Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tatcha - first impressions

EDIT: wersja polska znajduje sie pod wpisem angielskim.

Tatcha has finally started to make ripples in the Polish beauty blogosphere, so I guess it's high time for me to write a few words, too, and share my first impressions.

So make yourself a cup of tea (Earl Grey, hot!) and settle down for a read.
This is going to be rather long.
Consider yourself warned.

Tatcha had appeared on my radar for the first time around March 2014.

When I first heard about this magical "Japanese" company, I immediately wanted to know where and how I could get my grabby hands on their stuff. Imagine my surprise then, when upon checking the company's website, I learned that Tatcha is headquartered in the US and does not sell its products in Japan. And apparently, has no plans to do so.

My bullsh*t detector immediately went into overdrive.

I read Tatcha's geisha beauty secrets PR spin and felt a wave of nausea coming over me. Even I, the ultimate bs mistress that I am, can only handle so much idiotic PR drivel in one sitting. Please, I beg you, tell me that people don't take this geisha stuff seriously. They can't be that naive. Or can they?

Still, Tatcha was getting rave reviews and I was becoming more and more curious.
Until I try something, I do my best to keep an open mind, geisha beauty secrets magically uncovered in Kyoto by a woman, who it seems, can't speak Japanese, and all.

So imagine my surprise when one beautiful early summer morning in 2015 I fired up my gmail and, lo and behold, there was a message from Tatcha in my inbox.
One miss Alexandra was contacting bloggers and offering to send me Tatcha's introductory Ritual Discovery sampler to sample. Of course I said yes. I sent miss Alexandra my address and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, I decided to follow up.

Miss Alexandra responded that sadly, Tatcha being a small company, it didn't have a budget for working with international bloggers. That of course, was a pretty dumb lie. Other international bloggers, in Europe and in Singapore, were already showing off their Tatcha PR booty on Instagram.
But they were popular bloggers with thousands of followers and I was a no-name nobody.

I truly hoped that miss Alexandra was just a clueless summer intern, who didn't know any better. But no, she's an actual Tatcha PR employee. Scary! She clearly assumed that since I was a no-name nobody very far away, lying to me would be pretty harmless.

Well, you know, this is them innernets generation. I might be a small fish in a country far away, but we do have wi-fi over here. And as a small fish beauty blogger, I do follow big fish beauty bloggers. And shock and horror, sometimes we even talk to each other. Because the popular kids on the blog know that in order to stay popular they need the support of (the) hoi polloi like me.

But apparently, miss Alexandra over at Tatcha slept during her PR101 classes. If she had paid attention, then she would have known that simple "Sorry, our mistake. At this time, we are targeting a different audience. Let's keep in touch." was a perfectly acceptable way of getting out of this situation. No need to lie. At least that's how we used to handle it back in my days.

Anyway, when I saw one of the popular bloggers with thousands of followers proudly present her PR sample of Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit, I left a comment.

Tatcha reacted with lightning speed. Suddenly, the company was apologizing for the "misunderstanding" and offering to rectify the situation. Pretty pathetic that it had to come to that.

I declined Tatcha's offer and instead did a haul.

This is what I got. Like I told you, despite this unpleasant experience, I was trying to keep an open mind. My policy has always been "no dissing until you try it".

One good thing about Tatcha is that the company sells trial sizes. That is a marvelous idea. Considering how much full-size Tatcha products cost, this is an affordable way to sample what the brand has to offer. And this is exactly what I did. The two full size products that ended up in my shipment were freebies. And I really do appreciate the gesture. One of them, the indigo cream, turned out to be the discovery of the year for me.

