being a great way to heat up the frozen flanges, people around the country are using common items found in the Japanese household that are really great for giving your skin the extra luster and moisture to fend off the cold, dry months. Try adding any one of these three ingredients to your next bath!

In addition to making you warm when it’s frigid cold outside, baths are good at relaxing the mind and body, while relieving stress. Taking a bath also helps to expand blood vessels and stimulate your nerves. With Japan’s well-known love of baths, many homes are equipped with a tub that keeps the water at your preferred temperature, allowing everyone in the family to enjoy the bath. While it’s common for bath takers in North America to add bubbles and bath salt to help unwind, people in Japan are adding the following ingredients to their relaxation time.

1. Rice Bran

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Already considered a natural beauty treatment in Japan, it’s no surprise that it is finding its way into tub time. Rice bran contains high levels of oleic acid, which makes it easily absorbed by skin. It also has over 100 known vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all good for replenishing and moisturizing your dry skin.

How to make a rice bran bath

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The simplest way is to add the rice bran to the water, but due to legitimate concerns of clogging drains and pipes, adding it in something like a spice bag is recommended. While there is a slight scent, it is by no means unpleasant and one can easily relax in a tub with rice bran.

2. Sake

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Already recognized for moisturizing and alleviating dry skin, adding a few cups of sake is also good for lowering high blood pressure and improving circulation. The sake also really helps with warming you from the inside out.

How to make a sake bath

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Certainly the easiest of the three, find some sake, add 2-3 cups to the bath water, and then enjoy. It’s also recommended to heat the bath water to around 37°C.

3. Kombu (Edible Kelp)

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The amino acids in kombu make it an excellent choice for getting lustrous and moist skin. Various experiments have noticed a considerable difference in the skin of those who take kombu baths versus those who take regular water baths.

How to make a kombu bath

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There are two recommended ways to add kombu to your bath. The first is to cut up dried kombu into 5cm (about 2 inches) squares and put them into a mesh bag to float around the water. The second, for a much more intense kombu bath, is to boil the kombu down, making a kombu broth and adding both the liquid and the kombu (again in the mesh bag) to the bath.

If you are going to spend time in a bath any way this winter, might as well add a few skin benefits to the mix.

5 amazing health and beauty benefits of eating wasabi

RocketNews 24:

Ah, wasabi, the pungent root that adds spice to sushi and gets up the noses of over-enthusiastic consumers, leaving many a watery eye and a burning palate. It seems that you either love wasabi or hate it, with wasabi-lovers clamoring for a touch of the green stuff in a variety of forms including Kit-Kats and potato chips, and wasabi-haters strictly stipulating to sushi chefs that they require their sushi sabi-nuki de, or sans wasabi. But did you know that the wasabi-lovers actually get to enjoy a host of health and beauty benefits that are denied to those who shy away from this miraculous wonder root? Read on as we unveil the five surprising health effects of regular wasabi consumption!

First, here’s a little info on wasabi itself. Wasabi is a member of the brassicacae family of plants, which includes mustard and horseradish. The uninitiated might refer to wasabi as “Japanese horseradish” but real wasabi is actually completely different.The confusion probably stems from the fact that most wasabi you can buy in a tube is actually a mixture of mustard, horseradish and food coloring, as real wasabi paste quickly loses flavor within about 15 minutes and is therefore less suitable for sale. Proper wasabi can be served grated or powdered as well as in paste form. If you’ve ever actually eaten too much wasabi, you’ll know that its “hotness” tends to manifest as a sharp, stinging nasal pain which quickly dissipates after a few seconds of eye-streaming agony. Sure, the tang of wasabi is a bit too much for some, but here’s why we should all be loading up our sushi with more of this amazing condiment.

 

Reason 1: Wasabi prevents food poisoning

Did you ever wonder why wasabi traditionally tends to be eaten with sushi? It’s not just because the spiciness of the wasabi perfectly complements the mild flavors of rice and raw fish. Wasabi contains allyl isothiocyanate, a potent insecticide and bacteriocide which helps to combat potential food bugs (although if your sushi is fresh, you probably don’t have to worry too much about this). Wasabi also helps prevent food poisoning by neutralizing and killing any mold spores that are present. Experts recommend including a touch of wasabi in your daily bento box in order to keep your lunch free from any nasties.

▼ Load up on wasabi whenever you’re eating sushi to help minimize your risk of an upset stomach later! The accompanying shoga ginger also has anti-bacterial properties, and a bowl of miso soup at the end of the meal will help to keep your tummy happy.

 

Reason 2: Wasabi keeps you young

Sulfinyl, a compound released when fresh wasabi is grated, is a powerful anti-oxidant. Regular consumption of sulfinyl could help to reverse early ageing, as it lowers reactive oxygen in the body. As well as helping to fight cancer, this also contributes to a lessening of the general wear and tear of the body as a result of the natural ageing process.

▼ How about incorporating some wasabi toothpaste into your morning routine in order to stave off the ravages of age?

