Guilty Pleasures | Japanese Beauty Machines
It's a love for grooming gadgets shared by Cristiano Ronaldo and Kiko Muzihara
The Panasonic EH-SA96
Japan has the best electronics stores in the world. Actually it has a whole district, Akihabara, renowned for its multi-storey electronics stores (and its maid cafes and nerdy toyshops and terrifying pornography). And in these stores you can find a dazzling array of machines to make you beautiful. Many of the futuristic inventions are not available anywhere else in the world.
Aisle upon aisle of hard-to-make-out machines in appealing pastel shades and undulating spaceship-forms: things that blow and puff at you, that twirl and caress your flesh, things to wear like a hat or put inside your mouth. Some appear ridiculous, others should probably be imported as soon as possible. The question is: can a machine ever really make you beautiful, and relaxed, and happy?
Pao Facial Fitness
Advertising this product Cristiano Ronaldo explains (in Japanese), “I’m an athlete, I train the muscles in my whole body every day, but there’s one group of muscles I didn’t train – and those are my facial muscles.” Which rather makes you wonder (particularly if you have a dirty mind) how he’s training all his other non-football-related muscles? But anyway this product promises to tone the corners of your mouth, to lessen your laughter lines and improve your jaw definition, and thus make your smile the best in the world. According to the instructions all you have to do is open wide your mouth as though making an “O” sound and flap this strange Ronaldo’s pendulum rhythmically up and down for 30 seconds, through a 20 centimetre height and a 43-degree angle. It looks like a seagull has flown headfirst into your mouth and is very likely to make you smile.
Like a magic mirror, the Exideal EX-280 promises to make you beautiful without ever touching you. Just sit with it for five minutes a day, push its button and bask in its beautiful, glowing grid of pink and orange LED lights; you’ll feel like you’re playing an unusually large game of Candy Crush. How this thing actually works is something of a mystery, but it changes colour as it offers seven separate treatment programmes combining different wavelengths of light, and is described in its literature as a “dependable partner that you can trust.” Apparently it makes your skin like that of a teenage girl.
Relaxation is one of life’s great pleasures and yet so many of us struggle to reach a chilled-out place, which is why mindfulness apps and courses are so popular at the moment. However this cordless, hands-free Dreamin Head offers another way to unwind. Whilst a heater warms the back of your head and an inflating-and-deflating air bag soothes your forehead, slow-moving mechanisms softly massage your neck and scalp. Blissful. Consider this a robotic hat that expands the mind – not a thinking cap, but a dreaming head. One that looks like a futuristic rendering of Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech’s protective headgear.
Panasonic’s extensive range of berry-coloured beauty-making machines is endorsed by gorgeous Kiko Mizuhara, which makes you wonder – maybe this is the secret to her immense beauty? This EH-SA96 is a vaporiser for the face and wafts you with soft, cosmetic breezes of cold “micro-mist” and warm “nano-size” steam, which just sounds lovely, like waltzing through a subtropical rainforest. At the same time it provides aromatherapy too in one of three flavours—purple lavender, yellow bergamot, or pink geranium—taking you away on a fragrant, calming journey. Various treatments of fluctuating warming and cooling vapours are available, from a deep cleanse lasting thirteen-and-a-half minutes to a quick morning blast before you leave the house.
Re Fa Active
Also advertised by Cristiano Ronaldo, the Re Fa Active is a pair of glittering platinum balls, appropriately. Magical in appearance and spurious in its scientific foundation, the Active is designed for the maintenance of hard-bodied athletic beauty through a combination of pressurisation, drainage, and micro-current. The thinking is that you roll it over your body (face, limbs, arse) as its globular forms knead your flesh and work out excess fluids, and bombard you with mysterious micro-currents to firm things up. Now it’s impossible to know whether or not Cristiano really uses this sparkling product, or indeed his flapping smile-maker, whilst winding down in his exquisitely minimalist apartment on the outskirts of Madrid, however it’s nice to imagine that he definitely is.