Firstly, I was clueless about how to pronounce “Shiseido“. Now I know. Secondly, the invitation read, “Cosmopolitan and Shiseido are inviting 30 women for an exclusive experience of Za by Shiseido…The event includes skin consultations by Japanese experts…”. There is nothing more exciting to a blogger than the word, “exclusive”! Add to that equation “Japanese” experts and I signed up immediately. And any event at the Taj ManSingh Hotel is always welcome – they have lovely staff and great food. It would be a welcome break in the middle of the climbing Delhi Summers.

Not only were there way more than 30 women, there wasn’t a single Japanese expert. But I will come to that later. I want to compliment the brand for collaborating with a lovely independent artist! Shiseido had roped in Sharon Nayak who is a photographer and illustrator and they had asked her to interpret the Za brand using a combination of her skills. With the framed canvases that she had produced, a lovely gallery-style show was created within the hotel and we were led into the room after being told there was a surprise! I was blown away. Not only is Sharon’s work beautiful, a couple of the canvases, despite have a branded bottle of the product on it, were stunning works of art. Shiseido definitely lucked out working with such a talented artist. This is where I have immense respect for the brand. The rest of the stuff at the event was sadly not quite up to the mark.

Shiseido is one of the oldest beauty brands in the world and the oldest one in Japan. That is some cult status. They even continue to sell one of the first products they had first sold : Eudermine. That is great success. They could have done so much more with the event. Also I’m not sure what happened with the food at Taj Mansingh! I ate a whole plate of the “Palm Heart” nibbles but could barely stomach anything else – the chicken smelled rank.

The brand has setup trial tables where one could sit and an assistant would help with cleaning the face, applying the Shiseido and Za products and advising on your skin type etc. I’d been told there was a lovely skin-analyser device and I was stoked that I’d be having my skin analysed! The device on the table I sat at, didn’t work. While the lady at the counter was kind and polite, she didn’t sound like she knew what she was doing. “Madam this is best.” isn’t exactly going to convince me to change my loyalties from one brand to another at the drop of a hat.

One of the advantages of arriving on time for events in Delhi is that you get to experience the brand and interact with the brand team before the crowd descends. Which is why I immediately plonked myself at one of the trial tables as soon as I got there. Considering that there were about 4 tables ( if I’m not wrong ), I can take a safe bet and say that more than half the ladies who showed up to support the brand, did not get a chance to try the products or have their skin analysed. It was a wonderful opportunity for the brand to interact with some of the leading voices in the beauty industry in Delhi. ( I’m sure they deal with the top people on a one-to-one basis but this was my first interaction with this brand and I came away unfulfilled. )

Sharon’s art gallery show was definitely the highlight of the afternoon for me. More power to Shiseido for choosing to do this. Another highlight was the selfie with Archana of PR Pundit! All photos below.

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

The pink and the general darkness inside the venue was not helpful with the photographs I was trying to take, neither was it helpful in letting me see my face while it was being used for testing the products. I understand Shiseido is all about red and pink, but it might have helped to have clearer lighting to let me see the products I was using. ( To be clear, if this was a paid client gig where I was photographing for them, I would have little to no trouble with the pink lighting because I would have been using a speed light. Photographing on the phone – no matter how good the HTC One M8 is – is always troublesome with red and pink lighting. )

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

I kept trying to take a selfie while she was helping me and I also tried to make a selfie-video but she kept pulling my face in the opposite direction. The video makes me look like a sullen child not wanting to eat the morsel being fed by its mother. Ooops.

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

Above right, she tried really hard to make the skin analyser work.

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

The palm hearts above. I had not eaten anything like this earlier. It was absolutely delectable and healthy. Considering my other options, I was lucky to have these to stuff my face with.

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

Some photographs from Sharon’s show below.

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

Above, selfie with Archana, I LOVE her hair!

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. . Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

The Taj Mansingh Hotel is a beautiful property. I love visiting.

Shiseido, Za, #PowerOfBeauty, #EyesForBeauty,  Naina.co Luxury & Lifestyle, Photographer Storyteller, Blogger. .

The serum that was launched at this event is the Za Perfect Solution Youth Whitening Serum. ( I don’t promote skin whitening products. But I do want to know more about how to get rid of marks from blemishes etc. ) I’m using the product currently and it is too soon to say how I feel about it. In terms of texture it is light enough to be used during Indian Summers. My skin definitely feels hydrated. I don’t know about the “whitening” bit though.

The takeaway bag had a small red book about the Shiseido brand and it was such a fascinating read. The name, “Shiseido” is derived from a phrase in the I Ching ( which is the classic Chinese Book of Changes ), “Praise the virtues of the great earth, which nurtures new life and brings forth new values.” That phrase has so much beauty and heritage in it. I am quite curious to see how they enable these values when the brand is presented in India.

Shiseido & Za India : Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Sharon Nayak : Instagram | Behance | Facebook

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