Best beauty destinations: Maison Decorté in Tokyo
Why it's worth a trip: If you love attentive Japanese service and luxury skincare, then the new Maison Decorté in Ginza Six is a must-visit. Tucked away in the basement of the design-centric shopping mall, along with many other beauty brands, the store stands out thanks to eye-catching design elements created by Dutch design powerhouse Marcel Wanders. Wanders has worked exclusively on the brand's AQMW range as an art director since 2010. Many of the signature motifs created by Wanders for the brand — such as the flower — are seen in eveything from the custom-designed carpet to the fixtures on the walls, that are designed to look like a 3D representation of skin.
This is a pretty exclusive space with just three treatment rooms, all designed under the concept 'The Force of Nature.' We picked the Frozen room, that is replete with pink walls and cabinets and a huge, centrepiece chandelier, while the Calm room had textured walls and mood lighting to create the ultimate zen atmosphere. Each room is designed to heighten your senses with everything from the aromas to the music matched to the room's concept for a truly immersive experience. After your treatment you are ushered to a private sitting area where you can apply makeup, play with colours — bonus points for access to an extensive range of products including base makeup and eyeliners — and sip a cup of tea as you prepare to make your entrance back into the mall.
Star treatment: The menu at Maison Decorté is focussed, but very indulgent. It's useful that there's an English translation that tells you the protocol before your therapist comes in. We tried a Silky Brightening Facial (¥30,000 for 80 minutes) which included several masking steps including a cream mask for instant radiance. Expect a pamepring, multi-step treatment that focusses on handwork, although a diamond laser device is used to smooth the skin. The premium products from Cosme Decorté's AQ range are generously applied and the surroundings are utterly peaceful. Our therapist used just the right amount of pressure in the facial and body massage steps, and everything was carried out with the utmost Japanese precision. The treatment also includes pampering extras like a hand and scalp massage, and treats the décolletage as well for a more complete effect. It was definitely a facial with the twin benefits of relaxation and visible results. We emerged with radiant, even-toned skin. Despite the myriad makeup options available, we chose to go minimal post-facial, as we didn't want to cover up the natural glow on our complexion. Try asking for skincare samples from the friendly staff, and be sure to browse the store for exclusive colours and products.
Insider tip: If you love books, head upstairs to Tsutaya Books on level six. A book lover's dream, there are quite a few English books thrown in for good measure. Expect an excellent selection of magazines from around the world covering every topic from gardening to architecture, art, music and photography books and even giant books from Taschen that ring in in the thousands. The high ceilings and open concept make this book store comfortable to browse in for hours, and also includes a gallery and exhibition area.
B1 floor GSIX, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. For more information, visit Maison Decorté