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GINZA SIX EDITORS

ファッション、ジュエリー&ウォッチ、ライフスタイル、ビューティ、フード…
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
歩いて見つけた楽しみ方を綴ります。

Color and Fragrance: A Beauty Stroll for Adult Sensibilities

鵜飼 香子

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.40

GINZA SIX has a free and open feel on every floor. It’s a great place for both adults and kids to enjoy. When one arrives with children, the standard route takes in the food floor on the second belowground floor, Ginza Tsutaya Books and Ginza Grand Premium Food Hall on the sixth floor, and the rooftop garden. But when I come by myself, I adopt a different proper posture; I come in high heels to nurture an adult’s sensibilities. It’s Ginza, after all.

With a half hour free in Ginza, I rush to Grand Cru Café on the 13th floor. It’s a special space; the word “café” doesn’t quite capture or do it justice. For me, it’s a healing space that clears the mind and helps me relax. It’s a space that restores the pristine clarity of my senses.

You knew, of course, that coffee is a beauty drink? The coffee served here in particular is made with dense, fully ripened beans. There’s not a hint of bitterness, even after it cools. Plus, it’s loaded with polyphenols, so it’s a beauty boost, too. My personal take is that coffee confers a beauty charge. It’s strange—even women who prefer not to drink coffee will come here and have multiple cups. The coffee has a deep aroma and resonant flavor, and it courses throughout one’s body more readily than water. It’s a special beauty elixir.

You’re rarely surprised by anything once you’re well into your adult years, but the first time I tried this coffee, I remember sitting upright, considering the visions swirling from the aroma and flavor. A white horse heading directly for an old castle, the lustrous swell of the orchestra as the curtain rises—I felt a sudden clarity conferred on all five senses.

The coffee beans are stored in a glass bottle, like champagne, as if to serve the land itself where the coffee beans grow to guests: the sun, the wind, the air. The moment the cork is pulled, the aroma billows. It’s almost as if your normally disordered nervous system gathers harmony and purpose and you become a kinder, gentler person. Masaki-san, who is proposing to me (not actually, unfortunately), is the chosen evangelist, working out brewing times and quantities based on the bean variety.

You order one bottle with 100 grams of roasted coffee beans (from 10,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). The café keeps your bottle for you for two weeks. At no additional charge, you can then drink up to six wonderful cups. Coffee hunter José Y. Kawashima travels the world for a third of the year looking for coffee of the absolute highest quality. He’s the one responsible for procuring the café’s lineup of sensual, highly individualistic brews. Beautiful Old Noritake cups, Baccarat glasses, chemical-free, vegetable-tanned leather walls—guests are treated to an entirely grand cru tier of adult sensibilities.

Physically and mentally recharged, both beauty and sense of joy renewed, I head to bareMinerals on the first belowground floor, the boutique of the bareMinerals cosmetics brand based in San Francisco. The brand boasts an 80% recognition rate in the US.

For the last two or three years, both in beauty and fashion, the trend has been to find your own personal color, rather than simply incorporate the catalog unedited. You come here to have an expert select the foundation and makeup colors absolutely perfect for you.

This isn’t palm-reading. I’m having Kishino-san, a beauty specialist who’s peered at the skin of 40,000 people, determine my personal color. Based on the color of your blood vessels, he determines whether you need a blue base or a yellow base. Ideally, he says, one must look at the fingertips, on the side opposite the nails, which hasn’t been exposed to the sun.

It’s been a mystery to me for years. I’m yellow base, I thought, but blue base is what I like and what feels right. Finally, today, I emerge from the darkness!

Three lipsticks are chosen to match my skin—“blue base, leaning toward neutral-colored.” The colors give me the freedom to create different looks, ranging from innocent appeal to natural to sensual. Since my theme today is adult sensibilities, I go with the one on the right.

The popular barePerfect option (90 minutes; from 21,000 yen) of the Makeup Personal Lesson, a by-appointment-only service available only at GINZA SIX, involves getting your physique, color, skin quality, and maintenance habits read, just like fortune telling. The advice you receive is based on this careful individualized interaction. After the lesson, you can get these bareMinerals items equivalent to the counseling fee of 21,000 yen. You’ll get helpful product and care suggestions that draw on a lineup of skincare and fashion products to restore the natural health of your skin. Where’s the excitement in picking out cosmetics, you ask? Perhaps it’s the magical power of cosmetics to make women beautiful.

It’s just about time to head home. I go to buy a gift at Kashisho Suehiroan, a store founded in 1967. It’s located on the second belowground floor, the brand’s only location in Tokyo. Earlier, a friend of mine from Osaka gave me a gift “you can only find in Ginza”—this Fresh Daishi Prayer Rice Cake (800 yen), designed exclusively for the Ginza location. Made with Habutae rice from Koga in Shiga Prefecture, a region renowned for its rice, to which the confectioner adds Akita soybeans from Hokkaido, brown sugar from Hateruma, Okinawa, and wasanbon, or refined Japanese sugar, from Awa in Shikoku, these rice cakes are the ideal treat for everyone, children to adults.

How do these rice cakes fit with the adult sensibilities theme I’ve chosen for today’s GINZA SIX stroll? Well, that’s a good question. Perhaps it’s because the rice cakes themselves embody a feminine ideal. With a fine, silky texture and the roasted soy flour ground fresh only for the day at the store, the rice cakes have a fragrance one will want to inhale deeply. They’re also refreshingly sweet in a way that’s never excessive or cloying.

I also purchased the Kinako Ame (2,500 yen), roasted-soybean-powdered candies, to give as a hard-to-find gift. Made with starch syrup from Takahashi Ameya, Japan’s oldest maker of starch syrup, it commemorates GINZA SIX’s one-year anniversary. It’s also irresistibly delicious, something I always want one more of.

Gifts are double the fun. There’s the pleasure of the purchase and the joy of seeing the recipient’s face brightening. That alone is enough to keep me returning to GINZA SIX once a week.

Text:Kyoko Ukai Photos:Hidehiro Yamada Edit:Yuka Okada

editors_ukai

鵜飼 香子

美容誌の編集者を経て独立。フリーランスとして雑誌はMAQUIA、marisol、BAILA、SPUR、LEE、anan、クロワッサン、otonaMUSEなどで執筆や美容法のアドバイスを行う。広告制作やブランディング、イベント企画なども行う。2児の母として「エンタメ化するお手入れ、五感に響くキレイ」を心がけている。
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2018.05.09 UP