Why the heavy eye make up? 2nd attempt

As a mask is traditionally worn for six months of the year – three months to protect from colds and three months to protect from hayfever – Japanese eye make up, like that of veil-wearing Arabs, is specifically designed to go with it.

That’s supposed to be a joke, though you never know…

In fact, I still think I was onto something with my first attempt. Japanese make up has never been natural-looking, and in fact obvious artifice and showing how much effort you have put in is part of the culture more generally, as seen in the grunts people make as they exert themselves and in the attitude to nature in Japanese gardens.

More specific to eye make up, many Japanese women seem convinced that they, and Japanese women generally, are somewhat lacking in the eyelash department.


  1. Kathy said,

    April 5, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Hi, I agree with the mask part even though you might call it a joke. When I visited Japan two years ago, that was what I saw very often. And the make up in Japan is unique indeed. That makes Japanese girls very easy to be recognized in whatever country.

    BTW, i’m Kathy. I also a culture enthusiast. I am also writing a blog about culture differences between Aisa and the U.S. Do you mind if I quote some of your posts in my blog? I will definitely indicate the source and your address.

  2. alexcase said,

    April 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I was joking about the link between masks and make up, certainly not about the actual masks which are indeed spreading even faster than hayfever.

    Very happy to be quoted, just as long as it isn’t a whole post. Quote away!

  3. Sam Pugeda said,

    April 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I also agree with the uniqueness of Japanese make-up. I guess they do feel that the are lacking in the eyelash department. If you look at some examples of their pop culture like anime, they always exaggerate the characters big eyes and small mouths. I wonder where the desire for larger eyes and lashes come from?

  4. Kuristaru said,

    April 12, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I’ve seen some masks that are meant to be fashionable, in all kinds of colors, studded with rhinestones, and with various cartoon characters on them.

    As for the heavy eye make-up, the whole point of wearing eyeshadow and eyeliner is to make the eyes look more open (or “pop” ) I guess the women here are just over-compensating, believing that more is better.

    There is that emphasis on larger eyes being the desired trait, as “double eyelid” surgery is the most popular cosmetic surgery over here. (In case you haven’t heard of it, see here: http://www.drmeronk.com/asian-eyelid.html ) That fact has always made me so sad.. I think the men and women here are absolutely gorgeous, and a huge part of what makes them unique is their eyes, so I feel bad that there’s many of them who feel they have to go get an extreme surgery to change it…

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