My shopping list:

  • Dry Skin Ritual Discovery Kit
  • Revitalizing Eye Cream Travel Size
  • Moisture Rich Silk Cream Travel Size
  • Deep Hydration Firming Serum Travel Size
  • Soothing Triple Recovery Cream (Indigo) Travel Size
  • Camellia Beauty Oil Travel Size
  • Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask (Single Set)
  • Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (Single)
  • Classic Rice Enzyme Powder Travel Size (freebie for signing up for Tatcha's mailing list)

and 3 (yes, three) foil packets that are complimentary with every order, and which you can select yourself:

  • One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil Packet
  • Enriching Renewal Cream Packet
  • Soothing Renewal Treatment Packet

My order also included two complimentary full-size products:
Here is a detailed review of both of these full size products.
  • Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream - I love this stuff! Could bathe in it!


  • Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35, which is very nice, if you've never used a real Japanese sunblock, but at US$68 for 60ml is not worth it. Especially considering the relatively low and very un-Japanese (for a company that plays up the whole Japanese mystique spiel) SPF.

Tatcha's "origins" story makes any Japanese woman, who had the misfortune to hear it, laugh. As it does anyone else with even the most basic understanding of Japanese culture and cosmetic market. "Othering" in any shape or form is borderline discrimination. "Othering" to pitch and sell a product is the lowest, most arrogant form of marketing. And I suppose that is at least one of the many reasons why Tatcha does not have a physical presence in Japan.

Yet at the same time othering of mystical, mythical creatures, such as geisha for example, makes perfect business sense, if the products you're pitching are skincare and beauty. The myth, the aura, and the exoticism all help to sell the magic.

Tatcha identified this niche, created a vaguely plausible story to lend it some basic legitimacy and now is laughing all the way to the bank. There's even a real life geisha in the mix, one Kyouka, who made her full fledged geiko debut in the Gion Kobu district of Kyoto on October 29th, 2012.

She's the one on the right, pictured here still in her maiko days, from the looks of it.
Image: Wikipedia commons

That fact itself rings all sorts of warning bells to anyone with at least a rudimentary knowledge of what real geisha are and how they operate. To put it plainly, self-respecting geisha don't sell their services to western skincare companies. And if they do, they don't want that fact to be widely known in Japan (reason number 2 why Tatcha is not available here).

Of course there is a new breed of geisha out there, as well. Women, who started in the business as part-time geisha (usually as university students for whom it was simply a part time job), eventually graduated to full-time geisha status. They brought with them new, thoroughly modern, attitudes to this traditional profession.

On one hand, it's good, because as the world goes forward, geisha evolve along with it. On the other hand, we get individuals such as Kyouka, who are willing to lend their faces and names to foreign brands, so long as it leads to more international exposure for them. In other words, very business savvy, for whom this is just a stepping stone to bigger, brighter things. Because trust me, we haven't heard the last of Kyouka yet.
I have a strange feeling that a book detailing the beauty practices of modern geisha, co-authored by Victoria Tsai (Tatcha's founder), is in the works. And along with that, the usual media circus. Just wait and see.
Patience, my friends.

"International" is the key word here, for obvious reasons. Such approach would be laughed at domestically. And besides, Japanese women have other, more credible and a lot more experienced, skincare and beauty guru to follow than geisha. The geisha beauty secrets legend appeals to western weeabos and women who have never been inside a Japanese drugstore.

Tatcha's founder, Ms Tsai, is very careful of how she presents her company. She spins her geisha yarn very carefully, but anyone familiar with the history of beauty in Japan can easily call her bullsh*t.

For example, on Tatcha's website, she says:

The beauty secrets she learned from the geisha introduced her to a different approach to skincare — that less is more. Their skin care philosophy and time-tested ingredients were captured in an ancient text widely considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan...


She needed geisha to figure it out? Really! Really?

All she needed to do was go to any Matsumoto Kiyoshi (a popular Japanese drugstore chain) and take a look at the cleansing isle. But then we wouldn't have the sappy "how Tatcha was born" story and without the "geisha beauty secrets" spiel it would be impossible to charge the kind of prices that Tatcha does now.

