Shiseido's new autumn/winter makeup is inspired by Japanese craft

Shiseido's new autumn/winter makeup is inspired by Japanese craft

Traditional flourishes

Text: Renée Batchelor

Get creative with your facepaint as Shiseido introduces fascinating products inspired by Japanese craft and techniques

Makeup today is influenced by so many things from Instagram trends to reality TV, so it's a tad unusual to find a makeup brand harkening back to traditional craft – such as Japanese calligraphy — as inspiration for creating novel products and tools. But that's exactly what Shiseido has done with its latest autumn/winter collection. First up, the brand has a new Inkstroke Eyeliner Color range. Drawing inspiration from the art of calligraphy, this new eyeliner collection focusses on three points: Precise application, smooth textures and deep colours.

In a unique gel-formula, the new eyeliner is designed to have a creamy, yet smudge-proof texture and comes in six shades influenced by the natural beauty of the Japanese landscape. Each shade is deep — there are no out-there brights — but have subtle nuances of colour. Shikkoku Black for example, is a lustrous and dramatic jet-black, that is a staple in any makeup bag. Meanwhile other options are a more adventurous without veering into unwearable territory. Empitsu Grey recalls graphite melting into canvas while Shinrin Green is as romantic as a mystical forest. Kon-ai Blue (below), takes its hue from a blue-indigo dye commonly seen in Japan.
Shiseido Inkstroke eyeliner

But what's an eyeliner without the right brush  — after all you're not using your fingers to smudge this stuff on. The brand has created a curved brush inspired by a traditional Japanese ink brush. Each brush is handcrafted by artisans in Kumano, a place where the best ink brushes are produced. All the different elements that make the ideal applictor have been perfected, from the angle of the head (30°) to the firmness and girth of the bristles so it picks up the liquid liner well holds it. Talk about taking Japanese precision to the next level. The brush is truly a work of art in itself and a must-have for those who consider themselves eyeliner connoiseurs.

Shiseido Inkstroke eyeliner brush

Finally if you're a fan of Japanese washi paper — and who isn't — then this next product will surely delight. Shiseido has a new Paperlight Cream Eye Color that is matte, yet translucent. It's inspired by the chiaroscuro effect of washi paper lanterns, that plays on the contrast between light and shadow. The translucent effect of washi is made from layers of mulberry fibre, and while these cream eyeshadows don't actually contain any paper they achieve the look with their shine-free, yet translucent formula that feels like second skin and can be built up for more impact. In a palette of brights and pastels — and must-have shade of grey — these eight colours are so beautiful, we want them all. Favourite shades for us are Asagi Blue, a dewy pale blue with a shot of indigo and Yamabuki Yellow, a pure sunshine yellow that takes its name from the beloved flower. 

Paperlight Cream Eye Color, $35 each

$35-$46. Available at Shiseido counters from July 2017