Beauty masters

When Arinobu (Yushin) Fukuhara established Shiseido in 1872, he had 
the view to combine Eastern aesthetics with Western science and culture. 
Now, more than a century later, Fukuhara’s pioneering foundations continue to serve as the underlying philosophy of the company.

At the age of 23 Fukuhara 
established Shiseido, the first Western-style pharmacy in Japan. Fukuhara founded the company as a way to help improve the quality of medicine available in Japan at the time and to introduce a system that separated medicine dispensary and medical practice.

The name “Shiseido” was inspired by a verse in a classical Chinese poem: “Praise the virtues of the great Earth, which nurtures new life and brings forth new values.” The name also reflected Fukuhara’s desire to revitalise Japanese culture and he adopted the slogan “Oriental spirit, Western learning”.

Fukuhara’s strong interest in the fusion of Eastern and Western medicine began as a child, influenced by his grandfather, a traditional oriental practitioner, and continued when he later studied Western pharmaceuticals.

At the age of 18 Fukuhara’s interest was recognised by the head of Jun Matsumoto military hospital, where he gained permission to study at the Tokyo Medical School (now the faculty of Medicine at Tokyo University). Upon graduating, Fukuhara became head of pharmacy at a navy hospital.

In its early days Shiseido gained a broad reputation as a trustworthy, reliable pharmacy. Success, however, did not come easily as the company represented an entirely new kind of enterprise in Japan. From 1878 Shiseido manufactured, marketed and sold pharmaceutical products, introducing a hair-restoring product and breath fresheners in 1880 and, later in 1884,  indigestion lozenges. Shiseido’s policy at the time to keep pharmacy and medical practice separate led to the pharmaceutical business treating patients at Tokyo Hospital. Patients tended to 
be from the upper classes, which served 
to strengthen the Shiseido name.

During the late 1880s, the Japanese Government was enthusiastically adopting various aspects of Western culture, particularly industrial practices, to promote modernisation in Japan. 
This radical change also saw Japanese women wearing clothes inspired by fashions in the US and Europe, including bustle skirts and chignon hairstyles.

From ancient times in Japan, white face powder had been traditionally used on women’s skin. Geisha were (and still are) known for their “porcelain white” skin, which is said to represent grace, beauty and high social status. However, once Japanese women began wearing Western-style clothing, the desire for Western make-up also grew.

To meet that desire and to create 
a more natural-looking skin tone, in 1906 Shiseido introduced two types of tinted face powder: yellow and beige tint. Later, in 1917, the Shiseido Rainbow Face Powder (which featured seven hues) was launched to offer the “stylish and outgoing woman” of the time a range 
of colours to suit her complexion.

These more modern and natural-looking powders are said to have become popular among the geisha of Shimbashi as a means of projecting an appealing image under harsh lighting.



Before Western fashion and make-up practices were adopted, Japanese women did not wash their hair frequently but instead used liberal amounts of hair oil. Not only were these hairstyles expensive and time-consuming, foreigners visiting the country also complained about the smell. Shiseido’s new and improved Hanakatsura hair oil was introduced 
in 1898 and was advertised as “the ideal hair oil for the new generation”. It was well suited to the Western-inspired chignon hairstyle and did not leave 
a bad-smelling, sticky film on the hair. 
As the main ingredient in Hanakatsura was pure camellia oil, Shiseido adopted the camellia design as its trademark.

Shiseido’s first toothpaste, Fukuhara Sanitary Toothpaste, was introduced to the Japanese market in 1888. It was sold as a hard cake and was applied by rubbing a toothbrush on the cake. The only other oral hygiene product at the time was a powder comprising burnt salt and processed limestone. The primitive crushing technology used to make the powder meant it was very coarse and often damaged the teeth. Shiseido’s smooth, safe formula provided a welcome alternative for the Japanese market.