And speaking of geisha beauty secrets, kabuki actors use the same techniques. But I guess "the skincare tips I learned from kabuki actors" wouldn't carry the same dollars signs weight as mythical geisha. Pity, because super-kabuki performances are a lot more fun and entertaining than what geisha have to offer. Be sure to go and watch one next time you're in Japan.

The second part of Ms. Tsai's words, that "their (presumably geisha's) skin care philosophy and time-tested ingredients were captured in an ancient text..." is simply not true.

The text she is referring to, and which she claims recorded and described the skin care philosophy of geisha, is nothing other than "Miyako fūzoku kewaiden" (A Handbook of Cosmetics in the Capital) published in 1813 (republished in 1982).

screenshot source:

It was a compilation of traditional (and not so traditional) beauty, skincare and makeup techniques to assist the Japanese ladies to look their best. It was not exclusive to the geisha world, as Ms. Tsai would have you believe, though she is very careful not to say it outright. She puts the imagery in your head and lets your mind work out the association on its own. By the time you finish reading the stories on Tatcha's website, you are convinced that "Miyako fūzoku kewaiden" holds the keys to eternal life. Or at least, to eternal beauty.

Yet in reality, there is absolutely nothing mythical or mystical about it.

This is Ms. Tsai's account of how she came to know this book:

I first heard whispers about these books from geisha I met while researching the products that would eventually form the foundation of TATCHA's skin care ritual. The techniques they described were time-tested but rarely written down or shared beyond the wall's of the geisha house. Geisha are serious about keeping secrets, even their phone numbers and addresses are not listed and must be procured through several intermediaries.  

Very surprising, since this book is not, and has never been a secret. Unless of course Ms. Tsai's geisha friends were playing a practical joke on her, there was no need to secretly whisper about it, because it is very well known to anyone who is interested in the history and evolution of beauty in Japan.

And Ms. Tsai isn't the first who thought it might be a good idea to look for inspiration in this old text. Pola Beauty has been doing it for years. In fact "Miyako fūzoku kewaiden" is required reading for Pola Beauty's researchers.

Also odd are these claims:

As I began my search for this book, I learned that very few people even knew of its existence, and that only a few written copies still exist. I turned to museums, hoping to find some documentation or clues about how to find it.  
Months later, a researcher and I tracked it down in an antique bookstore. When I finally held the book in my hands, I could barely breathe from excitement. Its whisper-thin pages danced with delicate calligraphy, recording centuries of secrets – most of which remain startlingly relevant in our modern times.

Odd, because used copies of the 1982 reprint are readily available on Japanese Amazon (just google: 都風俗化粧伝).

But I guess "an old beauty manual I found at Book Off" wouldn't carry the same dollars signs weight as "a book of geisha secrets found in an antique bookstore".

So now you have reasons 3, 4, 5... 7 - 11 as to why Tatcha doesn't have an actual store in Japan. Japanese women would laugh so loud, you could hear them in San Francisco.

And speaking of San Fran, that's where Tatcha is headquartered.
While the majority of its products are indeed formulated and made in Japan, the company is very much American. And to be honest, Tatcha is not claiming to be a Japanese company.
That is another one of those crafty associations that our brains make when they hear the words "geisha" and "skincare".

But just as the fact that my MacBook was made in China doesn't make Apple Inc. a Chinese company, the same is true about Tatcha. That its products are manufactured in Japan, doesn't make Tatcha a Japanese company. It only adds another, carefully planned and designed, layer of passable credibility to Tatcha's main marketing points - magical geisha beauty secrets, you folks! Straight from Japan, you folks!

Ok, I need a break now.

This is the summary of my first impressions:

Tatcha is an American company that sells Japan-inspired, nicely packaged, ridiculously overpriced, but overall quite average cosmetics (Pola Beauty, or even SK-II it ain't, trust me) to mainly western women, who don't know any better (a single bio-cellulose sheet mask for US$28, anyone?).

In the coming weeks I will be reviewing the products I purchased, tried and used up.
I'm tired now.
My limits of nonsensical geisha PR drivel have been reached for the day.

I need a nap.

