As many of you know, MUN No.1 Aknari is our must-have skin care product that we constantly rave about on our blog. It’s a face oil that’s unlike any other oil out there and love that it’s a natural anti-aging serum. (Review here) Creator and celeb makeup artist, Munemi Imai gave us this special interview and we are thrilled to announce her new product launch that she’s added to her skin care line, MUN. Ladies, take notes, she also tells us a fall trend we all must try…
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE MAKEUP WORLD.
I’m originally from Hiroshima, Japan. I moved to Tokyo when I was 17. I enrolled myself to a beauty school in Tokyo and started working in an esthetic salon. Eventually, started working in a hair salon to get a hair stylist license. But, after getting the license I knew the salon environment wasn’t for me, so I quit. My ex boss called me and asked if I was interested in assisting his friend who was a freelance hair and makeup artist. I had no idea what it was like to be on set, but I thought why not so I said, “yes” I went to the job and met the artist, and immediately fell in love with the environment, the energy, collaborative creative process. I knew that I wanted to do this, so I started assisting this artist and learned how to do makeup and hair styling for shoot, bought makeup books, practiced on any faces who let me do it. This was the introduction to the freelance world.
YOU’RE SUCH A TALENTED MAKEUP ARTIST THAT HAS WORKED ON THE FACES OF SOME BEAUTIFUL WOMEN LIKE ANNE V AND SOLANGE. GIVE US A LITTLE IN ON WHAT GOES ON IN THAT MAKEUP CHAIR. 😉
It’s depends on the project and how much time we have too. Sometimes it could be a super rush project and that can be challenging. But overall, especially those two ladies who you just mentioned, it’s always nice to see and talk with them. They are both down to earth, friendly people. With Solange, she has a strong and very interesting sense of style and always has the vision for how she would like to look for whether it’s for red carpet or editorial shoot. So we collaborate to create the look together. With Anne V, it depends on if it’s for an editorial shoot or red carpet. On editorials with her, we are a part of the team and creative direction would come from the photographer or the editor and we work together to create the look. When she is going to red carpet event, we talk and decide what we are going to do based on other elements, dress, hair, occasions. Both of them have been such a big supporter of MUN, and I could not be more grateful for it. Anne was one of the first testers for me when I was developing No.1 Aknari (Mun Oil). I would make different formulas and send it to her, then she would give me feedbacks. She’s been a big part of MUN. Solange, after a few months of introducing the serum, one day she was sitting in a chair in her apartment to get her makeup done and started talking to me when she told me that I can use her name to anyone, because she raves about MUN and loves it. On a makeup chair, sometimes it’s a beautiful bonding place with beautiful souls.
AS A MAKEUP ARTIST, I’M SURE IT’S COMPETITIVE. WHEN WAS THE MOMENT YOU KNEW THAT YOU HAD MADE IT AS YOU WORK ON SOME OF THE TOP CELEBS IN THE WORLD?
It looks like it’s becoming more and more competitive every year, especially in NYC. Everyone wants to come here! And who wouldn’t? I am not sure if there was a “moment” to define and feel I made it. Every experience was a stepping stone and of course there were jobs that gave me a joy or sense of accomplishment. But still not one thing I could say this as the moment. Having said that, there have been many projects that I feel fortunate to be a part of.
WE ARE HUGE FANS OF YOUR MUN OIL THAT YOU CREATED AND HAS BEEN SUCH A BIG HIT. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THIS AMAZING POTION IN A BOTTLE? WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT!
Thank you so much for your kind words. I started brewing an idea of creating my own skin care early 2009 and started researching and learning how the process work to manufacture products. Then in the winter, I experienced a period of time not feeling well for a few weeks and couldn’t really figure out what was wrong. This got me scared and I changed the diet to eat really clean for a couple of months, not only my body felt better but also my mental felt better. I read books about how much we consume potentially harmful ingredients from food and personal care products. I started taking workshops for Ayurveda and a course for aromatherapy, bought raw materials and started mixing them for my own skin care use. I looked around and felt that there are plenty of nice, clean natural products out there, but couldn’t really find anti-aging products that are raw, 100% natural with high component of organic ingredients. I was starting to see fine lines forming and dark circles under-eyes that I didn’t have in my early 30’s. So I wanted to create an anti-aging product with 100% raw, natural and high organic percentage that is effective.
