#IRL: Tokyo Drifter

In celebration of our 2nd year as a publication, we're bringing you a cinematic beauty editorial and a new series, #IRL. Want to see more? Click here

In 1965, studio executives told Japanese filmmaker Seijun Suzuki to tone down his signature style. They even gave him a smaller budget to hamper his creativity. He ignored them and in 1966 released his masterpiece, Tokyo Drifter. The jazzy, technicolor yakuza film is visually stunning, slightly parodical, and years ahead of its time. 

Today, we're showing you four make-up looks inspired by Suzuki and cinematographer Shigeyoshi Mine, who brought us one of the most evocative films of the 20th century.  


Leslie is wearing Au Naturale Cosmetics' cream foundation in Lucerne and cream concealer in Oaxaca. We created a neutral base by lightly sweeping a powder blush in Apricot on the cheeks. Finally, Rose Gold highlighter was patted on the upper cheek bone and then buffed in. We lined her eyes with All Day Gel Eyeliner and combed her eyelashes with natural mascara.

We also used cream shadows throughout so it was important to prep the eyes for longevity.

TO PREP: First, dab Root's Prime + Conceal Corrector onto your lids with your fingers. This is a fantastic dupe for Urban Decay's primer potion. Leslie is wearing the shade Medium. 

Then, lightly press a matte "nude" shade like Matilda all over your lid with a wide eyeshadow brush. 

EYE LOOK #1: Finally, using a cream shadow brush, firmly press Gold all over the lid, going up into the crease. Blend out into the brow bone with your finger tips. Lightly, tap on a similar toned loose eyeshadow (like Gold Charm) to set.

TOP RIGHT: Change up the look by switching to a deep wine color like Spanish Rose


EYE LOOK #2: In the film, main character Tetsu roams Tokyo, avoiding Yakuza assassins and the life he has left behind. 

If you plan on doing a bit of your own night drifting (too much?), press a dark blue cream shadow on top of the existing gold, just before the crease. Let the gold cream shadow be your transition shade and blend with your fingertips, using very little pressure. You don't want to disturb the preservative layers underneath too much.

Keep your look from budging by again placing a similar loose eyeshadow (like Varsity Blue) all over. 

Top with a shiny red lip gloss and you're ready for the next bar brawl. 

EYE LOOK #3: Change this look again by smoking out your lower lash line with an olive green cream shadow. The green and blue play so well with Leslie's brown eyes - it's probably our favorite iteration.  

To keep the look feeling warm and reminiscent of 1960's Japan, we added Instinct, a creamy brown lipstick by Axiology. 

Three eyeshadows, four very distinctive lip looks; which combination is your favorite? 

A big shout out to Au Naturale Cosmetics, Axiology, and Root for keeping us well-stocked with palm-oil free and vegan makeup. Having beauty products on hand for every person in our studio is important to us but not financially feasible, so we can't thank them enough.

Very 1960's Japan  and  1990's US. Weird, huh?

This editorial was photographed by SB Head Photographer Mika Locklear. Makeup by Magdalena Antuña. Production assistance by Made Claire and Sydney Huddleston. Our model was the stunning Leslie Lozano of Boss Babes.