To be continued...

PS. Yes, I finally got me my own domain. Yay for me!

Streszczenie po polsku:

Tatcha wzbudza coraz wieksze zainteresowanie w polskiej blogosferze kosmetycznej i poniewaz dostalam sporo maili z prosba o dodanie wersji polskiej, w koncu sie sprezylam i oto jest.

Tatcha pojawila sie na moim kosmetycznym radarze po raz pierwszy w okolicach marca 2014 roku. Bylam bardzo ciekawa tej nowej "japonskiej" marki o ktorej tak glosno bylo w internecie. Wiec latwo bylo sobie wyobrazic moje rozczarowanie, kiedy po wejsciu na strone firmy okazalo sie, ze nie jest to marka japonska i nie jest do nabycia stacjonarnie w Japonii.

Przeczytalam sobie magiczna historie marketingowa Tatchy i nie wiedzialam czy mam sie smiac czy plakac, czy moze oba na raz. Nie chcialo mi sie wierzyc, ze ludzie moga brac te bujdy o sekretach urody gejsz na powaznie. Chyba nikt nie jest az tak naiwny? Okazalo sie, jednak, ze i owszem...

Ale kosmetyki Tatchy nadal mialy cudowne opinie i bardzo chcialam ich sprobowac, bo mam w zwyczaju miec otwarte podejscie do nowosci. 

Bardzo sie wiec ucieszylam, kiedy Tatcha zaoferowala mi zestaw w ramach wspolpracy. Niestety, jak tylko podalam swoj adres, z krajem "Japonia", oferta ta zostala bardzo szybko wycofana, z wyjasnieniem, ze nie maja budzetu na wysylke poza USA. Oczywiscie bylo to klamstwo, poniewaz dwa tygodnie pozniej blogerki z Europy, Indonezji, Australii pokazywaly na instagramie swoje wspolpracowe zestawy tatchowe. Wytknelam to Tatchy publicznie na instagramie i pani Tsai (wlascicielka firmy) natychmiast przeprosila za "blad" i zaoferowala paczke. 

Z oferty tej nie skorzystalam, bo nie pcham sie tam gdzie mnie najwyrazniej nie chca, i zamiast tego sama zakupilam kilkanascie produktow do przetestowania. Niestety pierwsze wrazenia stycznosci z firma pozostawily raczej nieprzyjemne uczucia.

Marketing Tatchy tylko je poglebil.

Rozumiem, ze tajemnice orientu swietnie sprzedaja produkty. Dodac do tego slowa "gejsza" i "sekrety urody" kosmetyczna magia tworzy sie praktycznie sama. Niestety, jak zawsze w takich przypadkach, calosc oparta jest na... no wlasnie na czym? Na pomysle pani Tsai, ktora nawet zatrudnila gejsze, aby dodac historii swojej firmy autentycznosci.

I tutaj mamy powod dla ktorego Tatcha nie jest dostepna w Japonii. Wzbudzilaby ona pusty smiech i niedowierzanie w najlepszym wypadku, posadzenia o rasizm w najgorszym wypadku.

Pani Tsai bardzo skrupulatnie unika stwierdzenia, ze Tatcha to marka japonska. Zamiast tego chce abysmy same wysnuly takie wnioski. 

Pani Tsai twierdzi, ze sekrety Tatchy pochodza z zagubionego manuskryptu, ktory opisuje sekrety japonskiej pielegnacji. Rowniez twierdzi, ze udalo jej sie odnalezc ten manuskrypt po bardzo dlugich poszkiwaniach. Dziwne, bo owa ksiazka dostepna jest na japonskim amazonie i zlozenie zamowienia zabralo mi okolo 2 minut. Ksiazka owa nie jest ani zagubiona, nie jest tez sekretem, poniewaz inne firmy kosmetyczne, miedzy innymi POLA Beauty, od dawna wymaga od swoich formulatorow znajomosci historii japonskiej tradycji kosmetycznej. 

