Made Up: The Radiant Faces of Japanese Retailers

Japanese youths’ infatuation for cosplay and vibrant make-up is on full display in the convivial streets of Harajuku, but just blocks away in the Omotesando district of Tokyo, another cosmetic trend characteristic of the Japanese has osmosed its way onto the façades of Tokyo’s high-end retailers. The exteriors of these seven retailers operate in tandem with the minimal smoothness distinctive of many enviable Japanese cosmetic ads. Beyond blemish-free, the faces of these buildings exhibit a subtle but rigorous attention to detail, and a transparency which invites a particular intimacy between person and product. Amidst the mélange that is Tokyo’s architectural landscape, these faces are exemplary of a lustrous Japanese aesthetic that is evident in both architectural expression and facial ideals. Beauty Library by Nendo, Tokyo, Japan The Beauty Library, designed by Nendo and built in 2015, has a crisply angled and clear window on its façade. The concept behind this hybrid beauty supplies–coffee shop is the coexistence of inner and outer beauty and health. While supplying patrons with wholesome food and skincare products, this store uses its façade to similarly reflect a balance between the interior and the ...
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