As with its pharmaceuticals, Shiseido aimed to use scientific methods to develop high-quality cosmetic products. Eudermine, from the Greek word eu, or good, and derma, or skin, heralded the beginning of Shiseido’s cosmetics business in 1897. Using a vivid red wine colour, Eudermine skin lotion was packaged in a symmetrical glass bottle with a spherical stopper for application and a red ribbon around the neck. The product was a huge success, which led to its affectionate nickname, “Shiseido’s Red Water”. Eudermine, improved with scientific advances, is still available today.

As Fukuhara made more overseas trips, a stronger knowledge of Western cosmetics became apparent. Japanese perfumes had previously been imported from Paris or were made from floral imitations. Inspired by the US and Europe, Shiseido released a range of scents, including plum flower, wisteria, lily of the valley, violet, jasmine and heliotrope. Using scents from Japanese flowers, Shiseido fragrances were packaged in bottles with a high-quality cut-glass appearance and had the product’s name and flower design emblazoned in gold leaf. The stopper looked like an ornamental hairpin and was designed for applying the perfume.


Shiseido has long been a provider of cultural information as well as cosmetics. During the early 1900s the company worked to spread the latest fashion information beyond the streets of the Ginza district, holding lectures and demonstrations on new hairstyles and cosmetic application in major cities across Japan. In 1924, Makeup, a pamphlet containing 70 pages, featured beauty treatments and cosmetics and outlined how to use soap, lotion, cream, powder, 
a toothbrush, perfume and hair products.

Ladies’ Pocketbook, a compact 
233-page book full of photographs and illustrations, was published in 1927 (and sold for 50 yen a copy). The book described Western life and culture, which were then unfamiliar to Japanese people. It covered a wide range of topics, from manners and customs in foreign countries to Western motion pictures.


In 1934, nine women made their debut as Miss Shiseido. These women conducted shopfront consultations and were the forerunners of today’s beauty consultants. The nine women were chosen from 
240 women who responded to a newspaper advertisment for “women from respectable families”. The women underwent seven months’ training and studied beauty techniques, make-up science, dermatology, physiology, public speaking, fashion, singing and Western art.

The first engagement for the Miss Shiseido women was a stage play titled Theatre of Modern Beauty, which opened throughout Japan. The play was a success throughout regional Japan and was used by Shiseido as a way to show audiences the latest beauty methods and techniques. Once the curtain came down the Miss Shiseido women quickly changed into their uniforms and provided beauty counselling and written prescriptions.


Fast-forward to 1964 when all of Japan was in a state of excitement over the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and the economy was continuing to grow at an extremely rapid pace.

The average Japanese family aspired to own the “three Cs” – colour television, car and (air)conditioner – while the post-war baby boom generation began to attend university.

With oriental decor all the rage in 
the US and Europe, and with the Olympics being held in Tokyo, Shiseido introduced its Zen fragrance to develop its overseas markets.

Still heavily influenced by US fashion and culture, Shiseido made the eyes 
the focus of make-up trends in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Shiseido’s false eyelash kit, Accent on Lashes, was introduced in 1969.

The key to re-creating a foreign-looking face was to keep lip colour subtle while emphasising the eyes by applying false eyelashes to the upper and lower lash lines, outlining the crease of the eyelid with a double line of eyeliner and lining the eyelids themselves.


In 1971 Shiseido was launched in New Zealand. Following the overwhelming success of Moisture Mist sales, New Zealand is now the only market in the world that offers the product, which is specially formulated to suit the skin of New Zealand women, with all product testing completed in Auckland.

What started as a private Western-style pharmacy in Japan’s Ginza district has proven to be a success on all fronts. Today, Shiseido is in the business of cosmetics, salons, pharmaceuticals, toiletries and nutritional products. 
It has an international presence in 
50 countries with about 25,000 outlets.

Despite facing a range of cultural boundaries for more than a century, Shiseido has continued to triumph in the cosmetics industry and is now the leading cosmetics company in Japan and one of the largest in the world.

Bright eyes

All skin is not created equal. You only 
need to compare 
the skin on the 
soles of your feet with that on your thighs to see 
the difference.