Ja doskonale rozumiem, ze tego typu bajki bardzo podobaja sie zachodnim klientom, ale niestety sa to wlasnie tylko bajki.

Tutaj lista moich zakupow:

  • Dry Skin Ritual Discovery Kit
  • Revitalizing Eye Cream Travel Size
  • Moisture Rich Silk Cream Travel Size
  • Deep Hydration Firming Serum Travel Size
  • Soothing Triple Recovery Cream (Indigo) Travel Size
  • Camellia Beauty Oil Travel Size
  • Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask (jedna sztuka)
  • Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (jedna sztuka)
  • Classic Rice Enzyme Powder Travel Size (gratis za zapisanie sie na liste mailingowa)

and 3 (tak, trzy) probki foliowe (porownujac do azjatyckich sklepow, to chyba jakis zart), ktore mozna sobie wybrac przy kazdym zamowieniu.

  • Probka One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
  • Probka Enriching Renewal Cream
  • Probka Soothing Renewal Treatment

Oprocz tego w mojej paczce znalazly sie dwa pelnowymiarowe produkty dolaczone jako, nie wiem, moze przeprosiny?

  • Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream - ten krem pokochalam natychmiast. Stal sie moim ulubiencem


  • Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 - jesli ktos nigdy nie uzywal japonskich filtrow, bedzie nim zachwycony. Jakosciowo jedna jest to zwykla drogeryjna baza z niskim filtrem, zupelnie nie warta swej ceny US$68 za 60ml is not worth it. 
Warto tutaj dodac, ze i Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream i Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 to produkty amerykanskie, made in USA.
 Tutaj recenzja tych dwoch kosmetykow.

Czas na podsumowanie pierwszych wrazen:

1. Tatcha to marka amerykanska luzno inspirowana Japonia.  
2. Siedziba firmy znajduje sie w San Francisco.
3. Kosmetyki Tatchy produkowane sa i w USA i w Japonii.
4. Kosmetyki Tatchy nie sa dostepne w Japonii.
5. Kosmetyki Tatchy, pomimo zapewnien pani Tsai, maja raczej malo wspolnego z jakoscia kosmetykow japonskich w podobnym przedziale cenowym.
6. Jedyne co kosmetyki Tatchy maja wspolnego z sekretami pielgnacji gejsz i Japonek ogolnie, oprocz slow marketingowo-reklamowych, to wlasciwie nic.
7. Jakosc jest nieadekwatna do ceny w przypadku kazdego produktu, ktory mialam okazje sprobowac, za wyjatkiem kremu indigo (ktory i tak uwazam, ma bardzo wygorowana cene).
8. Fakt, ze cos jest produkowane w Japonii, nie robi z Tatchy automatycznie firmy japonskiej. Komputery Apple produkowane sa w Chinach, ale nikt o zdrowym rozsadku nie twierdzi, ze Apple to firma chinska.
9. Opakowania sie bardzo przyjemne wizulanie, ale przeciez nie opakowanie bede sobie klasc na twarz.
10. Tatcha ma ogromny potencjal, ale najpierw musi przestac traktowac potencjalnych klientow jak naiwnych frajerow, ktorzy bezmyslnie poleca na slowa "Japonia" i "gejsza".


  1. Zdecydowanie czekam na ciąg dalszy i postawiłaś kropkę nad "i" w kwestii odwiedzenia mnie od zakupów. Za to nadal dumam nad SK-II, dostałam w prezencie jeden kosmetyk i myślę, czy nie dokupić jeszcze dwóch pozycji dla uzupełnienia całości. Przeczytałam wszystkie Twoje wpisy dotyczące tej marki i mocno ostudziłaś mój entuzjazm ;)

    1. Wiesz, mimo wszystko, ja mam slabosc do SK-II. Przymierzam sie do kupna tego Aura CC Cream. I tego nowego RNA, bo probki wypadly obiecujaco.
      Na zime nic nie przebija Stempower Rich. Dla posiadaczek suchych cer to jest czysta magia. Ale na razie mam tyle innych rzeczy, ze sie powstrzymam.
      Sprobuj SK-II, a nuz Ci podpasuje.
      Ja dumam tez nad skokiem na glebokie wody jakimi jest POLA Beauty. Jak bede znowu w Tokio, to chyba skocze, bo sample, ktore mialam byly bardzo obiecujace.

