各ジャンルに精通する個性豊かなエディターたちが、GINZA SIXをぶらぶらと

Beauty Awakens on a Short Trip

永富 千晴


I often wander the cosmetics floor of department stores during downtime at work, taking a look at what they have to offer. Shibuya, Futako-Tamagawa, Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Ginza: Each cosmetics floor is a window into the essence of each place, of each district. It’s something you can see quite clearly reflected in the overall atmosphere of the floor.

Actually, I’m already familiar with all these products. But how do the consultants at the counters explain them? How do they lead you to greater beauty? Being able to ask “How do you do that?” to a consultant whose makeup you find is intriguing is one of the true charms of casual wanderings like this. Today, I strolled GINZA SIX, a spot second to none in popularity at this time.

The GINZA SIX cosmetics floor is renowned for dramatic boutiques deeply infused with the brands’ own worldviews. It’s also huge, which could be good and bad. But, for some reason, it’s never tiring. One of the appeals of GINZA SIX is that you come across things that make your heart swell—enough to make you forget any fatigue of mere mind or body. After enjoying some sweets at ELLE café, a favorite of mine, I begin my search at clé de peau BEAUTÉ, which presents an appearance of great elegance.

This brand is beloved by many of Japan’s celebrities and it’s the Japanese leader in progressive beauty connecting skin, heart, and mind. Connecting skin, heart, and mind? That makes some sense intuitively, but you can’t see what it’s all about by standing back and just looking.

Go ahead, take that next step forward.

Yes! My feet are light. The reason why is the plush carpet. The boutique interior was designed in collaboration with the architect Tsuyoshi Tane. You’re greeted by Brilliant Cell, a work of illuminating artistry. Since the walls incorporate a material with purifying powers, I wonder: Perhaps they cleanse one of fatigue, too? The glittering interior is unified in beige tones, just like the loveliest skin.

The design leads you deep into the space, so it can be a bit intimidating if you just want to look or  touch. But you find you’re immediately put at ease if you simply ask, “Can I take a look at this?”

Come to sit on a luxurious VIP-like sofa. As you explain all the problems your skin afflicts, receive a hand massage that incorporates the ultimate in skin care cream (la crème n, 60,000 yen; all prices before tax).

Moreover, when I hear that this luxury is a free service, I say, “You’re kidding!”—smiling wide while feeling a bit guilty about this.

Looking up at the ceiling, I feel as if your stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin, reflects the light and shines like an aurora. The hexagonal fixtures at the center of the store bring to mind a beautiful, perfect texture of skin being cultivated.

This seems to present the illusion that you yourself have become a cell in the body. It’s a wonder how it quickly evokes the thought that the skin itself was originally like this, glittering and beautiful. Perhaps this, too, is an effect of the Brilliant Cell and the walls’ purifying power.

In our normal day-to-day lives, we tend to be overpractical—to think, for example, to fix the slack here, I need to do this!—we tend to approach beauty too much with our heads. Perhaps I’m the one who’s hindering my own beauty. These misgivings occur to me. What’s dulled is my own heart. I need to imprint this heart of mine with golden, sparkling cells. Restoring forgotten hope is precisely what’s so wonderful about beauty.

I like to observe the women who serve me, a customer. If the timing had been at all different, it might have been someone else. I’m one who tends to regard such things as an aspect of fate.

We’re moving into spring, so I want my makeup to seem very natural. And when I say I’m not necessarily looking for beautiful cosmetics but for a foundation that would make my skin itself appear beautiful, I’m told, “There’s something perfect for you. Would you like to try it?” The consultant quickly checks the color that matches my skin and brings le fond de teint (30,000 yen).

Le fond de teint is a new order foundation based on a completely new aesthetic whose development began with the idea of creating a cream-based foundation with all the treatment power of la crème n. It goes on just like a cream and instantly blends in. Radiant, almost as if an aurora, the stratum corneum itself transforms into a platonic skin tone.

Perhaps you can see this from the photo; you almost can’t tell where it was applied. But the back of my hand, dry with the remains of a suntan, now has a sensual elegance and clearer and brighter radiance.

What’s more, there’s absolutely no feeling of the skin being stressed. And there’s a lasting sense of a perfectly apt skin treatment—the positives go on. “For many people, this one bottle lasts three months or more. And it has a strong reputation among women seeking to balance work and home life who don’t necessarily have time to fix their makeup or time for extensive skincare.” Once you try it, you may not go back. Coming across a foundation like this is rare, and it’s enough to recall the illusion of the divinity dwelling in your skin, a divinity beyond anything foul or profane. If you’re interested in clé de peau BEAUTÉ, I think you’ll grasp its essence if you first step into this space at GINZA SIX.

I peek into the treatment space in the rear of the boutique and see the private Synactif treatment room, available by reservation only—a room that could almost be in outer space.

On my way out, I ask the staff member who assisted me about something I’d been wondering about; how do you get your eyelashes so long and thick? Right away, she shows me a secret mascara trick. Being welcome to ask about good ways to use the products is another of the charms of actually going to the boutique. I’ve got another story idea now as well!

Next, I visit Maison DECORTÉ.

Perfectly adorable. But not a clichéd adorableness. Colors used imaginatively in ways not typically found in Japan, walls like you’ve never seen before—it’s all fantastic. More than anything, though, I love the carpet on the floor and its motif of multicolored flowers. “From the moment you step in, a journey begins to make your beauty flower…” Inspired by the power of nature and product designs by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, this supremely artistic space includes original designs as well as chairs and light fixtures that can actually be purchased at interior furnishing stores. It’s a place for dynamically experiencing the Six Senses Beauty trumpeted by Maison DECORTÉ.

