STYLE

The Latest Japanese Beauty Trend: Looking Sick On Purpose

03/12/2015 01:13 EDT | Updated 03/12/2015 01:59 EDT

The next time you're sick and want to put on makeup to cover up the redness under your eyes, think again. Apparently this "sickly" look is the hottest new beauty trend in Japan.

Known as "me no shita chiiku," which means "undereye blush," this look is characterized by pale skin, puffy undereye bags (there are even tutorials on how to emulate this), and reddish skin around the eyes. The result? A "fragile, doll-like appearance" that suggests you're in need of looking after.

A photo posted by RinRin (@rinrindoll) on


"According to Japanese school girls, a sickly face consists of pale skin, worried brows, and slightly tinted cheeks and lips," explained Japanese trend blogger Kanako Karita. "This look gives off the unapproachable, damsel in distress vibe that makes people want to protect them."

The look is so popular, online illustrator TCB created a campaign on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake to raise money for her "Red Riding Hood" eyeshadow palette to get the look. It easily met its goal of 1,000,000 yen (roughly $10,500 CAD).

red riding hood palette

Don't get us wrong -- we're all for embracing whichever beauty look you please, but what troubles us is how these women are purposely trying to look like "damsels in distress" who need to be "protected." As Hello Giggles puts it, "Do we really want weakness and fragility to be a fashion statement?"

However, according to Refinery29, not all me no shita chiiku users want to appear like they're fighting off a cold. One Harajuku model, RinRin Doll, uses undereye blush to achieve the opposite effect.

"Rather than a sick look, the blush brings a more youthful and innocent look to the face," she said. It "makes you very much healthy and alive" because it stimulates the full-of life colour you get from exercising -- or being embarassed.

So what do you think? Cool beauty trend, or slightly troubling? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @HuffPostCaStyle!

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