It’s no secret that I’ve amped up my skincare routine in the past few months. As a result, my skin has never been softer, clearer, brighter, and smoother…and I can’t help heralding praises of Korean skincare products to everyone I know!
So impressed have I been that I started to look into popular brands and products from other beauty-obsessed parts of East Asia too: Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, to name a few.
As such, when a rep for Shiseido contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out their latest skincare line, I couldn’t reply “YES!” fast enough.
Already available in Japan and Taiwan, Shiseido Benefique is a skincare collection that is catered to women in their 30s and 40s. This revolutionary line targets a newly discovered fourth contributing factor to aging (in addition to UV rays, dryness, and oxidation): temperature.
Researchers at Shiseido discovered that abnormal skin temperature causes keratin to build up on the surface of the skin, which not only prevents proper absorption of skincare products but also disrupts normal skin functions. The new Cellular Solution Theory seeks to improve skin functions by boosting circulation to normalize cell turnover, improve barrier function, and eliminate keratin buildup.
The Benefique system consists of 5 steps:
Step 1: Hot Cleanser, 150g — a warming, deep-cleansing makeup remover that purifies skin for a smooth natural translucence. The thermal cleansing ingredients generate a warming sensation, while cleansing ingredients envelop and lift away makeup residue to reveal smooth, lustrous skin.
This is my favorite item from the Benefique line. (And I love that Benefique uses the double-cleanse routine!) Upon initial application, the Hot Cleanser feels thick and a bit slimy. However, once you start massaging it into the face, it immediately heats up to the perfect hot-but-not-scalding temperature and feels divine. I can feel my sunscreen and makeup dissolving, the grit from my pores lifting away, and my pores opening up to prepare for the steps ahead.
Step 2: Cleansing Foam, 125g — A rich, deep-cleansing foam that leaves skin feeling smooth and moist. To soften and prevent the skin from drying out, the cleansing foam contains sericin, a natural ingredient derived from silk with excellent moisture-retaining properties.
A little goes a long way with the Cleansing Foam. Just a pea size lathers up my entire face, and rinses off to a squeak-clean finish I personally love, without drying out my skin.
Step 3: Lotion I, II, III, 200mL — A brightening beauty essence water that cools skin and boosts circulation, giving skin a bright, healthy glow. There are three types of lotions based on seasonal and skin temperature. Lotion I is for hot weather and for those with higher skin temperature or oil-prone skin; Lotion II is best used during moderate weather or by those with normal skin temperature; and Lotion III is ideal for those with rough, dry skin or for use during cold weather.
With my combination skin in mind, I use Lotion I in the mornings and Lotion II in the evenings. Although the consistency is a bit thicker than other essences I’ve tried in the past (with the II being a bit thicker than I, and the III thickest of the trio), it’s still pretty runny as you can see in the picture above, and I have no complaints about this product as it does exactly what it’s supposed to do.
Step 4: Emulsion I, II, 150mL — A brightening emulsion that contains a new lifting effect formula combining powerful botanicals in a polymer that smooths and lifts while increasing firmness and resilience.
As is the case with the Lotion, the consistency of Emulsion I is a bit runnier than Emulsion II. I’ve only been using the first, and it sinks beautifully into the skin while leaving a slight glow.
Step 5: Cream, 40g — A brightening beauty cream that addresses the signs of aging to reveal lustrous, smooth, firm skin. It contains raspberry leaf extract to define facial contours by lifting the skin and correcting sagging.
Shiseido is my mother’s favorite skincare brand, and when trying products like the Cream, I can definitely see why. The initial feeling and effects are typical of a night cream (thick but penetrates deep into the skin, leaves a bit of a shiny finish), but its overnight effects leave me with firm, bright, and nourished skin every morning. And I can swear that my face feels less puffy in the mornings since I’ve started using this!
As is the case with most multi-step skincare regimens, not every product is meant to be used every time:
My personal take is that the Cotton Pad is not necessary; in fact, although the instructions for both the Lotion and Emulsion state that the user should apply the products via cotton pads, I have been using my hands with no problem. (And I suspect I’m saving some product in the process too.)
The bottom line…
With the illness of both kids back-to-back, then falling victim to the malady myself, my skin hasn’t been quite as nice lately with the added stress, sleep deprivation, and germs festering everywhere in the house.
My package from Shiseido arrived just in the nick of time. And within just a couple of days, my skin returned to its post-Asian-skincare-discovery, radiant self.
So all in all, the Shiseido Benefique line is Jenny-approved and wholeheartedly recommended for those seeking a luxurious, reliable skincare line, created by one of the oldest and most-respected cosmetics companies in the world!
Unfortunately, the Benefique collection is not available at department stores, as it is an exclusive line limited to independent Shiseido boutiques. However, I can attest that it is worth tracking down, and the Benefique website has a handy store locator for this exact purpose.
Shiseido has very generously offered one Geek in Heels reader their own set of Benefique products! That’s right — you can win THE ENTIRE Benefique line shown below:
The retail value of these 8 items is over $500!
And as you can see, because you will be receiving all three Lotions and both Emulsions, you can stash some away for the warmer months, or gift them to others.
Even if you’re not interested in the Benefique collection for yourself, this set would make a great gift, especially with the holidays coming up!
To enter this giveaway, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. Not sure how to use Rafflecopter? Watch this 52 second video for a tutorial on how to enter a giveaway using Rafflecopter. There are 7 methods of entry, with the first method (commenting on this blog post answering the question “What is your most pressing skincare concern?”) being mandatory while the third method (Tweeting about the giveaway) can be used once per day:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will end on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014, at 12:01am EST, at which point a winner will be randomly chosen and announced here. If the winner has won the drawing via a fraudulent or illegitimate entry (i.e., not commenting on this post, using different accounts to enter multiple times, using a Twitter account that is only used to enter contests on a frequent basis, using the same Tweet URL to enter multiple times) I have the right to choose another winner.
Sorry, this giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S. who are over 13 years old.
Please use a valid email address and/or Twitter handle so that I can contact you if you win! If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours of my contacting them, another winner will be selected.
Good luck, and thank you for entering!