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The Tatcha Blog

Our Cruelty-Free Pledge

Tatcha - No Animal Testing

Many of us at TATCHA have animals near and dear to us, and we all recognize the importance of cruelty-free formulations. Several of you have reached out regarding our animal testing policy, and we have proudly informed you that we are cruelty-free — we do not test on animals in any country, nor do our chemists, raw material suppliers, formulators or manufacturers.

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Categories: INGREDIENTS, Popular Posts

Inspiring Mothers Changing the World

Mothers give the most precious of gifts to their children—unconditional love, support, wisdom and opportunity.

In honor of incredible mothers and daughters everywhere, TATCHA has partnered with Room to Read, a global non-profit organization that has transformed the lives of millions of children in Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Here is a look at why this cause is so near to our hearts.

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The Beauty of Being Organized

Photography by Thor Swift

Each spring, I enjoy watching the bare trees of winter sprouting with fresh foliage. This transformation never fails to inspire me, and seems like nature's reminder to spring-clean my own life and begin anew. In that spirit, I spoke to the beautiful Jenny Jin of Real Simple magazine about her aproach to all things beautiful and how she manages to keep everything so organized. Real Simple is one of my favorite resources for practical solutions to a busy life; the magazine’s simple but elegant approach truly resonates with me, echoing TATCHA’s skincare philosophy. I knew Jenny, their Beauty Assistant, would have some perfect tips, and she did. They were so good, I simply had to share.

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A very special facial

Expert esthetician Hiroko Saito at the CORE: club in New York, home to the TATCHA Kiyome Facial. Photograph by Kimio Takeyama. Expert esthetician Hiroko Saito at the CORE: club in New York, home to the TATCHA Kiyome Facial. Photograph by Kimio Takeyama.

When I lived in New York, it was a place that I found both exhilarating and exhausting. My first journey to Kyoto was like stepping into a cobblestone-lined oasis—unlike my non-stop world, the ancient city seemed pure and untouched by time.

I had begun my travels hoping to restore my skin, but I found so more than that. If I could, I would bring each and every one of you to Kyoto to experience the city for yourself. To capture the essence of Kyoto's purifying effect on skin and spirit alike though, we are delighted to introduce our signature Kiyome (Japanese for “purifying”) Facial.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

Room to Read and TATCHA in Hong Kong

Room to Read co-founder John Wood with TATCHA's Brand Manager Veronica Tong and President Brad Murray. All photos courtesy of Fareesa Abbasi.

As a part of our partnership with Room to Read's Girls' Education program, we were honored to attend and participate in the organization's annual Hong Kong Gala. The event featured Room to Read co-founder John Wood and speaker Nisha Sajwan, 19, who graduated from one of the organization's programs in India.

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Categories: Room to Read

Hand it to the geisha

The beautiful Kyoka-san, with hands as smooth and perfect as her face, thanks to daily care and attention. Photo by Miki Chishaki.

When I began spending time with geisha, I was so dazzled by their iconic makeup and beautiful kimono that I noticed little else. However, as we spent more time together, I began noticing more of the tiny details of the meticulously trained geisha.

When in full formal dress, a geisha is covered from head to toe, her face veiled by white makeup and her body beneath heavy layers of silk. Only the back of her neck and her hands are bare, an intimate glimpse as she pours tea or performs a dance. For this reason, they routinely include caring for their hands as part of their daily skincare ritual.

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In living color

Vicky Tsai visiting Tatz Miki, wearing a naturally dyed indigo shirt, during a recent visit to his Tokyo studio. Photography by Miki Chishaki

Artists often relate to colors with a special intensity, but Tokyo’s Tatz Miki has dedicated his life and passion to a single hue — indigo.

Though surrounded by the ubiquitous and deeply symbolic shade since childhood, it wasn’t until he saw traditional indigo dyeing in Tokushima Prefecture that it truly captured his interest  — and heart.

Awestruck by the way a swath of fabric pulled from the vat of fermenting indigo leaves magically transformed itself from a grassy greenish tint to a brilliant blue as it oxidized in the air, he realized it was the perfect medium for connecting his heritage and his artistic passion.

He began experimenting with fermenting natural indigo in his spare time, dyeing various fabrics, ingredients and dipping methods to create a uniquely vibrant and lively luster.

The Tatz Miki signature collection of eight scarves in ranging shades of indigo called <LES BLEUS> has been featured at exhibitions around the world, including major installations in Tokyo, Paris, Milan and New York. We spoke with him about his work on a recent trip to his atelier.

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Categories: INGREDIENTS, Design, Interviews

How to turn a scarf into a rose

Tokyo artist Tatz Miki demonstrates his signature rosette wrap for displaying and storing his hand-dyed indigo scarves. We were mesmerized from the first moment we saw him transform his beautiful scarves into rows of roses. It takes some practice, but if there's a lovelier way to store scarves, we can't think of it!

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Categories: Holidays, Geisha, Kyoto

Our New NOZOMI Kit

Tatcha Founder, Victoria Tsai's daughter Alea looking at herself in the mirror

The beginning of March is a beautiful time of year in Japan. Winter is receding, and peach and plum blossoms have begun to color the trees. What I love the most, though, is the air of celebration. March 3rd is Girls’ Day, or hinamatsuri, a day dedicated to the joy and magic of girlhood.

One of my favorite daily rituals is helping Alea get ready in the morning. Like other girls her age, she never tires of her own reflection — she is fascinated by her pigtailed hair, her pink shirt, her adorable smile. When she looks in the mirror, she sees beauty and potential, and I can’t help but see it too.

I hope that Alea continues this ritual as she grows older, despite the pressure that girls experience today. If she begins to lose sight of her own radiance, I will be there to remind her of the little girl admiring herself in the bathroom mirror.

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Categories: Room to Read, Travel

Pretty Flowers Bloom with Beautiful Meaning

Lotus Flowers Blooming Represent Girls' Potential

Recently, I had the honor of visiting a school in Cambodia supported by Room to Read. It was a humbling and eye-opening journey, and I returned a changed person. The most striking part of my trip was meeting the incredible girls enrolled in the school and their remarkable families.

These young women live in one-room homes, most with roofs made of coconut leaves. Yet each girl had an irrepressible smile and a sparkle of optimism in her eyes.  They spoke of wanting to become doctors, teachers, scholars — one even confided that she is determined to become an actress. I was inspired by each one of them, how they rose above their adverse circumstances and reached for a new life.

This inspiration also guided my decision to use a lotus blossom to represent our partnership with Room to Read, a design incorporated into the new trustmark included on the TATCHA packaging. It seemed like the perfect choice, not only because of the lotus’ pure beauty but also due to its deep symbolic meaning. I saw countless lotuses in Cambodia, blooming in ponds or inside forgotten temples. My guide explained that the lotus bud is submerged beneath murky, still water, surrounded by mud and insects. As it grows, it rises above its humble beginnings, emerging from the water and opening its petals to the light.

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Categories: Room to Read, Design, Travel

Camellias — So much to love

Japanese White Camellia Flower Camellias are called tsubaki in Japanese – a shortened version of the phrase "tsuya-ba-ki" or "shiny leaf tree." Photograph by Kimio Takeyama.

Camellias have a storied legacy in Japan, where the blossoms’ symmetry and long-lasting qualities have come to symbolize purity, elegance and love. The native camellia japonica begins blooming in February, even through the snow, earning the nickname “rose of winter.”

But it’s the oil, cold-pressed from the plant’s seeds, that is the true treasure. A member of the same botanical family as the plants cultivated for tea, camellia oil is similarly rich in antioxidants and beneficial vitamins. It has one of the highest percentages of omega-9 oleic acid of any natural oil – higher than olive oil and avocado oil yet its molecular structure allows it to be more easily absorbed by the skin, resulting in a lighter, dryer and more velvety feel. This means it does not clog pores, leave a residue on the surface of the skin or cause breakouts, and that just a few drops provide deeply nourishing hydration.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha

Chocolates that make our hearts flutter

Christopher Elbow Chocolate Box We're head-over-heels for Christopher Elbow's beautiful creations.

