Well, I don’t think I’m focused on being a minimalist, but my approach to beauty is more focused on the condition of my skin and body, so that could be interpreted as a simple and minimalistic [approach]. One thing I say is, unless I’m appearing in public or before an audience, I never wear foundation.
Why is that?
The simple answer is, not to boast, I don’t really need it. Back when I worked at a company, I used to wear foundation every day, but I realized the more I used it, the weaker my skin was getting. One day I tried to be brave and go without foundation. And it took about a week or so, but the condition of my skin improved so much. But I do wear things like sunscreen every day, and I’ve had this hairstyle ever since I was a little girl. What you’re seeing is a very traditional hairstyle in Japan. I think it’s kind of old-timey, straight with bangs. When I was in my teens, middle school and high school, I cut my hair short, but since then I’ve always kept it this way. After I wrote and published my book and had a lot of media appearances, it sort of became my trademark.
Is there a Japanese standard of presentation that you’ve seen?
Makeup in Japan is very natural. It’s what we all aspire to. Japanese women tend to put in a lot of effort to their makeup, and the end result is to look like you’re not wearing anything. This might be my personal view of what Japanese people’s understanding of beauty is, but there’s beauty in being conservative — I think that’s what the prevalent understanding of what Japanese beauty is. Beauty is kind of fleeing, ephemeral, and I think we really understand that.
In the US, there’s certainly a maximalist approach to buying products — we like a lot of things. If somebody wanted to simplify their beauty situation, what steps would we take?