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If you’re a beauty junkie, you're sure to keep tabs on the latest skin care trends. If so, you’ve probably seen the term J-beauty floating around. Korean beauty has been huge in the states for a while now, but more and more people are starting to pick up on Japanese makeup and skin care trends. Japanese skin care is all about tradition, while Japanese makeup is centered on doing the unexpected. Read on for our guide to the J-beauty trends that can alter your entire beauty routine for the better.
J-beauty, or Japanese beauty, focuses on a minimalistic skin care routine. The products involved in Japanese beauty routines are simple, dependable, and pared down to the essentials—think cleansing oils, lightweight moisturizers, and sunscreen. Unlike K-beauty, or Korean beauty, which often centers around routines that are made up of 10 or more steps, J-beauty involves keeping things short and sweet. The hallmark of Japanese skin care is really all about science and using ingredients that work so well that ultimately, you’ll need fewer products and steps in your routine.
If you’re a fan of sticking to a few reliable products, simply don’t have enough hours in the day to indulge in a super long skin care routine, or don’t want to spend money every time a trendy new product launches, adopting a J-beauty routine could be a good option for you.
We touched on this earlier, but before we talk about J-beauty specifically, let’s further break down how Korean and Japanese beauty trends differ. K-beauty and J-beauty have their similarities—they’re both big on skin hydration and sun protection. That said, the key difference between K-beauty and J-beauty trends is that K-beauty tends to be focused on long routines featuring innovative technologies, whereas J-beauty is all about achieving beautiful skin with a minimalistic routine.
Like we mentioned, Japanese makeup is centered around doing the unexpected, while Japanese skin care sticks with what’s tried-and-true. It’s really the best of both worlds. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 of the biggest J-beauty trends (makeup and skin care) you can expect to see taking over the beauty world.
Monochromatic pink is not a look many Americans wear on a daily basis, but in Japan, it’s all the rage. Prominent pink eye shadow paired with pink blush and glossy pink lips makes for a beautiful, everyday look. To try it for yourself, use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Always Pearly Pink, L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Blush in Baby Blossom, and L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Shine Lipstick in Sparkling Rose.
Full lashes are lusted after in Japan. You can also achieve baby doll-like lashes with a volumizing, waterproof mascara, like the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume or L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Washable Mascara.
Glossy lips made a comeback this past year, and now we’ve found the happy medium between ultra-glossy and super-matte. Lip tints have a natural finish while still having a pigmented color that lasts. If you don’t have the perfect product in your collection, try smoothing on your favorite glossy lipstick, then blot with a tissue.
Single-color eye shadow makes an effortless statement. Just use the same color on your lid, crease, and under-eye (so easy!), and you’ll be rocking this trend in no time. In Japan, bright colors are particularly popular for this trend, but if you want to make it everyday material, try the L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup in Bronze Light or Amethyst Quartz.
From rounded-edge cat eyes to brightly-colored underliner, eyes are making a statement in 2020. Maintaining healthy, glowing skin is important in Japan, so playing up your eyes and leaving everything else subtle is a go-to way to show off your complexion. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Black for a conventional cat eye or the L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Liquid Dip Eyeliner, Waterproof in Blue for a colorful take on the trend.
Japanese beauty, aka J-Beauty, places an importance on the softness of skin. American skin care tends to involve harsher exfoliation and chemical formulas, while Japanese skin care has a more nourishing philosophy. To embrace their outlook, replace intense exfoliators with gentle hydrating toners.
Cleansing is an important part of Japanese culture. Most Japanese men and women cleanse both in the morning and at night—something the American Academy of Dermatology also happens to recommend. They believe in a gentle but deep cleansing, which includes double cleansing with no-rinse and rinse-off cleaners.
You can mimic this deep cleanse by removing your makeup with a micellar water, like L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Waterproof Makeup Remover - All Skin Types, and following it with a gentle cleanser such as the L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean All Skin Types Foaming Gel Cleanser. If you have mature skin, you can also try the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Nourishing Cream Cleanser.
Bathing rituals are also important to the Japanese. In addition to cleaning your body, it acts as a form of meditative practice, washing the worries of the day off. To recreate a Japanese-style bath at home, first, take a shower to cleanse your body. Then pour some bath salts in before you step into the hot water. Sit tight for 20-30 minutes and keep a glass of water nearby in case you start to overheat. Afterward, you’ll feel clean and relaxed.
Patting is a popular Japanese skin care technique that is exactly what you’d imagine based on the name. The process involves patting on your serums and moisturizers with the palm of your hands and fingertips rather than quickly smoothing the formula over your skin. While this may take a few extra minutes, it’ll allow your products to be more evenly distributed across your complexion while also helping with better absorption.
When it comes to sun protection, the Japanese don’t mess around. Using sunscreen and products formulated with SPF is an important Japanese skin care trend that all of us should take cues from. Consider swapping your daily moisturizer for a moisturizer with SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30.
Inspired to start a J-beauty routine of your own? Follow the steps below for a complete, minimalistic, Japanese-influenced regimen.
K-beauty may have popularized double cleansing in the US, but it’s also a staple in Japanese skin care routines. If you aren’t already in the know about this skin care trend, double cleansing is pretty straightforward. You cleanse twice, using two different cleansers. The first, typically an oil-based cleanser, makeup wipe, or micellar water, is for removing your makeup. The second, always some sort of rinse-off cleanser, is used to ensure every last bit of dirt, excess oil, makeup, and impurities is removed from your skin. Simply saturate a cotton pad and gently swipe the pad over your skin. No rinsing required! Then, follow-up with your second cleanser, like one of the recs we mentioned earlier.
When it comes to moisturizer, J-beauty is all about using one with a lightweight, non-greasy formula. To hydrate your skin without getting greasy, try one of our Hydra Genius moisturizers: L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Oily Skin. These water-based moisturizers are formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid to give your skin intense, continuous hydration and a healthy-looking glow.
J-beauty proponents take sun protection very seriously. If you want to take part in this trend, protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays is a must. That means making sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher every single day. Since a minimal routine is also big with J-beauty, you may want to consider using a moisturizer that’s formulated with SPF to knock out two steps at once.
Editor’s note: Sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect your skin! As part of adopting a J-beauty routine, you’ll also want to avoid the sun during its peak hours (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), seek out shade when outside, and wear protective accessories like a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Ready to learn about a completely different routine—or three? Head over to our article, Your Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Skin Care Routines.
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