If you’re like me (constantly hungry, bespectacled, obsessed with dogs), your formative makeup years were not the blazingly bright 1980s or the “various shades of morose brown” early 1990s but the shiny, proto-futuristic, low-waisted years of the early 2000s.
Now that we've all finished constructing our memorial altars for The Toast (mine is made out of light rye, maple butter, & tears), it's time to look at a few more makeup trends through the ages. Normally these pieces focus on a large period of time & what was happening worldwide(-ish), but this column is going to zoom-focus on Japan's brief stint as the home of manba & ganguro makeup & fashion.
Like toddlers in a damp sandbox, people have been experimenting with what they can put on their faces from day one. Sometimes this works, like with carmine, a red pigment that’s made from crushed cochineal beetles that is still used today. Other times, it is less successful, like with radium, which makes your face glow up until the point where it melts off.
Yes, it may not feel like that long ago, but the 1980s now count as history, so we’re taking a leap back of about 35 years, meaning that a whole bunch of people reading this just reared back and went, “Oh my god, it was THAT long ago? I am old, oh god, I am old and I need wine.”