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Makeup for Japanese Faces

14 Dec

This blog post is for all the mama’s out there! (and ladies without children too, of course).

Do you find yourself throwing your hair up in a ponytail and wearing yoga pants and minimal makeup everyday? Not that that’s a bad thing, but I know that sometimes I feel like prettying myself up a little bit more and not looking so “mama”. And boy, do I need help in that department!

In the past, I have gone to makeup counters for help, with horrible results. Many makeup “artists” in American department stores are not trained to apply makeup on an Asian face. They apply makeup on my face as if I was a Caucasian and I just end up looking really awful. As a teen, I read magazines such as Seventeen and In Style and those were not helpful either, because it just made me want to look like a beautiful Caucasian girl.

I am now 30 years old and feel like I’m finally beginning to understand how to work with my Japanese skin and facial features (and embrace them!) in a country that doesn’t sell many  Japanese beauty products. Here’s what has helped me:

1) Sephora! Sephora is a popular name-brand cosmetics store. They have LOTS of products that you can try out in-store so there’s no guessing about what colors look good on. The Sephora where I live has some Asian employees. They are so helpful in giving me makeup tips and suggesting the right products for me.

2) Japanese Fashion Magazines, like AneCan. They usually include beauty how-to’s, but most of their products are Japanese, so that part’s not very helpful. I like to look at these magazines for hairstyle inspiration too.

3) How-to Videos and Blogs. There are some great YouTube videos and blogs about makeup and beauty  by Asian girls. Here are a few I have found recently:

Choicerish’s Japanese Beauty Channel:

Michelle’s Phan’s Blog and Channel:

Dance and Melodee’s Blog and Channel:

I don’t own the hundreds of beauty products that these fashionistas do, but I find these videos helpful 🙂 What do you think? Do you think you’ll try something new for the holidays? Do you have a favorite beauty blog/product? Please share!

Click HERE for a list of more Japanese beauty blogs 🙂 And Pretty & Cute has a small selection of Japanese makeup for purchase. Buying makeup is definitely on my list of things to do when I visit Japan next time!

I am sorry for the very worldly post today. I will get back on track with how to teach Japanese to our children soon!

Cool Mom: Laurie at o-cha to wagashi

25 Jul

Have you stumbled upon the blog, “o-cha to wagashi” by blogger Laurie yet? If you haven’t, you’ll want to!

Laurie is similar to me… except, way more talented and cool. We are both trying to help our toddlers learn Japanese and both love Japanese culture and language, BUT she takes better photographs, makes yummier, more beautiful food (her bento boxes are amazing!), and she is not only bilingual, but TRILINGUAL! And she isn’t even Japanese! How’s that for amazing?!? She blogs in French but thanks to Google Translate, you can read her blog in whatever language you choose.

Laurie is someone I KNOW I would want to be friends with if I lived in France. I asked her if she would be willing to share a little but about herself and what she is doing to teach her son Japanese with us. Thanks Laurie!


Interview with Laurie of o-cha to wagashi:

1) Tell us a little bit about your background.

I am a 33 year-old mama, living in France.
I have been in love with Japan for as long as I can remember, maybe all my life. Japan is my passion, I’ve been blogging about it for 7 years now. I visited the country 4 years ago and the time I spent there definitely was one of the most life-altering moments I’ve had the chance to live. A couple of years after I came back in France I became the mother of a little boy who’s now just about to turn 2 years old (on July 27 !).


2) Why do you want to teach your child Japanese?

Well, it wasn’t really my intention at first. I tend to believe that parents cannot raise a bilingual child unless they know perfectly well the two languages they’re teaching. And it’s not the case here, for both my husband and I are French (and although we’re doing okay in Japanese, we’re not bilingual). We live in a very Japanese environment nevertheless. Because we both take our Japanese language studies very seriously we often address one another in Japanese at home. Plus, we watch Japanese TV all the time (TV shows, dorama, movies).
When our baby turned 6 months old (and absolutely despised solid food – he still does by the way), I started to show him videos of “inai inai baa” and “okaa san to issho”to divert him during meals and… it worked ! Well, it did not magically make him like food, but at least he’d eat whatever was in his plate. Then, later (and much to my surprise), the very first words he said were Japanese. We were amazed at how much he actually remembered of everything he heard ! His dad and I thought it would be sad to let such a chance go to waste, and decided to go on teaching him two languages.

3) What are you doing to accomplish this goal?

We sing Japanese nursery rhymes to him, show him Japanese TV shows (inai inai baa, okaa san to issho, miitsuketa, kodomo challenge, etc) as well as Ghibli animation movies (he just adores Totoro !). We read Japanese books to him, we use Japanese picture books to let him name the objects he knows… One of our good Japanese friends lives with us at the moment, so he and my son get to spend a lot of time playing and speaking Japanese together. And soon, he’ll go to a Japanese playgroup in our town.
Of course, the great material and ideas I find on Hiragana Mama are incredibly valuable help !

4) What is your favorite Japanese children’s book?

Kodomo zukan (series of 4 books).

5) Anything else you want to share..?

I’m constantly looking for cheaper ways to find Japanese educational material for my son. Where I live this is quite difficult (and/or very expensive). So, any help, hints or ideas from other readers are welcome !

See? I told you she was cool! Be sure to visit her blog HERE to see what she’s up to. I love discovering other parents around the world who are rising up to the challenge of teaching their children a second (or third) language. Are you a parent trying to raise bilingual/trilingual children? Do you blog about it? What are your favorite blogs/websites/resources? Let us know!

In Culture Parent Magazine

18 Jul

Have you all heard of the online magazine, ““? It is definitely worth a look around. It is “a magazine for parents raising little global citizens”… which I believe is all of us! It covers all types of topics related to bilingualism and biculturalism of all cultures and languages. You can read about other parents and their experiences raising their multicultural/multilingual children. So far I have enjoyed reading this article about bilingual parenting.


There aren’t too many articles about the Japanese language and culture on there yet, but I’m hoping there will be, in the near future!

Japanese Hairstyles

4 Jul

So… this post has nothing to do with educating our children, but I thought a lot of you Asian-mama’s might be interested.

I went to get a hair cut this weekend. And every time I go get a haircut,  I visit the website for inspiration. It is seriously the best website for hairstyle inspiration!!!! You can browse by season, hair length, etc and there are hundreds of pictures to look at. You are almost sure to find a style that you like.

Before I discovered this site, I would look at People or InStyle magazine for inspiration but I couldn’t really tell if a hairstyle on a Caucasian girl would look good on a Japanese girl like me.

So anyway… if you have been contemplating getting a haircut… check it out!

This picture was my inspiration and my hairstylist did an excellent job replicating it on my hair 🙂


There’s even a hairstyle simulator (you can “try on” hairstyles online) if you know enough Japanese to navigate through the instructions.

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