Wearing contact lenses purely for aesthetics is not common practice in the West, but in Japan colored and circle lenses (wide diameter lenses) are big business. From an anti-aging perspective, certain contact lenses can be a powerful ally. This is because they not only widen the eyes, but can be used just to emphasize the limbal ring. Since the limbal ring (the border of your iris) becomes less prominent as we get older, there are lenses which cater just to this and add just a darker limbal ring with no other coloring effects.
Asian toners are more like moisturizers than astringents. Hada Labo’s is the best selling facial toner in Japan and is now available overseas. It’s a clear lotion that contains hyaluronic acid, which not only protects and lubricates the skin but is able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water. This gives the skin an immediate plumping effect and can diminish the look of fine lines with no waiting.
Japanese face masks aren’t the peel off or clay kind. They are thick, papery masks soaked in a solution formulated for all manner of skin complaints. They’re deeply nourishing and do a good job of rehydrating tired skin – perfect for a quick fix before an important day. Sheet masks are catching on as a beauty trend and becoming increasingly popular outside of Asia.
Eyelid tape is normally used by young women to deepen the crease above the eye and allow for a wider variety of makeup styles to be used. It’s not common practice, but on older women, they can serve the dual purpose of tightening up the skin around the eyes, widening them and creating the illusion of youth. The effects are immediate and dramatic.
In dry environments like airplanes and even our own climate controlled homes, it can be difficult to keep the air from sapping the moisture right out of your skin. Facial mist is commonly used in Japan to combat this, keep the skin hydrated and appear more youthful.
While Japan has a reputation for wild looks and out there fashion, the truth is that on the street natural beauty reigns supreme. Wearing colored eyeshadows and bright lipsticks can actually make you look older, instantly. Opting for a more muted color palette can take years off your face.
Everyone knows that lips seem to get thinner as we age. Lip masks are sheet masks made of a jelly like substance and developed specifically to plump and moisturize the lip area, without any of the stinging aftereffects other instant lip plumpers usually come with. Lip masks started out as a beauty trend in Korea before spreading to the rest of Asia and then the world.