A new line of cosmetics from Japanese beauty label Shiseido has arrived in Singapore.
The opening of the Shiseido Life Quality Beauty Centre earlier this month at Frasers Tower marks the entry of the Perfect Cover make-up series.
It is designed for those with serious skin concerns such as vitiligo (a condition in which white patches develop on the skin because of a lack of the pigment melanin), acne or discoloration following cancer treatment.
The series has three products here - a foundation ($46), loose powder ($46) and a cleansing oil ($30) - and they are available for purchase only at the Shiseido Life Quality Beauty Centre.
The centre here is the first one in South-east Asia. There are four other centres - in Japan, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
The Perfect Cover foundation sold here comes in 12 shades - five more than Japan's original range - to cater to Singapore's multiracial population.
Singapore's centre manager Fang Jiayun notes that Shiseido has a long history of make-up products designed to improve the quality of life for its customers.
"After World War II, in the 1950s, Shiseido started to formulate make-up to help burn victims with their scarring," she says.
"The Perfect Cover series was launched to provide high coverage to a wider range of serious skin concerns. It is also long-lasting and water-resistant and looks natural."
Customers can arrange for a free private consultation through their doctors or dermatologists or get an appointment by approaching the centre directly.
Ms Fang says: "Based on our conversations with local healthcare providers, eczema, acne, skin discoloration and hyper-pigmentation following cancer treatment are common issues locals face and there is a demand here for products (that help tackle these problems)."
Severe cases of skin issues can often cause distress to their sufferers.
"Skin issues can really affect people's self-esteem and confidence, and some people don't even want to go out, which is why it can really affect one's quality of life and that is what we hope to improve," says Ms Fang, who joined Shiseido last year to help set up the centre.
A consultation can take up to 11/2 hours.
"We don't just allow people to try out the products, but we also teach them to pick the right shade, apply the products, the different techniques they can use for their skin concerns," she says. "Some people who go through chemotherapy lose hair on their eyebrows and lashes, so we teach them to draw their eyebrows as well."
The centre is staffed by trained voluntary advisers who are Shiseido employees.
Its products are dermatologist-approved and non-comedogenic (they will not clog pores), and are safe to use for men, women and children.
Despite having only three products here, Ms Fang says Shiseido has no plans to expand the range yet.
"I think from the feedback we've received from our overseas counterparts, customers can be put off if they have multiple skin concerns and need different products for each.
"Ultimately, they want something simple and effective."