The skin on your face is equally variable. While your nose and cheeks tend to have particularly active sebaceous glands, the skin around your eyes has virtually no sebaceous glands, which makes it prone to dryness. This delicate part of the face is also 10 times thinner than other facial zones, making it one of the first places to show signs of ageing. Facial expressions, which put strain on the eye area, as well as external factors such as exposure to UV rays, pollution and smoking, result in fine lines and wrinkles. 

The solution to signs of ageing around the eyes? Take extra care by applying eye creams day and night, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding sun exposure, managing stress, eating well and exercising. Prevention is easier than cure, but it’s never too late to make a difference.


By Rosanna Marks
, Estée Lauder education manager

• Eye creams are essential for the delicate skin around the eyes. They are hydrating, highly effective and extremely gentle formulas that target specific concerns of the eye area.

• Choose an eye cream that addresses your particular needs; for example, dryness, puffiness, dark circles, fine lines or wrinkles.

• Don’t apply too much eye cream as it can accumulate under the skin, resulting in precisely the effect you are trying to avoid, such as puffiness, bags and sagging. Use a tiny dot of product for both eyes.

• Use an eye cream that is ophthalmologist and/or dermatologist tested.

• Look for eye creams that contain SPF for sun protection during the day, though if you have sensitive eyes this could cause irritation. Always protect your eyes with sunglasses when you are outdoors.

• Never use your regular moisturiser around the eye area; 
it isn’t designed for that purpose.


By Karen BarlowLancôme training manager

• Apply eye cream each day
after cleansing, both morning 
and night.

• Gently pat the eye cream evenly around the orbital bone (eye socket) starting below the eye at the inner corner and moving outwards. This technique helps to drain excess toxins and fluids from the eye area rather than push them back into the skin.

• Don’t apply eye cream to your eyelids as they have their own natural oils. You can, however, apply a small amount along the top of the orbital bone, just below the brow, as this area can suffer from dryness.

• Use your ring finger or middle finger to apply eye cream as these fingers will apply less pressure than the others.

• Take extra time each night for your eye skincare. Very gently massage eye cream around the eye area to stimulate blood flow, which will help to minimise dark circles and puffiness.


Eye concealer is a magic tool that can rapidly reduce the signs of sleepless nights and early mornings. Use it to diminish shadows, dark circles, pigmentation, fine lines and imperfections. “When choosing concealers, most people select products that are too light,” says Anna Hardman, national training and promotions consultant for Revlon New Zealand.

“This only exacerbates the problem, as the lighter something is, the more accentuated and pronounced it becomes.” Choose a concealer that perfectly matches your skin tone and use it only where you need 
it rather than cover the entire 
eye area.

To apply, use an applicator brush or gently press and pat the concealer on your skin with your fingertips until it is well blended. Cream or liquid concealers are the easiest formulas to blend. Some concealers are designed to cover and fill in fine lines, such as Revlon’s Age Defying Wrinkle Eraser (RRP $32), but beware powder concealers as they can settle into the wrinkles around the eyes, which accentuates rather than hides them.

While there is much debate about whether to apply concealer before or after foundation around the eyes, Hardman suggests using specially formulated eye concealer, as most foundations are not designed for the eye’s delicate skin.


There’s a golden rule when it comes to eye make-up: it should never compete with the colour of your eyes or lipstick. You need to choose eye shadows and eyeliners that suit your eye colour, skin tone and hair colour. If you want a dramatic look, decide which feature you want to emphasise – either your eyes or your lips – but never both.


Eye shadow can be applied in many ways depending on the desired look. As a basic rule, it needs a dry surface so it doesn’t melt or crease during the day.

Apply a primer such as bareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer (RRP $45) or a base layer of powder eye shadow. Don’t use foundation on the eyelids as it will create too much oiliness, causing a landslide of eye shadow.

