When Shu Uemura's first cleansing oil debuted in 1967, it wasn't easily adopted by Japanese women, who doubted the use of messy oil to wash the face.
The legendary make-up artist however believed in his oil-based cleanser called Unmask, which worked wonders in removing heavy on-screen make-up of Hollywood actresses when he worked in the US.
After Japan, the cleansing oil was introduced to women across the world while establishing itself as a beauty must-have over the next 46 years.
The spring 2013 collection of beauty oil and make-up celebrates the roots of the Japanese brand with packaging featuring the Unmask logo.
Emphasising that beautiful make-up starts with beautiful skin, the late Shu Uemura pointed out that the most important step in skincare is cleansing.
"The skin is endowed with many functions to preserve its beauty. But one thing it cannot do is cleanse itself," he said. "The beauty of cleansing oil is that it is the most effective way to remove impurities and it creates the best skin condition."
Containing specially selected oils and natural ingredients, oil cleansers can help remove make-up, dead skin cells, excess sebum and impurities from pores while respecting the skin's natural moisture balance.
Moreover, the limited edition of five formulae cater for different skin concerns. The brightening cleansing oil for example contains a vitamin C derivative and a mix of fruit acid whereas the pore clarifying formula features a sakura extract.
When in a good condition, the skin becomes a smooth canvas for applying make-up to get the Shu Uemura spring 2013 look, which plays with pastel floral shades and diverse textures to freshen up the face.
This season, matte eyeshadows give a warmer and softer impression than pearl or glitter textures. A pearly eyeliner is then used to define the eyes as an accent that contrasts with the matte eyelids.
"I imagined sunshine filtering through foliage, a ray of light illuminating flower pastels, or the radiance of drops of morning dew on petals," Yuji Asano, the brand's international chief make-up artist said of the contrasting matte and pearly eye make-up.
The same trick can also be used on the lips by applying two different textured lipsticks, with the matte texture on the corners of the mouth and the shiny texture on the center, to enhance the lips and add dimension.
Cheeks, on the other hand, glow with a combination of pink and orange hues.
"The charm of the spring look is flushed-looking cheeks. Use pink, and for a very fresh glow; follow with orange for the warmer shadow for a fresh and cute impression," said Asano.
THE SAKE OF EXTRACTION
By chance, observing the youthful-looking hands of old sake brewery workers, Japanese scientists assumed that the yeast fermentation process was also brewing a potential anti-ageing compound which could be used in skincare.
Centella Essence partners with Pitera for the Golden Regenerating Complex in the new LXP Ultimate Perfecting Essence.
After beginning work in 1970, the research and development culminated in the yeast derivative Pitera, which became the signature ingredient in Facial Treatment Essence and other SK-II skincare products.
This year, the Japanese brand celebrates the 10th anniversary of its presence in the Thai market, where the beauty essence containing a concentration of more than 90% Pitera continues to be a bestseller.
Taking the so-called Miracle Water to the next level, SK-II scientists added a cooling agent to the formula for a refreshing treatment essence that would appeal to men.
The SK-II Men line was launched in Thailand in October.
The latest version of the Miracle Water, LXP Ultimate Perfecting Essence has been enhanced with Centella asiatica extract known for its skin treatment and wound healing properties. While found in Asia, the Centella asiatica was actually sourced from Madagascar. The medicinal herb grown on that island is believed to provide a more potent extract than elsewhere in the world.
The leaves are transported to France for the extraction of Centella Essence, which partners with Pitera for the Golden Regenerating Complex in the new beauty essence. SK-II's priciest range, the LXP Ultimate series sells for 9,500 to 12,100 baht, and includes the essence, serum and cream. The price tag is justified by a higher performance as the LXP Ultimate Perfecting Essence is claimed to promote 200% more hydration than the original Facial Treatment Essence.
The luxurious LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream with a relaxing rose aroma.
About the author
- Writer: Noko