Introducing a new blog series titled “J-Beauty Spotlight,” where we interview key individuals in Japan who are passionate about skincare and self-care as well as rituals and practices that are uniquely Japanese. Join us as they reveal their stories and secrets revolving around J-beauty.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Gabriela Reiko and I’m half-Japanese and half-Brazilian. I am a beauty and fashion influencer and I also work in digital marketing. I occasionally take on modeling gigs if it’s for clients that I’ve been working with.
I used to model for 10 years and was signed with the modeling agency Oscar Promotion. After my contract ended about five years ago, I started freelancing and I’ve been doing it ever since.
2. How did you become a beauty influencer?
When I was signed with Oscar Promotion, I was blogging on the Japanese blogging platform Ameba Blog aka “Ameblo” under their supervision. At the time, I was a regular model for Japanese fashion magazines and had a lot of fans who read my blog. When my contract ended with Oscar, I had to create a new blog and Instagram account. When I announced this to my fans, they immediately started following me on my new accounts. I already had about 20K followers on my new Instagram. And that’s when brands started contacting me to post about their products. At the time, I had no idea being an influencer could be a career, so it kind of just happened. But I do believe that when I made my own personal Instagram and blog accounts, that made it easier for brands to directly approach me, instead of through my agency.
3. What are some of your favorite beauty products?
I’m really into the ingredients and textures of my beauty products. For example, I try to use toners with vitamin C to combat acne, creams that are not sticky, and also eye creams with retinoid for anti-aging purposes. I love using oils such as tea tree oil and avocado oil. I also love using Japanese beauty gadgets to allow my skincare products to deeply penetrate into my skin.
One of my favorite products is the La Vie Précieuse MOIST A.P.G. Cream from The JBeauty Collection. It provides a great amount of hydration but isn’t greasy or sticky at all - it is a light texture and absorbs quickly into the skin. I also love that it helps to keep my makeup in place and is perfect to use as a day cream. Of course, I use it during my nighttime routine as well. It has a pleasant, gentle scent which is great for me because I tend to avoid cosmetics with a strong scent.
4. What is your morning and evening routine like?
In the morning, I feed my cats, eat breakfast (which usually consists of a banana and coffee), exercise a little bit (either treadmill and weights at the gym, or a YouTube workout video at home for 10-15 min.) to wake me up. Then, I shower, do my skincare and start my work day。
For my nighttime routine, I take my makeup off, take a bath, do my skincare, drink some tea while watching Netflix and chill with my cats. Right now, I’m really into this show called Queen of South. I’m so obsessed with it!
5. What are your thoughts on J-beauty?
The interesting thing about J-beauty is that “whitening” products and having translucent skin has been and still are things that are so valued and are unique to Japanese culture.
Japanese people are really into taking very good care of their skin, and while it is of course important to take care of your skin, there are other aspects of beauty like taking care of your oral hygiene and that’s not something people in Japan are really interested in.
Viewing this from a multicultural perspective, I believe “beauty” is not only about skincare, but should be balanced with other aspects such as inner beauty, health and overall well-being.
6. Is beauty in Brazil different or similar to beauty in Japan?
Beauty is so different in Brazil compared to Japan! Everyone there is always trying to be tan. People tan at their homes before they go to the beach so they don’t look so pale. They view dark spots and wrinkles as just a natural thing and don’t give it too much thought. Skincare routines in Brazil are very simple and minimal.
7. Anything else you’d like to add?
Of course it’s a good thing for people to want to look good and take care of themselves, but I think it’s important to do it for yourself and not for someone else. It's so unhealthy to always care about what others think of you, so try to be yourself and be the best version of yourself. I hope everyone can learn to love themselves more and accept and love what they already have. Self-love, everyone!