Valentine’s Day has always been alluring to me — a day that revolves around chocolate is a happy one, indeed.  It also happens to mark ten years with my husband.

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Categories: Room to Read, Holidays

A healing journey

Showing my hand to our chemists and thanking them for their amazing work. Below, my 'dinosaur hand' before and after using the Indigo Soothing Renewal Treatment.

A few years ago, on a trip to Japan, I began to notice an itchy patch on my hand. With every flight it worsened, sometimes even cracking and bleeding. My teammates called it my “dinosaur hand.” After a particularly hectic period of travel, the patch began to spread all over my body. My dermatologist put me on a steady course of oral and topical steroids, strengthening the prescription with every visit. But the problem persisted.

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Categories:

All About Blue

Throughout the development of the INDIGO Collection, the entire TATCHA team continued to be intrigued by how closely modern medical research on indigo extract mirrored the traditional lore.

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Categories: Food, Beauty secrets, Kyoto

Samurai Blue: A History of Indigo

Japanese indigo plants, also known as polygonum tinctorum, growing in Tokushima Prefecture.

Using natural indigo extract may seem like a novel concept in the West, but it has deep traditional roots in Japan. We wanted to share some of the fascinating facts we discovered as we researched this incredible plant.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel, Kyoto

Creating Indigo: Research and Development

After learning about the historic and healing properties of Japanese Indigo, I was more intrigued than ever to find it and experience its effects on the skin myself. Through much research, I found out about a small family farm in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan that still grew and harvested natural indigo fields.

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The Road to INDIGO

One of the most exciting parts of the TATCHA journey for me has been travelling around the world seeking new and better ways to care for skin. The increasing number of trips did have one downside, however – increasingly dry and irritated skin from long flights, changing temperatures and long-time effects of living with sensitized skin from acute dermatitis (which was the impetus to create the TATCHA collection).

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A new year, a new mission

Making arm hearts with beautiful students in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education program in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photograph by Anne Holmes.

This time of year always brings much reflection, thoughts of resolutions and reprioritizing – both personal and professional. These worlds aligned recently when I visited a Cambodian school supported by Room to Read, a San Francisco-based non-profit committed to changing the world through children’s education.

What I experienced in Siem Reap changed my life. The Cambodian girls’ bright smiles and intelligent eyes made me think of my own daughter, and I felt moved to do whatever I could to help each one achieve her potential.

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Categories: Room to Read, Living

Timeless treasure chests

Kiri Set

It’s no wonder that the word presentation begins with the word “present." A beautifully wrapped gift not only enhances the appearance of the contents inside, it is also especially important in Japan because it communicates a keen appreciation for detail and respect for the recipient. This is why we wrap our gifted TATCHA Rituals in kiribako — traditional wooden boxes handcrafted in a simple but elegant design.

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Categories: Food, Design, Kyoto

Furoshiki: The original eco-wrapping

Furoshiki Detail area of a special chart created by Japan's Ministry of the Environment. It was widely distributed to encourage citizens to reduce waste from excessive packaging.

Just as origami can transform a slip of paper into a beautiful flower or elegant crane with a few folds, I love using fabric to add a special touch to gifts.

Known as furoshiki, this method of wrapping fabric into various shapes dates back to Edo period, when villagers would wrap their clothes and belongings in towels when walking to and from the public baths. It's also a brilliant way to carry multiple wine bottles, spontaneous purchases and even heavier things like books and laptops.

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Categories: Living, Design

Tidings of comfort (food) and joy!

Kyoto Restaurant A bowl of botan nabe with white miso broth and slices of boar fat arranged into the shape of peony from Hatakaku, a restaurant in Kyoto. Photo by Kosuke Okuda.

During the winter months, I love staying warm with one of my favorite Japanese dishes -- nabe. It’s a simple but hearty soup, filled with meat, vegetables and noodles and can be endlessly customized to suit your tastes. 

At its heart, nabe, (a nickname for nabemono, or hot pot) is often made with a seaweed-based broth and you can add as many different igredients as you can fit in the clay pot. 

 

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Categories: Holidays, Food

The secret behind the best gifts

Wsj Feature Detail of illustration by Carey Sookocheff / The Wall Street Journal

While I absolutely love this festive time of year, the necessity of shopping for gifts for friends and family can be stressful. This year,  though, I was inspired by this recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

The headline, "The Science Behind Gifting," pulls together various research and studies about what makes people happiest when receiving an item from someone else -- whether it's the holidays, a wedding, a birthday or other special occasion. The bottom line?

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Categories: Holidays, Living

A more thoughtful feast

Thoughtful Feast

We’re big fans of daily rituals here at TATCHA, especially when it comes to taking time out to care for your skin and well-being. So we were naturally delighted to read about new research that showed rituals with food – even something as small as unwrapping a chocolate bar a certain way – made it taste better. Additional experiments proved this also to be true with lemonade and, even more impressively, carrots. Essentially, rituals help us “do a little more of what makes life worth living,” writes researcher Kathleen D. Vohs. We couldn’t agree more, and we hope this is your most delicious Thanksgiving ever.

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Categories:

芸者 — Geisha, Art Person

Oni Hide All photos courtesy of Dr. Hidenori Onishi

Following Katy Perry's performance at last night's American Music Awards, we were inspired to share a few of our favorite geisha. Many of these images are from the Gion Odori, a popular dance held in November to celebrate autumn and showcase the graceful dances the geisha have learned throughout the year.

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Giving Thanks

Solicitation Marquee

Whenever I'm asked what I like best about my job, the answer is unfailingly "our customers." Here at TATCHA, you are the true reason behind everything that we do. That's why we created our "happiness guarantee," and why the most important aspect of our work will always be the absolute satisfaction of every person who uses our products. I love taking time to speak with our wonderful extended family, whether it's through a phone call or a handwritten note, and I'm always so thankful to have the opportunity to hear your stories. In the spirit of gratitude, I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

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Categories:

The Book Behind the Beauty

Tatcha Greenbook

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the book that became the foundation for TATCHA's philsophy and formulas — a slim, three-volume set called "Miyakofuzoku kewaiden," or, "Capital Beauty and Style Handbook."

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

We Hear You!

Tatcha Hears You Miki Chishaki

My favorite part of returning home from a long trip – besides seeing a certain small child sprinting towards me at the airport – is sitting down to the customer letters and emails received while I was gone.

Our customers are the most important part of what we do, and nothing makes us happier than hearing from our clients, whether it’s a beautiful thank-you note or simply a quick hello. And, I must confess, some of our best ideas have come from those notes.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha

Today’s Geisha: Ancient Icons in Modern Times

Geisha Dr. Hidenori Onishi

Sunday is Culture Day in Japan, a national holiday that began in 1868 to celebrate the arts, academics and other notable achievements. Geisha, the celebrated icons of beauty and Japanese tradition, embody these virtues every day, perfecting the art of performing songs and dances from the country's earliest days. In fact, geisha literally translates to "art person." Their makeup may be similar, but their personalities are as unique as the stars in the Kyoto sky. The late Dr. Onishi spent many years photographing geisha, and shared with us countless images from his collection. His images capture not only the geisha's dedication to their calling, but the way they balance their classical training with life in these modern times. Click "Read More" to see a slideshow of our favorites. 

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Categories: Geisha, Kyoto

Our Favorite Tricks & Tips

Geisha Halloween Photo Credit: Dr. Onishi

Halloween revelers often rely on heavily pigmented face paints and powders to achieve the perfect look, but the real scare comes later when it doesn’t come off as easily or thoroughly as expected.

