There’s something about the Japanese approach to beauty that I love. Highly ritualised, there’s an attention to detail that is simultaneously old-fashioned (the endless hours of pampering is so Marie-Antoinette) and thoroughly modern (products that Japanese women typically use are normally cutting-edge with a cult emphasis).
Enter, stage right, the ‘insider’ Japanese brand SUQQU. It’s likely that you may not have heard of it yet (although if you are a real beauty junkie, you’ll have come across the name) but its been making inroads into serious beauty know-how over the past few years, with its sights now set firmly on the UK. It envelops all of the previously mentioned factors that epitomise the Japanese way of beauty, resulting, more often than not, in flawless skin.
Renowned for its skincare products and in particular its innovative GANKIN facial massage, SUQQU is highly regarded among the makeup artist elite and in-the-know celebs. The brand believes that investing time to prepare your beauty regime prior to applying make-up is vital to looking your best. Japanese skincare begins with hydration and so the SUQQU tradition is to layer the skin with various moisturiser components to keep water and moisture locked in. It’s ethos lies in its name – inspired by the Japanese word ‘Sukku-to’, it means ‘walking tall on your journey through life, inspiring a confidence in attitude and beauty.’
SUQQU’s original GANKIN Massage was created by exploring the relationship between stiff facial muscles and sagging skin. This powerful three-minute massage – that can be done at home (see below) – eases away stiffness and tension by promoting lymph and blood circulation and enhances overall metabolism to create a sharper definition.
There are a few key products to help with trying the massage at home – and which are also central to SUQQU’s product line-up. The Musculate Massage & Mask Cream, £68 (shown above) isa gorgeously rich and highly moisturising cream that keeps skin hydrated, supple, and glowing. Infused with yeast extract, to strengthen the muscles, and yuzu extract, which improves the blood & lymph flow, while fat-burning geranium herb extract conditions skin’s circulation to enhance the facial contour. It has a subtle and refreshing scent (derived from orchids). The cream can also be used as a mask for deep nourishment and to firm and tone the face.
Another must is the SUQQU Face Refresher, £35. It’s a wipe–off lotion to remove residual oil left after the GANKIN massage and it also removes dead skin cells. While it is lovely and refreshing it is also a moisturising lotion – the idea being that it is another layer of ‘help’ for the penetration of other skincare products that follow in the skincare ritual.
One of these is the SUQQU Moisture Repair Lotion, £85, which has a really luxurious feel about it. The moisturising essence has been designed to be used just after cleansing so that its soft texture can penetrate quickly into the skin to recondition and revitalise skin cells. Lovely.
Just as SUQQU is about to launch its new counter at Fenwick’s on Bond Street (watch out for the onslaught of column inches on this brand any day now), who better to talk, then, than its UK make-up artist, Tomoko:
“The importance of spas and their wellbeing benefits have a long and ancient history in Japanese culture,” she says. “At the heart of SUQQU is the GANKIN Facial Massage. It is a three-minute treatment targeting facial bone structure and lymphatic drainage; it increases the metabolic rate of the skin to create sharper definition with impressive results such as improvement in sagging around the eyes and cheeks by 40-50%, tightening of the pores and increased blood and oxygen flow. Many women are keen to learn and incorporate an additional step, like facial massage into their daily beauty ritual. They’re interested in daily, continuous practice of a facial massage, which fundamentally tackles root causes of wrinkles and sagging skin.
“Japanese women tend to spend more time and effort on skincare, valuing a healthy-looking brightened complexion,” she says. “As they are aware of the superior benefits of facial massage, they know that even the most expensive foundation can look dull and unhealthy if it’s been applied to skin that isn’t looked after. Every woman can easily include SUQQU’s simple three-minute GANKIN Massage as part of their skincare ritual.”
Here’s her advice on trying the SUQQU GANKIN Ritual at home:
“Use the SUQQU GANKIN technique at the start of your day to awaken your facial muscles. The GANKIN should be carried out using SUQQU’s Musculate Massage & Mask Cream, which intensely nourishes and moisturises the skin. This rich formula allows sufficient pressure to be applied whilst massaging the face. After following the three-minute GANKIN technique, the complexion will regain its radiance as a result of increased lymph circulation and re-engerised blood flow. Use SUQQU’s Face Refresher to wipe off the excess cream. You may find that you might not need to use as much foundation as usual, as your skin will look beautiful on its own.
Use the SUQQU GANKIN technique at the end of the day to help release stiffness and stress after a long, busy day.”
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