    2. To jest tak, że czytałam też wpisy u Sugarninjas - Ona ma cerę nieco podobną do mojej plus rosacea :/ Cały czas penetruję rynek za produktami, które będą pomocne w pielęgnacji właśnie takich cer i stąd analiza ofert SK-II. Jeszcze nie wiem na ile mam dostępu do sampli, lecz na pierwszy ogień kupię zestaw z Facial Treatment Essence, Facial Treatment Clear Lotion. Myślę, że to będzie dobre uzupełnienie dla otrzymanego Cellumination MASK-IN LOTION.
      Czasami żałuję, że dylemat jednej twarzy dotyka mnie tak często ;) ale z drugiej strony lepiej na spokojnie przeanalizować potrzeby oraz produkty.

      I jeszcze raz wielkie dzięki za bogaty wpis na temat Tatcha :)

  2. I rolled my eyes so hard at Tatcha's PR nonsense I think I saw my brain. The 28 dollars mask.. has alcohol as it's 3rd ingredient and fragrance above the antioxidants extracts... what. I've known that Tatcha doesn't make all-that-great products long ago but I find it funny that they make it sound like each product is a mini-miracle dug out from the grasp of a geisha (or geiko)'s home a century ago. The thing is that back then they used bird poop as cream for their face so... they surely left that out of their products hahahaha.

    1. Yeah! Bird poop and white lead paint. Actually, this beauty book that Tatcha's founder so loves contains advice of using lead-based formulas repeatedly to whiten your skin tone.

      When it comes to alcohol in face masks, that is the Japanese way, so here actually I'm not that surprised. But overall, it's a drugstore quality mask in a fancy packaging. The same as most of their products.

    2. HAhaha! Yea, just because these beauty secrets are old and ancient, doesn't mean that they're the best. What happened to advanced skincare technology and discoveries of today?! I was shocked when you told me Tatcha wasn't sold in Japan! Waiting for part 2. And congrats on your own domain!

  3. Tatcha obnażona! Nie myślałaś kiedyś, żeby zmienić profesję i zostać dziennikarką śledczą?

    1. Prosze sie ze mnie nie smiac. Ja fizyk po fachu, wiec zawsze szukam czesci pierwszych. Z Tatcha bylo latwo, bo w 5 minut mozna wszystko wyguglic.

    2. Ależ ja zupełnie poważnie pytam. Masz dar! Czytałam to samo, co Ty, ale nie widziałam tej marketingowej ściemy. Może te gejsze tak na mnie wpłynęły...Tak, one naprawdę działają. Ale jak może być inaczej - z taką cerą?!
      Niecierpliwie czekam na część II.

    3. Z jaka cera, kobieto?
      Widzialas kiedy gejsze z bliska? Taka zwykla, ktora nie zostala specjalnie wybrana, zeby pomoc lansowac marke kosmetyczna? Albo taka, ktora nie jest gwiazda programow telewizyjnych promujacych Kyoto?
      Ja tak. I powiem ci, ze wyglada to tak, jakby krosciata kasze na twarzy ktos staral sie bardzo przykryc bialym tynkiem.
      Przezylam szok, bo tez bylam karmiona mitem pieknej cery gejsz.

    4. Nie widziałam gejszy z bliska. Żyłam nadzieją, że one naprawdę mają ładne cery (niekoniecznie dzięki kosmetykom Tatcha). Kolejny mit prysł... Pryszczate gejsze - kto by pomyślał?

