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.