Few imagined a boy from rural Japan would grow up to be a globetrotting makeup stylist save perhaps for Sadafumi Ito, Nars International’s makeup stylist. Ito was recently in the country to launch the Nars 2013 Summer Collection.
Sada contributed to the Nars backstage artistry team during New York Fashion Week, and led the Marc Jacobs show in China and Taiwan. He works with fashion designers like Jacobs, Derek Lam and Diane Von Furstenberg on runway makeup, as well as styling for top magazines like Elle Japan and Figaro Japan, to name a few. While here, he demonstrated his bold but delicate technique and his superior sense in enhancing the innate beauty of each woman. Sada had a handful of tips to share.
I first realized I loved makeup… As a teenager. Growing up in Japan, I lived in the outskirts, in Nagasaki, Japan. I was raised in the countryside, but I always knew that I wanted to work in the movies or in fashion, so I enrolled myself in a hairstyling school because I knew I had to learn techniques. I worked in the makeup counters. I then moved my way up to become national artist. A Japanese girl I knew encouraged me to learn English so that I could work outside Japan. Now I’m so happy to be doing shows, in New York, Paris, London, and doing makeup demos in Asia.
Fingers as tools
My most valuable tool when applying makeup is… My hands. I use my fingers all the time especially to blend, and even when I use eye brushes, I do final touch-ups with my fingers. It’s best because it warms the makeup and sets it.
When it comes to putting makeup on women… I never rely solely on trends. I first find out the occasion and the outfit of the client, so I can apply the appropriate makeup. Her face always has to fit her hair and clothes and complement her total look.
When it comes to describing my makeup style… I don’t like to use any specific words because I hate categorizing or limiting myself.
Makeup to me is… More emotional. It should translate to how you feel.
Nars beauty products that every girl needs in her makeup bag are… Radiant Creamy Concealer, Light Reflecting Setting Powder Pressed, Brow Perfector, and any color of Velvet Lip Pencils.
My favorite era for makeup is… 1978. It reminds me of my mother’s time because women were more sophisticated. I like how women carried themselves then.
Color is in
In trend right now in Japan is… Colorful makeup. I’ve been doing a lot of magazine work and fashion shows requiring that look. Young girls do a fun, crazy look now in the streets of Japan. Girls spot-dry the ends of their hair in vivid blues and purple. They put colorful makeup and use colored contact lenses. It’s fun and it works. It’s a fun change from last year’s pale and very neutral makeup looks.
I’m not a fan of… Over-plucked eyebrows, especially for men. A lot of male movie stars in Japan have thin eyebrows. It’s not a good look.
A makeup look to try is… Using colored liners. This is something safe, especially if you’re not used to using bright makeup. Just line the lid of your eye with a bright-colored liner and keep the rest of your face bare.
New products I’m loving from Nars are… All Fall 2013 Color Collection lip products! And matte eye shadows.
My favorite lipstick right now is… The Nars Satin Lip pencil in Yu. It’s a shocking pink color. I’ve actually noticed women in the Philippines love a bright pink lip.
Top beauty tip
His No. 1 beauty tip: Don’t be afraid to use any color that you’ve never tried before! A good place to start is lipstick. Nars has just released 13 statement shades to dress up our lips. The Satin Lip Pencils (P1,450) combine the convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a jumbo-size crayon design. The colors range from light apricot to shocking pink and give the appearance of fuller looking lips.