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5 Japanese Makeup Trends To Follow This Year


Western makeup trends have turned toward a more fresh-faced no makeup look that has always been common in Asia. Japanese makeup achieves a youthful look that’s classic by minimizing the look of makeup while maximizing the glow. Here we will look at the hottest Japanese makeup trends defining 2023 and what you will need to achieve the look yourself, no matter where you are in the world. 

Table of Contents
Market for Japanese makeup
Back to the basics
Bright, naturally thick eyebrows
Bring on the blush
Bold eyes (and glitter)
Plump natural lips

Market for Japanese makeup

In a time where anyone can view and purchase beauty products from anywhere around the world, Japanese cosmetics companies are considered some of the top beauty manufacturers and are popular amongst both domestic and international consumers.

The beauty industry has grown exponentially on a global level due, in part, to social media trends. In 2022, the revenue in the Japanese beauty and personal care market amounted to US$ 38.54 billion, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.33% from 2022 to 2027. Japanese consumers are known to value high-quality products, with women and men willing to spend that extra money on products that deliver results. Similar to the west, the increased health and sustainability awareness has made natural products and organic beauty products popular with Japanese consumers in recent years.

With facemasks, the “natural no-make makeup look” was popular during the pandemic, but in 2023, Japanese consumers will embrace a bolder, more colorful range of cosmetics. This colorful shift underscores a sense of celebration. 

With the rise in conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion, it is clear that these broad topics have also been infused into the beauty industry. The one-size-fits-all model is decidedly outdated in Japan. We now see a more personalized approach to beauty services that offer skin-tone matched color palettes. The focus is all on the individual consumer, and many emerging trends and innovations in the Japanese beauty industry are now based on this concept of personalized beauty.

Woman holding matcha tea and wearing simple makeup

Back to the basics

Japanese makeup trends have always focused on fresh, clean skin that aligns with a ‘“no makeup” aesthetic. In Japanese, “translucency” is a word used to describe flawless and glowing skin. While in English, it doesn’t translate so well because when thinking of beautiful, healthy skin, “translucent” likely isn’t the first word that comes to mind. However, this term is meant to describe a glow-from-within. It’s a supple skin look you may only think is possible in advertisements. 

Beyond skincare, which, of course, plays an essential role, the trick is to build up foundation coverage in thin layers to avoid cakiness and know the best areas of the face to highlight. Or use BB creams as a lighter alternative to traditional foundation.

When you think of “glow,” you might automatically think “shiny,” but shiny isn’t what consumers are going for when it comes to makeup. “Glow” and “shiny” are different terms in the makeup world. 

To get the glow you’re seeking, highlight where the light will naturally hit your face — the high points on your forehead, cheekbones, bridge of your nose, cupid’s bow, and chin. Then powder the areas where your face naturally makes oils and appears shiny. Realistically, this is everywhere you don’t apply highlighter; however, you don’t want to over-apply, so press the brush into a few key areas; 

– The skin under the eyes 

– A line from your forehead to your chin down the bridge of your nose

– Any other areas that typically get oily throughout the day

Remember to use a fluffy makeup brush, not the pad that likely comes with the face powder. 

Use a cream highlight to get the effortless glow and subtle look associated with Japanese makeup trends.

Woman with hair back, thick eyebrows, and red lips

Bright, naturally thick eyebrows

In Japan, thicker, arched brows are in, which is a direct contrast to the straight brow trend that was the norm for several years. Thicker brows follow the direction of a more natural look, and more people spend less time trimming and plucking their eyebrows. Some are even seeking to create a thicker look than their natural brows — a more “feathered brow” look. 

If you’re looking to add volume, consider brow mascara, or if you’re looking to add some thickness, use a brow pencil

Woman with pink blush and red lipstick

Bring on the blush

While Japan doesn’t favor sharp contours or bronzed skin, they love a good blush. The cheek blush is what Japanese girls don’t mind going over a little with brighter colors. They often choose peach, coral, or lotus pinks, which are gentle but still radiant and outstanding. This unique characteristic of Japanese-style makeup is usually known as “drunk” makeup. 

The key here is to apply blush little by little and evenly in a round shape on both the cheeks and under the eye areas until the color comes out in a natural harmonious tone on the face. You can also apply a little blush on the tip of your nose and spread it around the cheek areas to create a drunken cheek effect. Combined with the natural base makeup, rosy cheeks will brighten up your face and create a pure impression. 

Deep-colored blushes and nude blushes are also in for autumn. Use deep colors for a mature finish or a nude color like beige for a more modern look.

Whether you’re opting for a bright, summery peach or a deeper, more autumnal color, don’t be shy with the blush this year. 

Woman with green hair wearing green and yellow makeup

Bold eyes (and glitter)

Eyes are the key to maximizing the trending autumn look. We’re talking about volumizing mascara (possibly false lashes), eyeliner, and colored eyeshadows to frame your eyes. While some may consider the autumn color palette bold, others may still consider it a more natural look. 

Some bolder looks stem from the Y2K fashion boom, which doesn’t just apply to clothing. On top of a pop of color, add a layer of glitter to achieve the nostalgic feel of the 00s. Japanese makeup trends have always included subtle, glittery makeup that looks wet under the light — this trend simply takes the usual glimmer up a notch. Pat the glitter on gently with your fingers or a flat brush over your eyelids and in the inner corners to brighten the eyes. 

Consider a blue-toned color for the eyes to achieve a distinctly 00s vibe. However, Japanese makeup is all about keeping things natural and minimal. When using color, Japanese makeup trends don’t typically include vivid eyeshadows all over the eyelid. They like to apply color more subtly through colorful mascara or liner instead. The most popular eyeliner colors are pink, burgundy, and blue. Some eyeliners are already glittery and add some fun in one simple step.

Woman in a kimono wearing a peach lipstick

Plump natural lips

Lipstick trends in the Japanese beauty industry often promote natural-looking lips, so bright reds are rarely used in everyday makeup. Japanese women love naturally plump lips with bright colors like tropical fruit. Refreshing, cute lip colors like coral, orange-red, and baby pink or lip gloss are still the top choices for a Japanese makeup style. Nude colors are also a familiar choice for a more mature look; think brown or plum to add a touch of autumn to your makeup look.

To apply lipstick for the best effect:

1. Apply lip balm first.

2. Apply lipstick evenly to the whole lip, or apply to the center of the lips, using a brush or your fingertip to spread it to the outer.

3. Last, apply a little bit of lip gloss for a juicy, plump lip effect. 

Japanese lip tints are also popular Japanese beauty products.

Final thoughts

The Japanese beauty style simplifies the makeup steps to focus on a person’s natural features; that’s why this style of makeup impresses the beauty world. When it comes to Japanese makeup trends, there is usually not much shading on the face, and there is a preference to emphasize the eyes, cheeks, and lips instead. This type of makeup style appeals to the busy consumer who doesn’t have the time to put on fancy makeup but still wants to look gorgeous. It’s also great for young women and men who are just getting into makeup and aren’t familiar with the more in-depth makeup processes or don’t have the application skills. 

Beauty brands should consider these Japanese makeup trends when deciding which products to carry. People can be bold with their makeup while keeping it relatively simple to highlight their natural features. 

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