British-Japanese singer Rina Sawayama has proven she’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to music, eclectically mixing of music genres and bringing a mind-blowingly modern twist to dated tunes.
But, even the singer never thought that she would become, quite literally, a force to be revered in the newest part of the revenge thriller movie series: John Wick: Chapter 4.
Playing Akira, a concierge at her father Shimazu Koji’s Osaka Continental Hotel, Rina Sawayama’s character pierces with flying arrows, flips and rolls, and stabs the enemy with an unrestrained vengeance. She’s killing it – all while looking drop-dead gorgeous too.
Her diving into the role of Akira seems to be an echo of Rina’s life. She’s not afraid to embrace new ideas, taking anything and everything and making it her own.
Off-set, her phenomenally inventive outfits, bizarrely bold makeup looks, and – the only constant here – ever-flawless skin have inspired us to comb through the internet for the singer and debut actress’ best beauty tips!
Drugstore beauty products don’t lose out
Rina Sawayama revealed that she got her glow on with Charlotte Tilbury makeup for the Elton John AIDS Foundation annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, but that doesn’t mean she’s ditching drugstore makeup for all things luxurious.
Her go-to mascara for her stubborn lashes is none other than Maybelline’s waterproof formulas. “Maybelline’s waterproof mascaras are the only formulas that keep my straight, Asian lashes curled – nothing else works!” she shared in an interview.
The drugstore was also where she bought her first makeup products. Even at a younger age, the pop star already had an affinity with colour; it was not a neutral brown or subtle pink shade that she took home with her, but a blue eyeshadow.
“I always hoarded skincare when I went to Japan for my summer holidays, so I remember getting a lot of drugstore makeup and skincare. I think one of my first purchases was eye makeup: clear mascara and light blue eyeshadow,” the actress revealed.
This foundation’s her holy grail
As we said, Rina Sawayama is ever ready to embrace new ideas, as evidenced by her fearless aesthetic, ranging from snaking glitter eyeshadow and paper-thin eyebrows to a multi-directional spikey bun. But the one thing that remains constant is her smooth, flawless-looking skin.
Turns out, she has a holy grail foundation that’s (at least partly) responsible for her forever “filtered” complexion. “The original Make Up For Ever HD Foundation and now, their new HD Skin,” she said when asked what her holy grail makeup is in an interview.
Multi-step Korean skincare regimen, anyone?
Rina Sawayama might seem like she’s living in a far-away land of stardom (debatable, since her music is relatable to so many), but she’s not exempt from skincare trends that have taken over our world, one of which is a multi-step Korean skincare routine.
In an earlier 2018 interview with Paper Magazine, she offered: “I’m really into this Korean beauty routine, so I bought lots of essences, toners and mists.
“I use a Japanese Dove face wash which is like a foam cleanser or DHC cleansing oil if I’ve got makeup on. I’ll use Missha, which is a South Korean brand, the toner and essence,” she says.
“I use the Fresh rose toner spray. It’s absurd, there are so many steps. And then I’ll use this snail extract like the residue of snails, their trail. It’s really good for your skin, but so gross. At night I use a sheet mask.”
What’s funny is how acutely aware she was about just how much effort she needed to put into taking care of her skin with a multi-step Korean-inspired skincare regimen. “I feel like I should just stick to my two-step routine which is just wash and then moisturise, but we’ll see,” she quipped.
We haven’t gotten any updates on her skincare routine since, so, whether you want to follow in her Korean ritual footsteps or take her otherwise fuss-free two-step approach to skincare – it’s a gamble and entirely up to you.
Sheet masks, for sure
In an Instagram reel by Lionsgate, Rina Sawayama takes us through how she’s getting ready for the John Wick: Chapter 4 premiere (her first movie premiere!) and one key step in the preparation process is slapping a sheet mask on.
So many other celebrities swear by sheet masks – it’s a wonder we’re still surprised that this skincare step makes up the Akira-actress’ routine.
She massages her face
In the same Instagram reel, Rina Sawayama has her face massaged by an esthetician as part of her John Wick: Chapter 4 premiere prep.
Face massages are known to encourage lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling and puffiness. They also boost blood circulation, which stimulates collagen production; it’s why it’s normal to see plumper, more youthful-looking skin after a satisfying facial massage too.
She steams her vocal cords for a smoother voice
We admit: it’s our first time hearing of vocal steaming, but that’s exactly what Rina Sawayama did when prepping for the John Wick: Chapter 4 premiere. “It’s meant to be really good for your throat,” she laughs, holding up the oddly-shaped vessel that she uses to steam her vocal cords.
Vocal steaming involves inhaling steam from heated water, which can help to moisten and soothe the vocal folds. We mean, she’s a singer with a powerful voice, an actress with hundreds of lines to recite, and a superstar with lots of interviews to do, so we’ll take it from her when she says a vocal steamer works wonders.
Sunscreen’s a must
If there’s one rule to stick to in skincare, it would be to wear sunscreen. Rina Sawayama said it herself: “Don’t smoke. Don’t drink alcohol excessively. Always wear sunscreen!”
Sembei’s a potentially healthy snack
Rina Sawayama never declared that sembei, Japanese rice crackers, are her favourite snack because they’re a healthier option – but it just so happens that these rice crackers are relatively low in fat and calories.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends aiming for about 150 to 250 calories per snack – even to satisfy your cravings but not too much to curb your appetite during your next meal or add too many calories to your diet.
A 28-gram pack of Japanese rice crackers, on average, contains 110 calories and one gram of fat.
“My go-to snack is fish floss. When I’m around other people, probably some sembei, which is like Japanese crackers,” she smiled. “It’s so crunchy […] My mom’s cracked her teeth on it before – that’s when you know it’s good.”
Dress the part for a confidence boost
Rina Sawayama looks so natural and glamorous on the red carpet, you’d hardly guess that she has to make the effort to portray a confident version of herself.
But dressing the part helps her to feel the part – a tip that we’re bookmarking in our minds for when we meet with intimidating social scenarios. After all, confidence is a beautiful look in any situation.
“It doesn’t come naturally to me to talk to people I don’t know or be in a big crowd,” Rina Sawayama revealed to Vogue France in a get-ready-with-me video for the Paris Fashion Week in Balenciaga. “So I always have to like muster up the courage inside me.”
“I used to think people were really cool because they’re mysterious, but what I’ve learnt is that most mysterious people are just shy. But usually when I have a face on and I have my hair on, and my clothes are on, I feel pretty invincible, to be honest,” she shrugged.
Truly, “fake it till you make it” has never been more fashionable.
Featured image credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate, @rinasawayama/Twitter
Related read: Steal these beauty tips from The Glory’s Song Hye-kyo – one of them includes washing her face with milk!