How has your upbringing in Japan shaped your outlook on the world?
I think it’s made it much easier for me to relate to different kinds of people, and to adopt all kinds of ideas into both my work and general lifestyle. Not to mention all the funny habits I picked up. Shoes off at the door and slippers in the house, face massage before makeup and I mostly cook Japanese food at home. Spending most of my teen years there, I was never able to shake my habit of whipping out the peace sign in almost every happy snap.
What is your favourite memory from life in Japan?
I have so many! I did many of my first big modelling jobs in Tokyo, so many of those memories stand out. Doing a shoot right at the base of Mount Fuji, and another for Paul Smith in a studio decked out entirely like a desert wasteland. The incredible characters I met in the city. Or before that, middle school in Nagoya. My initial struggle to get a grasp on the language. Riding my bike to school past the endless expanse of fields. Catching an infinite amount of trains. Drinking litres of barley tea on hot summer days and the bento my host mother would prepare each day.
When did you first start getting interested in makeup artistry?
I didn’t have much exposure to makeup as a kid; my mother never wore any and I was a total tomboy growing up. The first time I was asked to apply foundation for a job I couldn’t even do it. Getting to collaborate with so many talented artists really exposed me to it initially.
I started doing makeup when I was modelling in London in my late teens. A friend of mine was a wonderful makeup artist and often couldn’t find assistants. When I had spare time I would help her out, which is how I began learning. One day I was shooting an editorial for Ones2Watch and the makeup artist didn’t show, so I did my own makeup, and that was my first editorial as an artist. After that I began testing and eventually decided to go to makeup school. I’ve been working ever since.
Who or what gives you inspiration for your makeup designs?
I get a lot of inspiration from iconic photography, and much from films. Working as a model with a myriad of other talented artists also helps a great deal!
How do you try to approach each day?
I try to just take each day, each job and each experience as it comes. I generally love my work and derive a lot of pleasure from it, but I can be too hard on myself. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and can get hung up on the little problems and dramas one experiences often in life. Sometimes it can be challenging to step back and smell the roses.
What do you love about writing?
I love how writing allows you to convey sensations and memories, that seem almost indescribable, in such a way as a reader can empathize and connect with you through your words.
What is your favourite way to unwind?
I’m a voracious reader, and I love nothing more than sitting in a cafe, getting lost in a book for an afternoon. I also really enjoy blasting my music and going for long runs; it feels very meditative to me.
What do you want to achieve in the coming years?
I’d like to be able to take on more writing clients, and publish more personal work. I’d love to publish a novel. I hope to continue improving and diversifying my makeup skills, and shoot with a few more of my dream clients, both as a model and a makeup artist. Maybe fit a little more travel in somewhere, I don’t get out of New York as much as I’d like.