Paulene L.

Articles on Shiseido

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If you ever thought that beauty is universal, you have the same mind with Shiseido’s founder, Yushin Fukuhara, whose aim was to provide universal beauty products. That goal is where the three-pronged philosophy of the brand centered. First, top-notch quality of products; second, the omonetashi or “hospitality” in Japanese; and third, the aesthetics and specific details.

Through these core values, Shiseido lasted for more than 150 years in the beauty business, concentrating on helping women achieve beauty as they want, whenever they want. Throughout the long year of its existence it focused on its areas of strength, brightening and anti-aging, to add credence to the brand name that is proudly and undoubtedly Asian.

From a pharmacy to a cosmetics empire


Arinobu (Yushin) Fukuhara, the Imperial Navy’s head pharmacist back in the 1870s, created Shiseido in Ginza district of Tokyo to bring in the idea of western pharmacy in Japan. The name itself has been inspired by a Chinese expression that translates to “all things come from mother earth”. The beginnings of the brand had a different mission in mind, yet years later, Shiseido change its entire course of sail towards a bigger and more promising future.

The venture to cosmetics started when the brand made and launched Eudermine, its very first skin lotion and one of its first products ever made. Afterwards, Shiseido wasn’t anymore keen on being a pharmacy, with the eventual fame and popularity of Eudermine. Cosmetics became its main focus, especially as ground-breaking products, such as toothpaste and white face powder, put the brand on the beauty industry map.

Marketing and international expansion

Shiseido luxurious cosmetic products in Meppen, Germany
Shiseido luxurious cosmetic products in Meppen, Germany. Credit: StudioPortoSabbia

Shinzo Fukuhara, son of the founder, later on got into the business and brought in art into the brand. He himself was a skilled photographer of art, and through his efforts, Shiseido was able to marry its cosmetics technology with art. Advertisements and marketing strategies of the brand became laden with artistic qualities that Shiseido carries until this very day.

By 1923, the demand for Shiseido peaked and prompted the launching of many stores all over Japan. A few years later, Shinzo himself took over as the first ever president of the brand during a big time of transition of the brand into becoming a joint-stock business.

From the 50s until 60s, development and production of items for a global market went on a high for Shiseido, which started its spread through major countries in the world. Starting from the USA in 1965, the brand expanded its subsidiaries to Italy in 1968, and in France and Germany by 1980. Its collaboration with Serge Lutens, a French artist who became the international image creator of the brand, further sold the refined beauty image of the brand. Lutens’ technique was geared on highlighting the artistic heritage of the brand, which proved to be an effective marketing strategy for Shiseido.

Beauty care for everyone

By 80s, the skincare line of the brand went full on, even lunching their anti-aging line before the turn of the decade. By the start of the 90s, a whole line for sun-care was introduced, followed by other lines including the fragrance line. By the start of a new millennium, Shiseido launched its ‘The Skincare’ line, the leading collection of the brand until today. Through this arsenal, the strengths of Shiseido, mainly restoration, protection and anti-aging, were combined for a line of highly effective items.

With the success of various lines of the brand, it decided to expand further into another market: gentlemen. In 2004, Shiseido released the Apes and Gentleman line, whole range of skincare including moisturiser, cleansers, and even shaving cream. The most recent line to follow this in the Zen collection.

Top products

Shiseido Cleansing Oil

Out of countless products that the brand released all throughout its years of existence, some outstanding items really made a lasting mark in the world, usually included in beauty junkies’ and makeup artists’ holy grails.

In a makeup world full of waterproof products, you’ll definitely love Shiseido’s Perfect Cleansing Oil, a makeup remover that easily takes off you make up without tugging on your skin and without stripping it off its nourishment and healthy oils. Even your pores would be sparkly clean after your final rinsing.

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Night Cream, on the other hand, stunned the world with its moisturizing power. It has a thick and rich consistency that feels luxurious in the skin at first, and ultra-hydrating as it stays on for a bit. Even high profile women love to rejuvenate their skin with this product, because it’s definitely worth the slightly steep price. Another hydration product is Shiseido’s Superior Radiance Serum. It leaves your skin looking like it has a pearl-like quality to it, silky, appropriately shiny, and bright. This serum can also reduce the visibility of pores and wrinkles.

Shiseido has come up with makeup tools that are utterly effective and very comfortable to use. Their eyelash curler, for instance, gives an outstanding curling performance that reaches even the shortest of your lashes.

More than beauty

Shiseido’s success is really unstoppable. They haven’t just maximized the opportunities inside the beauty industry, but also explored other venues to strengthen their brand and further expand their sphere of influence. The brand opened its own restaurant in Tokyo, named L’Osier, which has been rated with three Michelin stars. Aside from a restaurant, the company also owns a spa in Hong Kong called Qi Shiseido Esthetics. Does it really get any better than that?

Best Websites to Shop for Shiseido

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