Makeup is mostly beloved as an art form, but we underestimate the transformative power beauty products can have on our well-being during times of crisis. In the case of 2011's cataclysmic Japanese earthquake and tsunami—the one-year anniversary is already here!—one woman found a way to use makeup to help, heal, and uplift victims of the tragic disaster.
Tokyo-based Beauty and lifestyle planner Nawo-san is an advisor and supporter of the physical and mental psyche, and helps women develop a life of inner and outer beauty year-round. "Makeup reflects a woman's mental state—it's not just for appearance," assures Nawo. And after the tremendous quake, she realized her skills in beauty and psychology could help others in need.
When Nawo first came to her hometown of Miyagi, she saw the faces of those affected by the disaster—dirty from the rubble, and defeated from the devastation. But after a splash of eye shadow and a touch of gloss in Nawo's chair, women held their shoulders straighter, felt more confident, and smiled 10 times brighter. "It was really heartwarming—if women become cheerful, then their families do, and the economy, and the world, and the universe!" she exclaims. From young ladies to elderly women in their 80's—an 82-year old woman cried from happiness!—her makeup artistry has helped a wide span of Japanese women cope with the crisis in a unique way.
In this case, the makeup is the medium for the message: positivity. "The real reason I do this is because I want to make as many people beautiful, cheerful, and happy," says Nawo. "Nature, peace, happiness; we cannot buy these things—they're intangible." Her selfless acts are merely one example of how to use beauty for good. Whether it's a handmade beauty gift or your know-how at the makeup counter, how have you helped others using the power of pigment? Share your stories below!
*Japan still needs your help! For all monetary help, donate through the Red Cross.