keeping up with kondo

Marie Kondo Has an Extremely Organized Skin-Care Routine

Photo: Courtesy of Marie Kondo

I’ve been slightly smug about the new wave of Marie Kondo madness, mostly because I read her manifesto, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, long before her Netflix series was a hit. But even though I’m highly familiar with the concept of decluttering, there was one reason I couldn’t stop watching her on TV: Kondo literally glowed from the screen.

I was distracted by her bright skin, glossy hair, and glowy makeup in almost every scene. (Even in HD, she looked light and fresh, punctuated with the most delicate flush of light pink.) To find out the secrets of her lit-from-within look, I asked her L.A.-based makeup artist, Megumi Asai, for a rundown on her beauty routine.

How did you and Marie decide what her beauty look should be for the show?
Because she is a tidying consultant and wears a white top each time, we were going for a clean, bright, and likable impression.

What are the signature elements of Marie’s look?
Her skin is flawless, like porcelain. And she has very long eyelash extensions. Many girls on the crew actually went to get them during filming because they were impressed with Marie’s.

What does her skin-care regimen entail? 
Even as a young person, she was always interested in tidying rather than playing sports or other things outdoors, so I’m sure that helped to keep her skin from excessive sun exposure. She also always wears sunscreen and a hat whenever she goes outside, and her diet is based on healthy, home-cooked Japanese food.

She brought her own bento box and amazake (a Japanese fermented-rice drink rich in vitamins and digestive enzymes to promote beautiful skin, among many other benefits) that she’d made every day for the shoot.

Are there specific skin-care products she uses that you recommend?Marie’s skin-care routine involves using Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser followed by THREE Balancing Emulsion for moisturizer and a spritz of rose water. I also use Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Conditioner on her. She loves products made from natural ingredients, and it smells great, too.

How did you create such a luminous look through makeup?
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (in Radiance) gives you smooth, fresh, glowing skin. I use it under sheer foundation. You don’t need a lot. Her skin is so beautiful that the makeup was not to hide imperfections — I used a minimum amount of it to let the skin shine through.

I selected colors that gave her brightness: Le Blush Crème de Chanel in Intonation and Affinité, and Clarins Rouge Eclat lipstick in Pink Cherry. For long days, instead of fixing her makeup with more powder (which makes it cakey-looking), I used Tatcha’s Japanese oil-blotting paper to keep the makeup natural-looking.

Did you use other eye makeup on Marie apart from eyelash extensions?Chanel, Tom Ford, and Smashbox are my go-to brands when doing Marie’s eye makeup. I used a subtle eye shadow in a natural palette — a soft, shimmering Champagne blended into a shade of taupe — to keep the emphasis on her eyelashes. I completed Marie’s look with a thin application of MSH Love Liner liquid eyeliner in black [Editor’s Note: The black is sold out on Amazon]. You can draw very thin, smooth lines with it, and it doesn’t smudge!

Photo: Courtesy of Marie Kondo

Japanese Beauty is a continuing trend in America. Does Marie’s approach to beauty reflect any of its characteristics?
In makeup, Japanese beauty emphasizes translucent-looking skin. This can only be achieved by staying away from the sun and following a daily routine of taking makeup off and applying a toner and lotion at the end of the day. Marie religiously practices this basic approach to skin care every day and that’s why she maintains such beautiful skin.

Did you also do Marie’s hair? It’s so shiny and immaculate!
She has naturally beautiful, straight hair, so I apply a little bit of hair oil and blow dry to make it smooth and neat. I use Ouai’s hair oil on Marie because it is lightweight and effective, providing a smooth finish plus protection from heat and UV damage.

What is working with Marie like? Does her “spark joy” philosophy carry over into how she approaches beauty?
Marie is an amazing person and working with her was a pleasure. I see her life as the very essence of “spark joy,” so I believe her attitude toward beauty also embodies that. And of course, I always try to do her makeup so that it sparks joy!

How to Get Marie Kondo’s Beauty Look

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Marie Kondo Has an Extremely Organized Skin-Care Routine