Japan’s geisha, on the other hand, are accustomed to wearing elaborate makeup every day, and as a result, have perfected the best way to protect and cleanse their skin. This is why we created the PURE One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, which in addition to being a lovely daily ritual, is also terrific for taking away the smears and sparkles left behind after a night of merriment.

But it – and the rest of the collection – have additional powers and uses we wanted to share. If you’ve found a new way to use TATCHA products, share it in the comments below or on our Facebook page. A sweet TATCHA treat awaits those with the best suggestions.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Fashion

The Meaning of Tatcha

Meaning Of Tatcha The Japanese characters for TATCHA, which mean "standing" (top) and "flower." Calligraphy by Kazuko Kato.

I sought a single, perfect word.

Just as I pored over books of names before my daughter was born to find one that represented a lifetime of hopes and dreams, coming up with a word to represent the company I was creating at the same time presented an equally weighty challenge.

Nothing in dictionaries or reference books seemed right, and I quickly came to realize that I needed a new word – one that would stand alone in elegant simplicity yet be substantial enough to convey the passion for the ancient beauty traditions that inspired the collection and the modern science used to perfect them.

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Categories: Fashion

Introducing: Artisan Sake Glasses

Artisan Sake Glasses Gold leafing is just one of several steps in the month-long process to make these special sake glasses. Photo by Nami Onodera

Sake, the fermented rice wine virtually synonymous with Japan’s heritage of graceful hospitality, is present at every ceremony, celebration and gathering throughout the year. October, however, marks the start of the rice harvest and the beginning of the sake-brewing season -- a cause for celebration even in ancient times. Thirty-five years ago, sake industry leaders designated Oct. 1 “Nihonshu no Hi” or “National Sake Day,” giving devotees one more reason to raise a glass.

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Categories: Travel, Kyoto

Postcard from Kyoto: Advice from an otokoshi

Horiki helps dress geisha by hoisting heavy kimonos Photo by Miki Chishaki

Horikiri Shuji has worked for 17 years as an otokoshi, a person who helps dress geisha by hoisting heavy kimonos (they can weigh up to 40 pounds) and perfectly positioning obi into place before their performances and engagements. Somewhat similar to a Western fashion stylist, Horikiri works with as many as 10 geisha a day and has come to know dozens quite well over the course of his career. As the man behind the women we admire, we were eager to hear what he has learned from his countless encounters with them.

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Categories: Geisha, Interviews, Kyoto

Interview with Eden Grimaldi Founder of Mediacraft

Eden Grimaldi, Founder And President Of Mediacraft Photograph courtesy of Mark Iantosca | www.markiantosca.com

From the first moment I met Eden Grimaldi, the powerhouse founder and president of MediaCraft, a communications firm in New York City, I immediately sensed her impressive inner strength and intellectual conviction. Over the last two years, we’ve teamed up on various projects and pursuits, but when Eden confided she was undergoing treatment for  breast cancer, we collaborated on something even more personal. Last October, we created a special version of our SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream with a pink kimono-silk tie, and donated a portion of each sale to breastcancer.org. This year, we are delighted to offer a limited edition AGELESS Enriching Renewal Cream with a pink silk ribbon, with $35 of every sale through October going to breastcancer.org to help increase awareness and research, as well as showing support for one of the most inspirational women we know.

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Categories: Living, Fashion

Marie Claire meets Kyoka in Kyoto

Marie Claire Press Feature

Even though I’ve been to Kyoto dozens of times, there is always a sense of wonder and freshness. It’s even more magical when we have the chance to introduce new friends to the secret spots that inspire us each and every day. 

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Categories: Geisha, Interviews, Travel, Kyoto

TATCHA @ NYFW

Nyfw1 Blog At left, model gets prepped with TATCHA at the Chadwick Bell fashion show. Above, stylist Emily Barnes, far right, with Caroline Kornreich and Novis designer Jordana Warmflash, center.

Makeup artist Daniel Martin and stylist Emily Barnes are not only New York Fashion Week pros, they are my go-to team for all things glamorous and chic. They never judge me for dressing like a scientist, their creativity and passion always inspire me and best of all, I love learning from their gentle nudges about experimenting with self-expression  – which is why it was especially wonderful to see them both in action at the recent Spring 2014 runway shows.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Fashion, Travel

Thoughts on the Pursuit of

Happiness Blog

Just the fact that Japan has an official "Festival of Happiness" brings me joy. Also known as National Chrysanthemum Day, this centuries-old tradition celebration of longevity and health is named in honor of the autumn blooms beloved by its citizens for centuries (and appear on the Emperor’s official seal and Japanese passports to this day). 

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Categories:

Words to Live By

Back To School Blog

My love of reading began years ago, when as a little girl I discovered the power pages had to transport me to other worlds – and sparked my love for adventure and seeking new things that continues to this day. Few finds have been as exhilarating for me as when I found a rare manuscript in Kyoto that explained many of the geisha rituals that had fascinated me for so long. The practical beauty tips and approach to healthy, happy living inspire me – and the entire TATCHA team – each and every day.

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Categories:

A Masked Wonder to the Rescue

Sun Blog

Although summer in San Francisco is not known for its sunshine, I was fortunate enough to disappear with my family to a warm destination for a few days. My daughter was delighted to explore tide pools and create entire worlds out of sand, and I loved nothing more than watching her and my husband play together.

Because I have learned so much about how much damage the sun can do to delicate skin, I am more of an onlooker on these trips, most often found in the shade, protected by a hat the size of an umbrella. I’m always careful to slather Eric and Alea in sunscreen, but sometimes the California sun, high altitude and reflective water are no match for us. After one afternoon of fun in the sun, my heart sank when I saw Eric's face turning as red as a freshly-cooked lobster.

 

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel

Beauty Through the Ages

Age Blog

Many women dread the aging process, spending much time and energy attempting to fight back the years with aggressive treatments, surgeries, injections and other means. But this is not the case in many parts of the world, and that inspires me to understand how I can celebrate my face and body at every age. While traveling in Japan I heard the phrase “Bijin ni toshi nashi,” means “Beautiful women have no age,” something I agree with wholeheartedly.

 

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Categories: Beauty secrets

The Joy of Being in the “Moment”

Elison Blog A six-panel screen titled Maize and Coxcomb, from the 18th century. Photography by Octopus Holdings / Courtesy of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Sometimes you don’t have to go thousands of miles to be transported to another time and place, as proven by my recent trip to the Asian Art Museum to see the exhibit of Larry Ellison’s Japanese art. For me, visiting a museum is not just a visual experience, it’s a visceral one that engages my imagination and senses. This trip was even more meaningful to me because I had studied many of the pieces while I dreamed of creating TATCHA, including the gold-leaf of the screens that served as inspiration for the first product TATCHA created – the gold-flecked blotting papers (and are still our best seller!)

 

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Categories: Travel, Kyoto

Memoirs of a Real Geisha

Tatcha Geisha, Kyoka Photography by Miki Chishaki

Whenever I’m in Japan, I always look forward to visiting my good friend Kyoka, a modern-day geisha and TATCHA muse whose image graces our home page (and even our office, in the form of a four-foot wide photo). But my most recent stay was even more special because it was the first I saw Kyoka since her formal debut in her “Erikae” ceremony. The “collar changing” ceremony is much like a graduation, symbolizing the transition from maiko (apprentice geisha) to official geiko status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Geisha, Kyoto

Tatcha Travels - Tips From Tatcha’s Oft-Traveled Expert

Tatcha Travel Tips

Exploring new wonderful places and discovering hidden treasures is without a doubt the greatest joy of my career, but the act of traveling has never been an easy one for me.