 

Reason 3: Wasabi could help to prevent certain cancers

As well as keeping you young, wasabi could also reduce your risk of cancer. The compound 6-MSITC has anti-inflammatory properties which also provide host defence against cancer cells.

 ▼ Pass the wasabi sauce!

 

Reason 4: Wasabi is great for your circulation

As well as fighting cancer, that 6-MSITC that we mentioned also works to inhibit platelet aggregation, the clumping together of platelets into blood clots. In other words, it prevents blood clots forming and effectively reduces your risk of heart attack and strokes. The beneficial circulatory effects are also praised for helping to maintain cardiovascular health overall, as well as keeping the skin clear.

▼ Skip the beauty supplements and reach for the wasabi pills! Or just, you know, eat some regular wasabi.

 

Reason 5: Wasabi fights colds and allergies

Swallowing a big ol’ lump of wasabi is one sure-fire way to clear out blocked sinuses from a cold, flu or allergies. The gaseous release of the allyl isothiocyanate that helps to fight bacteria also works its magic on cold and flu-causing pathogens which attack the respiratory tract. Next time you’re facing the sniffles, maybe try going out for sushi !

▼You could also chow down on a big pile of wasabi Kit-Kats, but they probably won’t help with your cold, no matter how much you sniff ‘em.

So, there you have it! The five top health benefits of eating delicious wasabi. Note: be careful if you’re taking any medicines that are metabolized by the liver, as too much wasabi can interact with such medicines in unpredictable ways. Around a teaspoon a day of wasabi should do the trick – or a few handfuls of wasabi-based snacks…

Link

4 Japanese beauty fads that Westerners just don’t understand

 

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RocketNews 24:

 

Beauty standards and trends differ from culture to culture, so something that’s fashionable and pretty to one woman can be completely can be bizarre, sometimes even ugly, to another half the world away. This is especially true in the case of Japanese beauty fads, which often leave Westerners thinking, “Why on earth are you doing that to yourself?!” while Japanese fashion magazines insist that it’s the path to ultimate kawaii-ness.

Narrow eyes, small noses, straight black hair – so many of the aesthetics common to Japanese women are considered gorgeous by many Western girls (and boys!). But what many Japanese girls obsess over as being beautiful is often quite different. Humans have a tendency to want what they don’t have, and in the same way that many Westerners find Japanese girls beautiful and ‘exotic’, many Japanese women idolize Western looks and are prepared to use a variety of beauty tricks to attain their ideal. There are also plenty of trends that are Japan-specific and developed internally rather than from looking outwards, and these two kinds of aesthetics mingle to create the general Japanese beauty zeitgeist, which is supported by a beauty industry worth JPY 1.4 trillion (US$17.5 billion) in 2011.

The following are four fads that are currently making cosmetics companies in Japan extremely happy.

 

1. Skin whitening

Take a look at the beauty products on sale in any Japanese drug store, and you’ll find many potions and lotions that claim to whiten the skin.

While in times past in the US and Europe a suntan was seen as undesirable as it was a sign of having been outside working in the fields while the upper classes remained pale by keeping indoors, nowadays the opposite is true for many people. A year-round tan is a sign that someone can afford to spend their time at the beach or jetting off to sunny holiday destinations, and most people are eager to gain the healthy glow that most celebrities sport, regardless of the warnings doctors and skincare experts give about overexposure to UV rays.

On the other hand, white skin has remained a mainstream aesthetic ideal in Japan, despite the trend for dark skin started in the 90s by ganguro girls, and that is still popular among the ‘gal’ fashion subculture today.

 

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2. Snaggleteeth

Especially in the US, straight, uniform (and sometimes frighteningly white) teeth are a must. People spend a lot of money on straightening their teeth out, and the idea that someone would pay to have previously straight teeth misaligned seems completely bizarre. However, a considerable number of women in Japan are doing just that.

The ‘yaeba‘ or snaggle tooth look is thought to be cute, and cosmetic dentistry practices are offering temporary and permanent solutions to achieve that crooked smile. While in the West you might be teased for looking like a vampire, in Japan your fangs would gain you instant kawaii credibility

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3. Double eyelids

Many Westerners find Asian almond-shaped eyes beautiful. However, some Japanese women will go out of their way to try and create a double eyelid, using tape and prongs to force their skin into the desired shape in a process that looks quite painful, but that I’ve been assured isn’t.

 

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4. Eye bag makeup

Many Japanese women are concerned about having a ‘flat face’, and I’ve been complimented by Japanese people for the fact that my face is very ‘three-dimensional’. (I thought we were all 3D, but perhaps some people think they are actually anime characters in real life?)

While eye bags are something that many of us work hard to eliminate or disguise as they are thought to make us look tired and old, some Japanese girls use contouring and highlighting makeup to emphasize the area under their eyes and make it look ‘puffy’. As someone who slaps on the concealer every morning to avoid looking like a panda, this is the trend that I can understand the least.

 

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Check out this link:

 4 Japanese beauty fads that Westerners just don’t understand