sunscreen

Japanese beauty tips

When I was in Tokyo, I noticed that many women I saw in the subway or the streets had perfect skin, almost as if they had no pores ! We also often say that Japanese people age better than occidental people, and of course a part of it is due to genetics but they also make a big effort to keep good skin condition. And as I said before, Japanese people inspire me by their ability to do everything so well, including skincare. Since I could experience daily a few of the Japanese beauty rituals, I wanted to list the ones that are not too hard to follow.

 

Massages

When you're a model who works in Japan you experience the craziest work hours (3am call time, yes ! And I even had a 10pm-8am night job). But the hair and make up moment is makes you forgive the clients for the lack of sleep : the skin preparation is almost like going to a spa. The one thing that the make-up artists often do is an energetic face massage, that stimulates the blood circulation and helps to get rid of dark circles, puffiness and tiredness. Not only you look better, but you also feel better : they press key points in the neck, under the ears and on the jaw muscles, the temples of course but also under the brow line... It reminds me of Shiatsu massage and it sure helps to eliminate stress and relax while feeling more energized.

What you can do is a 5min massage in the morning while applying your day cream, starting from the middle of the face and going towards the edge (from the chin to the jaws, from the nose to the ears, and from the center of the eyebrows to the temples), and pressing gently on the temples and the jaw muscles.

 

Green tea

They drink it all day, hot or cold, but especially after lunch and dinner to help digestion. Green tea is also know for helping to flush toxins, so it's a great ingredient to include in your daily health routine. I am not talking about the bitter green tea you find in any supermarket, but the herbal one from Japan with a soft taste. Matcha is also one of my favorite Japanese teas (and I love that you can use the powder in smoothies, and desserts too) !

 

Avoid the sun

I've only been to Japan during summer, and you probably already heard about it or seen it, but the Japanese will prefer to protect themselves from the sun with umbrellas, gloves and hats instead of using sunscreen. They do it mostly because they love the look of a pearl white skin, but the effect is undeniable : sun causes skin aging, so those who hide from it keep a young, baby-like skin longer. I personally cannot live without sun, it's also a good source of vitamin D and I love a little tan but I try to limit my exposure and always use sunscreen, as it's a good compromise between care and fun.

 

Warm eyelash curler

If you hate the eyelash curler and you always pinch your eyelids with it, this is the one Japanese makeup tool you'll love ! It's like a small hair curler - less hot of course and with protection - that you will use to curl your lashes with the heat. Almost all Japanese makeup artists use it on shoots.

The pros : no pinch and you can use it after putting mascara on. The cons : even if it's pretty safe, I would say be careful not to burn yourself and I find it less convenient that it's electric and not mechanic.

You can find it on Amazon for 15,99$

 

Only one layer of nail polish

It's funny how in 50% of my shoots in Japan they used only one layer of nail polish. The first time I didn't really like it as I was wondering why putting nail polish if it's not to cover completely the nail and leave it slightly off. And I always associated nail polish with perfectly done nails. But I finally really liked the lighter look of a more romantic nail and not pop. Like when you apply a little bit of glossy eye shadow and want it to stay transparent. I like how it goes well with fall colors - light purple, kaki green and grayish blue.

 

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Photography by Shun Sasaki for Vogue Japan

Photography by Shun Sasaki for Vogue Japan

Summer Beauty

It feels like it's boiling in New York right now, and I'm more than fine with it after complaining for too long that the weather wasn't warm enough ! It's the time for acai bowls, iced coffees and days at the beach, and I love how all that sounds. But it's also the time when you sweat, feel sticky and have to be more careful about the sun, and because of that, I do have a different beauty routine compared to other seasons.

During winter I want thick creams that will protect my skin from damages because of the cold, and on the contrary when it's hot to the point my face is sweaty during the day I need to have some products that help refreshing while keeping the hydration. Instead of having a rich cream applied every morning, I will sometimes do touch ups with my sunscreen and a thinner day cream because the sweat washes off the products. I'll also use primers and lotions more often to stop the sticky feeling.

How to chose your Sunscreen

Your choice of sunscreen is very important, even when you have a natural dark skin, because it's not just that your skin will look older if you get burnt, but so many people neglect the serious health damages that sun can cause ! So remember : protect the skin you're in !!

