ai love music

How Should I Put On My Make-Up?

Cover art for "Make-up Shadow" by Yosui Inoue

Happy #SongLyricsSunday! This week’s prompt is all about finding songs or lyrics with “make” or “fix” in them. When I read the host’s post for the prompt, he was talking about make-up. I was going to pick songs with make in it, but when used make-up in his post, I had to feature one of my favorite songs: “Make-up Shadow” by Yosui Inoue. Inoue has been compared to Paul McCartney and Roy Orbson. Find out why and a little about “Make-up Shadow” below.

Who is Yosui Inoue?

Inoue is one of the most important musicians of Japanese music. The Japanese musician is called the “Emperor of Japanese Folk-rock”. He is well-known for his eccentric lyrics, his trademark look with sunglasses, and his unique tone. His father wanted his son to take over the family business of dentistry, but Inoue wanted to be a musician and was influenced by the likes of The Beatles.

He released his first song “Candre Mandre” in 1969. He actually first recorded in his house in order to be played on a radio program. It got popular, all thanks to his friends always calling in and requesting, and he released it as a single. He moved to Polydor Records two years later and became a megastar. His 1973 album Koori no Sekai (Ice World) was in the top 10 for 113 weeks and was the first album to sell over a million copies in Japan.

He has released several hits in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. Inoue has also helped his former backing band Anzen Chitai gain their own success with their own music, especially with songs like “Wine Red no Kokoro”. He also has written songs for other artists like Shinji Sawada, PUFFY, and Seri Ishikawa (his wife). Ishikawa and Inoue’s daughter (Sarasa Ifu) is a singer-songwriter that has released her own music.

Glitter Blue, Sapphire Ruby, and Summer Shadow

“Make-up Shadow” is Inoue’s 33rd single that was released on July 21, 1993. It was used as the theme song for the Fuji TV drama Subarashiki Kana Jinsei (It’s a Wonderful Life) which stars Atsuko Asano, Yuji Oda, Yasuko Tomita, and Natsumi Nanase. The song was also featured in a 2006/2007 commerical for the Toyota Pride.

The single reached #2 on the weekly Oricon charts and #23 on the year-end charts. It also won the award for Best Arraignment at the 35th Japan Record Awards.

I always like “Make-up Shadow” for the lyrics and the melodies. I love the build-up from the verses to the chorus. How about you: What do you like about Yosui Inoue’s tune? Listen below and let me know in the comments!

The opening for the TV drama Subarashiki Kana Jinsei with the song:

Here is a 2007 Toyota commercial with the song:

Lyrics for “Make-Up Shadow”

Here are the English translation of the lyrics. thanks to

Applying natural lipstick for the very first time
I reveal my blushing face to the pretend-adult world
Overtly peeking at the stars and the moon
I feel the alluring rhythm of this sombre gaze

The yearning
Covered with the clear rambling summer shadow
I’m just having a dream, laughing
A cinematic dream
This is paradise, Hollywood
Crashing into people, love blooms

Today something mixed real and surreal
Into a blue shadow
Turning into a pair of leopards’ sapphire-ruby
Concealing our kiss
In a make-up shadow
In a make-up shadow

Inside of a gaze that only exists in my dreams
There is a world hidden in an uncertain tinge
Locking eyes while making love, the anticipation and mystery
Silently mix into an eternal rhythm

In the twilight
All sorts of lonely summer shadows
Captivate my heart, without fail
Rain amidst a date
This is a fairy tale, Hard Rain
Waiting for a boyfriend to appear, I happened upon him

Today as well something mixed real and surreal
Into a blue shadow
Through that somewhat cowardly Eliza’s blue glitter
Like the enchanting charm of an eye’s pupil,
From a corpuscle’s faintest shadow
Turning into a pair of leopards’ sapphire-ruby
Concealing our kiss
In a make-up shadow
In a make-up shadow
In a make-up shadow
In a make-up shadow

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