CURRENTLY COVETING

Just landed at MECCA: Tatcha skin care
by Victoria Tsai

There’s no questioning the conviction of American-born Victoria Tsai. On a trip to Kyoto, Tsai became so inspired by the beauty secrets she gleaned from modern-day geishas, she left her corporate job and created skin care brand Tatcha—even selling her engagement ring to fund the launch. “I miss that ring, I am not even going to pretend,” she said. But the entrepreneur can take some consolation. Tatcha has become one of the world’s most celebrated skin care brands and it has just landed in Australia.

So what was it that sparked this life-changing event for Tsai? In deep struggle with hardcore dermatitis (and modern-life corporatitis), she travelled the East to find a more whole-life, diet and ingredient-focused take on skin care. Long search short, she met a modern-day geisha in Kyoto who showed her the Miyakofuzoku kewaiden - a traditional beauty playbook that geisha have used for centuries. Tsai’s dermatitis split and the spark for a skin care line was lit.

“The best word to describe how I felt when I met the geisha is kensho—it’s a Japanese word that refers to a flash of inspiration. It feels like you can almost see your future with utter clarity,” she said.

“It opened my eyes to a completely different way to think about beauty, inside and out.”

Every Tatcha formula, crafted in labs in Japan and the US, riffs on the three anti-ageing, antioxidant superfoods that form the basis of geisha beauty philosophy: green tea, rice and algae. Tatcha calls this trinity the Hasadasei-3 Complex. The idea is, they fiddle with the original rituals as little as possible while warp-speeding things up because, truly, she who is not geisha does not have time.

“We also create all formulas from scratch, like a couture dress. I work with skin care scientists at The Tatcha Institute to examine each ingredient before we formulate with it. We have a long list of ‘no-no’ ingredients that we won’t use to keep our formulas clean and pure.”

You may be familiar with the brand through its mega-popular Blotting Papers which have been available in Australia for six years but now we can luxuriate in the complete skin care collection including cult product Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, a delicate mist moisturiser that spikes hydration and glow faster than a Shinkansen bullet train without breaks – over makeup, under sunscreen, overnight, everywhere. There’s also a traditional resurfacing tonic called The Essence that softens and boosts the impact of serums and moisturiser in seven seconds. We’ve officially traded our gritty old scrub for Tatcha’s elegantly powerful Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder exfoliant and, if you’re into purification, it’s time you did the “Kyoto cleanse”, a makeup- pulverising, pore-purifying routine with the delightful Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. The whole mo-chi ha-da (Japanese ritual) clocks in under five minutes. We’re in.


Story by Tracey Withers.

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