Today, as I find myself half way through 5 weeks of travel yet again, I thought I’d share some of the wisdom I have gleaned to make travels as serene as possible. I hope you find them helpful as you embark on your own summer adventures.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel

Summer Superfoods: Favorites From The Tatcha Kitchen

Rice Super Food Blog

Summer in Japan and San Francisco alike means the arrival of many of my favorite foods. I've learned much from both cities about the delights and nutritional benefits of eating with the seasons. Summer foods are a family favorite now as my daughter and I are learning to cook simple, delicious dishes together; we thought we'd share a few with our TATCHA friends today. These Japanese summer dishes feature many of the ingredients in TATCHA’s skincare. Not surprisingly, it turns out that what is good for our internal heath is also good for our skin – the body’s largest organ. I hope, as the weather warms and the sun shines bright, you have the time to create some favorites from the TATCHA kitchen for yourself and your loved ones.

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Tatcha | Marrying History & Modern Day Exquisite Japanese Heritage

Marikku Blog Photo taken in 1958. At the time Marikiku was a maiko photo courtesy of Marikiku. www.marikiku.com

Once again, I’m heading off to Japan in just a few short days. As I embark upon each journey East, I look forward with eager anticipation to new discoveries ahead, but am also reminded of voyages past. At the moment, my friend Marikiku is on my mind.

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Everlasting Beauty: A Tale of Two Cranes

Beautiful Cranes

One of my favorite activities in Kyoto is to unwind at one of the many tea shops that dot its cobblestone roads, often with a perfect view of the creeks and rivers flowing through the city. On a recent trip to the timeless city, I noticed recently an elegant crane basking in the sun, and pointed it out to my friend and cultural guide Nami Onodera.

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Categories: Travel, Kyoto

All That Glitters Is Gold (at TATCHA)

Tatcha Gold Blog

Not so long ago, I shared the story of our gold-flaked beauty papers and how my discovery of this timeless secret inspired be to found TATCHA. Since then, I have been simply obsessed with this exquisite part of Japan’s history and culture, returning again and again to explore its significance.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

Summer Days: No Fun in the Sun

Tatcha Blogsun Damage

There are many things I love about summer – warm breezes clearing the winter air out of my house, riotous bursts of color from flowers, sundresses – but the dazzling sun and beach days also bring a sense of dread.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Travel

Seeking the Past: A Journey, A Discovery, A Beginning

Gold Artison A gold leaf artisan working with her craft

As many of you who have followed TATCHA’s journey—and mine—know, it has been a whirlwind few years.

Amidst my travels, however, it occurs to me that I have never shared the story of how TATCHA began with you. It was around this time five years ago that I made the trip to Japan that changed my life. Every time the winter chill starts to subside and the flowers burst into life, I remember where we came from.

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Tatcha Inspirations - Japan’s Okasans

Okasan Oka-san opened her celebrated training house for geisha as a young woman. She continues to inspire and train today. | Photo credit: Miki Chishaki

Women throughout history have found their way in any circumstances. At TATCHA, we always look to the past to inspire our work; now I look back to inspire my life. Any time I have a moment of fear or doubt, I think about the Okasans (“mothers”) who run the geisha houses of Kyoto.

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Categories: Popular Posts, Travel

Spring Cleaning: A Time to Begin Anew

Spring Cleaning

Greetings from Kyoto! I am here visiting with my muse and teacher, Kyoka-san and the plum blossoms are in full bloom. It truly feels as if spring has arrived, which makes me think of clearing away the old and beginning anew. For me, a fresh start begins with your skin.

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Local Treasures: An insider’s guide to the best of Tokyo

Tokyo Local Treasures

As I find myself in Japan this week, I am taking a moment to reflect on the many journeys I have taken with my wonderful companion and co-treasure hunter Nami
Onodera. A Tokyo native, Nami has spent half of her life in Japan and half in the U.S. As our Cultural Advisor and Senior Director of Product, she so perfectly embodies and reflects TATCHA’s duality of inhabiting both East and West.

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Bridal Beauty: Radiance that Lasts a Lifetime

Tatcha Skincare Bridal Kit

Your wedding day. The monumental occasion a lifetime in the making, the blissful realization that beauty lives as much between us as it does within us.

Understandably, the weeks leading up to your big day are a stressful time. Fortunately, I’ve discovered—first-hand—a few fail safe secrets to ensure your skin glows as you walk down the aisle.

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A Personal Quest: The Tatcha Journey

Tatcha Clinical Results

Growing up, I took my skin for granted. It was nearly flawless and I had no idea how lucky I was for that—until later in my career when I had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest beauty companies in the world.

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Categories:

Inspirations: Interview with Hitoshi Sagaseki

Hitoshi Sagaseki

Since starting TATCHA, I have received many questions and compliments about the packaging of our collection – this week, I wanted to introduce you to a man who was instrumental in their design and creation. Hitoshi Sagaseki, a native of Japan, studied architecture before building his own creative design agency.

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A World of Love: Valentines Day From The East To The West

Valentines Day Blog

Valentine’s Day is a special day for me as it coincides with my anniversary. Today, my husband and I are celebrating fourteen years together.

Even before I had a valentine, however, I enjoyed the generous spirit and love surrounding this day. Considering the importance of gift giving in Japan’s culture, it’s not surprising that Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated in Japan, as well as here in the states.

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Categories: Travel

Inspirations: Interview with Nonie Creme

Alex Wang Nonie Crème being interviewed with designer Alexander Wang

Nonie Crème, celebrity nail artist and the creator of Butter London’s product line, has been obsessed with beauty from a young age. From painting her nails every night in 5th grade to roaming backstage at Fashion Week, she is a force to be reckoned with in the beauty industry.

A devoted TATCHA fan, Nonie curated a special set of her must-have items from our collection. We spoke with her about kodawari, her beauty tips, and what’s next for Nonie.

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Ichi-go, Ichi-e

Ichi-go Rocks Flickr photographer -sou-

In Japanese, there is a phrase Ichi-go, ichi-e. It means “just this one moment, once in a lifetime” and speaks to the preciousness of experiences and interactions in our lives.

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Categories:

Beautiful Simplicity: TATCHA’s clean formulations

Tatcha Ingredients

As I welcome autumn’s cooler temperatures and the changing colors of the coming season, I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on a larger awareness, too. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to not only focus on the importance of health, but to recommit to it.

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Categories: Beauty secrets

Nature’s Exquisite Extract: Japanese Rice Bran

Japanese Rice Bran

When my mother and I used to make rice for dinner, she always washed the rice with a few rounds of water before cooking it. The first wash was always cloudy and milky, eventually running clear. We would wash our faces with the first wash – my mother insisted it was what kept our complexions clear and spotless. Later on, as I began researching the ingredients from our inspiration book, I came across rice extract in almost every recipe. I wanted to learn why, and my search led me to sake brewers.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

The Art of the Fan

Geisha Fan Art

On TATCHA's first journey through Kyoto, we learned that although a geisha is most famous for her iconic makeup, and the mochi-hada (baby smooth) complexion beneath it, she also has a variety of instruments that complete her ensemble.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

Okinawa, the Source of Luminosity

Okinawa

When I first traveled to Japan, I was quickly taken with the bustling, neon-lit streets of Tokyo and the serene canals of Kyoto. I soon learned, however, about one of Japan’s lesser-known treasures: Okinawa, a collection of islands south of the mainland.
 

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel

Timeless Geisha Secrets for Exquisite Skin

Japanese Geisha Greenbook Photo Credit: Kimio Takeyama

This ancient text, called Miyakofuzoku kewaiden (“Capital Beauty and Style Handbook") and dating back to 1813, is widely regarded amongst scholars as the oldest beauty book written in Japan—and perhaps one of the oldest surviving beauty books in existence - and forms the foundation for the geisha's skincare rituals and Tatcha's modern day formulations.

