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“Beauty Shock”: The Excitement of Another Self You’ve Yet to Encounter

Matsumoto Chitose


Every time I visit GINZA SIX, I find myself surrounded by a world and sensibility that seems to bring all the cells in my body to life. The aesthetic here is extraordinary, and a keener zest for detail is clearly evident. It’s like an enormous mixed-brand boutique for adults who understand refinement. You can clearly visualize the image of the woman behind all this fashion and beauty. In a sense, it’s more a space for enjoying your time than for purchasing products. This sensibility reaches a pinnacle in the beauty zone.

I go first to Dior Beauty Ginza, a distinctive space that communicates the latest trends to the world.

Within the store you’ll find the stunning Lip Studio, which shows an extensive array of Dior lip colors—enough to take your breath away.

I’m taken by the reds and beiges, but something else here will also take me by surprise. In an eager, hopeful frame of mind, I consult with makeup artist Tomomi Okawa and hear her advice on the single best color for an orange dress, something with which I’m never sure what lipstick color to wear.

“We have a large array of colors, of course, but a wide range of textures and finishes, too,” Ms. Okawa tells me. “Try a few that match your skin color, your mood, and the clothes you wear.” What she chooses for me is the orange-hued Rouge Dior Liquid 442—“Impetuous Satin.” I’m excited to apply a color I wouldn’t have tried before, because I wouldn’t have thought it would look all that good on me.

When she carefully brushes on this color, it feels very fresh—almost like a new me. Unexpectedly, I also notice that my skin and teeth look brighter. The color would go well with a basic black knit, I think, or a casual look, with something like cut-off jeans… So, instantly, the decision was made. Here, you can try the products on your own or consult with a professional—meaning you can try on a lip color just as you would a skirt or top.

In no time at all, they’ve engraved my name on the tube. I now have a lipstick just for me. With the holiday season approaching, this would make the perfect little reward to yourself for all your hard work. Or it would be a treat if you could come with a partner and suggest it as a present. If you’re a guy, it would make a delightful gift for your wife or girlfriend.

I next head to Yves Saint Laurent. The GINZA SIX location offers services and exclusive items available only here at the brand’s first flagship boutique in Japan.

In particular, what is noteworthy is a private room for VIP members called the Recording Studio. You can reserve it for your own exclusive use for an hour for anything from a simple treatment to a dramatic makeover. You can also bring someone else so you can enjoy the room together with a friend or partner. The amenities let you connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to listen to your favorite music over the sound system. The room’s also equipped with an image-stabilizing device and other tools for filming yourself during the makeup session. Plus, you can adjust the lighting to re-create the light in an office or at a dinner party, which lets you try out different looks depending on the activity or event you have in mind.

To become a VIP, you need to spend 100,000 yen annually. That sounds like a lot at first, but it’s not, really. You can more or less reach that amount with the purchase of around three “Eau Rouge” items, the brand’s top anti-aging line. With zero hesitation, I recommend getting the ultimate anti-aging experience in the dazzling space created in the Recording Studio.

The GINZA SIX location also offers three exclusive types of consulting services: fragrance, skincare, and eyebrows. I choose an eyebrow consultation with boutique manager Junji Moriguchi. “I’ll show you the basics of how to draw and line to accentuate the beauty of a specific person’s eyebrows, of course, and propose variations based on the image the person has in mind,” Mr. Moriguchi tells me. I find myself curious to meet the future me. Reservations are recommended.

The fragrance area features Le Vestiaire des Parfums, a fragrance collection that pays homage to Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic style, as well as three types of Le Vestiaire des Parfums Nuit (Cuir, Vinyle, Velours) available only here.

Hmm… Maybe I should get this for a woman I admire who’s about to reach a milestone birthday… I ask Mr. Moriguchi, and he tells me they offer gift wrapping with four types of ribbons. My guess is a stylish, refined woman would be delighted to receive a distinct fragrance in a stylish package.

As I leave GINZA SIX, I feel my spine straighten and the corners of my mouth turn up. With this posture in mind, I’m inspired to go look for clothes or shoes and take my time going through the other floors. This is what I call “beauty shock”—the possibility of finding a new self and the eagerness and excitement at the prospects. It’s an essential experience for any adult.

Text: Chitose Matsumoto, Photos: Chihaya Kaminokawa, Edit: Yuka Okada


Matsumoto Chitose

Freelance editor and writer. Began freelance career after working at an airline company, advertising agency, and publishing company. Current interests and activities focus on beauty and interviews for magazines, books, and other media. Writes beauty columns for several magazines, including “This Month’s Three Items for Beautiful People: Cosmetics for Beauty Through to the Heart” in GLOW magazine (published by Takarajimasha). Her books include “Creating the ‘Air’ of a Beautiful Person: 81 Beauty Secrets,” “53 Comeback Beauty Tips for Adults to Create a Beautiful Person,” “High-Heels are Muscle Training for Women: 82 Little Secrets for a Basic Beauty Metabolism,” and “A Conscientious Life Makes a Beautiful Person: One ‘Beauty’ Today, Too” (all published by Kodansha)


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