MY friend Emily was just recently in Tokyo, and she could not help but notice that some of the girls there were wearing blush... And not on the cheeks, but under the eyes. After some Googling, we found that under-eye blush is an actual trend in Japan. It’s supposed to make eyes look red as part of the sickly makeup trend.

I understand that makeup trends are not the same around the world, but this one struck me as particularly odd. Isn’t makeup supposed to help one appear youthful and better-looking, not sickly?

The sickly trend is called byojaku, and started becoming popular in Japan last year. Getting the look is not just about having the under-eye blush, either, although it’s the most recognizable part of the makeup look. The under-eye blush was made particularly popular by Japanese It Girl Momoko Ogihara.

To complete the byojaku look, it’s also recommended to get “worried” eyebrows and puffy eyebags. All of these together are supposed to give off the impression that the person is sickly, delicate and needs to be looked after.

It may sound completely ridiculous to us, but it got me thinking about beauty trends and how we use makeup.

Makeup is a form of enhancing one’s appearance. The colors and application are all designed to lend a certain look. When we want to look sultry, we smoke up the eyes. If we want to look young and fresh, we use pink hues.

This trend might be weird for non-Japanese people, but think of it this way: Caucasian people also think we’re weird for using whitening products. Pale-skinned people want to look tan so it looks like they’ve just been on vacation, while some with darker skin want to lighten their complexions so it doesn’t look like they’ve been walking under the sun.

Cosmetics are there for any purpose you wish. You can use them to make you look young and sweet or older and sexier. Whether it’s needing to look more polished for work, making an effort for your man or just because you love how that eyeshadow or lipstick looks on you, makeup is just there to be used as you prefer. If you want to look like you need to be taken care of, well, why not?