from Japan

Matsui Rika On Embracing Beauty as Power

Matsui Rika  Makeup Artist


In the year 2000, Matsui Rika moved to New York City to further her career as a makeup artist. After spending six years in the city, she eventually returned to her homeland of Japan.  Her work has been featured in editorials for various fashion magazines, cosmetic ads, and movies, makeup for actresses. She also frequently appears on talk shows as a beauty advisor and consultant. In her free time, Matsui loves to volunteer with AKA TKdV.


Instagram: @rikamatsui26


My Journey Towards Self-Care

I lived in New York for a few years when I was in my twenties. I had virtually no time for myself because of non-stop work. Although I was surrounded by beauty every day as a make-up artist, my own skin was destroyed due to high stress and fatigue. When I returned home to Japan that year, my mother gifted me a beauty station at home kit as an act of love. I was so excited about it and remember carefully packing it up for the return flight to New York despite how much it weighed. I viewed it as a symbol of my mother’s love. Looking back, I think it’s what taught me the importance of self-care. 

Home Is Where the Heart Is

As time has passed, self-care has become more important in my life. Throughout my career in the makeup industry, my posture gradually worsened over time. Upon returning to Japan, I developed lower back problems. I began seeing a chiropractor who helped correct my spinal alignment and posture. These changes were eye-opening and inspired me to adopt an overall healthier lifestyle. I cook most of my meals at home, and I like going to different specialty food stores and getting advice. Grocery shopping has become an enjoyable and fun part of my day. I feel so at ease living at home in Japan. 


Beauty Is A Journey

Now that I’ve entered my 40’s, I no longer take youth for granted. Doing my makeup and taking care of my skin are now important daily rituals. As I age, I’m redefining my own ideas of beauty. I am older and I can no longer expect dramatic alterations to my appearance. I like using rejuvenating and massaging products for my skin and hair. 

I also use this electric exfoliating beauty brush on my skin for 10 minutes before going to bed. It loosens all of the muscles in my face and scalp, while plumping, lifting, and strengthening my skin.  

Caring for My Skin

In addition to specific facial features that one is born with, I believe that having a healthy complexion only amplifies individual beauty. As I’ve aged, I’ve watched other people’s routines, and have learned that beautiful, glowing skin is vital for keeping a fresh face. I have freckles and blemishes, which I’ll gently conceal with translucent products. I’ve been using the super dewy Chicca Flawless Glow Foundation since it first came out. It has a glowy finish that lasts throughout the entire day.

It’s a necessary product for translucent coverage of minor blemishes and works really well as a base. Makeup is something that should enhance one’s natural beauty and remembering this helps keep me confident as the years go by.

Believe in Your Own Beauty

Beauty is inspiring because it has the power to enhance our lives. Helping women find their natural beauty is what brings me happiness. Working with these women, and with beauty in general, inspires me to find it within myself. 

I want to connect with these women and empower them through my work. I help host workshops with my assistants and makeup artist friends where we share tips on bettering ourselves and accepting our own authenticity. I want to be beautiful: beauty is a source of power, and it motivates me throughout my entire life. 

Photos : Yasuo Yoshikawa

Interview・Text : Yasuo Yoshikawa