I tend to cycle between the 'big three' Japanese beauty magazines: Biteki, usually my favourite, has been leaving me rather cold of late, and I feel like my usual second choice Voce has been seriously skimping on makeup content in favour of skincare, clothes and sleb blather lately. So this month I plumped for Maquia for a change, and while its business is still very much brown as usual, I found myself appreciating its attention to those neutral details -- perhaps simply because I hadn't cracked an issue for a while :P
This issue came with a deluxe Obagi cream sample pot, and included booklets on sweet new season hairstyles and new foundation releases. Because I love charts (so redolent of SCIENCE!) here are two representative ones:
From the hairstyles booklet, four girls representing (top to bottom) round, 'base'*, long, and inverted triangle face shapes, crossed with four long hairstyles (right to left): side parting, thick/blunt bangs, short bangs, centre parting. The right-most pics are the 'befores'.
An X is a resounding NAY, a triangle is okay, a circle is a yea and a double circle comes with dingdingding flashing lights and cabana boys bearing cake. I hope.
*according to , a 'base' shape in Japanese beauty parlance would seem to be a pentagon or modified heart shape (jaw wider than forehead but with a pointy chin)
And from the foundation booklet (which also includes reviewlets of all of these formulas), a chart placing the new releases along two axes: the x-axis runs from matte (left) to glowy (right) and the y-axis runs from full-coverage (bottom) to sheer (top). Though there's the usual guff about how these are new, modern, non-flat mattes blah blah. It seems fairly accurate for the handful of formulas I've tried -- does it ring true for you, too?
In the main mag, we have a hilarious-to-me (though apparently Allure etc. does this too now?) set of sums for new seasonal trends in makeup and fashion. Which includes gems like "Wear a sweatshirt with DARK brows" and "copper-red eyes goes with a trench!"
"Parisian chic" outfit with the new beige gradation on eyes:
Okay, I shouldn't snark, because I do really like that look. It really pings my current makeuppy bells of murky, grungy tones, imprecise shapes, and of course the lower-lashline thing.
And the attention to detail and subtle variations in shape, tone, finish and combination in this plethora of new neutral looks is something at which these Japanese OL magazines really excel: the dark straight brow look (top right) is balanced by inner-socket shading and an extended lower lashline; the copper-red look (bottom left) also showcases a triangular placement I've been loving this season, widening my close-set eyes be damned!
And we learn that the new beige gradation (middle panel) involves a tulip shaped lid and lower-lashline gradation, all in tonal browns, with mascara concentrated on the lower lashes. I can see that looking quite sexy and undone while still adding dimension... on a day when I don't have epic dark circles anyway.
That last look is my favourite from this issue: the "C-cheek" blush placement (they used Chanel Pr sage, btw):
It's youthful and girly, moods which autumnal makeup often lacks -- much as I love my drama and stomping about with dramatically flapping coat pretending to be a femme fatale, sometimes pretty is more conducive to people thinking you're awake/capable/not a vampire/not a consumptive. Pin-pals have picked up on its anime vibe, and that's both apt...
...and the perfect segue into my favourite extended feature in this issue, inspired by late '70s manga (already the inspiration behind Creer Beaut 's La Rose De Versailles line of cult liners and sheet masks):
Again, mostly office-appropriate and definitely wearable looks, but with such a fun spin -- Maquia targets professional women in their late 20s to 30s, so Rose of Versailles is a savvy nostalgic pick. The product 'collages' inspired by scenes and elements in the manga are amusing too :)
Another feature, on powder-free makeup, is also right up my street:
Though I don't know if I'd be willing to use my hands to apply the whole shebang, as they advise, it is interesting to note the different parts of the palms/fingers recommended for different areas -- this is something I've noticed in my Japanese makeovers too, though there does seem to be several competing schools of thought re foundation application: whole palm? entire lengths of first two fingers? or, as here, up to the first knuckle of the middle three fingers:
That tutorial is actually a pretty good illustration of something else that's very visible to me in Japanese magazines -- the aggressive photoshopping seems mostly confined to skin. So the 'finger' application of lipstick does look realistically smudged and patchy, wandering in and out of the lipline. And since I trawl these magazines for clues as to which products I might want to buy unswatched, I do appreciate that they still offer usable clues to colour products' textures, if not being remotely accurate for base.
E.g. this issue taught me that Addiction's new lip stains will probably be too dry for me and emphasise my liplines like woah, without even being particularly opaque or evenly-staining (this is Raisin, one of the shades ):
and that the promisingly unconventional colour combination inl gance's new quad 101 (left) apply as far too muted and warm shades for me:
Also, CHARTS. Did I mention the charts?
A set of beige, pink and red lip colours for everybody! Or at least (left to right, top to bottom): The Feminine Girl, The Trendy Girl; lovers of Mattes, Juicy/Glossy, Long-Wearing, or Translucent/Sheer formulas; and those wishing to flatter red- or yellow-undertoned skin.