from Japan

Let Your Creativity Guide You

Kayoko Amano Editor for Biteki Grand


Kayoko Amano

Editor for Biteki Grand

Born in Tokyo in 1957, Kayoko Amano is an editor in chief at Biteki Grand magazine. She began writing about beauty in her 20’s, and in 2001, she joined Biteki magazine as an editorial director. In 2018, she launched Biteki Grand, a publication centered around beauty for aging women in their 40’s and beyond. Her new book, You Can Achieve Beautiful Skin at Any Age, was published this past September.

I’m all about being authentic in my messages

Kayoko Amano(KA) Every day means a new beginning, and with that often comes new challenges in my work. Some nights I can’t sleep, or even take a day off, and I have to keep pushing myself onwards in order to meet deadlines. But despite all of this, I really enjoy my work and have a lot of fun with it. I don’t think there’s any other job that could compare. 

Yasuo Yoshikawa(YY) Are you specifically talking about beauty writing? 

KA Yes, but not just that alone. I’m talking about creating content and doing creative work in general. They all thrive off of each other. 

YY I see. So, what you’re really saying is that you enjoy being creative. 

KA Of course! Don’t you? You’re also very creative and must feel lucky to be able to do what you do. 

YY Absolutely. Your audience is so dedicated to what you have to say.  

KA Yes, and I look forward to hearing their feedback as well. I like having an open line of communication with my readers.

YY Right, it can’t just be a one way street.  There has to be a mutual connection between both parties in order for your work to continue growing.  

KA And if I don’t enjoy what I do, then my messages won’t translate well.

YY I agree.

KA I recently published my first book on beauty. It’s a culmination of everything that I’ve learned over the years, what I consider to be tried and true. With age I’ve realized that I’m starting to look more and more like my mother. When I look back, I can see how she developed over the years, and what that process will look like for me. She made the act of growing older a very graceful thing, which has now grown very close to me.  

YY So that’s why your book is titled You Can Achieve Beautiful Skin at Any Age! Your skin is glowing!

KA Taking good care of your skin is so important. There’s a lot that I do to maintain mine. You can read more about my personal process in my book, but I believe that base makeup is one of the keys to glowing and flawless looking skin. I use the Decorte Moisturizing Essence Primer as a base cream, which makes my skin appear natural, dewy, and firm.

After I apply it all over my skin, then use KohGenDo’s Maifanshi Makeup Color Base to get rid of unevenness. Even if you take great care of your skin, there is always something that could use a little coverage, which is why I’ll add a little foundation. I’ll use it sparingly when I don’t need to conceal that much.

My current favorite foundation is Dior’s Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation because it looks so natural. To top off my look and add a little color, I’ll apply Nars Liquid Blush.

YY I had no idea you were using all of these tricks! We’ve worked together so much over the years, and whether we’re on location or off, you always tell it like it is – so straight-forward and honest.  You always have a twinkle in your eye. Despite the fact that you’re in a leadership position, you have this pureness about you that makes me think of a child. It’s so endearing. For being 62 years old, people talk about you as though you are a miracle. But it’s your effortlessness and pureness that radiates from within. And that’s why you look so natural! 

KA Well, thank you very much.  But honestly, I think I just have childish tendencies.


New Relationships Help Keep Me Young

KA I’m a very straight-forward person, which I think scares some people. I can be very blunt. 

YY But in our line of work, it’s often necessary to communicate in a straight-foward manner.

KA I have many opportunities to meet different people beyond my job as an editor. When I’m working for the magazine, I have an entire team of staff that assists me, but when I’m writing my own publications, I’m usually on my own. Sometimes when I’m in this position, I encounter unexpected stumbling blocks, but I try to remind myself to see the commonality in all of the work that I do. Remembering that keeps me grounded and motivates me to expand myself in new ways.

YY Can you tell me more about the process of creating a magazine?

KA I’ve been at the magazine for a long time and have trained so many young people over the years. Initially, I wondered if I could ever truly explain the concept of aging to the younger staff writers. But I soon learned that women think about aging at every stage of their life, and that it’s more of a universal theme. For instance, I’ve learned all I know about caring for myself as I’ve grown older. But the younger generations are growing up in a different time period [than I am] and realize that they have knowledge on different things. I learn from them just as much as I teach them and try to implement or try out what they’ve taught me. Some things work, and some things don’t. But through this experimentation, I’m deepening my connection with them, and also evolving my own looks in new, fresh ways. They definitely make me more open-minded. 


Making a magazine is about teamwork, and it’s not always about what I think or want, rather creative independence and support. That’s how you create something meaningful and bigger than yourself.


Enjoy Beauty at Whatever Age

YY In your opinion, what would you say is Bitki’s core message?

KA Enjoy your beauty at whatever age you’re at in your lifetime. American and European films depict older women in much more age appropriate and natural ways. They’re realistic in their representations of aging. But Japanese films are different: you’ll see an older actress playing a grandmother, when actually, she looks oddly young. She doesn’t look like a grandmother at all. I don’t know if our society seeks this, or if the actresses are striving to look unusually young.  But it’s not genuine at all.  

YY And by striving to look young all the time, they deny themselves of enjoying their beauty at every age.

AK A lot of women have a hard time accepting how they look as they age.  I want to change that and encourage acceptance of beauty at any age and find natural ways to enhance it.  Our readers are older and grappling with issues like skin discoloration. While we discuss how to conceal all age-related issues, we try to suggest otherwise. Because I do think women should be learning how to live with things like that. And this is what I like about your philosophy and your makeup.  Not denying yourself as you are, and simply enhancing what you already have. Many women, including myself, lose confidence and aren’t sure what to do. Biteki Grand’s goal is to Introduce them to self-care and skincare through great product recommendations. It’s hard to change attitudes on this topic of aging, but we’re working on it.


High-Brow Power

YY What do you pay most attention to in terms of your own face?

AK My eyebrows.  I use Fujiko-Mayu-Tint, and try to match them to my hair color so they look natural.


I like SUQQU’s 3D Control Eyebrow in Khaki. 

It’s a combination of reddish browns balanced out with khakis, which gives a super delicate and everyday look.

Finally, I’ll use Chicca’s eyelash curler and finish off with b. mascara on my eyelashes. Even though it’s simple, it makes my eyes look really big.

I try to pay even more attention to caring for myself during times when I feel especially busy or overwhelmed. During those periods, my beauty routine revitalizes me and provides a positive source of energy.

Photos :  Yasuo Yoshikawa

Interview・Text : Yasuo Yoshikawa