Why No Makeup can be Rude in Japan

  • Japanese women are generally considered to be very beautiful. A lot is attributed to good skin care, therefore ‘secret’ beauty products and finally, to natural beauty. But what many forget is their use of makeup.

    Abroad, especially the excessive use of makeup is generally frowned upon. You might have seen those extreme before and after makeup pictures especially from Asian countries, last but not least from Japan, where previously unattractive ladies turn into beauty miracles, having their eyes and face shape almost magically transformed.

    The idea behind Japanese beauty is different, though. It is not those few girls, who ‘change identities’ when putting their make up on. It is about the daily use of makeup, where Japanese women cover blemishes and accent their natural beauty.

    In Japan, it is sometimes considered rude to work without wearing any makeup. Many Japanese people believe that first impressions are very important, and not wearing makeup can be seen as lazy. Japanese women have to wear makeup when going on job hunts. However, Japanese people won’t really think you’re lazy just because you have a bare face, especially if you’re a foreigner as cultures are different.

    It definitely is not. But women have the possibility to use makeup. Men do not. And let me tell you, that there are few men who are jealous. Not that they can not use makeup, but for not having a possibility to cover up a pimple, especially if it is on top of your nose, or dark circles.

    So, in Japan, if you have a way but are not making use of it, it can be considered rude, especially when neglecting appearance at work, where you are dealing with customers. It is like not taking care of a bad hair day, “since this is how the hair wants to be naturally”.