common makeup products are made to add color only on skin that
is alive, but the skin of the deceased is very dry.
if you touch it, the skin may even peel off.
heavily applied makeup makes the deceased appear as if they
were wearing a mask – with too much glittery eyeshadow on the
eyelids and coatings of thick foundation on the face…
japanese funeral makeup artist kotoko sato has pioneered a line of
cosmetics for the recently departed. together with the beauty-products
maker falf inc., sato developed the makeup line in 2006 and since then
has been teaching aspiring morticians in Japan how to give the
deceased a final makeover.
sato worked as graphic artist and makeup designer in new york
for tommy boy music, the record label of bad-boy bands and
as a freelancer, she did makeup for actors in independent movies.
when she showed her father, yoshinobu sato, a doctor of forensic
medicine and professor at kyorin university in tokyo, pictures of her
handiwork in a movie where the actors had to appear bruised or
dead, he reacted in a way that she hadn’t expected at all:
‘my father asked, ‘if you can make people look like they are dead,
could you also make the deceased look alive?’
sato after returning to japan in 2003, discovered that there were no
cosmetics products for the dead and approached cosmetic-maker
falf from shibuya ward in tokyo, to produce her new cosmetics line,
‘delfino’. the name – which means dolphin in italian – was chosen
because it is believed that the sea mammal has a healing touch.
falf had already developed the compound to use in antibacterial and
deodorizing sprays for facilities such as hospitals and hotels.
the new cosmetic line includes a lotion that moistens the skin and
a antibacterial foaming soap that cleans and deodorizes the body
and hair on corpses. (portrait image of kotoko sato by eriko arita)
via japantimes