Sunday, April 5, 2015

Musing on Makeup

These days, Asian make up is hot. BB creams are available in the US; websites devoted to Korean and Japanese brands are easy to find, and more people are turning to Asian brands for improving their skin.

Since I'm living here in Japan, I feel like it'd be a crime not to jump on this wave. And when it comes to skin care, I can fully endorse Japanese and Korean products; they smell nice, they come in nice packages and more than anything, they make my skin feel nice!

But, it's not acne face wash or moisturizers that are giving me trouble; it's make up. I never wore makeup in the US, and neither did my mom. I have no real idea about how it's supposed to look on my face. That's a problem. Because for the past few years I've been playing it by ear; "hmm...seems close enough??" ---*gets home*---> "wth is this??"

Generally, drugstore makeup has about 4 to 6 shades available. Some only offer two or three shades. Even foreign brands slash their selection in Japan. MAC, Clinique, Dior, etc all offer fewer shades than what can be found in the US. On the one hand, it shouldn't be too surprising...Japanese people probably don't have the wide range of skin tones that we have in the US. Why waste shelf space on product that only a small number of people may buy?

Yes, I realize I copied the wrong foundation on the Japanese side. I picked the first one, like the US site, without double-checking. However, the same foundation on the Japanese site offers the same range of shades as the one in this picture, so I'm leaving it!

What's more is that the women working the makeup counters typically suggest lighter shades. I've been told, "You could get this shade, but, it'll make your face darker. This (lighter) shade makes your face look brighter." Who doesn't want their face to look bright? Who goes to a makeup counter saying, "Gimme the shit that looks like I came straight out of hell"? No one, that's who.

Ya'll aren't helping me much here...

Going to the makeup counter is stressful enough; I know they want to sell me something and they know I probably won't buy anything. My experience this year has been as follows:

At Clinique: 
I went to get the free sample that was offered to me and ended up getting makeup'd. The woman gave me a sample of what she used: 64 Cream Beige (Even Better Powder Makeup). It seemed OK, and the sample seemed to match my skintone. Before deciding to buy more, I searched online and found that everyone who used that shade was WAYYYYYYyyy lighter than I was. 
Went to a different Clinique booth, talked to the woman there and she applied two other shades that were darker than the first one I got. Unfortunately, there were no samples for me to try, so I left empty-handed.

If you clicked on that link and looked for #64 and couldn't find it, welcome to my world. The numbers used here in Japan almost seem to be pulled out of thin air. The US site also offers 20 shades to Japan's 10.

At Chanel:
I was wearing make up, the Clinique foundation from above, when I stopped by Chanel to buy lipstick. When the woman getting my lipstick asked if there was anything else I needed, I asked about foundations. She pulled one out and applied it on top of what I was wearing and declared that it looked OK. I told her I'd come back.

At Dior:
I've been interested in Dior Snow because it's only available in Asia and seems pretty cool. Aside from the Dior Snow shades, there is Dior Nude and others that are available worldwide. The shade I tried was 030 Medium Beige. When the woman patted it into my skin, it didn't seem like it stood out, but I expressed concern about my forehead. The bit she applied to my forehead was definitely lighter, but...I don't know? Maybe? If this woman, who is way lighter than I am can wear it, maybe that means it's too light??

One common factor with all four (went to two Cliniques) of the women I talked to was that they seemed ignorant of the "pink or yellow undertones" thing that I hear so much about, but doesn't seem to help me. And they also put the foundation on their wrists, which might be fine if I were as light as they were, but they might as well have scribbled on a mirror for as helpful as that was.

And so, the search continues...

No comments:

Post a Comment