‘Endemic beauty’ sees spring-inspired cosmetics, pollen protection products trending in Japan

By Nurul Ain Razali

- Last updated on GMT

With looser COVID-19 restrictions, masks are off and make-up like blushers are on. © Getty Images
With looser COVID-19 restrictions, masks are off and make-up like blushers are on. © Getty Images

Related tags lip liner pollen sensitivity spring make-up

Shades of spring-inspired rouge, lip liners, eyeliners and pollen protection cosmetics are trending in Japan, according to new data.

These trends were revealed in a new report by @cosme, the Japanese cosmetics portal.

The portal is owned by Japanese beauty retail and media firm, istyle Inc. It has a research arm that analyses the vast amount of @cosme data to identify consumer trends, conduct awareness surveys and detect monthly trends.

“For the @cosme Trend Bud, we will pick up words that first appeared in the reviews posted and the words which have appeared more frequently. The numbers are not big, but it will introduce signs that may signify big trends in the future,”​ said the researchers.

A spring in the steps of spring-inspired cosmetics

They added that consumers were searching for products to enhance their cheeks, lips and eyes in light of reduced COVID-19 restrictions, i.e. less face mask use.

During the period of 21 February to 21 March 2022, the researchers found that many spring-inspired colours ranked high among @cosme members who posted 80,000 reviews after purchase.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend among members was skincare​ and supporting social causes​.

This time, the researchers said the appearance of the keyword “spring cosmetics” has more than doubled year-on-year.

“Unlike last year, it feels like a relatively positive move, such as enjoying make-up with spring cosmetics,”​ they said.

Trending products included ETVOS’s Mineral Classy Shadow​ eyeshadow palette and Clarins’s cream oil Lip Comfort Oil Intense​ due to their spring-inspired colours.

Christian Dior’s Rouge Trafalgar​ fragrance and Addiction Beauty’s The Blush Nuancer​ also received positive reviews.

The researchers also noticed an increase in the keyword search for “lip line”.

With masks off, consumers want to draw attention back to their lips by utilising techniques like drawing a larger upper lip with a lip liner and raising the corner of their mouths to achieve the ‘shorter philtrum’ look and plumper lips.

This trend was evidenced by the comments on two lip liners – the bareMinerals’s Gen Nude​ lip liner in the shade of light pink and Vise AVANT lip and eye colour pencil.

Oh pollen, you make me sullen

In addition to spring-inspired cosmetics, consumers were concerned about pollen sensitivity and hay fever.

Based on the reviews in @cosme, the appearance rate of the word “pollen” has increased slightly by 1.1 times compared to last year.

“It may be because there is widespread knowledge that pollen, like dryness and UV rays, can cause skin irritation that can occur on anyone’s skin. It may not even come with allergic symptoms associated, like runny nose or sneezing,”​ they said.

Consumers reviewed products such as Pola B.A. cream and Ihada’s face powder, which they claim can moisturise the skin, and protect from PM2.5 pollutants and pollen.

Shiseido’s mist named d Program Allerbarrier Mist N​, which claims to protect from pollen and can be used over make-up, was also trending.

These products sell very well from February to March, when Tokyo and several prefectures enter the spring pollen allergy season from plants like the Japanese cedar or Cryptomeria japonica​, lasting until end-March, and the hinoki or Japanese cypress pollen, which will disperse until mid-April.

Sales ranking

The firm also noted an increase in interest for blushers.

“Many spring-like colours such as gorgeous pink and ruddy rose are ranked in the top.

“In addition, the beige colour that is familiar to the skin and purple colour, which is a colour that creates ‘transparency’, are ranked,”​ said the researchers.

Brands that clinched top positions were Cezanne with its Natural Cheek N​ series at 396 yen (USD$3.21), as well as Korean cosmetics and Taiwanese offerings, which are priced from around 1,000 yen (USD$8) to over 3,000 yen (USD$24).

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