Japanese Eyes

July 4, 2007 at 5:38 pm 2 comments

Forget the Beholder. Beauty is in the eyes of anyone with a steady gaze.

At least that’s what the June 11 issue of Advertising Age concluded about Japanese women. According to research, gone are the days of meek femininity when a timid look away was a well-timed tactic in attracting an eligible suitor. These days, it’s about big and boldly penetrating eyes.


In one of their studies they looked at popular women’s magazines from 2003 to 2005. Models looked demure in 2003 ― blushing downward or looking off to the side ― though just two years later a majority of the women’s eyes were fixed in the direction of the reader, as if to seduce them. Changes like this are telling of Japan’s current trend of “bringing sexy back,” to quote Justin Timberlake. Critics attribute J-Pop singer Koda Kumi for setting the bar on sex appeal, with her sensual voice and voluptuous curves ― though the eyes have a lot to do with it as well.

Being a silent observer (and occasional participant) of Japanese cosmetic culture, I’ve noticed young women go all out with their eye makeup. The trick is to curl the lashes, then cake on the mascara, then curl and cake again until they nearly touch the sky. Of course there are the adhesive fakes, but why bother when the latest new mascaras can extend lashes three times its volume and length? Some even come with glitter.


Now with new technology, girls are also enhancing their boring old eyes with something new and exciting. Johnson & Johnson’s Acuvue Define contact lenses are not only colored they’re embedded with a black or brown circle or “limbal ring,” making the iris appear nearly a third bigger. Girls who wear them get a sort of baby-doll look. Think Harajuku Girls on a double shot of espresso.

And then there’s the slightly controversial way to enhance the eyes by creating a permanent crease on the eyelid. It’s a product called “Eye-puchi” and is sold at your local beauty supply shop or drug store. Some people consider it as wrong as plastic surgery, but girls who end up trying it simply want to create a strong impact on whoever they meet. After all, your eyes are supposed to be the portal to your soul. So why let the other girls have all the fun?


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Entry filed under: Japanese Beauty.

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July 2007


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