Mascara is one of the most used makeup products among Asian women. It is the everyday beauty gesture: in front of the mirror, while commuting to work, in the office before an important meeting... Creating the perfect mascara formula therefore became Nippon Shikizai’s priority. In fact, it is a real challenge that was taken up by the Japanese leader because, according to experts, eyelashes of Asian women are stiff, short, "fan shaped" and pointing downwards! The tests and research conducted by the Company have finally enabled Nippon Shikizai’s formulators to formulate THE mascara with a "doe-eye" effect (the one worn by Natalie Portman and Bella Hadid).

The Albéa plant based in Bottanuco near Milan was used as a meeting point...

The Albéa plant based in Bottanuco near Milan was used as a meeting point for Albéa’s Tips Studio teams and Nippon Shikizai’s formulation team.

"Bringing to life the dreams of Asian women was not easy," explained one of Nippon Shikizai’s formulators, Mai Akimoto. "I also have typical Asian eyelashes. To find myself beautiful, I feel the need to give length, curve and volume to my lashes."

In general, Japanese women are very meticulous and follow, as for so many other things, a set ritual during their makeup routine. Perfection is a prerequisite for the Japanese, Chinese or Korean consumer, which involves applying the right product, with the right brush and with a precise gesture. We mustn’t forget the unfavourable environment, knowing that climate in Asian countries is often hot and humid and you will have a complete snapshot of the issues related to the development of a mascara for the Japanese market. Mascara must indeed be water resistant.

Ultimate issue: Asian women don’t like waterproof mascaras, which are too difficult to remove. From this observation, Nippon Shikizai developed an ultra-innovative formula called the "Warm Water Washable Mascara". To date, more than 100 million mascaras based on Nippon Shikizai’s top-formula have already been sold in Asia.

"Now our goal is to make this innovation available for European brands and consumers. European lashes being very different from Asian lashes, we needed to find a European partner capable of designing a brush perfectly compatible with our formula and with the morphology of European lashes, to sublimate the beauty of Western women. We worked with the Albéa Group, the leading designer of mascara packs and brushes in order to combine our expertise and co-develop an optimal make-up solution," explained Tsuyoshi Hasuo, President of Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics and Nippon Shikizai France, the European subsidiaries of the Nippon Shikizai Group.

"The Albéa industrial facility in Bottanuco near Milan was used as a meeting point for Albéa’s Tips Studio teams and Nippon Shikizai’s formulation team. We tested all possible combinations on European lashes to come up with the perfect brush/formula compatibility. The result of the collaboration is a success. Nippon Shikizai can now offer European customers an innovative formula, which has already won over millions of Asian consumers with a combination of pack + bush + formulation perfectly adapted to their type of lashes," he added.

At the end of the month, on its stand at the MakeUp in Paris trade show, Nippon Shikizai will again demonstrate its formidable capacity for innovation by presenting its new collection on the theme of "J-Beauty", and will give pride of place to the mascara originating from its collaboration with Albéa.