Widely hailed as the Beyoncé of Japan, Naomi Watanabe does spot-on impressions of Queen Bey down to every last stiletto stomp, sashay, and hair flip. And when it comes to makeup, the actress and comedian demonstrates the same dexterity. Ahead of a performance in Tokyo, she provides a play-by-play of her “stage face” with her signature brand of self-deprecating humor.
After slipping into a terry cloth robe and twisting her dark mane into a towel turban, she slithers and gyrates into frame, bringing her face up to the mirror. “You can see all the zits, right?” she says, pointing to her chin area with no-holds-barred candor. After misting her face with Estée Lauder’s Micro Essence mist, she smoothes foundation over her complexion and blends. “My powder foundation is so gross, sorry,” she says with a playful wince, gesturing to the well-worn compact. Then, she pulls out a Shiseido eyeshadow palette (that’s also seen better days), dabs her fingertip into the pinky bronze pigment, and sweeps it over her lids.
Following a cheeky hair tossing interlude, she continues building her high-octane gaze by pressing on red and blue glitter from the cult favorite Glitter Injections X-Ray Palette and tracing cat-eye wings along the outer corners of the eyes. “I make a lot of weird faces,” she explains while raising her eyebrows, sticking out her tongue, and sucking in her cheeks to ensure that her freshly filled-in brows (which are lightened with a blonde gel) will move with her wide range of emotions. For full-on lashes, she swipes mascara on before applying thick falsies with windproof glue and slapstick aplomb.
“I really love Kylie [Jenner]’s lipsticks,” she confesses as she paints her lips with the young mogul’s matte liquid formula. Once the deep red mouth is complete, make no mistake—Watanabe is feeling herself. “I’m looking sexy,” she says before twirling, shimmying, and headbanging around the room. Despite the language barrier, one thing’s for certain: Her glitter eyes, bold lips, and comedic chops are universal.