How a make-up artist that works at Guerlain sees Japanese aesthetics

Posted on September 10 2018

How a make-up artist that works at Guerlain sees Japanese aesthetics

Nawael

An enthusiast of skincare, blazer jackets, cute animals and food, 
she’s passionate about the questions related to beauty with 
its dynamics and perceptions especially in Asia. Former fashion and beauty editor in Seoul, she is now based in Paris. 

 Anna Averkieva, makeup artist in Paris
Russia born-and-raised makeup artist Anna Averkieva is now based in Paris

This month, CosmeHunt and I invite a professional of the beauty industry to talk Japanese beauty spirit, culture and cosmetics.

I know it's September but I'm French so I'm still celebrating the FIFA World Cup held in Russia (and Japan’s great soccer performance): hence my invitation of Russian makeup artist Anna Averkieva, who is currently working at Guerlain in marketing in Paris.

averanna MUA work

Anna, a soon-to-be IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) alumni who defines makeup and skincare as powerful leverages of femininity, is fascinated by Japanese beauty and has agreed to sit with us and talk Japanese cosmetics. In the course of our interview, she confesses that she’s always been wowed by the Japanese aesthetics and the way Japanese women conceive beauty. ‘’Beautiful Japanese women are beautiful in such an extraordinary way.’’ As a makeup artist she would obviously be drawn to make-up routines, which she finds inspiring:

‘’There is a fun side, but what is mesmerizing is the pure and almost invisible aspect of it. You don’t see the layers, they’re amazing at making them disappear.’’

Anna believes in (and I am with her on that) a complete trust in skincare: someone who promotes minimal skin coverage must be confident in its texture and tone. ‘’They are perfectors of the skin,’’ she says, while sharing her admiration of everything sheet mask-related. We have to admit here that this is certainly one of the best inventions that happened in the history of beauty: practical, easy to use, efficient, and enjoyable.

Wait, is there a better definition of Japanese cosmetics??? We, at CosmeHunt, have an answer to this question, it starts with puchi and ends with pura, and you can find the best brands to illustrate it here.

chifure lipstick
Source: @chifure_official on instagram

We also talked about CHIFURE lipsticks, drugstore puchipura products that revolutionize the category. Anna admitted that she loves the texture, the expression of the color, the subtle sparkle and glow that it paints on the lip. She said,

"the quality is a lot higher than what you’d expect for the price, it's amazing"

, referring to the moisturizing, long-lasting feel that it leaves for only a few dollars.

AverAnna MUA
Source: AverAnna MUA on Facebook

J-beauty for makeup-lovers

J-beauty sounds like the perfect fit for such a makeup-lover. And we're not only talking about the most famous brands such as Shiseido or shu uemura (which has an amazing skincare line and cleansing oil, everyone agrees). The act itself of using Japanese beauty products often comes with rituals that make for a whole experience. Learning how to read and understand your skin in order to offer it the most accurate (and appropriate) layering, creating a surface and a texture that will well receive and absorb your makeup, and playing with colors and innovative formulas to express your individuality.

J-beauty is all about growing as a person and getting to know yourself better. We can also state that it goes even beyond translating a woman's beauty by resorting to the good old story of Karl Lagerfeld using shu uemura eye shadows to draw his Chanel collections. J-beauty products boasts this essence of authentic retranscription of life that transcends time.

A make-up artist's experience with J-beauty

Anna received her makeup artist education in 2010 in Russia, but got caught up with other school and career priorities that had her put her passion aside for five years. Now, and thanks to a group of good girl friends who have encouraged and supported her, she’s back at it. She found expressing her creativity through make-up to be a healing experience. A Make-up artist is not considered a wealth-bringing career in Russia. It is interesting to note that for a country whose confidence in the charms and beauty of its women is central, beauty-related professions are still underrated; if not, looked down upon (plastic surgery was recognized an entire discipline in 2008 only). But most women know how to work the brushes: it is a tradition passed down from mother to daughter: ‘’My mother bought me my first palette, my first foundation, and she supported me in pursuing this training.’’

Even so, she must know so many tricks and I was wondering if one of them was using the now famous shu uemura eye shadows (particularly famous for being used by Karl Lagerfeld to color his collections on paper). It turns out that my fantasy was just a fantasy: Anna doesn’t have an exclusive brand, she uses whatever brand is best for each type of product that she needs (go for shu uemura for eyes, I’m telling you girl!) But rest assured, she has heard a lot about them babies.

‘’The only reason why I never go to shu uemura is because they have fewer choice options than brands like MAC. But I heard their skincare, and also the cleansing oil, are amazing.’’

The very innocence-meets-pop-culture (oh, that’s so Japanese) atmosphere of the Saint-Germain-Des-Près flagship lured her into the boutique more than once:

‘’It felt like I was entering an Apple store somehow. Now this pure aesthetic is very common but at the time it was avant-garde.’’

It's a longing that many women in the world have: to be able to understand their own beauty and express it through simplicity. And that's something that Shiseido - which is also by the way extremely popular in Russia, especially their Tsubaki haircare line - is all about. Anna is genuinely intrigued by the way this now-legendary brand redefined the art of packaging, translating the Japanese heritage into jars and pumps. ‘’The beveled cap reminds the raku pottery art, and Shiseido created 64 different angles for this cap to make almost unique products,’’ she teaches me when evoking her Bachelor thesis that sets a comprehensive update on packagings in the beauty industry. With their new brand Waso, Shiseido is getting back to a more holistic vision of beauty and self-pampering. Millennials all over the world are sensitive to these questions, and that is to Anna and other professionals, one of the best advantages of J-beauty today.

What Anna Averkieva loves about J-beauty brands such as Shiseido, it is that these brands carry all the values of the Japanese lifestyle, deeply anchored in the nation’s profound aesthetic history.

"What I love about Japanese beauty is that it helps us understand the Japanese woman,"

she said. An admiration that we at CosmeHunt share with her, and with you, dear readers.

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