I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I noticed about Japanese people after I first stepped off the airplane is how put together they are. Sure there’s exceptions like sloppily dressed girls crouching outside of convenience stores or Don Quixote late at night, but for the most part people here are adept at dressing nicely no matter what the occasion.
While at the back of my head, I didn’t really think much of it and just did my own thing. I had my own sweet/goth grungy style thing going on when I first met my husband, and to be honest fashion wasn’t really his forte either. But as I realized, and no doubt you’ll also realize the longer you live here, how you present yourself reflects not only your own reputation, but that of your family and your employer. So since entering the working world and getting married I’ve been more in tune with making sure I put effort into looking my best. (I still can’t shake the habit of washing my face and putting on a comfy pair of pajamas as soon as I get in the door, though.)
Thing is, it takes a lot of work to “look your best” if you’re a woman here. Your average Japanese woman dyes her hair some shade of brown every month, and is often inclined to have her hair regularly permed/straightened for easier maintenance. Never leaving home without false eyelashes or eyelash extensions is all the rage at the moment, and getting your nails done is a much more outlandish affair than I recall back Stateside. That’s not even getting into the facial and aesthetic salon boom. I for one don’t have that kind of time or money, and if you fall into the average working foreigner group here you probably don’t either. That’s where this nifty product I picked up the other day comes in.