Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Morning Musume '20 Ikuta Erina, beauty routine history. Behind the dramatic BEFORE → AFTER change and the repeated failures

An interview with Ikuta Erina from Morning Musume '20 who appeared in the 2021 January issue of CanCam, in the "My own winter fashion style begins!" column.

The response to her Before and After on her Instagram were so great, it was picked up on by news sources as "An amazing change".


That's why we asked her about the turning point considering beauty and how to find a skin care and make-up style that works for yourself. This is a guide for those who want to become cuter and prettier ♡

Q: Where would you place your own "turning point" ?

2014, when I was 16 years, my interest for caring about my own beauty started growing

The first time I thought I changed was back in 2014. When I was in my 2nd year of high school, I felt a great desire to try different things. I started to look into skin care and makeup, and I began to research aesthetic treatments as well to see if there were any good ones.

I wasn't that invested in makeup before, but one of my half-Japanese idol friends in high school had such beautiful eyelashes and skin. And her eyes were so sharp. I thought "Frustrating.. I want to be like her, I want to be seen as prettier", and that was the beginning of the big change for me.

Hairdo also had a big influence on me. I learned things such as "bangs will look cute if you style them this way". So I did my research and made my bangs stiffer using hairspray and I always carried a wireless mini-iron with me...

2016, the birth of #eriponkawaii and growing out hair

Until 2015, I sort of had the role of cool character with short hair. At that time I felt the amount of female Morning Musume fans increased, and I suddenly realized I had a lot of fun styling the other members' hair. I thought "Ah, I want to grow out my hair and style it in different ways so my fans can tell me how cute it looks." So I started growing it out to a length that looks good in twin-tails. I heard from my mother that tying up your hair makes it grow faster. So I tied up my hair really tight after work every day (lol).

It was also around this time I learned how to draw my eyebrows. Our make-up artists would angrily tell me "Your eyebrows are too thin & the latest trend is to have thicker ones, so you need to leave your natural eyebrows". So I started to grow my eyebrows out and draw them a little thicker. Then I started to get told "You look refined"... It's been stable from that point on.

2018~2019, lighter hair colors and starting to wear extensions: the impression closest to the present

Around the release of "Furari Ginza" in October 2018, I wanted to achieve the impression of "that girl with bright hair" when appearing on TV shows. Regular comments such as "Her face is cute" and "The girl with that hairstyle" are kind of vague and confusing. So I realized it would be a little more interesting to have something that would make me recognizable in one shot. Like "That Morning Musume girl with bright hair". So I lightened my hair. From that point on I often have bright hair colors.

Then during the 2019 fall tour, I tried to do a concert with a ponytail extension. It was so popular that some people said they just wanted to come to the concert to see me with the ponytail. I didn't think it'd be that popular, so I thought I could do the spring 2020 tour with long straight extensions. But we had to cancel the whole tour, though I still kept in the extensions. Extensions look long and cool when you dance, that's the point I want to focus on.

Q: How have you found the skin care and cosmetics that work best for you?

In the past, I made the mistake of choosing products that weren't made for my type of skin

I have dry skin, but at the same time my oil balance is easily disrupted. So I have to choose moisturizing products, but I wasn't aware of it back in 2015~2016. I assumed that "all recommended products online are good" and "if it's expensive it should work". But I didn't really think about if it would work for me. Then after all, it didn't.

Around 2017~2018 I realized if you properly know your skin type and choose what works for you, it shouldn't be expensive. There are plenty of cheap products out there that can work for you. I learned to look at the ingredient labels properly. I know that the ones with vaseline in it are properly moisturized and usually work for me.

Nowadays, my first priority is to make sure it fits my skin type. If something looks good on a tester for me, I'll try and use it for a month. This way I can see if I should continue using it or if I should decide to not use it again.

Combinations that work well are also important

I'm a big fan of MUJI skin care products which are inexpensive, large in capacity, refreshing, soft and highly moisturizing. You can choose the right type for your skin. However, when I tried various combinations, I found that if I use a high-moisturizing type for both the lotion and emulsion, my skin would look a little shiny and my make-up would tend to smudge. Although it did properly moisturize.

After a lot of trials and errors, I decided to use a different combination. A combination of a light lotion and a high-moisturizing emulsion to keep my make-up in place and to moisturize just about enough. If I find a good affordable product, I'm the kind of person who wants to show it as much as possible on social media. Back in 2015 I had very bad skin. After a lot of efforts, including going to a dermatologist & finding fitting skincare products, I slowly got better. That's why I want to share with everyone when I find a good product at a price everyone can afford, I want to tell everyone it's great.

Don't let the same skin care get too used to your skin

My mother often tells me "Get rid of the products you're not using!" since I have that many at home. I have about 10 types of lotion alone... (lol). I'm always looking for the best ones, and there are so many of them. I've heard that when you change your lotion, your skin will feel different because it reacts to ingredients it's not used to. So I try to take turns changing my skincare routine for a month. After that, I use different skincare products depending on my skin condition. For example, "I only change to this product when I have bad skin," or "I only use serum for the part of my skin where I am worried about my pores".

Q: How did you find the make-up that suits you?

Find someone who looks like you and research what would suit you

I look for people who have a similar face type & bone structure to me. Then I look at their hairstyle, hair color, makeup etc. to see what looks good on them. I do a lot of research. I would look at a high resolution photo & zoom in thinking "This is how the eye shadow is applied, there are this & that color. But I like this one better, then I'll use this color too. Let's see." And from there on I decide what to try.

Research yourself with trial and error

We often have off-shot photos taken from ourselves, I always check how the photos turned out. There was a time in 2015~2016 when I repeatedly tried & failed with make-up. Red blush cheeks were popular back then, but when I did it, it looked very strong (lol). I used to apply the blush with a brush, my mother used to call me "Okame-chan" (lol), but I thought it looked cute at the time! Now I look at the photos from that time, I wonder why it looks so red (lol).

I also used to draw thicker eyeliner in 2015. After doing some research, I found out that thicker eyeliner made my eyes look smaller, so I started to draw thinner eyeliner in 2016. My eye shape is round in the height but not in the width, so I draw it a little longer because it makes my eyes look bigger.

Q: What do you value in order to be pretty and beautiful?

Keeping yourself motivated

I love taking photos of myself, so I try my best to discover new things about myself as much as possible. I do so by taking photos of myself and thinking "I am cute today because my mood is different from usual". If I think that way, I feel happier. If I think I'm not cute, I won't end up cute at all. That's why I try to keep thinking I am cute and motivate myself as much as possible.

Not being ashamed about #eriponkawaii

My hashtag was thought about by fellow generation member Suzuki Kanon, I started voluntarily using it in 2016. In the beginning, it was more something I used myself. But since last year, the number of fans using it has increased. I'm really happy to hear that. I want to be someone who makes people say #eriponkawaii naturally. I don't want to be ashamed of it by people telling me "Eh? You say you're cute but that's not true at all." instead.

Next time we'll elaborate on "What kind of skin care do you do each day? "Is there anything you try not to do for beauty?".

Original article: https://cancam.jp/archives/905187
Translated by: ©Eriponderful World