Choosing shades of eye shadow that suit you depends on the warmth or coolness of your skin, whether your eyes are deep-set (light-hued shades will make your eyes appear bigger) and your hair, eye and eyebrow colour. Eye shadow colour should never be chosen to match the colour of your clothes.


Eye shadow can help enhance your natural eye colour. Try these shades:

Blue eyes – grey, violet, taupe, purple, deep blue, brown and bronze.

Green eyes – brown, violet, purple, plum, deep khaki and forest green.

Brown eyes – copper, bronze, gold, rich chocolate and charcoal.


“The classic Bobbi Brown eye shadow application relies on complementary colours in three intensities of light, medium and dark,” says Kate Smith, freelance senior make-up artist for 
Bobbi Brown. “The colours worn on the lid should blend well rather than appear as three visible stripes.”

1. Light

Choose a colour that blends into your skin tone, such as bone, sand, toast or ivory. To avoid looking tired, stay clear of red tones such as pink or rose. Using a shadow brush, apply the highlighter shadow all over the eyelid from the lash line up to the brow bone.

2. Medium

Using the same brush, apply a medium-toned shadow to the eyelid, beginning at the lash line and blending upwards as far as the crease. This colour should blend well with the base colour – if it doesn’t it’s too dark.

3. Dark

Apply a dark-hued eye shadow along the top lash line with a narrow eyeliner brush. Apply it dry or dampen the brush for a darker, more dramatic effect. Be sure to tap off any excess powder before application so it doesn’t flake onto your face.


Used after applying eye shadow and before mascara, eyeliner gives your eyes definition. Apply liner to the upper and lower lash lines. Avoid applying it only to the lower lash line as this will make you look tired. While eyeliner needs to be applied as close to the lash line as possible, it should never be applied to the inside rim of your eye, as this increases the risk of infection.

With all types of eyeliner, start by lifting your chin and tilt your head back slightly as you look in the mirror. Keep your eyelid pulled down and held taut as you apply a line just above the lashes from the inner to the outer corner. Always apply the eyeliner across the whole lash line, as half a line will look unfinished. Repeat on the lower lash line.


Eyelashes serve the practical purpose of keeping debris out of your eyes, but coating them with mascara gives them another purpose – to look fabulous. Petra Rijnbeek, Lancôme national make-up artist, says that when you’re shopping for mascara you first need to decide what look you like, whether it be natural, thick or ultra-dark. She also says you must consider what your lashes need. Do they require definition, length, fullness or curl? Ask your beauty consultant to help you find the product that matches your wish list.

You can use a lash primer, such as Elizabeth Arden Lash Optimizer Primer (RRP $35), to condition the lashes and provide an undercoat for the mascara. “The best way to apply mascara is with your eyes half-closed, stroking downwards from the base of the lashes and then opening your eyes and stroking upwards from underneath the lashes,” says Rijnbeek. “Move nice and slow, letting the wand do all the work for 
you. Repeat this three or four times 
to get the desired effect.”

Dick Page, Shiseido’s make-up director, suggests that if you have thin eyelashes use black or brown mascara and apply a dot of kohl pencil between your eyelashes. “This ‘trompe l’oeil’ effect really fills them out,” he says.

Waterproof mascara is good for heavy-duty activities but is a poor choice for everyday wear as it can be difficult to remove and the formula is often drying.

Black mascara is best for definition, but women with fair skin or light lashes look most natural in brown mascara.

“The general rule is to throw out your mascara after three months from the first use,” says Rijnbeek. “A good indictor of when it’s time for it to go is when the suction seal stops making a noise or the mascara is leaving flakes on your skin.”


“Many of us take little care when removing mascara and eyeliner, which can have a damaging and ageing effect on the eyes,” says Karen Barlow of Lancôme. She suggests putting a generous amount of product, such as Lancôme Effacil Eye Make-up Remover (RRP $62), on a cotton pad (try Shiseido’s Facial Cotton, RRP $18 for 100) over your lashes, counting to 30, and wiping down and out.