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A geisha’s beauty, the real story

Geisha Beauty Our muse Kyoka-san, a maiko (geisha in training) with no face makeup on and no retouching | photo credit: Miki Chishaki

The Western perception of a geisha is always accompanied by her iconic makeup: snow-white skin, red lips, impeccably lined eyes. Through my travels, however, I’ve found that the real story of a geisha’s beauty lies beneath her makeup.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha

Geisha, myth and icon

Geisha Icon Our muse Kyoka-san, a maiko (geisha in training) from Kyoto who will make her debut as a geisha this fall | photo credit: Dr. Hidenori Ohnishi

Having heard that many of the world's greatest beauty secret originated with geisha, I went to Kyoto to seek out the meaning behind the myth.  Here is a little of what I learned...

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Categories: Geisha

Hello from Kyoto + San Francisco

Hello From Kyoto + San Francisco Here I am with Kyoka, a maiko (geisha in training) who is the beautiful woman you see on TATCHA’s homepage | photo credit: Miki Chishaki

Several years ago, after a decade of big city living and big company work, I began yearning for simplicity and authenticity in my life—so I started traveling. 

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Categories: Travel

Remembering September 11th

911 Memorial Photo Credit: Stanley Hainsworth

I was at ground zero on September 11, 2001.  It is hard to believe that 10 years has passed since that surreal day in New York City because there are times when it feels like yesterday.  I was 23 years old and working on a bond trading floor in Four World Financial Center, which was connected to the Twin Towers via a land bridge.  When the first plane hit, the trading day was well underway so we were all at our desks when we felt the impact of the first plane hitting but we assumed it was simply a tragic accident.  When the second plane hit though we knew we were in danger and immediately evacuated the building into the commons just as the aftermath of the planes hitting began to unfold in front of us.

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Categories: Popular Posts

Join me on my journey

Tatcha Journey Bamboo Forest, Kyoto. Photo by Miki Chishaki.

In the hustle of everyday life, do you ever look around and wish you could have a fresh start? I  have. As with many women, my beauty rituals have been a metaphor for my stage in life. Early on, I longed for reinvention and my dressing table overflowed with products that promised total transformation.

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Categories: Popular Posts, Travel, Kyoto

Interview of Kevin James Bennett Emmy Winning Makeup Artist

Kevin Jaxmes Bennett Photo Credit: Adam Bouska

This is the fifth interview in a series in which we will be featuring great talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world and who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love.

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Categories: Interviews

Inspirations: Interview with Nick Verreos Fashion Designer

Nick Verreos | Fashion Designer photo credit: courtesy of kazphoto.com

This is the third interview in a series in which Tatcha will be featuring great talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world and who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love. Enjoy!

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Categories: Interviews, Fashion

Inspirations: Interview with Phyllis Li | Makeup for Life

Phyllis Pic photo: courtesy of phyllis li, beauty blogger extraordinaire

One of the coolest aspects of bringing Tatcha to the western world has been getting to know the amazing people who have come to love our little beauty essential as much as we do. This is the first interview in a series in which Tatcha will be featuring rising talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love. Enjoy!

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Categories: Interviews, Popular Posts

Interview with Daniel Martin Professional Makeup Artist

This is the second interview in a series in which Tatcha will be featuring rising talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love. Enjoy!

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Categories: Interviews

The Tatcha Blog

Our Cruelty-Free Pledge

Many of us at TATCHA have animals near and dear to us, and we all recognize the importance of cruelty-free formulations. Several of you have reached out regarding our animal testing policy, and we have proudly informed you that we are cruelty-free — we do not test on animals in any country, nor do our chemists, raw material suppliers, formulators or manufacturers.

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Categories: INGREDIENTS, Popular Posts

Inspiring Mothers Changing the World

Mothers give the most precious of gifts to their children—unconditional love, support, wisdom and opportunity.

In honor of incredible mothers and daughters everywhere, TATCHA has partnered with Room to Read, a global non-profit organization that has transformed the lives of millions of children in Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Here is a look at why this cause is so near to our hearts.

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The Beauty of Being Organized

Each spring, I enjoy watching the bare trees of winter sprouting with fresh foliage. This transformation never fails to inspire me, and seems like nature's reminder to spring-clean my own life and begin anew. In that spirit, I spoke to the beautiful Jenny Jin of Real Simple magazine about her aproach to all things beautiful and how she manages to keep everything so organized. Real Simple is one of my favorite resources for practical solutions to a busy life; the magazine’s simple but elegant approach truly resonates with me, echoing TATCHA’s skincare philosophy. I knew Jenny, their Beauty Assistant, would have some perfect tips, and she did. They were so good, I simply had to share.

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A very special facial

When I lived in New York, it was a place that I found both exhilarating and exhausting. My first journey to Kyoto was like stepping into a cobblestone-lined oasis—unlike my non-stop world, the ancient city seemed pure and untouched by time.

I had begun my travels hoping to restore my skin, but I found so more than that. If I could, I would bring each and every one of you to Kyoto to experience the city for yourself. To capture the essence of Kyoto's purifying effect on skin and spirit alike though, we are delighted to introduce our signature Kiyome (Japanese for “purifying”) Facial.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

Room to Read and TATCHA in Hong Kong

As a part of our partnership with Room to Read's Girls' Education program, we were honored to attend and participate in the organization's annual Hong Kong Gala. The event featured Room to Read co-founder John Wood and speaker Nisha Sajwan, 19, who graduated from one of the organization's programs in India.

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Categories: Room to Read

Hand it to the geisha

When I began spending time with geisha, I was so dazzled by their iconic makeup and beautiful kimono that I noticed little else. However, as we spent more time together, I began noticing more of the tiny details of the meticulously trained geisha.

When in full formal dress, a geisha is covered from head to toe, her face veiled by white makeup and her body beneath heavy layers of silk. Only the back of her neck and her hands are bare, an intimate glimpse as she pours tea or performs a dance. For this reason, they routinely include caring for their hands as part of their daily skincare ritual.

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In living color

Artists often relate to colors with a special intensity, but Tokyo’s Tatz Miki has dedicated his life and passion to a single hue — indigo.

Though surrounded by the ubiquitous and deeply symbolic shade since childhood, it wasn’t until he saw traditional indigo dyeing in Tokushima Prefecture that it truly captured his interest  — and heart.

Awestruck by the way a swath of fabric pulled from the vat of fermenting indigo leaves magically transformed itself from a grassy greenish tint to a brilliant blue as it oxidized in the air, he realized it was the perfect medium for connecting his heritage and his artistic passion.

He began experimenting with fermenting natural indigo in his spare time, dyeing various fabrics, ingredients and dipping methods to create a uniquely vibrant and lively luster.

The Tatz Miki signature collection of eight scarves in ranging shades of indigo called <LES BLEUS> has been featured at exhibitions around the world, including major installations in Tokyo, Paris, Milan and New York. We spoke with him about his work on a recent trip to his atelier.

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Categories: INGREDIENTS, Design, Interviews

How to turn a scarf into a rose

Tokyo artist Tatz Miki demonstrates his signature rosette wrap for displaying and storing his hand-dyed indigo scarves. We were mesmerized from the first moment we saw him transform his beautiful scarves into rows of roses. It takes some practice, but if there's a lovelier way to store scarves, we can't think of it!

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Categories: Holidays, Geisha, Kyoto

Our New NOZOMI Kit

The beginning of March is a beautiful time of year in Japan. Winter is receding, and peach and plum blossoms have begun to color the trees. What I love the most, though, is the air of celebration. March 3rd is Girls’ Day, or hinamatsuri, a day dedicated to the joy and magic of girlhood.

One of my favorite daily rituals is helping Alea get ready in the morning. Like other girls her age, she never tires of her own reflection — she is fascinated by her pigtailed hair, her pink shirt, her adorable smile. When she looks in the mirror, she sees beauty and potential, and I can’t help but see it too.

I hope that Alea continues this ritual as she grows older, despite the pressure that girls experience today. If she begins to lose sight of her own radiance, I will be there to remind her of the little girl admiring herself in the bathroom mirror.

