If you're a certified beauty addict, chances are you're already well-equipped with the general know-how on trends, products, and even ingredients lists. But one thing that might not be on your radar — at least as much as K-beauty — is the hype surrounding Japanese beauty. Aside from gaining traction with more and more travellers discovering holy-grail picks in Japanese drugstores, did you know that there's also a J-beauty philosophy worth adapting to your lifestyle? It's called mie-nai oshareh.
What is mie-nai oshareh?
Loosely translated to 'unseen beauty/style', mie-nai oshareh refers to a J-beauty philosophy that extends beyond just the usual trends and routines in makeup and skincare. It pertains to simple practices that allow women to feel and be more confident inside and out. This encompasses things such as the food you eat, the amount of rest you get after work, and even the undergarments you wear — think of it as Japan's version of holistic self-care.
Aside from the material aspects, it also covers the idea that one must not just be noticed through the clothes they wear or the makeup they use, but be appreciated for their feelings, personality, and beauty inside and out. And most importantly, it requires women to take command of all their unique aspects — flaws and all — and remind them that they are following these values in honour of themselves and not just to please others.
Happiness equates to radiating glow
Given the empowering idea of mie-nai oshareh, its main idea also focuses on what makes one happy. It could be dedicating a day to pursue a passion project, taking a restful nap after a long week or treating yourself to a hearty meal — all with the purpose of keeping one's mindset fresh and positive. This roots from the belief that happiness, above all others, enables one to radiate a glow that could never be mimicked by any type of skincare or makeup.
It also covers practices that have something to do with being intimate with one's self, like choosing lingerie that makes you feel empowered and sexy and not out of a need to impress someone. It's like having a secret or a hidden armour that only you know about, enabling you to embrace your femininity simply because you want to.
Poise and elegance take a whole new meaning
We often associate poise and elegance with posture, social graces, and one's style. However, in Japan, these two also relate to how a person carries and conducts him/herself when faced with challenging situations. Whether good or bad, a person with a consistently gracious and kind personality will shine through and their wit, grit, and inner beauty define them more than just a pretty face or a stylish outfit.
It might seem too idealistic, but since mie-nai oshareh's philosophy focuses on beauty that's unseen, it's a cultural practice that's being translated often not just in daily life and in pop-culture to ensure it's reinforced as a well-acknowledged value. Many Japanese films, anime, and dramas instil the idea of believing in oneself and breaking away from stereotypes based on appearances for this very reason.
So why practice mie-nai oshareh?
Given all the points mentioned, it's safe to say that this J-beauty philosophy is something worth practising because it prioritises one's needs and happiness to define beauty. It's not heavy on outer appearances but sees physicality merely as an enabler to feel good about one's self. It also doesn't enforce limitations or rules, unlike trends. It's an empowering way of life that also reminds us to be mindful of our actions and how it affects our 'true beauty'. Lastly, it encourages people to know, appreciate, and believe in their value, especially without the validation of others.
Next, read up on Ikigai, another Japanese philosophy on maintaining a well-balanced life.