Sunday, October 17, 2021

Beautiful women are made by effort. Morning Musume '18 Ikuta Erina's secret to healthy beauty (24 hours of #eriponkawaii !)

Note: this article contains details about food and diet. I strongly advise to not read this, or read it with caution, if you are uncomfortable with details about these subjects.

No matter how skinny you are, you're not healthy at all if you get sick easily. In this day and age, strong and healthy people are seen as beautiful.

Now that more and more people are working out at the gym to build muscles, the image of a "strong" women is growing to be more important.

Morning Musume performs more than 100 concerts a year and is a very physically demanding group. Within the group, we wanted to talk with their sub-leader Ikuta Erina also known as Eripon, who is said to be an "iron lady" (?!) and received a perfect attendance award since she joined the group 8 years ago.

Ikuta-san has a high sense of beauty, she is always sharing around beauty tips and has a lot of female fans. She uses the hashtag "#eriponkawaii" on her blog and SNS, and is more obsessed with "cute" than anyone else!

What kind of beauty and health tips does she practice in her 24 hours a day? Let's take a look! 

Q: What time do you get up in the morning?

I usually go to bed around 1 A.M. and get up between 8 and 9 A.M. On some days when I'm able to think more about my health and sleeping, I can even sleep for about 10 hours.

Q: What kind of beauty routine do you have from the time you wake up in the morning until you leave the house ?

I always apply moisturizing cream on days when I go outside, whether I'm going out with make-up on or without.

I spend about 10 minutes each morning and evening applying about six different types of skincare products, which even surprised my generation mate, Fukumura Mizuki (laughs).

I apply in the following order: priming serum --> face lotion --> serum (the type which is vitamin-rich and anti-aging) --> milky lotion --> two types of moisturizing cream. I apply my face cream up to the décolleté, and then I apply my body cream focusing on the areas that are prone to dryness.

I think men especially don't like it when a girl's body looks dry. I think it's cuter if the skin is smooth and the hands are glistening. Since there's many male fans, I often think about girls from a male perspective. Of course, there are also a lot of female fans who look up to feminine girls, so I try to be objective in order to be the ideal girl.

I like to think for myself, and I also like to research on social media "What do my fans like about me?". When I see something that makes the fans happy and is well received, I decide to do more of it. For example, my curly twin-tails were very well received, so I decided to do them more often.

Q: Do you eat breakfast? Or do you skip it?

It depends on the day, but I tend not to.

When I do eat breakfast, I'll make my own bread and scrambled eggs or bacon and eggs. I don't like eating a lot of vegetables, so I try to eat a good amount of protein such as meat and eggs.

I also love fruit, so I eat a lot of it! I especially like strawberries the most.

Q: Is there anything you pay attention to in your diet?

Usually, I try not to eat too much.

Also, on the days when I carry a bento lunch box, I try to eat in little bits over time, instead of eating it all at once. This way I'm not allowing myself to get hungry, and my body doesn't absorb it all at once either. I won't get particularly hungry or uncomfortable. Also, you won't feel guilty about eating too much, even if you're eating the same amount.

I also try not to eat anything two hours before going to bed.

Q: By the way, do you ever eat late at night or eat too much... ?

Some of the other members say they don't eat after 7:00 p.m., but there are times... when I eat past midnight (laughs). For example, when I came back to Tokyo on the last bullet train and was hungry when I got home. I'm from Fukuoka, so I usually have tonkotsu ramen at home, then I ate it (laughs). But for some reason, I don't feel swollen the next day even if I eat ramen in the middle of the night, so maybe it's okay... But if I do eat in the middle of the night, I make sure to stay up for at least two more hours before going to bed.

I also love yakiniku and eat it two or three times a week, but if I drink a lot of water or tea with it, it makes me swell up surprisingly the next day. So I try to cut down on water intake and avoid drinking water right before going to bed.

Q: Is there anything that you consciously do for your beauty and health?

I have a habit of massaging my neck, and even when I go out to eat with friends, I tend to massage it while talking.

I also tend to take supplements. At the moment, I am taking Omega 3 and vitamins that my dermatologist gave me. Recently, I've been thinking of taking royal jelly, which I received as a golf prize.

For beauty-related information, I actually try out various things myself by looking up people who know a lot about beauty on social media and I also get a lot of info from reviews.

Q. How much exercise do you do?

Generally, I walk, dance, and play golf. Recently, I have been working as a golfer about once a month, so that's pretty good exercise for me.

In my daily life, I walk at least 10,000 steps a day at a fast pace. I walk so fast that my friends who are walking with me are getting discouraged because they can't keep up with me (laughs).

I walked to the train station which is quite far from my house, then I walked to a place which is about 30 minutes away from the office, and I walked two or three stations far even... I'm used to dancing in heels, so I don't get tired at all, even when I wear high heeled shoes (*this day I wore heels of about 10cm).

The other day, I went to an outlet far from the city center by foot and came back to Harajuku to do some shopping. I was surprised (laughs), but even so, I didn't feel extremely tired, I just felt like I had walked a bit.

Q: What do you do when you take a bath?

When I have a lot of work to do at home or when I come home late, I tend to take a shower. But when I take a full bath, I bring my cell phone and charger in a ziploc bag and take a bath for about two hours while letting the water run. During the cold season, I try to take a bath at least once every three days.

I usually put in some nice smelling bath salt, do a hair treatment, put on a shower cap and leave it for 20 minutes. Or I use the face masks I bought when I went on a trip to Korea with my family... I have many different kinds of face masks, so I decide what to use based on the condition of my skin that day.

Q: What do you do after getting out of bath and before going to bed?

I massage my legs all the time while watching TV or YouTube. I don't really pay attention to how long I'm doing it, but I keep doing it until I feel tired. After a concert, I also massage the soles of my feet.

I also have a complex about my thick ankles, so I do several sets of squeezing them with both hands for about 10 seconds. When I first joined the company, I hated my ankles because they were so thick, but since I started doing this, they have become thinner.

Q: Do you have a particular way of sleeping?

I can't sleep if I don't have a good pillow, so I'll go out and buy a pillow that is soft enough for me. Sometimes when I stay at a hotel during a tour and the pillow is too hard and doesn't fit me, I turn them into a dakimakura (laughs).

Next time: What Morning Musume '18 member Ikuta Erina does before live performances and photo shoots

(Photography by Ishiyama Takashi; Stylist - Tanabe Saori; Hair & Make-up - Akiyama Hitomi (PEACE MONKEY); Composition - Goto Kaori)

Original article:
Translated by: ©Eriponderful World