  4. I enjoyed reading this post a lot. I can't wait for part 2!! :)

    1. Thank you!
      I'm working on part 2 right now.
      But I think I need a short break from Tatcha for a few days.

  5. Your different take is such a breath of fresh air! When all other bloggers only care about saying good things so they get their next product endorsement.

    I managed to get some Tatcha samples myself. Personally I didn't think the cream nor rice enzyme powder were anything special. They were nice, but overpriced. I loved the indigo body cream though. Super luxurious! I would buy that if I felt like splurging!!

    Looking forward to your reviews!

    1. Hi Vivien,
      I am really intrigued by the Indigo line, because that soothing indigo cream is really compatible to me. Expensive, and not sure whether it's worth the money, but it works (or at least is not causing any adverse reactions) nicely for me.
      The cleansing oil, rice powder, and the ageless creams are some kind of misunderstandings, especially considering their prices. But I'll explain everything in a separate post.

      And it's interesting what you said! Today I got a whole slew of emails from bloggers who basically put it like that "I agree with you, but I can't say it out loud on my blog, because I don't want to get blacklisted by companies." or "I blog for a living and while I agree with you, I can't rock the boat on my blog."



    And I call bs on the no-budget thing as well. I know a blogger in Indonesia that received a kit as well. And guess what, as far as I know most packages from USA will transit in Japan before finally arriving in Indonesia.

    The line never really appealed to me, but it is raved by many bloggers, so there must be something great about it, no? *seriously wondering* Really looking forward to part 2!

    1. I agree, that was the worst lie ever.

      The raves, from what I noticed, are either from people who:
      - got stuff from the company, or
      - have zero or very little experience with Asian skincare and don't have anything to compare it with and to, or
      - people who think that $$$ = quality, and
      - people who think that pretty packages = quality.


    2. I don't know if it's just me but whenever there's a hype for something, it just turns me off more from getting it... am I the only weird one?

  7. Kurcze, musiałaś mieć niezły ubaw dłubiąc się przy rozpracowywaniu marki XD A co ciekawe, makijażysta Pań Kardashian na swoich lekcjach w torbach z prezentami kosmetycznymi wkłada ich produkty, a potem Panie na Youtubie opowiadają o japońskiej marce...
    Bardzo chętnie poczytam część drugą oraz Twoje wrażenia z użytkowania tych produktów :-)

    1. Co jak co, ale Tatcha wie jak sie lansowac. I nic dziwnego, bo pani Tsai ma przeciez magistra w biznesie z Harvardu, o ile sie nie myle ;-)

  8. Many brands try to do that for marketing; talk about some story blabla.., usually I don't have a problem with that but the story of Tatcha is full of bulshit (sorry for the * word on your blog) it cant get any crazier. I would find the brand more attractive if they didn't push that whole geisha secret I discovered a secret book thing. I guess the brand will never make it to japan, not with such marketing.

    and 28$ for a sheet mask , who the hell would pay that kind of money for a god dam sheet mask ..? that must be a real ripoff unless the mask is infused with some kind of magical botox lol
    I can buy a sulwhasoo sheet mask for 7$, that's high end not 28$..? I'm rolling my eyes

    Thanks I had fun reading your post :)

    1. I agree that 28 bucks for this sheet mask is a joke. Especially since even a single SK-II mask costs less than half that.
      But... there are sheet masks out there in the same price category as Tatcha, HR White Prodigy line comes to mind. And the 2 piece masks from Cosme Decorte. Or even Amore Pacific Luminous Effect brightening, or whatever it's called. Though the last 2 are slightly cheaper.

      I admit the only reason I got this Tatcha mask was for research purposes ;-)

  9. Great post! I agree with everything! And if Tatcha really know anything about the Japanese cosmetic market, they should know Japanese cosmetics have much more a "high tech vibe" than a "natural vibe". On Japanese packages you often can read things like "nano hyaluronic acid", "microemulsion", "liposomes", "new emulsification technology", "micro-fine mist" etc. etc. etc. From a marketing standpoint of view these things sound more "scientific" than "natural".