The boutique space is quite wide, and it has depth as well. It’s divided into a skincare and cosmetics section and a treatment section and…wow! The treatment area is amazing!

Here you find three rooms with completely different ambiances: Calm, Frozen, and Shield. My favorite is Calm. It’s also equipped with a shower booth.

The space is imbued with quiet and calm. A play of light and shadow recalls the sway and glimmering of a surface of water, which appears to generate the entire space in its three dimensions. This combines with healing music and aromas perfectly tailored to the room concepts to sharpen your sense of beauty from every direction. You’re inside a store, but you forget this is Ginza and that you’re in a shopping center. The sense of the space is that otherworldly. No wonder this room is the most popular!

After the treatment, I move to the dresser room, where you’re free to put on your makeup. (Calm has its own dresser inside the room.)

If I had this dresser, going out every day would be a joy! I make a note of it for storage ideas as well.

Incidentally, the extensive treatment menu includes facial, body, and facial + body, plus an option menu and a bridal menu; all treatments can be tailored according to your skin condition. Treatments feature a beauty tool that smooths the surface of your skin with a natural diamond laser-cut at microintervals. A 60-minute facial starts at 20,000 yen. There’s also a 180-minute supreme custom menu for 100,000 yen based on a bottle of AQ Meliority Intensive Cream (120,000 yen), the ultimate dream cream. I duly provide this information for those of you in a position to indulge—please let me touch your skin afterward!

I decide to make a reservation for an 80-minute facial later this month, when I’ll have a little downtime at work. A treatment in a space that gives you a Six Senses Beauty experience is certainly something to look forward to.

I also like that the latest makeup and skincare products from Cosme DECORTÉ are right near the entrance and easy to check, without hesitating to wonder if you should step in.

The photo shows the brand’s popular blushes, both Powder Blush (5,000 yen) and Cream Blush (3,500 yen). The purple Cream Blush is popular in the beauty industry because it helps create soft skin with a translucent character.

I have my eyebrows looked at, because eyebrows tend to immediately go out of style unless they’re redone regularly.

A makeup counter that seats about three stands behind the main counter. It’s designed to address any anxieties about directly facing the other people browsing the products.

I used this: Eyebrow Contouring Powder (4,500 yen).

This luxury compact comes with eyebrow color and nose shadow. Applying just a little shadow under the eyebrows creates shading and naturally harmonizes the eye, eyebrow, and nose area, which otherwise tend to be discontinuous.

Moreover, the three brushes included are phenomenal. To include brushes of this quality is a definitive Made in Japan touch. Anyone can become an eyebrow master. The staff will show you how they’re used; don’t forget to bring your memo pad.

I make my purchase and am again surprised, this time by the bag.

It’s adorable! And it’s available only at the Maison DECORTÉ in GINZA SIX. You could give someone a gift in this bag and they’d be absolutely delighted.

I’m feeling good and my shopping switch has been turned on. Waiting for me next is Aesop.

Primarily a skincare brand, Aesop carries a large variety of unisex items, from personal care and travel items to hair care products. The pet shampoo is especially stylish, and I’ve received it before as a gift. In fact, one of the appeals of the store is the variety of items that would make great gifts, even if they might be a bit spendy to buy for yourself.

I have a friend with a birthday coming up, so I’ll look for something ahead of time.

This spacious store was designed in collaboration with TORAFU ARCHITECTS.

The waterside Tsukiji district is nearby. That’s one of the reasons for the store’s wave design. Traditional Japanese materials are incorporated here into a modern aesthetic, creating a unique, organic atmosphere. Aesop often alters its space designs depending on the store, and I can tell why many creative professionals come look at the stores for design ideas.

Of all the items here, my eyes alight on Olous Aromatique Room Spray (5,100 yen), which comes in three fragrances.

I’m really interested in the idea of unisex fragrances that couples can use together. And look! Here’s a three-piece shaving set.

Isn’t it infuriating how shaving items always seem to get left on the bathroom vanity? As luck would have it, the trademark Aesop design of these items has a way of saving you from such stress.

Resting against the bowl, the Double-Edge Razor (11,800 yen) on the left features three layers of hand-polished plating and a chrome-plated head. It creates a pleasing heft in the hand. It comes with 10 replacement blades from Merkur of Germany; simply replace the blades and keep using the razor forever. The shaving bowl (1,000 yen) is also available for purchase. Getting all three items together as a set would be a delight.

Life at its best, the GINZA SIX theme, isn’t simply about upgrading class. There’s a story that leads up to each thing you encounter here, and this is why you’ll love it all the more. From one encounter to the next here, GINZA SIX offers so many goods and services of this kind, all of it exercising an inexorable enchantment. Next time, I think I’ll start my wander-and-shop routine after a glass of wine at ENOTECA on the second belowground floor. Or is that a no-go before a treatment?

Text:Chiharu Nagatomi Photos:Tomoko Meguro Edit:Yuka Okada


永富 千晴

美容ジャーナリスト。ビューティジャーナリストとして各メディアで活動のほか、美容好きが集まるコミュニティclub C.を主宰。最新のコスメ情報はインスタ〈tokyo_beauty_news〉にて。自身のインスタは〈chiharunagatomi〉にてコツコツ更新中。


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2018.03.14 UP