13 types of makeup common in Japan: the last one will surprise you!

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Japanese makeup is an ancient method of enhancing beauty. It is believed that evidence existed as far back as 3000 BC in Egypt. 

In Japan around the seventeenth century it was common for women to pass a heavy mass of rice powder, called oshiroi. And currently makeup is still present in Japanese culture both in women and men. 

A curiosity is that in recent years the cosmetics market in Japan has decreased by 11%, but the men's makeup sector grew by 4% in 2021. It is believed that the growth is due to the amount of video calls people are making during the pandemic. 


And there are items that cannot be missing to compose a good traditional Japanese makeup.

Let's see the 13 most beloved makeup styles in Japan!

1 - Basic makeup

This makeup is great for those who want to go out and take pictures for social networks because it is simple, you can see that the person is wearing makeup, but it doesn't feel like spaghetti. The secret is in the good preparation of the skin and in the details such as very light eyeshadow, light lipstick and well defined lashes with a good mascara. 

2- Suppin – clean face

Another makeup often used mainly by Japanese is makeup to look like you have a clean face. This makeup is called Suppin Makeup (すっぴん メイク).


Who doesn't want to look good all the time without blemishes, pimples or dark circles?! This makeup is used to hide imperfections and highlight what is beautiful without looking like you are actually made up. 

3 - Gyaru

Gyaru (ギャル) this makeup highlights the eyes and serves to make the appearance closer to a doll. This style is starting to get out of the ordinary, but nothing prevents you from using this make up and going to buy bread.

Each one has their own style, to feel comfortable wearing this make-up on a daily basis goes deep. Being Gyaru is also a lifestyle and fashion, we recommend reading our article about Gyaru curiosities.


4 – Idol Style

Idol Style is a technique used to make the appearance more childish, so that it works, the ideal is that the girl is under twenty years old or if she is older, she looks younger than her real age. 

Idols are quite popular in Japan, usually young high school girls who become famous for singing, dancing or appearing on television. We recommend reading our article about Japan Idols.

Conheça um pouco as idols japonesas

5 – Anime eyes

As the name indicates, Anime eyes is a makeup made to make eyes look very similar to those we see in anime. Who has never thought this type of eye is beautiful, right?! 


And the secret is not only in makeup, but in contact lenses, which is also a fever among the Japanese. They say that the eyes are the window of the soul, and the Japanese are very dedicated when making the anime characters eyes.

Por que os personagens de mangás e animes tem olhos grandes?

6 – Harajuku eyes

This style is for those who like colorful makeup and recently the style has been used in Brazil for simple artistic makeup. 

The proposal is very colorful eyes with drawings around and even gluing colored stones around the eyes to give a more cute appearance. We recommend reading our article about Harajuku Fashion.

Guia de estilos do japão – visual kei, decora, harajuku

7 – School makeup

Also coming from the anime world, the school uniform and fluffy appearance is a fever among the Japanese! As schools are very strict about clothing and makeup, many use it in cosplay or even after school. 

The same happens with the short schoolgirl skirts on the street, they usually roll up their skirts after leaving school. In some schools Japanese women wear light makeup.

Saia curta no uniforme escolar japonês

8 – Gyaru eyes

Gyaru eyes is the technique of trying to give the impression of bigger eyes with the help of makeup and contact lenses! You can make it big by wearing lenses the same color as your eye to give it a natural feel. 

But obviously you will be able to notice why this characteristic is present in anime characters. In Japan they won't look strange to you if you adhere to this style.

Gyaru – conheça o estilo independente no japão

9 – Sweet Lolita

Ever heard talk about lolitas? This is a fashion style that emerged in Japan in the 70s and 80s. This style is part of the kawaii culture. They are basically people who dress in the style of dolls, with round dresses with lace, curly hair or fringes.


Sweet Lolita is a Lolita with more cute characteristics, uses lighter and more discreet tones such as pinks. There are also other styles of Lolitas.

10 – Gothic Lolita

The difference between Sweet Lolita and Gothic Lolita is basically in the color chart. She doesn't run away from the idea of looking like a human doll, but with a darker makeup with darker shades like black. But it doesn't leave the light makeup proposal. 

Contact lenses for darker eyes are worn if you wear darker clothes. And it looks more seductive than cute. 

Você sabe o que significa lolita, loli ou lolicon?

11 – Geisha Makeup

The makeup of Geishas, Geiko or Geigi as they are also called, it has a more cultural aspect and goes beyond the idea of basic make-up for everyday life. This aspect goes beyond just makeup if it's a lifestyle. 

They wear gi and must remain single. And as you go through the stages of life your makeup style changes. Geishas use a foundation with rice powder or lead and the objective is precisely to make their faces very white. 


On the cheeks, the blush is dark pink and the eyeshadows will be according to the woman's age, the red being used by the younger ones. 

Gueixa – quem realmente são? História e curiosidades

12 – Cosplay Makeup

Ever been in character for a cosplay event? For this type of event there is not much rule, the cool thing is to try to look as close as possible to some character from the geek universe.

To look like the character, besides the makeup, he must be capricious with the clothes. And there's no age or gender limit for that.

Você sabe o que é cosplay?

13 – Makeup for men

As incredible as it seems, in Japan there is a male group that is adept at makeup. This number even went up by 20% among Generation Z men.

As everyone wants to look good and beautiful on social media, most men opt for makeup to look on social media. They wear more natural makeup. Some even paint their nails depending on the video you're going to make. 


According to Hot Pepper Beauty Academy, Japanese men aged 15 to 19 spend 5,607 yen a month on basic cosmetics, while young men over 20 invest 5,410 yen in the same period. 

O conceito da beleza masculina no japão

What makeup style would you use?