Remember Kanebo's $1,800 The Cream? The Japanese beauty brand has now added a new base makeup range to its premium lineup

In Japanese philosophy there lies a concept known as wabi‑sabi, the idea of accepting transience and imperfection. This ideology permeates through the subtleties of life in Japan and is especially prominent in Japanese arts such as ikebana, bonsai, and kintsugi, the art of mending pottery with gold lacquer. With these crafts, flaws and asymmetry are valued for their authenticity.

This philosophy has also made its way into the global beauty industry in recent years, decrying unrealistic beauty standards. No longer is “anti-ageing” a buzzword. Instead, this is the era of skin positivity, and it appears that Japanese beauty brand Kanebo is on board. With the recent addition of The Cream Foundation and The Primer to its premium The Exceptional line, Kanebo wants women to embrace their beauty and understand that uniqueness is beautiful.

“The ideal of The Exceptional base make-up is to enhance your original beauty, instead of covering your whole face in thick foundation,” said Natsuki Fujimori, Kanebo’s product development representative, during its regional launch in Bangkok. “We were inspired by nature around the world—it is unexpected and unbalanced yet mesmerising in its own ways.”

Blurring the line between skincare and make-up, The Cream Foundation and The Primer are formulated with the same Clear Botanical Complex, a composition of pear juice ferment filtrate, watercress extract, geranium robertianum extract and aqua glucoside, found in The Exceptional skincare products. According to Fujimori, these ingredients help to clarify skin, strengthen and restore its horny layer—the outermost layer of the epidermis—boost hydration, and create a barrier against advanced glycation end products, which cause the formation of wrinkles and spots due to the discolouration and hardening of proteins in the skin.

Tatler Asia
Above Natsuki Fujimori, product development representative; Masataka Imura, director of Asia group; Yoshihide Hori, brand manager; and Taeko Kogo, marketing manager; from Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.

In order to maximise the skincare benefits of the products without compromising on their coverage, more than 100 samples were made over the two years during its development.

“The products have to achieve the highest coverage in the whole Kanebo brand, and they must also have the same ratio of the Clear Botanical Complex as the rest of The Exceptional skincare products. It was very challenging to find a balance between the two,” Fujimori shared.

The result is a luxuriously rich foundation and primer with a creamy consistency that feels just like skincare. The brand recommends applying them in minimal amounts with your fingers for maximum effect.

On top of Kanebo’s Clear Botanical Complex, The Primer comes in a change-form gel formula. The gel, which has an apricot tone, changes shape freely to smooth and conceal uneven surfaces for a translucent finish.

The Cream Foundation, on the other hand, offers buildable coverage for radiance and clarity, thanks to the shift-change effect formulation and elastic gloss film technology employed in its composition.

The shift-change effect allows the foundation to blend into the skin in two phases for precise application on areas of concern. The elastic gloss film embraces the contours of your face like a cocooning veil for a lasting, vital glow.

“With continued use, we hope users will experience the same clarity and radiance from The Exceptional skincare line. We’ve also measured that skin hydration levels actually rise after 30min of applying the primer,” Fujimori added.

The launch of the new base make-up from the Kanebo The Exceptional range is very timely, considering we are now caught up in a pro-skin positivity revolution. Skincare-infused make-up could mark the first step towards women everywhere becoming more comfortable in their own skin.