T ▪ House

More Than a Lipstick

More Than a Lipstick

In Japan, you can’t help but notice that tea is more than just tea, a fan is more than just a fan, and sake is more than just sake. Behind these seemingly everyday objects lies a dedication to a craft, elevating them to an art. The thought and care applied by each artisan — whether making sake (a lovesong to Japan’s cherished staple, rice), whisking green tea (a symbol of Japanese hospitality) or wrapping a gift (a way to show love and care) — makes even the humblest activities feel luxurious.

This Japanese artistry and attention to detail inspired us when we began creating our Silk Lipsticks. We wanted all our lipsticks, like our new Magnolia Bloom Silk Lipstick, to be more than just lip colors — they had to feel like works of art, from Japan with love. To bring these lipsticks to life, we collaborated with celebrated designers and engineers from the U.S. and Japan. It took over a year to develop our lipsticks, from the jewel-like faceting of the bullets to the way they feel in hand:


  • Custom tooling: we created custom tools to engineer each lipstick. This means each lipstick requires special attention and care, and can’t be reproduced outside of Japan or in large quantities.
  • Bespoke metalwork: the golden touches on each lipstick is inspired by Rinpa, a Japanese school of art from 17th century Kyoto. Rinpa art is known for incorporating painting and metalwork, which informed the finishes of our golden mon logo.
  • Iconic colors: in designing our Plum Blossom Silk Lipstick, we chose a creamy white color for the case to represent the blanketing of snow (plum blossoms are a winter bloom), the perfect backdrop for the gleaming band of gold that recalls the touch of an illuminating sunrise.
  • One-of-a-kind faceting: when designing our full-size lipsticks, each bullet is fashioned into a diamond-like shape, making it easy to apply in clean lines without lip liner.
  • Texture and weight: the materials for the lipsticks were chosen not only for their practicality but for their weight and the way they feel in hand with each swipe of color.

While the outside is meant to stand as a work of art, the inside should feel just a beautiful, especially when worn. The vivid hue of our Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick is our take on the geisha’s timeless vermillion lip, remastered to complement the beauty of modern women. The 23-karat gold gives the color a subtle, flattering hint of brightness.

Together, our custom-made case and formula are an homage to Kyoto’s craftsmanship, a token of which you can hold in your hand, or wear on your lips. When you purchase any item in our collection, it’s not just a formula or a pretty package that you receive, it’s a small piece of the beautiful tradition, heritage and artistry found nowhere else.


Victoria Signature

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

Published October 25, 2018
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