Sunday, 8 July 2007

Inoui ID

The July issue of Allure magazine has a two-page spread on makeup artist Dick Page's makeup kit on pages 150-151. Seeing that photo brought back great memories of Inoui ID, which features prominently in Page's kit. Inoui ID was launched in 2002 by Shiseido with Dick Page as the creator. It was sold only in select department stores in Japan where it soon developed a devoted following. I was never a fan of Shiseido until I encountered Inoui ID after moving to Japan in 2003. The elegant and glamorous red packaging and the incredible range of eyeshadow quads stood out immediately in the sea of makeup brands. The Inoui ID staff were also some of the nicest SAs that I had ever met. They were incredibly passionate about the brand, patient with customers and extremely generous with samples. I got to know several of them quite well as I often had to CP Inoui ID for friends living overseas.

Sadly, Inoui ID was discontinued in March 2007, to the great dismay of its many fans. I have no idea what the suits at Shiseido were thinking as Inoui ID was simply the best thing that Shiseido ever produced. Just compare the Inoui ID's eyeshadow quads to those by Shiseido The Makeup, Cle de Peau or Ipsa (all owned by Shiseido) and the difference in creative standards is instantly obvious.

Just one instance of how incredibly passionate people were about this brand: there's a detailed history of Inoui ID on the Japanese version of Wikipedia that lists down the date for every single product release, a complete product list and shop list. In the last few weeks of Inoui ID's operations, the counters were also swamped with customers patiently queueing up to stock up on their favourite products. By the last day of operations, most items were already out of stock. To this day, Inoui ID is still frequently discussed on 2Channel, a popular Japanese online chat forum.

Evidence of the excellent quality of Inoui ID products can be seen in the consistently excellent reviews on, which is the largest Japanese makeup product review website. Most Inoui ID products have a star rating of 4 and above (out of a maximum of 7). Their eyeshadow quads have an average rating of 5.5 stars and the Skin Tints quad has an average rating of 6 stars.

In the photo of Page's kit, I spotted two eyeshadow quads in the bottom row on the right side that were never sold in Japan. My guess is that those were prototypes for collections that never made it to the stores. Such as pity as I would have dearly loved to own those two gorgeous quads. Dick Page is now the creative director for the whole Shiseido brand (the one thing that Shiseido did right...). Can't wait to see what he will come up with for Shiseido! Below are some pics of my Inoui ID stash. Guess I was really lucky to have been living in Japan while this brand existed.

A close-up of some of the eyeshadow quads and the Inoui ID GWPs that I collected over the past few years including makeup brushes, cases for the quads, mirror, organiser, brush case, oil blotting sheets.


Anonymous said...

I saw the spread in Allure and I did spy the two palettes that were never released! Such pretty purples/pinks huh? It's really such a pity about Inoui ID ...

Haru said...

I agree, I was totally lemming the blue quad and the pink/green quad after I saw the spreadh :-) Hopefully, we'll see more great stuff coming up by Page for Shiseido The Makeup?

janice said...

i'll miss inoui id, too! do you recognize the 3-color palettes in the right side of the box with the blushes in the allure spread?

Haru said...

I think those trios are from the Inoui line, which was headed by Kevyn Aucoin. Inoui ID was created later.

janice said...

oh, i had no idea kevyn aucoin did inoui, though i'd seen some of their stuff around.

i love your blog, though it makes me miss having in-person-access to all this great japanese makeup!