Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka Reveals Beauty Routine and Unconventional Tips
In a candid revelation of self-identity, Atsuko Okatsuka, a renowned comedian, defines her unique style as “art-gallery owner.” The stand-up comic, who has been praised for her HBO special “The Intruder” by The New York Times, comes to our virtual meeting adorned with faux shrimp earrings and her iconic bowl cut. “I believe it’s quite artistic and perhaps even avant-garde, although that might be flattering myself,” she comments on her distinctive haircut.
When it comes to preparing for her shows, Okatsuka understands the importance of readiness, especially considering the unpredictability of live comedy. A 2019 viral clip shows the comedian bravely handling an unexpected earthquake during her performance. “My upbringing and chaotic childhood have equipped me to improvise,” she shares. Raised by her grandmother and often discussing her mother’s mental health challenges in her act, Okatsuka says, “I became a stand-up comedian to bring lightness to tense situations at home. So, an earthquake? My mom has schizophrenia. I can handle anything.”
However, there are elements Okatsuka can manage, and this is where her pre-show rituals come into play. “Addressing physical issues beforehand can help calm you down,” she advises. “For instance, I use a humidifier at home before bed to prevent throat dryness while performing or apply Secret antiperspirant to ensure I’m not sweating or smelling during meet and greets.”
From the use of antiperspirant to combat sweat to her grandmother’s unique advice, here are five serious beauty tips from Okatsuka.
Given that she performs multiple hour-long sets and hosts meet and greets on her current “Full Grown” comedy tour, Okatsuka often speaks for up to four hours a day. Therefore, vocal warm-ups are essential. “I do a light version of what I think others do,” she says. “I’ve started doing vocal warm-ups like I’m preparing for a Broadway show. It does help me.”
In addition to following vocal warm-up videos on YouTube, Okatsuka likes to physically prepare for her shows. “I run in place very fast and then suddenly let my arms go,” she says. “It feels like a rush. Your brain goes, ‘Ah!,’ and then you see black for a second. I’m not sure if it’s healthy, but it feels good.”
Okatsuka’s trademark hairstyle not only complements her gallery-owner aesthetic but is also a way to embrace her childhood self. Like many millennials, she was given the cut as a toddler. “It’s about accepting your true inner child and dressing in ways you really wanted to when you were younger,” she shares.
Though the women in her family never wore much makeup, Okatsuka does remember one unique beauty tip from her grandmother. “When I started growing hair under my arms, my grandma advised me to keep my arms down,” she recalls. “I questioned her about the potential odour, and she simply reiterated, ‘Just keep it down.'”
However, Okatsuka reassures us that there are products available now to address such concerns. “You don’t have to hide,” she says about the fear of sweat stains. “I’m all about being your true authentic self . . . you’re not alone. I mean, I didn’t know there was an antiperspirant that lasts for three whole days.” The comedian has recently teamed up with Secret Clinical — an antiperspirant offering 72 hours of protection — to prepare for potentially sweat-inducing moments on stage.
While mothers can offer great beauty advice, sometimes their suggestions don’t align with your needs. And that’s okay. “They have their own world,” Okatsuka says of her mom and grandmother. “My mom doesn’t really go out, and my grandma’s old school. You know, she’s telling me to keep my arms down. So I thought, ‘I think I’ll find my own path with beauty if that’s okay.’