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Categories: Room to Read, Travel

Pretty Flowers Bloom with Beautiful Meaning

Recently, I had the honor of visiting a school in Cambodia supported by Room to Read. It was a humbling and eye-opening journey, and I returned a changed person. The most striking part of my trip was meeting the incredible girls enrolled in the school and their remarkable families.

These young women live in one-room homes, most with roofs made of coconut leaves. Yet each girl had an irrepressible smile and a sparkle of optimism in her eyes.  They spoke of wanting to become doctors, teachers, scholars — one even confided that she is determined to become an actress. I was inspired by each one of them, how they rose above their adverse circumstances and reached for a new life.

This inspiration also guided my decision to use a lotus blossom to represent our partnership with Room to Read, a design incorporated into the new trustmark included on the TATCHA packaging. It seemed like the perfect choice, not only because of the lotus’ pure beauty but also due to its deep symbolic meaning. I saw countless lotuses in Cambodia, blooming in ponds or inside forgotten temples. My guide explained that the lotus bud is submerged beneath murky, still water, surrounded by mud and insects. As it grows, it rises above its humble beginnings, emerging from the water and opening its petals to the light.

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Categories: Room to Read, Design, Travel

Camellias — So much to love

Camellias have a storied legacy in Japan, where the blossoms’ symmetry and long-lasting qualities have come to symbolize purity, elegance and love. The native camellia japonica begins blooming in February, even through the snow, earning the nickname “rose of winter.”

But it’s the oil, cold-pressed from the plant’s seeds, that is the true treasure. A member of the same botanical family as the plants cultivated for tea, camellia oil is similarly rich in antioxidants and beneficial vitamins. It has one of the highest percentages of omega-9 oleic acid of any natural oil – higher than olive oil and avocado oil yet its molecular structure allows it to be more easily absorbed by the skin, resulting in a lighter, dryer and more velvety feel. This means it does not clog pores, leave a residue on the surface of the skin or cause breakouts, and that just a few drops provide deeply nourishing hydration.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha

A healing journey

A few years ago, on a trip to Japan, I began to notice an itchy patch on my hand. With every flight it worsened, sometimes even cracking and bleeding. My teammates called it my “dinosaur hand.” After a particularly hectic period of travel, the patch began to spread all over my body. My dermatologist put me on a steady course of oral and topical steroids, strengthening the prescription with every visit. But the problem persisted.

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Categories:

All About Blue

Throughout the development of the INDIGO Collection, the entire TATCHA team continued to be intrigued by how closely modern medical research on indigo extract mirrored the traditional lore.

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Categories: Food, Beauty secrets, Kyoto

Samurai Blue: A History of Indigo

Using natural indigo extract may seem like a novel concept in the West, but it has deep traditional roots in Japan. We wanted to share some of the fascinating facts we discovered as we researched this incredible plant.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel, Kyoto

Creating Indigo: Research and Development

After learning about the historic and healing properties of Japanese Indigo, I was more intrigued than ever to find it and experience its effects on the skin myself. Through much research, I found out about a small family farm in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan that still grew and harvested natural indigo fields.

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The Road to INDIGO

One of the most exciting parts of the TATCHA journey for me has been travelling around the world seeking new and better ways to care for skin. The increasing number of trips did have one downside, however – increasingly dry and irritated skin from long flights, changing temperatures and long-time effects of living with sensitized skin from acute dermatitis (which was the impetus to create the TATCHA collection).

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A new year, a new mission

This time of year always brings much reflection, thoughts of resolutions and reprioritizing – both personal and professional. These worlds aligned recently when I visited a Cambodian school supported by Room to Read, a San Francisco-based non-profit committed to changing the world through children’s education.

What I experienced in Siem Reap changed my life. The Cambodian girls’ bright smiles and intelligent eyes made me think of my own daughter, and I felt moved to do whatever I could to help each one achieve her potential.

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Categories: Room to Read, Living

Timeless treasure chests

It’s no wonder that the word presentation begins with the word “present." A beautifully wrapped gift not only enhances the appearance of the contents inside, it is also especially important in Japan because it communicates a keen appreciation for detail and respect for the recipient. This is why we wrap our gifted TATCHA Rituals in kiribako — traditional wooden boxes handcrafted in a simple but elegant design.

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Categories: Food, Design, Kyoto

Furoshiki: The original eco-wrapping

Just as origami can transform a slip of paper into a beautiful flower or elegant crane with a few folds, I love using fabric to add a special touch to gifts.

Known as furoshiki, this method of wrapping fabric into various shapes dates back to Edo period, when villagers would wrap their clothes and belongings in towels when walking to and from the public baths. It's also a brilliant way to carry multiple wine bottles, spontaneous purchases and even heavier things like books and laptops.

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Categories: Living, Design

Tidings of comfort (food) and joy!

During the winter months, I love staying warm with one of my favorite Japanese dishes -- nabe. It’s a simple but hearty soup, filled with meat, vegetables and noodles and can be endlessly customized to suit your tastes. 

At its heart, nabe, (a nickname for nabemono, or hot pot) is often made with a seaweed-based broth and you can add as many different igredients as you can fit in the clay pot. 

 

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Categories: Holidays, Food

The secret behind the best gifts

While I absolutely love this festive time of year, the necessity of shopping for gifts for friends and family can be stressful. This year,  though, I was inspired by this recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

The headline, "The Science Behind Gifting," pulls together various research and studies about what makes people happiest when receiving an item from someone else -- whether it's the holidays, a wedding, a birthday or other special occasion. The bottom line?

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Categories: Holidays, Living

A more thoughtful feast

We’re big fans of daily rituals here at TATCHA, especially when it comes to taking time out to care for your skin and well-being. So we were naturally delighted to read about new research that showed rituals with food – even something as small as unwrapping a chocolate bar a certain way – made it taste better. Additional experiments proved this also to be true with lemonade and, even more impressively, carrots. Essentially, rituals help us “do a little more of what makes life worth living,” writes researcher Kathleen D. Vohs. We couldn’t agree more, and we hope this is your most delicious Thanksgiving ever.

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Categories:

芸者 — Geisha, Art Person

Following Katy Perry's performance at last night's American Music Awards, we were inspired to share a few of our favorite geisha. Many of these images are from the Gion Odori, a popular dance held in November to celebrate autumn and showcase the graceful dances the geisha have learned throughout the year.

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Giving Thanks

Whenever I'm asked what I like best about my job, the answer is unfailingly "our customers." Here at TATCHA, you are the true reason behind everything that we do. That's why we created our "happiness guarantee," and why the most important aspect of our work will always be the absolute satisfaction of every person who uses our products. I love taking time to speak with our wonderful extended family, whether it's through a phone call or a handwritten note, and I'm always so thankful to have the opportunity to hear your stories. In the spirit of gratitude, I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

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Categories:

The Book Behind the Beauty

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the book that became the foundation for TATCHA's philsophy and formulas — a slim, three-volume set called "Miyakofuzoku kewaiden," or, "Capital Beauty and Style Handbook."

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

We Hear You!

My favorite part of returning home from a long trip – besides seeing a certain small child sprinting towards me at the airport – is sitting down to the customer letters and emails received while I was gone.

Our customers are the most important part of what we do, and nothing makes us happier than hearing from our clients, whether it’s a beautiful thank-you note or simply a quick hello. And, I must confess, some of our best ideas have come from those notes.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha

Today’s Geisha: Ancient Icons in Modern Times

Sunday is Culture Day in Japan, a national holiday that began in 1868 to celebrate the arts, academics and other notable achievements. Geisha, the celebrated icons of beauty and Japanese tradition, embody these virtues every day, perfecting the art of performing songs and dances from the country's earliest days. In fact, geisha literally translates to "art person." Their makeup may be similar, but their personalities are as unique as the stars in the Kyoto sky. The late Dr. Onishi spent many years photographing geisha, and shared with us countless images from his collection. His images capture not only the geisha's dedication to their calling, but the way they balance their classical training with life in these modern times. Click "Read More" to see a slideshow of our favorites. 

