I’m taking a thrice-postponed trip to the US in a few weeks, and feel conflicted that one of my longstanding beauty rituals will disappear from the schedule. My sprees in drugstores and beauty boutiques were once a full afternoon’s commitment to stocking up with rare and cult finds that were unavailable on home turf. As the years passed, and as US exclusives became rarer, my purchases became fewer.
After my favourite brands – Drunk Elephant, CeraVe, Milk Makeup and Glow Recipe – launched in UK retailers, the only one left was Tatcha, a Japanese-inspired, Asian-owned luxury line of extremely high-quality, meticulously formulated skincare that my face has always adored.
Inevitably, this month it landed over here (exclusively at Space NK), and, while as a tourist I’ll miss it, as a skincare obsessive, I’m ecstatic. Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil (rich, cosseting, thorough and, crucially, never dribbling on to my best ’jamas) is the only cleanser of its type I love.
Ditto the Essence Skincare Boosting Treatment – a version of a Japanese-style essence made by lots of luxury brands that I, with this one exception, can never normally be bothered to use (it very gently exfoliates and hydrates, amplifying the effects of whatever comes next). The Dewy Skin Cream (sumptuous, plumping, extremely luxurious and a dream base for makeup on all grownup skins) makes my face feel as though it’s been taken to the opera.
And so it should, of course, for the ticket price. Tatcha is by no one’s measure cheap, but in a beauty world where little is, I admire it for making the effort to look and feel appropriately decadent (Tatcha make every formula from scratch and if they can’t find the ingredient they need, they’ll grow it). Having bought most of the lineup at some time or another, then pointedly looked away as the converted dollars hit my bank statement, I can honestly say that almost everything here is sublime.
If Tatcha is too rich for your blood, or makeup is more your poison, another US import launching this month is Gen See, a fun, high-quality collection of user-friendly makeup in wearable shades and the kinds of textures one can half-arsedly smear on at a red traffic light. Meanwhile Clean Sheen Cheek + Lip Color, £16, is exactly what I want for spring: sleek, glassy, smooshy colour that brims with good health but demands no effort.