By Fiona McKim
In today’s fast-paced beauty world, a global brand launching into the UK is fairly routine stuff. What’s not so ordinary is the feverish excitement that swept the industry when it was announced that Clé de Peau Beauté would finally be available to buy in Britain.
This Japanese brand, Clé de Peau Beauté, which has just launched into Harrods newly-revamped skincare hall and online at Harrods.com, is the #1 luxury cosmetics line in Japan, a make up artist favourite and is loved by countless celebrities including Serena Williams, Kate Hudson, Amanda Seyfried and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
So, what’s the secret, why the hype? Clé de Peau, which means ‘the key to beautiful skin’, launched in 1982 and is a pioneer of a specifically Japanese way of formulating products that the rest of the world is still trying to catch up on. This means light and silky ultra-refined textures made for layering, intelligent active ingredient complexes, a focus on natural radiance and beyond-gorgeous packaging, right down to the tiniest detail.
Of course, perfection comes at a cost, so now would be a good time to mention this brand is definitely on the ultra-luxury end of the pricing spectrum – think £32 upwards for makeup, with skincare starting at £48 for a cleanser and rising sharply to £520 for the outrageously decadent Cle de Peau Beauté La Crème. So I won’t pretend this is a range for everyone. But, if you’re interested in what J-Beauty has to offer and in looking to invest in something very special, keep on reading.
Clé de Peau Beauté: the hero products
The hero products – or in non beautyspeak, the ones that are most universally loved and constantly raved about – we'll start with the aforementioned La Crème. It's a 'high-performance' anti-ageing cream.
SHOP NOW: La Crème, £520
The Concealer, £55, which is in every A-List makeup artist who can get their hands on it’s kit.
SHOP NOW: Concealer, £55
And Radiant Fluid Foundation, £105. Yes that’s a £100+ foundation, but oh, what a foundation. It’s silky, light and glowy, packed with skincare benefits and reflects light in a beautiful, pore-blurring way. It also manages to combine looking like real skin with sticking around all day covering where it needs to. No mean feat.
SHOP NOW: Radiant Fluid Foundation, £105
We also love this Clé de Peau Beauté eyeshadow palette, which feels like a steal comparatively.
SHOP NOW: Eye Colour Quad in 305, £46
Tempted? The initial Clé de Peau Beauté drop is is available on Harrods.com now.
And with a new Radiance Skincare collection due to follow later this month, I have a feeling the Clé de Peau Beauté buzz won’t die down any time soon.
As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more beauty products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a features writer at publications including Junior and Prima Baby, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
Come to think of it, the hot dinners and beauty products are probably about even.
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