by Becky Sun
Beauty writers know to watch Japan, the home of sometimes wacky and sometimes wonderful trends. On October 18, 2012, in the US, the National Geographic Channel aired an episode of Taboo on Japanese “bagel heads” — just what it sounds like, thanks to saline injections in the forehead. Three weeks earlier, when reporters first previewed this segment, the blogosphere and social media lit up with this isn’t-Japan-weird story. But of course the Japanese aren’t walking the streets with puffy foreheads. Philomena Keet, an Iconoculture Cultural Fluent in Japan, says, “This is in no way a part of mainstream gyaru (transliteration of ‘gal’) fashion.”
So, what do gyaru like? For one, double eyelids. To create that sought-after crease, which makes the eyes look bigger (and more Western), the permanent solution is cosmetic surgery. Those not wanting to go that route use glue or tape and a little prong to create the fold. Some gyaru are so adept that they can do this on a moving train. But as common as it is in East Asia, this is one trend that the rest of the world probably doesn’t have to keep an eye on.
Here’s one that might have global teeth, though: oral hygiene on the go. It’s common to see Japanese women brushing their teeth in the restrooms of offices, restaurants and department stores. This trend has morphed to the point where the beauty sector has created entire lines of elegant electric toothbrushes. Example: Panasonic started with the very feminine Doltz for home use. Next was the Pocket Doltz, a dainty device that looks like a high-end slim lipstick. Double Care Pocket Doltz goes one step further by adding an electric tooth polisher underneath the brush head. As consumers in developed markets around the world embrace personal electronics and live the HyperlifeSM, sleek tools for a slicker appearance will be just the ticket. We’re just waiting for the iPhone that can brush teeth.