The Beauty Files Winter in Japan

Unlocking French Beauty Secrets With My Little Box Japan

Unlocking French Beauty Secrets With My Little Box Japan

My latest addition to The Beauty Files is my monthly pursuit of unlocking French beauty secrets with My Little Box Japan

The French-Japanese Connection

As an expat in Japan, what exactly do I have to do with France? Let’s see… a year of french in junior high school? A yearning to try high-end French beauty products? A love of macarons? I had no real connection with France and couldn’t comprehend Japan’s obsession with France.

Historically, yeah, I get it. Franco-Japanese Diplomatic relations have been going strong for more than 160 years

In the late 19th century, Japanese aesthetics influenced French impressionist painters while Le Bon Marché sold kimonos, fans, and ukiyo-e (“floating world”)  prints. Meiji Japan drew influence from the French legal code and the French military assisted in the modification of the Japanese army. 

A century and a half later, millions of Japanese visit France each year. In fact, the capital is such such an idealized “bucket list” destination for Japanese tourists that they often fall victim to “Paris Syndrome,” a term coined to describe the gap between Parisian dream and nightmarish reality.

I have to say that I’ve been to Paris after hearing Japanese friends and acquaintances rave about it. And, I was sorely disappointed on my first visit. I genuinely didn’t get the hype. 

(Note: I did feel relaxed seeing men and women of color out and about. Yes, that shouldn’t be surprising considering that France had many colonies in Africa. But.. all the images and films and TV scenes set in Paris that I’d ever seen were of… well, European looking people. So, I was pleasantly surprised to be around people who looked like me, with hair like mine!)

Still, I completely understood why “Paris Syndrome” was a thing for tourists. Think about the language barrier, POC all over the place, dank, smelly metro stations, and rude customer service.

But, my second visit to Paris?

With Love From Paris

On my second trip, I was in love with the city! 

The architecture! The crepes! The cafes! The giant stuffed baked potatoes! The late fall foliage! Quiet evening walks along the Seine River! All-I-Can-Eat macarons! The dreamy gray skies! Wait a minute, how come Tokyo never looked this good on a rainy day?

And, how did the women manage to look so chic in oversized outerwear and ankle boots?

Suddenly I got it. The Paris obsession made sense. 

Paris doesn’t represent all of France; yet as the nation’s capital, the heart of culinary, cultural, and fashion revolutions, it’s draped in an aura of classic taste and timeless beauty.

It isn’t surprising that there’s a market for a beauty box that promises to capture the effortlessly stylish glamour of French beauties. 

I remember reading articles in my mom’s collection of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines dedicated to the differences in American and French approaches to beauty and fashion. (e.g. full-on Hollywood glam versus a “less is more” approach to makeup; a chasing the fountain of youth versus aging gracefully.)

Living in Japan from my 20s to mid 30s, I’ve seen makeup/fashion styles/magazines come and go. But, I think, in many ways, the “mainstream” French and Japanese approaches to beauty are similar: Investing more in skincare so that (natural) makeup allows one skin and features to take center stage.  

And, this is where My Little Box Japan comes in.

What’s My Little Box?

My Little Box is a subscription beauty service that launched in France in 2011; My Little Box Japan launched 2 years later. It now has 35,000 subscribers eager to get monthly beauty, fashion, and lifestyle updates directly from the French capital.

A French colleague introduced me to My Little Box, and I thought, “She’s French, so this must be legit!” And, two months into my subscription, I’m hooked!

My Little Box is pricier than Raxy Beauty Box — 3,350 a month versus 1,980 yen a month. Still, I think My Little Box is worth it simply because of the high-end French and Japanese skincare products that arrive each month.

My Little Box Japan also comes with an illustrated lifestyle magazine and accessories, all packed in a “keepsake” box, tote, or handbag.

Here’s a peek at the boxes I’ve received so far:

My Little Box Japan Roundup

Just Breathe — April 2020

 

この投稿をInstagramで見る

 

Ⓣⓔⓝⓘ(@wadateni)がシェアした投稿

French Picnic — March 2020

 

この投稿をInstagramで見る

 

Ⓣⓔⓝⓘ(@wadateni)がシェアした投稿

Unlocking French Beauty Secrets With My Little Box Japan

 

You may also like...