Beauty Blogs Backstage: K from Cosmeddicted

Saturday, April 16, 2011

If you're even remotely into Asian makeup, or read up on Asian brands, you'll definitely have chanced across Kay's blog before. Her blog, Cosmeddicted, features beuaty from all over the world. There are tons of Western brands there (LUSH is an especial favourite), but also lots of Japanese brands of all kinds.

I got to ask her 10 questions, and here are her answers! I do love her insights on Asian vs Western beauty beauty ideals and products; having lived in both places, I definitely agree with her answers! But you'll want to read them for yourself, of course, so here's the interview:

1. Tell us a bit more about you. How long have you been living in Japan? Are you Japanese by descent?

I'm native Japanese! Some people ask me this question when they first meet me because I don't have a Japanese accent. I lived in the UK and in the US for nearly 12 years when I was a child!

2. I know some readers will wonder about this, so here's the question you knew was coming: Were you been affected by the recent natural disasters in Japan, and how's things now?

I moved abroad last October, so I was not directly affected. My parents are still there and I get weekly updates. Initially, it was very unnerving since Japanese news and foreign news were covering it so differently. Things are not back to how they were, though. There are a lot of shortages in supermarkets, and of course, the nuclear situation is not settled.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I've always loved makeup and beauty, and I was a long time beauty blog reader before I started blogging myself. I watched a lot of youtube videos, and started following some blogs. I was so amazed at the friendship between beauty bloggers, even the ones that had never met each other, that I really wanted to be in the community. One bloggers that really inspired me is Mona of Makemeblushhh - it's amazing to me that now, we talk with each other regularly and have met both in Japan and in NY!

4. Has your blogging impacted your non-online life?

Not really. I've always hauled a lot of makeup and beauty products each time I went to the US on vacation. Now, I read more blogger reviews on what I should buy before I get there! There are a lot of brands I wouldn't have known about if it weren't for blogging, like Urban Decay, Sleek, My Beauty Diary - all not available in Japan!

5. Your blog underwent a name change from Bihada Diaries to Cosmeddicted awhile back. Any particular reason for the change?

There were a few reasons. I was at 500 followers and I wanted to get my own domain. I also found that several people could not pronounce "Bihada" (which means "beautiful skin", by the way). I had a giveaway to get suggestions, and this was the winner!

6. You blog a lot about Asian beauty brands and products (just like me! Yay!). Do you feel there is any difference between Asian and Western makeup offerings?

In general, Asian skin care places more emphasis on whitening. All lines also have toners, usually non-alcoholic, which are meant to moisturize your skin. Western moisturizers are generally what I would call creams or lotions, not meant to hydrate the skin, but to prevent it from being dried out further.

Another difference is the emphasis in Asia on pretty packaging. I've seen a lot of western bloggers complain on why they can't get such cute packaging in the US. I hope they are ready to pay the prices we pay for drugstore makeup - typically a drugstore mascara will run $15!

7. Speaking of Asian vs. Western beauty, here's another question on that topic. Do you feel that beauty ideals in Asia differ significantly from those in the West?

Other than the whitening aspect I mentioned in the previous question, a big difference is the attitude towards hair. Western hair products are aimed at increasing volume. Asian products are aimed at making your hair silky and less puffy, meaning less volumized. Interesting!

Another big difference is the emphasis on originality. Typically, I find that Western beauty is more tolerant of non-typical beauty, whereas in Asia, we need to conform to a certain type of beauty. For example, I have never seen a plus size model in Japan.

8. You bravely blog about weight issues from time to time. Do you feel there is a pressure on girls to look a certain way, or conform to certain ideals of healthiness?

I mentioned in my first weight loss post on why I wanted to lose weight. It was so that I could go out and buy clothes in normal stores. I'm a US size 6-8, which in Japan is a Large. Many stores in Japan carry only one size - Medium (between a 2-4 in US sizes). The fact that there is only one size in stores clearly shows that there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. I need to lose weight for a simple reason, which is that I need clothes to wear.

Another example of beauty ideals in Asia - in China, bigger sizes are for taller girls. Instead of size 2, 4, etc, the sizes are 155, 160, 165, with the numbers standing for height in centimeters. This means that the size 170 skirt will be at least 7 cm (3 inches) longer than the size 155 skirt, which means that it will look totally different! You can see that China expects all girls to be the same shape, with only the height being different.

9. What's your greatest beauty challenge?

Other than losing weight? Being confident in myself. Growing up in the US has made me act confident, much more so than my Asian peers. However, I really do not have a good image of myself, in how I look, act, or how others perceive me.

10. And of course, we couldn't end the interview without asking: what are your favourite desert island beauty products?

Sunscreen! I completely agree with you on this one! And get one with both UV-A and UV-B protection!!!


  1. Thanks for the lovely post. I had such a great time doing the interview with you this month!

  2. Lol, I have an interest in Asian cosmetics but haven't heard of her blog yet. I'm going to check it out now, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  3. Oh my gosh, I LOVE that you and K were paired up for an interview! I absolutely love you both, so YAY!!! :D

  4. thanks for your answers. fascinating reading about the different cultural attitudes to size

  5. What a great blog! You are so inspirational! If you get the time to check out my blog I would love to hear your opinions, I'd really appreciate it!

    Follow me?

  6. Nice stuff! I am liking this asian invasion! Good going ladies. Nice stuff Kay & Jerlene, will be looking forward to more from both of you soon. X

  7. I've 'spoken' to K before via email she's really lovely. I also like how excited she gets about her Lush products.

    Great interview. I never realised the pressure that Japanese women are under to be so petite. Size 6-8 is small in my book but if it's considered large in Japan then heaven only knows what they would think of me.

  8. Great interview! I <3 Kay! She is beautiful inside and out!


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