To make it simple here are a few quick things to know when it comes to sunscreen : yes, you will tan even with a sunscreen, you will simply avoid the burnt stage, and do not overestimate your skin and take a too low SPF because you want to tan quicker : you have only one skin. I used to buy lower SPF, mostly because I was in areas when the sun is less aggressive (I spent summers in the north of France and London) but also because I was caring a little less about it, and my skin doesn't burn too easily (it does, but I also tan pretty well) so I thought I needed less protection. I started being careful when I became a model because I had to be sure I wouldn't damage my skin. That's when I realized that even with a SPF50+ you still tan. So in case you would not want to tan or if your skin is really, really fragile, don't forget to wear a hat too ! Also, if you want to use a lower SPF, know that the best is to use a higher one at the beginning of the summer, and when your skin is more tanned, then you can allow yourself to chose a slightly weaker protection.

  • Bioderma - Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF50+ - 11€ This sunscreen is what I use this summer on my face. I bought it because I was in France (as simple as that) at a pharmacy, because everyone knows french pharmacies have the best skin care products (well at least now you know). I love the super fluid texture and it doesn't show that you have sunscreen on, which is cool because I use it almost everyday when I'm in a city. My first criteria to chose my face sunscreen was that wouldn't give me pimples, as I used to have this problem and this sunscreen is especially non-comedogenic.
  • Kiehl's - Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ - 38$ This one was my sunscreen last summer. I chose it because I was asking all my model friends what sunscreen they liked, which doesn't show and doesn't give you spots. Kiehl's was the most common answer. As the name let you guess, the texture is super fluid as well which is great when you don't want to feel all greasy for your day in the sun. Enjoy !
  • Supergoop - Defense Refresh Setting mist SPF 50 - 28$ Because if you like to wear a little more make up than I do, it may be a lot more convenient for you to buy an over-the-makeup sunscreen instead of applying your sunscreen first, especially if you do touch ups during the day. Supergoop is both a sunscreen and a make-up setting, how can you beat that ?

Summer Beauty Favorites

  • Bogavia - Essential Facial Toner - 16$ You know I love Bogavia. This toner is not an exception and I think it's perfect to prepare the skin before your moisturizer, refresh your skin through a hot day, and to heal irritated skin in the evening, after spending your day applying sunscreen again and again. It contains Aloe Vera which is known to be a natural healing product. What I like most in this toner is that even if it wets the skin it stills hydrates it, which is very important if you use it during the day, and the skin tone looks more even and healthy.
  • Ouai - Hair Oil - 28$ If you plan to spend days at the beach, you know how it feels to have broken hair because of the salty water : I can't even brush it because I am so scared to lose everything. The only thing that helps me with that is to apply some oil in my hair to create a fence between the salty water and the hair and then you can style it with braids or a bun or whatever you prefer to keep it together. Ouai Hair Oil smells so good I also use it everyday to style my hair.
  • Klorane - Sothing and Relaxing Patches - 24$ I personally have one problem that occurs mostly during very cold winters and very hot summers : puffy morning face. It's mostly because of the dry air that the heaters and air conditioning creates (and yes I plan to invest in a very good quality air-humidifier because my current one doesn't work). I love Klorane patches because they're very easy to use and gentle, and they work well.

Body Tips

There are a few things that make life easier during the summer. Try to avoid silly mistakes.

  • It's best to avoid wearing perfume before going out in the sun. The alcohol it contains can make the sun effects way stronger on the area where you sprayed perfume. It can result in having differences in skin color where you sprayed your perfume. Not fun. So it's better to reserve your perfume for the evenings, or to spray it on your clothes.
  • Sometimes when it's way too hot, your legs can hurt. Walking helps blood circulation a lot because it doesn't create shocks in your legs like when you run but it helps to pump up the blood. Of course if there is a heat wave, do not walk too much and don't forget to drink enough water !! Putting your legs up and cold showers are great advices as well to enhance the blood flow.
  • It's a no brainer but don't shave/wax right before sun exposure. It's the best way to irritate your skin, and end up being alone in the shadow while your friends are having fun without you.
  • Same if you scrub your skin. And remember to protect your skin from the sun even more after scrubbing, because you are exposing a new, fresh skin to the sun, which isn't tanned yet. This is also true after a facial scrub obviously.