As a twelve-year-old, I remember stealing my mom’s makeup to try to look more mature. (I only ever managed to pass for a whopping thirteen). There are certain beauty brands that I have always associated as being my mother’s makeup—luxurious brands for the impeccably pulled together woman, that seemed just a little out of my league at this twenty-something stage of life. Shiseido always fell into that category for me. Now, it’s changing.  

The Japanese skincare and cosmetic company has restarted from scratch, discontinuing their existing products and releasing a completely new makeup line. Launching globally on August 15th, the company has totally revamped its look and is simultaneously introducing 22 new products in 135 shades. (All new Shiseido products will be available in Canada, in store and online, in September.) 

An overhaul of this magnitude for an established brand is unprecedented—and risky. But the new line is designed to appeal to an even broader clientele (read: millennials like myself) says makeup artist Patrick Ta, whom Shiseido has signed on as global colour artist as part of the rebranding. 

Back in March, I sat down with Ta and the Shiseido team during their visit to Toronto. “Shiseido is doing everything different,” said Ta. “There’s never been a relaunch of a brand that has released everything at the same time. Shiseido has been around forever, so it’s great that they are not afraid of change. They are such new innovative products; I personally haven’t seen these formulas [anywhere else before].”

While the luxurious aspect of the brand is still there—the packaging is beautiful, the colour payoff is incredible—it feels more approachable. It’s the result of Shiseido’s deep dive into what consumers wanted out of their products. 

“We interviewed a thousand women around the world to determine what women are looking for in makeup, and it’s texture, colour pigmentation and blendability,” says Alice Hampton, vice president of global communication at Shiseido. “This is all incorporated throughout the new makeup line.”

Though Shiseido is indeed a Japanese brand, the makeup collection was designed out of New York City. “We have four centres of excellence now with Shiseido,” explains Hampton. “Since the Japanese are renowned for their technology and Shiseido is the leader in Asia, the Skincare Centre of Excellence remains in Japan. But we’ve realized that North Americans are true leaders in makeup, so our new Makeup Centre of Excellence is based in New York. Our Fragrance Centre of Excellence is based in Paris, given that the French are the best at fragrance, and a Digital Centre  of Excellence is based in New York as well.”

The new products—from lipsticks and blushes to mascaras and five hand-crafted Japanese brushes—are classified into four textures: gels, inks, powders and dews. Check out the full collection by texture group, below.



From left: Crystal GelGloss ($35), VisionAiry Gel Lipstick in High Rise 225 ($35) 





From left: ArchLiner Ink in Shibui Black ($32), Brow InkTrio in Blonde ($32), LacquerInk LipShine in Optic Rose 309 ($35), ImperialLash MascaraInk in Sumi Black ($34), Kajal InkArtist in Bird Green and Microliner Ink in Navy 04. 




From left: Essentialist Eye Palette in Jizoh Street Reds ($48), InnerGlow CheekPowder in Medusa Pink ($40), ModernMatte Powder Lipstick in Disrobed ($35), Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush in Sayoko ($40). 




From left: Aura Dew in Lunar, Cosmic and Solar ($38 each)




From top: Naname Fude Multi Eye Brush ($37), Hasu Fude Foundation Brush ($42), Daiya Fude Face Duo ($55), Yane Hake Precision Eye Brush ($32), Maru Fude Multi Face Brush ($45).