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Lucy Shaw approaches her job with the insight of a teacher, the curiosity of a scientist and the zeal of a cheerleader. As MECCA’s skin whisperer, Shaw is a master of moisturisers, a devotee of devices and a sage when it comes to serums, scrubs and sheet masks. Her latest skincare obsession? Shiseido. We recently added the Japanese powerhouse to MECCA, and asked Shaw to nominate her top five products. No matter whether they’re used individually or curated as a regime, they have the potential to reinvigorate your skincare routine.
If you’re searching for a new cleanser designed for oily and blemish-prone skin, this refreshing foaming formula is instilled with purifying granules to lift away sebum, impurities and makeup. “It’s a bit of an unsung hero in the Shiseido lineup,” says Shaw, who is impressed by its ability to cleanse deeply without stripping skin. Botanical ingredients including rice germ oil and peony root ensure your complexion feels hydrated after use. “I love that I get the benefits of a balancing and moisturising cleanser with the clean-feeling consistency of a foam,” she adds.
What is a softener? We’ve previously explored this unique J-beauty step, but these silky emulsions prep and plump skin before your serum application. “I use it every morning and evening after cleansing,” Shaw says. “Because of their generous size I feel like I can be more liberal with softeners. I drench my skin in them before applying other products, focusing on the delicate neck area and decolletage.” Shaw’s softener pick is infused with a cocktail of age-defying actives derived from Japanese ingredients. “It uses enmei herb, which helps to heal and regenerate skin.”
After softening comes strengthening. This in-demand serum, suitable for all skin types, helps bolster skin against daily damage. It’s fortified with antioxidant-rich extracts of reishi mushroom and iris root, so that skin can better protect itself from the visible signs of ageing. “We constantly focus on our inner health and immunity but the same applies to your skin,” says Shaw. “This serum improves the way your skin functions, the way it defends itself against pollution and other external factors, and also how quickly it bounces back when something goes wrong.” The airy formula means it can slip easily into an existing routine and function as a booster for other serums.
Brace yourself: There are six types of wrinkles that can form in the orbital area. Who knew? We didn’t but Shiseido has identified each interloper, from corner crinkles to crow’s feet, and proposed a solution for fending them all off. This multitasking cream, supported with an array of revitalising actives including an algae complex, addresses the causes of these pesky creases and helps improve loss of firmness. “It plumps, repairs and illuminates the skin,” says Shaw. “The texture is amazingly nourishing too. It’s super creamy, is slightly light-reflecting and looks like a beautiful highlight on the upper cheekbone.” Shaw adds that she relies on it day and night for her bright eyes.
Like a morning espresso, Shiseido’s Essential Energy capsule purports to wake your skin up. There are three peppy moisturisers in the range: a cooling gel, a glowy cream and this version, which comes with a lick of sun-protection. Shaw is a fan of the way the formula juxtaposes lightweight texture with heavyweight technology. “ReNeura is Shiseido’s patented technology that helps my skin adapt to its natural habitat and protect itself from the outside world,” she says. The cream is gossamer enough to sit under her makeup, but “shields my skin from aggressive air con and the sun’s rays.” The product’s white jar, inspired by ceramics used in Japanese tea ceremonies, comes in 64 iterations. Cue the Shiseido shelfie.
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