Private Jet Expeditions around the world are all about champagne and caviar and the highest of high touch service. But the experiences they enable you to fall upon, are sometimes the most extraordinary thing you will experience.
Japanese women have beautiful skin. It is one of the first things I noticed, and it is all ages. So in my infinite wisdom, I decided what I needed to do was buy what they use. (Perhaps that would help erase some of the lifestyle differences that impact my jet lagged look.)
I asked my guide where she shopped and she took me to the Shiseido store ( For Cle de Peau) on the chicest street in Tokyo, the Ginza district. Square footage costs here are some of the highest in the world. I should have been prepared but I was not.
The ground floor of the store is like most on Park Avenue, except for the new computer. What a toy. You look in the mirror, scan a lipstick or makeup in the computer and instantly it virtually appears on your face. The mirror was no doubt a little biased, I had been touring all day in 90 degree temps and looked shockingly fresh in the mirror. But no matter what, this was a great toy. They said it is the only one in the world at the moment. So I thought my adventure was over after playing and picking out a few items, but it was only just beginning.
The clerk guided us to an elevator and again, not just any elevator she said, but one with a magic, Sleeping Beauty mirror. No witch popped out, but it did make for an interesting selfie. We were taken to the top floor where the lighting was dim and everything was in blacks and whites. All the clerks wore white gloves here and it reminded me of the private rooms that Sotheby’s takes you in to see jewelry alone, before an auction, minus the armed guards.
We were then served rose hip tea in champagne glasses, of course. It is good for your skin. So we sat in a serene other world above the Ginza District, the only client on the entire floor.
The clerk then performed a ceremony of unwrapping my items and instructing me on each. She also did a very soft sell of other items and then gave me samples of everything they make. This all took a wonderful, almost yoga like, 30 minutes.
It was a Japanese tea ceremony and geisha experience wrapped in 2014 sensibilities. No kimonos, but they weren’t needed. I had just experienced the other worldly gentility of many past eras.
I am certainly handling my makeup items differently when I reach for them. I feel I must bow before using them, and I am absolutely certain after a few days, I will have the radiant Japanese skin I have admired. Or at least be relaxed enough to not care as much.