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Tokyo cafe wins crowdfunding for girls without makeup

Proving change can be more than cosmetic, a Japanese cafe staffed by girls without makeup is about to open a second branch, thanks to crowdfunding.

Billed as the world’s first “no-makeup cafe bar”, Naturalia opened in the Hokkaido capital city of Sapporo in October 2015, promoting the concept of natural beauty in a society obsessed with makeup, manicures and even fake eyelids, reports Rocket News 24.

Naturalia - Tokyo cafe 3

To make the move to Tokyo and spread the no-makeup trend, the cafe set up a crowdfunding campaign. The support has been overwhelming, its online crowdfunding page raising ¥955,000 (US$8578), exceeding its initial target goal of ¥500,000 by 191 per cent.

Naturalia - Tokyo cafe 1

This means Naturalia will be able to open its second cafe, in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka, on Monday.

Meanwhile, supporters will be offered special commemorative party nights, all-you-can drink opportunities and branded t-shirts in return for their contributions.

It all started when two staff members unveiled plans for the new cafe on YouTube, asking for support while mentioning they are completely makeup-free, except for their eyebrows, that would otherwise be virtually non-existent without a little pencil-shaping.

Naturalia - Tokyo cafe

Ordinary girls

According to the cafe owners, the concept for a makeup-free team came about after they became tired of encountering girls with lots of makeup, blonde-dyed hair and overly manicured fake nails working at cafes and bars in Sapporo. Unable to find a place where the staff looked like ordinary girls, they thought to create one instead.

To maintain their “natural” image, the girls hired to work at the cafe are non-smokers who do not have previous night work experience in cabarets or bars, and who do not have excessively dyed hair or garish manicures.

Naturalia’s Shibuya outlet will have bar-style seating in a stylish, dimly lit interior. While the hours and charges for the new cafe bar are yet to be revealed, the Sapporo location is open from 3pm to midnight every day with a ¥500 entry fee, and a system that offers 10 minutes of all-you-can drink beverages at a cost of ¥300 for men and ¥200 for women.

Entry charges and hourly fee systems are not uncommon for themed establishments like maid cafes in Japan, but at the no-makeup cafe the focus is on far less theatrical interaction with a staff of more natural-looking girls.

Images from Rocket News 24.

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