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Categories: Geisha, Kyoto

Our Favorite Tricks & Tips

Halloween revelers often rely on heavily pigmented face paints and powders to achieve the perfect look, but the real scare comes later when it doesn’t come off as easily or thoroughly as expected.

Japan’s geisha, on the other hand, are accustomed to wearing elaborate makeup every day, and as a result, have perfected the best way to protect and cleanse their skin. This is why we created the PURE One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, which in addition to being a lovely daily ritual, is also terrific for taking away the smears and sparkles left behind after a night of merriment.

But it – and the rest of the collection – have additional powers and uses we wanted to share. If you’ve found a new way to use TATCHA products, share it in the comments below or on our Facebook page. A sweet TATCHA treat awaits those with the best suggestions.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Fashion

The Meaning of Tatcha

I sought a single, perfect word.

Just as I pored over books of names before my daughter was born to find one that represented a lifetime of hopes and dreams, coming up with a word to represent the company I was creating at the same time presented an equally weighty challenge.

Nothing in dictionaries or reference books seemed right, and I quickly came to realize that I needed a new word – one that would stand alone in elegant simplicity yet be substantial enough to convey the passion for the ancient beauty traditions that inspired the collection and the modern science used to perfect them.

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Categories: Fashion

Introducing: Artisan Sake Glasses

Sake, the fermented rice wine virtually synonymous with Japan’s heritage of graceful hospitality, is present at every ceremony, celebration and gathering throughout the year. October, however, marks the start of the rice harvest and the beginning of the sake-brewing season -- a cause for celebration even in ancient times. Thirty-five years ago, sake industry leaders designated Oct. 1 “Nihonshu no Hi” or “National Sake Day,” giving devotees one more reason to raise a glass.

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Categories: Travel, Kyoto

Postcard from Kyoto: Advice from an otokoshi

Horikiri Shuji has worked for 17 years as an otokoshi, a person who helps dress geisha by hoisting heavy kimonos (they can weigh up to 40 pounds) and perfectly positioning obi into place before their performances and engagements. Somewhat similar to a Western fashion stylist, Horikiri works with as many as 10 geisha a day and has come to know dozens quite well over the course of his career. As the man behind the women we admire, we were eager to hear what he has learned from his countless encounters with them.

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Categories: Geisha, Interviews, Kyoto

Interview with Eden Grimaldi Founder of Mediacraft

From the first moment I met Eden Grimaldi, the powerhouse founder and president of MediaCraft, a communications firm in New York City, I immediately sensed her impressive inner strength and intellectual conviction. Over the last two years, we’ve teamed up on various projects and pursuits, but when Eden confided she was undergoing treatment for  breast cancer, we collaborated on something even more personal. Last October, we created a special version of our SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream with a pink kimono-silk tie, and donated a portion of each sale to breastcancer.org. This year, we are delighted to offer a limited edition AGELESS Enriching Renewal Cream with a pink silk ribbon, with $35 of every sale through October going to breastcancer.org to help increase awareness and research, as well as showing support for one of the most inspirational women we know.

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Categories: Living, Fashion

Marie Claire meets Kyoka in Kyoto

Even though I’ve been to Kyoto dozens of times, there is always a sense of wonder and freshness. It’s even more magical when we have the chance to introduce new friends to the secret spots that inspire us each and every day. 

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Categories: Geisha, Interviews, Travel, Kyoto

TATCHA @ NYFW

Makeup artist Daniel Martin and stylist Emily Barnes are not only New York Fashion Week pros, they are my go-to team for all things glamorous and chic. They never judge me for dressing like a scientist, their creativity and passion always inspire me and best of all, I love learning from their gentle nudges about experimenting with self-expression  – which is why it was especially wonderful to see them both in action at the recent Spring 2014 runway shows.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Fashion, Travel

Thoughts on the Pursuit of

Just the fact that Japan has an official "Festival of Happiness" brings me joy. Also known as National Chrysanthemum Day, this centuries-old tradition celebration of longevity and health is named in honor of the autumn blooms beloved by its citizens for centuries (and appear on the Emperor’s official seal and Japanese passports to this day). 

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Categories:

Words to Live By

My love of reading began years ago, when as a little girl I discovered the power pages had to transport me to other worlds – and sparked my love for adventure and seeking new things that continues to this day. Few finds have been as exhilarating for me as when I found a rare manuscript in Kyoto that explained many of the geisha rituals that had fascinated me for so long. The practical beauty tips and approach to healthy, happy living inspire me – and the entire TATCHA team – each and every day.

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Categories:

A Masked Wonder to the Rescue

Although summer in San Francisco is not known for its sunshine, I was fortunate enough to disappear with my family to a warm destination for a few days. My daughter was delighted to explore tide pools and create entire worlds out of sand, and I loved nothing more than watching her and my husband play together.

Because I have learned so much about how much damage the sun can do to delicate skin, I am more of an onlooker on these trips, most often found in the shade, protected by a hat the size of an umbrella. I’m always careful to slather Eric and Alea in sunscreen, but sometimes the California sun, high altitude and reflective water are no match for us. After one afternoon of fun in the sun, my heart sank when I saw Eric's face turning as red as a freshly-cooked lobster.

 

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel

Beauty Through the Ages

Many women dread the aging process, spending much time and energy attempting to fight back the years with aggressive treatments, surgeries, injections and other means. But this is not the case in many parts of the world, and that inspires me to understand how I can celebrate my face and body at every age. While traveling in Japan I heard the phrase “Bijin ni toshi nashi,” means “Beautiful women have no age,” something I agree with wholeheartedly.

 

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Categories: Beauty secrets

The Joy of Being in the “Moment”

Sometimes you don’t have to go thousands of miles to be transported to another time and place, as proven by my recent trip to the Asian Art Museum to see the exhibit of Larry Ellison’s Japanese art. For me, visiting a museum is not just a visual experience, it’s a visceral one that engages my imagination and senses. This trip was even more meaningful to me because I had studied many of the pieces while I dreamed of creating TATCHA, including the gold-leaf of the screens that served as inspiration for the first product TATCHA created – the gold-flecked blotting papers (and are still our best seller!)

 

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Categories: Travel, Kyoto

Memoirs of a Real Geisha

Whenever I’m in Japan, I always look forward to visiting my good friend Kyoka, a modern-day geisha and TATCHA muse whose image graces our home page (and even our office, in the form of a four-foot wide photo). But my most recent stay was even more special because it was the first I saw Kyoka since her formal debut in her “Erikae” ceremony. The “collar changing” ceremony is much like a graduation, symbolizing the transition from maiko (apprentice geisha) to official geiko status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Geisha, Kyoto

Tatcha Travels - Tips From Tatcha’s Oft-Traveled Expert

Exploring new wonderful places and discovering hidden treasures is without a doubt the greatest joy of my career, but the act of traveling has never been an easy one for me.

Today, as I find myself half way through 5 weeks of travel yet again, I thought I’d share some of the wisdom I have gleaned to make travels as serene as possible. I hope you find them helpful as you embark on your own summer adventures.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel

Summer Superfoods: Favorites From The Tatcha Kitchen

Summer in Japan and San Francisco alike means the arrival of many of my favorite foods. I've learned much from both cities about the delights and nutritional benefits of eating with the seasons. Summer foods are a family favorite now as my daughter and I are learning to cook simple, delicious dishes together; we thought we'd share a few with our TATCHA friends today. These Japanese summer dishes feature many of the ingredients in TATCHA’s skincare. Not surprisingly, it turns out that what is good for our internal heath is also good for our skin – the body’s largest organ. I hope, as the weather warms and the sun shines bright, you have the time to create some favorites from the TATCHA kitchen for yourself and your loved ones.

