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.
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.
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.
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.