Shiseido is a Japanese titan in the beauty industry, but it has long been a brand closely associated with skincare. This synonymity exists for good reason. Shiseido’s skincare line melds Japanese technology with potent ingredients for prime results, and its seat at the top is unshakeable. While its products are cutting edge, Shiseido has never been a name you’d particularly associate with edginess, until the most recent overhaul of its makeup arm.

Visually, the new makeup series sets itself apart, where angular black and red packaging with clear accents make the lines pop on the shelves like a sleek army, but it isn’t just a façade change. Instead of being categorised into products for the eyes, lips, face and the like, Shiseido has moved into sorting products by textures. This underscores the new direction the brand is heading towards, the feel of the product on skin governs the formula of the 16 new products that will debut.

The collection across the board.

The categories are now labelled “dews” for highlighting products, “inks” for the highly pigmented coloured liners, “gels” for lipsticks and balms, and finally, “powders” for eyeshadows, bronzers and blushes. A total of 125 new shades will hit the market, which is very comprehensive since Asian beauty developers have tended to play safe with slim collections of neutrals and pinks.

Textural innovation goes a notch further, as the refreshed line will include star items like its Whipped Powder Blush, a hybrid formula between a mousse and a gel that delivers a natural flush to the cheek that stays on for hours. There is also its Modern Matte Powder Lipstick, which is anything but powdery. Instead, the highly-pigmented formula delivers a punch of colour to the pout without feeling heavy or applying patchy, as most matte lipsticks are wont to do.

Korean beauty celebrity Pony for Shiseido. (Photo: @ponysmakeup)

Backing the massive launch are a number of unexpected creative artists who are now faces for Shiseido, including singer Banks, ballet dancer Sonya Mizuno and YouTube makeup sensation, Pony, who has taken on the role as Shiseido Makeup’s Asia Pacific Ambassador. No longer is the label playing it safe and pooling from the Japanese landscape — they are blurring the lines between grit and glamour to deliver a contemporary identity we’re only too excited for.

Experience the new Shiseido makeup line in person at their pop-up boutique, held at Basement 4 of Ion Orchard until 26 August 2018.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.