WE HEARD YOU ARE EXPANDING THE LINE WITH A NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHING TODAY. TELL US ALL ABOUT THAT! (Review coming soon!)
It’s a Rose water base toner. I’ve always loved rose water. I came from a country (Japan) where toner is big, very important. Often people invest in a toner than cream. It’s that important for us to start the skin care with a good toner to moisturize and tone before applying a moisturizer. I formulated the way to give deeper hydration and anti-aging effects. I wanted this one to be simple, but a little more advanced formula from the most simplistic form of how No.1 Aknari Brightnening Youth Serum is. It’s got Prickly pear stem extract, it’s high in essential amino acids, flavones, vitamins, antioxidants and water-binding polysaccharides. Goji berry extract gives the skin anti-aging benefits and instant firming. Plant derived Hyaluronic acid provide high moisture-retention. Willow bark extract has been shown to enhance skin cell turnover, smooth out rough, tired, dry skin. Extracts of Pale rose, Jasmine and Daisy works together to make the skin velvety soft feeling. It’s a perfect synergy with No.1 Aknari, and great skin prep for any moisturizers and anti-aging treatments. (Retails for $68; 100ml)
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT HAVING YOUR OWN MAKEUP LINE?
A few other people also have asked me. But so far I would say I am not thinking about it. I am focusing on skin care. I consulted a Japanese makeup line for 5 years in the past to create their seasonal color makeup collections, and from that experience and being a makeup artist, I think that color makeup get influenced by seasonal trends a lot, not just colors but also textures. I may venture into a few things that I feel more timeless essentials. But again, for now I’d like to focus on skin care as definitions of beauty could change depends on where you are, but beautiful skin is universal.
WITH FALL HERE AND GEARING UP FOR A LITTLE POLAR VORTEX, WHAT ARE SOME BEAUTY TIPS YOU CAN SUGGEST TO AVOID DRY, FLAKY SKIN?
Exfoliation on both face and body. People tend to think they need to use richer and thicker moisturizers to combat with dryness. But when the built up of dry skin on surface of the skin is cleaned, you need less moisturizer to feel hydrated and feel soft. Also for dry skin, nourishing face mask once or twice a week would help a lot.
AS A MAKEUP ARTIST, WHAT IS A FALL/WINTER MAKEUP TREND MUST-HAVE THAT EVERY GIRL NEEDS TO TRY?
A few trends from this Fall/Winter. Rich berry & burgundy shade lips. Perfectly lined lips can be intimidating, so try with a sheer lip color to create more stained look. Lashes. We saw a quite bit of use of false lashes for more dramatic lashes from runway. But applying false lashes can be hard. So layer 2 to 3 coats of volume mascara on both top and bottom lashes to create the look.
TELL US WHAT’S IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG!
Illuminare concealing mineral foundation. rms beauty un cover up. McBride Balm in a stick. Tarte skinny smolder eyes Amazonian clay waterproof liner onyx. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect brow pencil Taupe. Kjaer Weis Eye shadow Magnetic. K-Palette 1Day Lash perm mascara. (Japanese)
FOR ANY ASPIRING MAKEUP ARTISTS THAT ARE TRYING TO BREAK IT INTO THE SCENE, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THEM?
Assisting is a great way to learn both makeup and how things work on set. Also try to do a test shoot as much as possible to start building your portfolio and meet people. Love what you do, and be patient. Good luck!
Thank you so much, Munemi for this special interview with you! For more information on her skin care line, please visit www.munskin.com.
Munemi has graciously offered a 20% discount on all of her products using code: Holiday2014
This is a perfect gift as the holidays are just around the corner!