    1. Hi Pedro! Good point! However, I'd say that there are dual trends - one that goes with the high tech sounding stuff, and the other that embraces the natural vibe.
      The problem is that Tatcha is neither. They want to be seen as "natural" and "time-tested", but in fact they are neither.

  10. I am so excited to read part 2. You have perfectly summed up why I don't trust Tatcha, why they will never see a dime of my money, and why I get irritated when people even try to bring them up in discussions about Asian skincare. They are the worst kind of company to me...their entire being just makes my skin crawl.

  11. Czekam niecierpliwie na ciag dalszy! Mam dwie deluxe sample ich kremow (ageless I indigo) czekam z otwarciem na Twoja recenzje (choc juz wnioskuje ze indigo jest super a ageless nie bardzo). Probowalam juz ich rice enzyme powder, lepszy od Dermalogica , ale I tak mi cos w nim nie pasuje, choc nie umiem jasno stwierdzic co... hmmm

  12. Hello! I discovered you on D.'s blog and decided to check you out. Now I have to follow you!
    You're one of the first beauty bloggers (as far as I know) to talk about cultural appropriation - in Germany (hello, neighbour!), I feel like everyone looks down on "Asian" cosmetics - people still think it's unsafe! - or fetishizes it. I use a mix of Western and Japanese brands ever since I lived in Japan, so I can pick the best of each world.
    Also, it seems like you are pretty pale, so I'll browse through your foundation reviews.

  13. I dont like they claim to be Japanese skincare products. As you said, its an American company. Thanks for point it out clearly!

  14. Why arent you more popular? You're extremely honest and hilarious. I would love that you have a Youtube channel and show those horrible always sponsored, "dorky" beauty vloggers how real beauty reviews should be made. Cheers :) and love you.

  15. Wow, great post! My daughter lived in Japan and attended Kyushu University. I was able to visit, and my stereotypes about Japan were shattered. My daughter, when she saw the infomercial on television, was quite surprised. As you said, Japanese women are very different with their beauty regimen. I learned that one of the things women do is to compare skin tones -- whose is the lightest! (Thus, the need for higher SPF.) There were many things I found to be quite different than the myth. Great post, glad you exposed the truth, and your blog is great!

  16. yeah Tatcha should never have lied in your face like that. Despicable behavior. I know they're super famous because of that water cream and Sephora but I think they're shysters too.

  17. God you are one bitter woman! Seriously give her a break! Am sorry but ur negative aggressive words reflects nothing but a point of view of an angry blogger and all of this just for the fact that the PR refused to ship u samples!Chill!

    1. Reading comprehension problems much?
      Read again. THEN comment.
      Have a nice day!

    2. I don't understand. Why did you call the blogger bitter? There is nothing remotely aggressive about her post. It's a fact that Tatcha is an overhyped company with mediocre at best products and exorbitant prices built on a BS story full of orientalism (by an Asian woman, no less). It's very telling why they don't market in Japan. Sorry, maybe the truth hurts but the blogger just called a spade a spade.

  18. I am laughing way too hard at this, great writing, I will have to check out more of your posts now. As someone who has been living in Japan for several years I have to agree with what you say. I showed this to a few Japanese friends at my University and they found it very funny.

  19. So funny and true! When I saw Tatcha at Sephora I was skeptical as I had never even heard of the brand in Japan... and when I looked at their website, I had the exact same reaction as you. "Geisha beauty secrets", blotting papers... it's like she went to Kyoto, saw Yojiya and basically created a more glamorous/expensive version of it. She says she wants to create a 100-year old brand and leave it for her daughter... umm sure.

  20. I was about to buy a TATCHA kit on Sephora but decided to check out reviews first. BOY OH BOY, am I GLAD I found your blog! Your honesty is refreshing. Thank you so much for calling these companies out on their bullshit. I'm officially a fan and I'll be checking out your blog more often!
    I guess I'll be trying out SK-II :)


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