Tour With Me: Visiting Kanebo and Kao Museum in Tokyo

Last November, I had the privilege of being invited to know more about Japanese heritage brand Kanebo in nowhere less than the heart of Tokyo. I met with their amazing team, visited their Kanebo counter in Seibu Ikebukuro, and got to explore the beautiful Kao Museum in Sumida. It was an experience I'll never forget! I am so lucky to have been able to spend a day knowing more about one of my favorite beauty brands, and in my favorite place in the world, too.

The Kanebo counter in Seibu Ikebukuro / The Kao office building in Kayabacho

The Kanebo counter in Seibu Ikebukuro / The Kao office building in Kayabacho

The Kanebo counter Seibu Ikebukuro

The Kanebo counter Seibu Ikebukuro

What most people might now know is that Kanebo is an 80-year old brand that started as a textile business which sold cotton and then eventually silk thread. The year 1936 was their first foray into beauty with a facial soap that contains silk oil; eventually, they started to manufacture cosmetics, producing creams, lotions, pomades, face powders, shampoos, and other products with attractive packaging that competes with prestigious imports from Europe and the United States.

The first ever Kanebo beauty product, the Savon de Soie

The first ever Kanebo beauty product, the Savon de Soie

Vintage Kanebo products on display at the Kao Museum

Vintage Kanebo products on display at the Kao Museum

Today, Kanebo is available in over 50 countries and regions around the world, and is part of the Kao Group which also carries brands like Lunasol, Impress, Freshel, Kate Tokyo, and Sensai as well as Jergens, Biore, Liese, Molton Brown, Goldwell, and John Frieda (to name a few). Kanebo as you may know recently launched its namesake brand only last September and has presented a holistic skincare and cosmetics line that empowers elegant yet effortless beauty.

According to Mr. Kosaka of Kanebo, what makes this new brand different is how it can be adjusted according exactly what a woman needs. There are three core products in the skincare line: the Kanebo The First Serum, the Kanebo Fresh Day Cream SPF 15, and  Kanebo Night Lipid Wear. You can then add what Kanebo calls “tuning products” to address specific concerns. For example, you may use the Kanebo Moisture Flow Rich Lotion if you are feeling dry; the Kanebo Moisture Flow Lotion if you want to lessen oiliness.

I received a few new products to review so stay tuned for that. So far though, I am loving the Moisture Flow Lotion and Bouncing Emulsion, which are part of my best skincare finds for 2016. Kanebo's double moisturizing technique has done wonders in improving my skin texture or "bounciness" which is the big goal of Asian beauty products.

Anyway, I would love to show you pictures of my tour at Kao Museum in Sumida. I had an exclusive look inside the Communication Plaza, which is not normally open to visitors! This area has exhibits of the latest products that represent Kao product lines as well as devices that assess the state of one's skin and hair. Let's get started!

We started with checking the state of my skin with this amazing device. A lotion was placed on my hand, and then a small sensor was attached to my finger. I had to massage the lotion in to make the digital flower bloom! If it has full petals (like the one above), it means that my skin is in great condition.

There is also a display of Kanebo's best-selling powder foundations through the years. The technology involves a beauty serum incorporated in each powder; that's why it's not drying or chalky, and has a skin-like look!

Here are some of Kanebo's brands in the past and present! They have Kate, Lunasol, Evite, and T'estimo (already discontinued) to name a few.

I loved this particular demo. They asked me to take a selfie, then the app showed me four different makeup looks which can be achieved using the beauty philosophy of four makeup lines. The "filter" can be adjusted too! I loved the one from Lunasol!

The museum also has this lip color map. It can predict which of their lipsticks would look great on you based on your favorite lipstick shade.

Here are some of the shimmery pigments used in Kao cosmetics. They use gold powder, crushed pearls, and aluminum powder,  to name a few.

This one is a gorgeous display of their MIlano Collection, which is their limited edition, best-selling powder line which comes out once a year since 1991. The packaging is just break-taking! It's inspired by the beauty of Milan, melded with the clean aesthetic of Japanese cosmetics.

There's also a wall of some of Kao Group's international brands. You'd be surprised to know that they carry Jergen's under their company!

With the Kanebo team in Tokyo:  Mr Liu, Mr Kosaka, Mr Abe, and Mr Hara

With the Kanebo team in Tokyo: Mr Liu, Mr Kosaka, Mr Abe, and Mr Hara

And that concludes my Kanebo tour. I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures and knowing more about the brand! <3 Thank you so much to Robby da Silva, Kanebo Philippines' brand manager, for arranging this for Project Vanity. Thank you also well to for answering my questions over lunch at that wonderful tempura place somewhere over Kayabacho. 

Until next time, Tokyo!

Kanebo is available inside Rustan's department stores.