Mother Knows Best
Yasuo How old are your children?
Miho I have a twelve year old boy, an eleven year old girl, and a nine year old boy. I started having children at 27 and had given birth to all three by age 30.
Yasuo They’re so close in age! You must be such a devoted mother.
Miho I absolutely am. Having children helped illuminate so many new qualities within myself. My work didn’t have much structure, so when I had kids, I wanted to devote all of my time to them. My life revolves around their schedules—I really only get down time when they go to sleep! That’s when I start my nightly skincare routine, which is my time to unwind and practice self-care. I use the incredibly nourishing Martina Gebhardt Eye Cream every evening. I also love Herban Essentials Lavender Towelettes. Whenever I open their packaging, I inhale and the fragrance instantly relaxes me.
Yasuo I have one daughter and that’s overwhelming as is. I can’t imagine having three.
It must be hard work keeping things together!
Miho Now that my youngest is in 4th grade, I’m thinking about my wants and needs a little bit more. Still, raising three kids keeps you very busy. Parenting takes up roughly 80% of my time, and with the other 20%, I try to focus on myself.
Yasuo I’m sure you can eventually get back to focusing on yourself once a little more time passes.
Miho You’re right. I need to feel good about myself so I can empower my children in a similar way.
Yasuo Self-love is important. Even for adults.
Miho Now that all of the kids are in school, I’ve taken some time to rediscover myself and think more carefully about the future. It’s exciting to envision where life may lead.
Must Be Dew-ing Something Right
Yasuo It was lovely shooting in that garden today. You blended into the environment so well—you have a look that reminds me of models in old Japanese paintings.
Miho More Westernized environments don’t really suit my look.
Yasuo What foundation do you typically use?
Miho I use a liquid base and then powder over it.
Yasuo Does it come off after a while? When you put powder over your face to cover oil, your skin actually produces more oil.
Miho I didn’t know that! What am I doing wrong?
Yasuo My personal theory is that when your face produces a lot of oil, your pores become enlarged. By adding a little oil to your skin, it suppresses your natural oil production. Which is why the makeup looks dewy with just a little sheen.
Miho Wow, I’ll have to switch up some of my techniques. I feel like the dewiness makes me look healthier.
Yasuo It’s nice to try something different, right?
Miho Yes. I haven’t done a photo shoot in a long time, and I’ll admit that when I arrived today, I was a little nervous. But you made me feel so comfortable! It made me think about stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit more.
To Thine Own Self Be True
Yasuo What was your personality like when you were working? Did you want to be perceived in a certain way?
Miho People definitely want you to maintain a certain image and stick with it. Looking at photographs of myself made me realize that I totally transform in front of a lens. In terms of makeup,
I became quite interested in what colors and shades worked for me. I use this American brand, Alima Pure, that’s great for sensitive skin. Their Lip Tint is one of my favorite products. I normally go for the shade Daisy—it has a reddish-pink tone that blends well with my natural lip color, and never leaves them chapped or dry. In terms of skincare, I don’t really do anything complicated.
Yasuo It sounds like you’ve learned a lot throughout your career. Do you enjoy working in the entertainment industry? You have this unique ability to define your own beauty that many ordinary people admire and aspire to achieve.
Miho That’s true. But no one aspires to be you if you can’t be true to yourself. As a woman, paying attention to yourself and your beliefs is important, whether you have children or not. I hope to retain my beauty in ten or even twenty years, but I know there will of course be ups and downs.
I need to stay focused on my desires while also embracing the potential changes that may come.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Miho Although we met for the first time today, I get the sense that you’re very neutral and grounded.
Yasuo Thank you. I strive to keep an open mind by always putting myself in the other person’s shoes.
Miho That’s a good outlook to have. No one likes feeling invalidated. I hate being told no, or that my work isn’t good, or that I shouldn’t do this or that. When I have to say those things to my kids, I feel—well, not great.
Yasuo Your actions probably stem from worry, which is only natural. However, too much of that behavior can definitely create distance in a relationship.
Miho I don’t want my children to ignore me. I definitely think I have to step back and let them go their own ways in order to fully discover themselves. I can’t impose my own wishes on them, only offer support and encouragement towards their own goals.
Yasuo Once, when I was taking a driving lesson in New York, the instructor told me not to look in the back mirrors or else I would lose a point off of the test. He explained that everyone needs to pay attention to their own actions, because you can’t control the other drivers. Fixing your eyes on the road ahead keeps you focused and safe.
Miho We have to hold our own and try not to over-correct others. That’s a good approach to parenting, too.
Yasuo When it comes to parenting, do you feel like you take more of a “back seat” approach?
Miho I suppose so. My biggest realization to date was that I have to let my children make their own mistakes. Protecting them from every little thing doesn’t teach them any valuable lessons, it only prohibits them from growing as an individual.
Yasuo Making mistakes and learning from them can be wonderful. Women who raise children definitely grow in maturity, and I find that quite attractive.
Miho Everything lies in the eyes of the beholder. Self-love triumphs all other forms.
Yasuo I couldn’t agree more.
Miho We often envy in others what we feel most insecure about. It’s a sad way to exist. Life is long, and I want to enjoy it. Even when things are tough, I need to stay strong and focus on my own path. That way, I’ll be prepared for any challenge that comes my way.
Photos / Interview : Yasuo Yoshikawa
Text : Mikako Koyama