From Heian Period ladies to today’s modern girls, Shiseido finds a unique way to showcase dramatic changes in beauty trends over the years.

People in Japan love to get on board with a good dance routine. From Bubbly high school girl dances to last year’s Koi Love Dance craze, if a video appears online with some catchy music and a unique set of moves to remember, you can expect people to sit up and take notice, and possibly even make your clip go viral in the process.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a good dance video grab everyone’s attention, but now Shiseido has thrown its perfectly coiffed hat into the ring with a new video called “Finger Dance Makeup“.

As the title suggests, there’s a whole lot of intricate finger choreography on display in the clip, performed by women who show us how makeup was applied during different time periods in Japan’s history. From the formal Imperial Court style of the Heian Period (794-1185) through to today’s modern girl, this clip takes us on an interesting journey through some very different beauty trends.

Take a look at the clip below:

The video starts off with today’s modern beauty adding some intricate moves to her lipgloss application, before quickly turning the clock back to the Heian period, setting the scene with a woman in a formal 12-layered kimono. Accompanying her on screen are a number of hashtags that include themes typical to the period, like #Moonlight, #LitRooms, #AristocraticLove and #IcognitoPalanquinDatesWithBoyfriend.

▼ Beauty during this time period focussed very much on lightening the skin with a generous coverage of face powder.

Next, we move on to the Edo era (1603-1868), where geisha makeup began to influence beauty ideals, giving rise to the popularity of bright vermilion colours on the face, particularly on the lips. 

This is followed by the Meiji-era (1868-1912) schoolgirl, dressed in the colourful hakama-style schoolwear of the day. During this period, makeup became less obvious, as it was used to highlight one’s natural features.

Then comes the Showa-era (1926-1989) girl, who prefers to accentuate her features with false eyelashes and the use of eyeliners to draw bold double lines on her lids.

In amongst all the expertly crafted tradition and nostalgia that appears in each scene is a modern Finger Dance that Shiseido is happy for everyone to learn more about on their special promo site. It’s all part of a campaign to help promote the company’s Misette app, which provides makeup application tips and advice for users online.

Called “finger tutting“, the mesmerising hand moves in the clip are sure to be popular with young women, particularly trend-setting schoolgirls, all around the country. So next time you see a lady adding some extra fancy moves to her makeup application routine, you’ll know what she’s doing – and there are centuries of tradition and culture hidden behind her routine.

Images: YouTube/資生堂 Shiseido Co., Ltd.
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