University blogger, Megumi talks about her job hunting experiences! This time, she explains the job hunting makeup culture in Japan and the differences between America.



There is such thing as “makeup for Job hunting”

Have any of you ever heard of a thing called “job hunting makeup” in Japan? As I wrote last time, there is a system for students in Japan called “shukatsu”. In order for women to be doing job hunting in Japan, we will hear the term “shukatsu makeup” quite often. This makeup technique is to “give a great first impression to the interviewers”. A few months ago, when I was leaving my house in the morning for an interview, my mother came up to me and said “Aren’t your eyebrows too thick and dark for an interview?” I was honestly very confused with this because that was almost my natural eyebrows so that if I had done my eyebrows lighter, it would have been close to no-makeup, which applies to be rude in this country. At the same time, if it was too dark, it will bring a bad impression to my image. I was very frustrated at this one little makeup technique.

That is why I wanted to talk about this topic. Why is Japan so obsessed with “shukatsu make-up”? I couldn’t keep all my little thoughts in my head…but before I start talking about this topic, I would want to make something perfectly clear, but I am not saying that you should do whatever that is not appropriate within the “common knowledge”. It is not preferable, even in America, to go to an interview with fake lashes and dark red lipstick or wear short cut off jeans with a crop top. Just like you wouldn’t be wearing the same clothes that you would if you were going to a bar or a club during daytime. It is the same idea. Just making sure….

So WHY is there even a thing called “shukatsu make-up”??
That is because if our makeup is “too much” or “too heavy,” it is seen as “rude”or “disrespectful.”
And even after you are in the company and you have heavy makeup, they will perceive you as “not fresh or sophisticated.” On the other hand, if you go to work with no-makeup, they will perceive you as “she didn’t have time in the morning to even do makeup so that her lifestyle is not in order” or “she doesn’t have enough motivation towards work.” I think this is the epitome of Japanese culture.
It is a value that Japanese women keep to themselves to be “sophisticated,” “clean” and “polite.”

But as I said in the previous article, you don’t have to keep thinking “I have to do the same thing as others.” I don’t think it’s important to be fully aware of the “shukatsu makeup”either. Aren’t interviews a place to reveal your true self? Where can someone find that person’s personality when she is wearing the same suit, bag, hairstyle and makeup? It’s YOUR FACE. You can do what feels comfortable to you and tell them what you can offer to them!!

Examples to be a “shukatus makeup” pro!

  1. Not too much glitter for your eyes. Too much will give an immature impression.
  2. Fresh skin! Healthy skin! (Not too dark or pale)
  3. Not too much eyeliner.
  4. No lip gloss or nude lipstick!
  5. Not too much blush!

There are just one too many things to keep in mind to do our makeup while we are job hunting…
No wonder we always take time to get ready!!








You can check out many ways to see how you can do your makeup.
For example, check out the website from Shiseido.
Here, they tell us that our makeup will show our “freshness,” “intelligence” and “motivation.”
If this was said on a US website, it could be seen as a discrimination towards differences.
There is a woman whom I dearly admire and love, Xenia. She is the founder of a web magazine called Chic Overdose. She can speak 6 languages and went to a highly prestigious university. She has also done an internship at JP Morgan. She is not only beautiful but SMART. However, there was an incident once that because she was “too pretty” she became a target for gossip amongst the company and later on, the media found her and the gossip continued to spread. The company told her “please don’t reck our company image.” She was actually scolded at because she was “too pretty.” Of course, she went on her own and created a business by herself. Girl power right here! You can see her speech that she made and her website here.



実は私のロールモデルでも、モデル兼Chic Overdoseのウェブマガジンの創立者 Xenia Tchoumitcheva というスイス・イタリア・ロシアの血が混じっているすてきな女性がいます。彼女は6カ国語を操り名門大学を出たのちに、投資銀行JPモルガンでのインターンを経たいわゆる「才色兼備」というのがふさわしい女性です。


This is the amazing Xenia こちらがすてきなゼニアちゃん

I digressed a bit but what is important here is that the culture of judging people by their looks should not happen in this time and age. Japan still has the culture of judging people by what they look like. Maybe Japan does the whole “everyone has to look the same” thing on purpose. If everyone is wearing the same thing and looks alike, they don’t have to judge people by their appearance and then they will look at that persons personality. If so, I am totally on board with it and I don’t think it’s wrong.

However, I think Japan should embrace differences more and be open minded with different personalities. It is true that Japan is a collective society and we value the group harmony a lot and they are really good at it. On the other hand, you wouldn’t even see any classism because we are all the “same.” We were once called the “all middle class mentality.” Also, we are a homogeneous country, it is rare to see different races as well. Therefore, people resent to “stand out” or be “different” from others. When we see people who are original or creative, they are named “an odd person” or “a person who doesn’t fit in.”
From today, Japan needs to be courageous in order to step outside their comfort zone and be different! Even though that means to change the way they do their make up or stand out in a group to be able to say “I’m original and I love it!” It is hard to challenge yourself in any sort of way because you need courage to do so. But I truly admire people who live the life only they can live. I think that’s smart, intelligent and most importantly very sexy!
Now guys, start living a the life that only you can do and push yourself to go out there and try new things!! I will assure you, you will find yourself pretty lively.