Monday, 2 April 2007

Brand Review: Integrate

Integrate was introduced by Shiseido in August 2006 as part of its new strategy to build up a few mega-brands instead of having numerous brands as before. Shiseido decided to spend lavishly on promoting a select stable of brands such as Maquillage, Tsubaki (haircare) and Integrate while discontinuing smaller, less high-profile brands like the much beloved Inoui ID which was overseen by Dick Page. Integrate was conceptualised as the mega-brand for the so-called 'self-service', lower-end drugstore segment where consumers buy the products directly without any dedicated SAs to provide counselling. All Integrate products are priced below 2000yen, which puts it in direct competition with drugstore brands such as Kate but without the teen/glam rock orientation. Integrate is targeted more at young working women in their 20s and above who have outgrowned the cutesy fads of Majolica Majorca but are not willing to splurge on Maquillage. The spokesmodel for Integrate is Angelina Jolie.

The brand concept of Integrate is perfecting each of the 6 key parts (eyes, lips, lashes, brows, face and nail), based on the idea that while there may be many definitions of what makes a woman beautiful, there are nevertheless certain standards by which each part is defined as being beautiful. (It sounds slightly better in Japanese but when translated into English, the promotional copy just sounds outright bizarre. There is actually one line that reads "Towards the beauty of various parts", with the word 'parts' pronounced in Japanese as 'pa-tsu'. I kid you not!) That's why there is a hexagon graphic sprinkled throughout the official website.

Anyway, on to the products themselves. I would say that the star products are their lipsticks (1575yen), Glamorous Rouge lipglosses in the click-twist packaging with a plastic spatula applicator (1260yen), Pencil Glosses (840yen) and Pencil Eyes (840yen). The Glamorous Rouge lipglosses are very affordably priced compared to the Ipsa Skin Beauty Lip Gloss (2625yen, also made by Shiseido) and Stila's lipglazes (4095yen in Japan...a total and utter rip-off). The shade RD721 is the biggest selling shade as it was used by Jolie in the print ads. The shades range from light to bright pink with a couple of beige and peach shades, nothing too dramatic or outlandish. I like the Pencil Eyes and Pencil Glosses too as they are quite fool-proof, very easy to use with a smooth application and a good range of shades at a great price. The lipsticks are glossy and moisturising but some have greater colour payoff than others. I like the Aqua Glossy Rouge range more than the new Aqua Diamond Rouge range which is supposed to be glossier but I find most of the shades too sheer for my liking. The eyeshadow palettes are nothing to write home about although the texture is quite smooth. But frankly, Kate's eyeshadow palettes are more interesting and cheaper to boot. Overall, Integrate is worthwhile checking out for some great affordable basics and if you prefer a classic, no-fuss, elegant look.

1 comment:

~raspy~ said...

lemmings for the glamorous rouge lipgloss and the other lipgloss in tube form!! the colors so pretty and so affordable!

when are you coming back to Sg? are you not heading back to japan to work again?