30 years of Japanese hair and makeup trends!

17 June 2019 by Sabrina


Recently Japan finally said goodbye to the Heisei Era. As midnight passed on May 1st, Japan's Heisei Era transitioned into the new imperial era named Reiwa to coincide with the abdication of Emperor Akihito. There were many celebrations of the previous era, but perhaps one of the most interesting was Shiseido's take on a look back at three decades of trends in Japanese beauty. We'll be looking at a few of them here!


The era was divided up by the stylists at Shiseido into six five year blocks, each representing a significant trend throughout those five years. First they started with a period between 1989-1993 which had come to be known as the 'Bubble Gorgeous' era. This was due to the present, yet fading reflection of the bubble economy of the 1980s in the style. This included accentuated bangs, bright lipstick and bold eyebrows.


The nest change up in styles came from between 1994-1998, what was inspired by the number one popular recording artist of the time, Namie Amuro, called the 'Amura look'. The artist, originally from Okinawa, rocked the fashion world at the time with her dyed brown, long hair and very thin, arched eyebrows. A lot of women at the time copied this look.


After that came the next switch in fashion trends that came from 1999-2003, when the 'gyaru' or gal style came into trend with a completely different look. Bleach blong hair, a very tanned tone to the skin and a focus on dramatic eyeliner was the key factors of this look. Definitely a lot different from a natural asthetic!


When 2004-2008 came around the style was switched almost completely on its head, with a look that focused on a more natural, feminine and gentle look. In terms of hair, a more natural curl and volume was added back into the mix, a lot like a toned down version of the 1980s style.


The next trend came with a little bit of a long name, being titled 'yuru fuwa iyashi otono kawaii joshi' or loose, soft, soothing mature cute girl. Whew! Definitely a mouthful! This style came in around 2009-2013 and really keyed in on the more desired look for women of the time, such as a natural blush to the cheeks and slightly puffy eyes.


Lastly since 2014 there has been a definite comeback for the brighter, colourful looks of makeup that are almost a call back of the bubble era. Although the makeup might be brighter though the hair remains a lot more natural and relaxed. An improvement on the 80s look, we think!


Shiseido even closes by ending with a possible new look in the future in honour of the coming Reiwa era. What do you think? Do you think this look might come into fashion in the future? What possibilities for J-Beauty can you see in the next 5 years? Give us your opinion in the comments below!

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