Prior to living in Japan I must confess that my cosmetic usage extended to sun cream (when I was already burnt) and a bit of naff hair wax. Then I discovered that the reason a lot of Japanese guys looked so well turned out was because they were putting in the effort. Cue me getting my act together, moisturizing twice daily and generally taking pride in looking good. Now I don’t for one moment want to claim that the cosmetics are in any way exclusive to Japan, but it is rather the expectation that guys take care of themselves is rather more institutionalized and acceptable especially amongst male friends.
A good mag to discover what is out there is Men’s Face. Although most fashion and lifestyle magazines will have a healthy dose of beauty advice.
One thing that I have never managed to quite replicate in the West is Japanese hair gel. I don’t know if it is because it is designed for Japanese hair but it somehow gives you that host-look. Feel free to comment what is the western equivalent of Japanese products. Whilst I am on the subject, my personal favorite is the new Samourai range from Silver Bullet. Best thing is that they really counter any kind of smell so your hair will never smell smoky even after a night in a club or Yakiniku.
Next time I will give you a run-down of my favorite basics, but for now I implore you to go out and try some new cosmetics safe in the knowledge that you will be free of ridicule – in Japan at least!