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Everlasting Beauty: A Tale of Two Cranes

One of my favorite activities in Kyoto is to unwind at one of the many tea shops that dot its cobblestone roads, often with a perfect view of the creeks and rivers flowing through the city. On a recent trip to the timeless city, I noticed recently an elegant crane basking in the sun, and pointed it out to my friend and cultural guide Nami Onodera.

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Categories: Travel, Kyoto

All That Glitters Is Gold (at TATCHA)

Not so long ago, I shared the story of our gold-flaked beauty papers and how my discovery of this timeless secret inspired be to found TATCHA. Since then, I have been simply obsessed with this exquisite part of Japan’s history and culture, returning again and again to explore its significance.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

Summer Days: No Fun in the Sun

There are many things I love about summer – warm breezes clearing the winter air out of my house, riotous bursts of color from flowers, sundresses – but the dazzling sun and beach days also bring a sense of dread.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Travel

Seeking the Past: A Journey, A Discovery, A Beginning

As many of you who have followed TATCHA’s journey—and mine—know, it has been a whirlwind few years.

Amidst my travels, however, it occurs to me that I have never shared the story of how TATCHA began with you. It was around this time five years ago that I made the trip to Japan that changed my life. Every time the winter chill starts to subside and the flowers burst into life, I remember where we came from.

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Tatcha Inspirations - Japan’s Okasans

Women throughout history have found their way in any circumstances. At TATCHA, we always look to the past to inspire our work; now I look back to inspire my life. Any time I have a moment of fear or doubt, I think about the Okasans (“mothers”) who run the geisha houses of Kyoto.

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Categories: Popular Posts, Travel

Spring Cleaning: A Time to Begin Anew

Greetings from Kyoto! I am here visiting with my muse and teacher, Kyoka-san and the plum blossoms are in full bloom. It truly feels as if spring has arrived, which makes me think of clearing away the old and beginning anew. For me, a fresh start begins with your skin.

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Local Treasures: An insider’s guide to the best of Tokyo

As I find myself in Japan this week, I am taking a moment to reflect on the many journeys I have taken with my wonderful companion and co-treasure hunter Nami
Onodera. A Tokyo native, Nami has spent half of her life in Japan and half in the U.S. As our Cultural Advisor and Senior Director of Product, she so perfectly embodies and reflects TATCHA’s duality of inhabiting both East and West.

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Bridal Beauty: Radiance that Lasts a Lifetime

Your wedding day. The monumental occasion a lifetime in the making, the blissful realization that beauty lives as much between us as it does within us.

Understandably, the weeks leading up to your big day are a stressful time. Fortunately, I’ve discovered—first-hand—a few fail safe secrets to ensure your skin glows as you walk down the aisle.

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A Personal Quest: The Tatcha Journey

Growing up, I took my skin for granted. It was nearly flawless and I had no idea how lucky I was for that—until later in my career when I had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest beauty companies in the world.

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Inspirations: Interview with Hitoshi Sagaseki

Since starting TATCHA, I have received many questions and compliments about the packaging of our collection – this week, I wanted to introduce you to a man who was instrumental in their design and creation. Hitoshi Sagaseki, a native of Japan, studied architecture before building his own creative design agency.

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A World of Love: Valentines Day From The East To The West

Valentine’s Day is a special day for me as it coincides with my anniversary. Today, my husband and I are celebrating fourteen years together.

Even before I had a valentine, however, I enjoyed the generous spirit and love surrounding this day. Considering the importance of gift giving in Japan’s culture, it’s not surprising that Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated in Japan, as well as here in the states.

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Categories: Travel

Inspirations: Interview with Nonie Creme

Nonie Crème, celebrity nail artist and the creator of Butter London’s product line, has been obsessed with beauty from a young age. From painting her nails every night in 5th grade to roaming backstage at Fashion Week, she is a force to be reckoned with in the beauty industry.

A devoted TATCHA fan, Nonie curated a special set of her must-have items from our collection. We spoke with her about kodawari, her beauty tips, and what’s next for Nonie.

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Ichi-go, Ichi-e

In Japanese, there is a phrase Ichi-go, ichi-e. It means “just this one moment, once in a lifetime” and speaks to the preciousness of experiences and interactions in our lives.

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Beautiful Simplicity: TATCHA’s clean formulations

As I welcome autumn’s cooler temperatures and the changing colors of the coming season, I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on a larger awareness, too. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to not only focus on the importance of health, but to recommit to it.

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Categories: Beauty secrets

Nature’s Exquisite Extract: Japanese Rice Bran

When my mother and I used to make rice for dinner, she always washed the rice with a few rounds of water before cooking it. The first wash was always cloudy and milky, eventually running clear. We would wash our faces with the first wash – my mother insisted it was what kept our complexions clear and spotless. Later on, as I began researching the ingredients from our inspiration book, I came across rice extract in almost every recipe. I wanted to learn why, and my search led me to sake brewers.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

The Art of the Fan

On TATCHA's first journey through Kyoto, we learned that although a geisha is most famous for her iconic makeup, and the mochi-hada (baby smooth) complexion beneath it, she also has a variety of instruments that complete her ensemble.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha, Kyoto

Okinawa, the Source of Luminosity

When I first traveled to Japan, I was quickly taken with the bustling, neon-lit streets of Tokyo and the serene canals of Kyoto. I soon learned, however, about one of Japan’s lesser-known treasures: Okinawa, a collection of islands south of the mainland.
 

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Travel

Timeless Geisha Secrets for Exquisite Skin

This ancient text, called Miyakofuzoku kewaiden (“Capital Beauty and Style Handbook") and dating back to 1813, is widely regarded amongst scholars as the oldest beauty book written in Japan—and perhaps one of the oldest surviving beauty books in existence - and forms the foundation for the geisha's skincare rituals and Tatcha's modern day formulations.

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A geisha’s beauty, the real story

The Western perception of a geisha is always accompanied by her iconic makeup: snow-white skin, red lips, impeccably lined eyes. Through my travels, however, I’ve found that the real story of a geisha’s beauty lies beneath her makeup.

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Categories: Beauty secrets, Geisha

Geisha, myth and icon

Having heard that many of the world's greatest beauty secret originated with geisha, I went to Kyoto to seek out the meaning behind the myth.  Here is a little of what I learned...

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Categories: Geisha

Hello from Kyoto + San Francisco

Several years ago, after a decade of big city living and big company work, I began yearning for simplicity and authenticity in my life—so I started traveling. 

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Categories: Travel

Remembering September 11th

I was at ground zero on September 11, 2001.  It is hard to believe that 10 years has passed since that surreal day in New York City because there are times when it feels like yesterday.  I was 23 years old and working on a bond trading floor in Four World Financial Center, which was connected to the Twin Towers via a land bridge.  When the first plane hit, the trading day was well underway so we were all at our desks when we felt the impact of the first plane hitting but we assumed it was simply a tragic accident.  When the second plane hit though we knew we were in danger and immediately evacuated the building into the commons just as the aftermath of the planes hitting began to unfold in front of us.

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Categories: Popular Posts

Join me on my journey

In the hustle of everyday life, do you ever look around and wish you could have a fresh start? I  have. As with many women, my beauty rituals have been a metaphor for my stage in life. Early on, I longed for reinvention and my dressing table overflowed with products that promised total transformation.

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Categories: Popular Posts, Travel, Kyoto

Inspirations: Interview with Phyllis Li | Makeup for Life

One of the coolest aspects of bringing Tatcha to the western world has been getting to know the amazing people who have come to love our little beauty essential as much as we do. This is the first interview in a series in which Tatcha will be featuring rising talents across a range of professions that touch the beauty world who inspire us with the simplicity, authenticity and elegance they bring to the work they love. Enjoy!

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Categories: Interviews, Popular Posts