Thursday, 27 November 2008

Japanese Cosmetic Counter Brands: Shiseido

When I was in my early twenties, I tried Shiseido, Kose and Kanebo with disastrous results. Their brand staples made my skin peel and breakout in rashes and acne, so I avoided these skincare brands like a plague. I developed a deep-seated fear about the extra ingredients that go into these products to make them work their miracles. As time went by, I also realised I had sensitive skin. My skin reacted quickly to the environment and certain skincare or makeup products, either by turning red, getting bumpy or itchy(with peeling) . My eyes are also very easily disturbed by irritants and can get very watery and red, which was also why I stopped wearing contact lenses. Hence, later, I also tried Ettusai and Fancl skincare, which are touted for their "natural" ingredients. Ettusai wasn't that great but I stayed with Fancl for some time as its products were soothing for my skin. However, I felt it didn't "add" anything to my skin ie. they were not marketed for their visible skin improvement benefits such as anti-wrinkle and super protection, so I fell off from Fancl as I aged and started going for the cheaper but equally "natural" Korean skincare brands. I also got good results from using western brands like Origins. Lately however, I've been on a quest to investigate and rediscover skincare from Japanese counter brands like Kose, Kanebo and Shiseido, especially after I found some makeup gems from Kose and Kanebo. Overall, my skin also started getting drier from aging and especially after childbirth (I'm not sure about the childbirth connection, maybe it's a result of stress from working and raising a family? Haha!), so I thought I should look for more "powerful" skincare with more active ingredients that would aid my skin. So this past month, I've gone on "visiting trips" to various Kose, Kanebo and Shiseido counters, with the intention to see and discover, but not buy. I'd like to tell you about my experiences. Since it will be quite detailed, I'll split the reports into several posts. This first post will be about my experiences with Shiseido. Shiseido On the whole, through my reading, I was convinced Shiseido could be the brand for me, particularly the eyecream, I read good reviews about the Bio-performance range, (I've been mentioned it quite a bit on my posts), which claims to target the problems that I experience lately. But due to the higher prices and my deep-seated fear of these brands, I felt I needed to try some on my face before I plunge in to buy them. I visited 2 Shiseido counters: Tangs Vivo and Robinsons Raffles City. Shiseido Tangs Vivo At Tangs Vivo, the SA was courteous but exuded a vibe that told me she didn't seem to think I needed or maybe I couldn't afford her products. She answered my questions but kept looking about when I spoke to her. I asked her about Benefiance range and she told me I don't have enough wrinkles for it. According to her, it's a very rich and oily, not suitable for me at all. I persisted and tried to get her to tell me about the gift-with-purchase offer that was going on, and she showed it to me then said, "It's worth getting." I had to ask her why, and she told me I can get to try the Skin-Corrective Programme as 3 portions of it were included in the gift package. She didn't bother to explain to me about the other sample bottles of White Lucent skincare in the gift package. I was quite disappointed. When she recommended me Bio-performance eyecream, she didn't even bother to let me try the product from the counter samples. She also looked away from me and told me with a blunt voice, "No samples", when I asked her for some to try at home. Shiseido Robinsons Raffles City I was at the Shiseido Robinsons Raffles City counter yesterday. The SA was welcoming and friendly. However, similarly, she didn't bother to explain her products to me nor offer to let me try the counter samples. But she was sweeter when telling me there are no samples to bring home. Conclusion about Shiseido Overall, I was very disappointed with Shiseido. I had the intention to buy Bio-performance Eye Countour Cream, but there was something about my shopping experience that made me feel hesitant to purchase. Somehow, usually, I am able to pick up vibes easily but I'm not always able to pinpoint the meaning of the vibes. So in the case of Shiseido, I sensed something that told me I shouldn't plunge in to buy the products. I felt maybe the SA thought the creams were not suitable for me and were trying to hint to me I shouldn't get them. I'm not sure if I'm right. But in general, they were standoffish and uninterested. This is different from past experiences I had with Shiseido SAs at Isetan Katong and Isetan Orchard. At both these places, I went 2 years ago, the SAs were interested and engaging, even though I ended up not buying either. Well, what is it about Shiseido that stops me from buying their products? I'm not sure. I can't say it's just about price, because I've plonked down much more money on things without much thought. While I try to be prudent, sometimes I can be equally impulsive when I get a sense that something is good and I can buy it. I'll write about Kanebo and Kose in another post. © Copyright. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

i am so sorry to hear abt the lousy SA

though i have to say, i have had some bad shopping experiences in SG
whenever i go there on holiday

i went to LV in Singapore and the SA was totally not interested in serving me but once the husband turned up, she was all over us. i suspect it was because the husband is caucasian. that makes me so mad!

aichaku-愛着 said...

Yuck, I hate the LV staff in Singapore! Sorry you had that awful experience. I try to avoid going there. In contrast, I love buying things in Taipei and Tokyo, for example.

I think Singapore sales staff have a long way to go, though I find many have improved, most higher-end/department store staff are still not friendly nor helpful to the locals.