Out of partial curiosity and shopping urge that fine day while at IFC, I decided to give Shiseido a try. I am no stranger to their products but it has been donkey years back in school years, since i last used their stuff - esp so after my fav line was discontinued.
They have recently launched a new line called 'Future solution LX'. I tried the facial foam on my hand and it works with the same concept as menard products, one has to work up a dense foam for the cleanser. It didnt feel spectacularly different for HK400 a tube so i didnt get it.
I went on to try the concentrated balancing softener lotion, which is step 2 in place of normal toner step. I decided to give it a leap of faith and bought it at about HK800 for a 150ml size bottle. I just feel like a sucker that day.
An enriched softening lotion that immediately infuses generous moisture into skin, providing an unprecedented feeling of suppleness. Dramatically refines skin texture and minimizes the appearance of conspicuous pores
Been using it for a week now. As expected, no retail product in this world can actually minimise the appearance of any facial pores. I didnt expect that to work, so I wasnt overly disappointed. So if you are expecting some miracle to tighten pores with this lotion, forget it babe, aint happening, and especially NOT DRAMATICALLY as claimed.
As for refines skin texture. That is a little more tricky since i cannot verifiy it via naked eyes and i have no scope to actually review my skin under the lens. I can only say my face doesnt feel significantly better or worse.
On a more positive note, the product did deliver its promise on enhancing suppleness. After each application, the lotion gets absorbed pretty fast into the skin, and it leaves a gentle nice smooth feeling. u can feel your face feeling softer, and combined with a refreshing nice floral scent. If your face often feels tight after a wash, this lotion does takes away that feeling splendidly. Plus the product is suppose to be safe to be used round the eye area as well.
However, a personal note. while the instruction says to saturate a cotton to apply, i would not recommend that unless u have a gianomous face. A light pump is really enough to cover the whole face because otherwise u will end up wondering why your skin seems more oily than usual later on.
Between a toner and thos softner, I am undecided. A toner would appears to rid excess residue and dead skin cells off my face as i pat my face with the cotton. This softner, i aint sure if it does that but it definitely soften the skin as promised. So it really depends on what sort of self satisfaction u are looking for before purchasing it though i think it is more suited for people with drier skin.
Note: After over a month's usage, I am not sure if it is a common "problem" but my skin seem more prone to zit outbreaks everytime it was used in the day. So perhaps it might be more adviseable to use it at night only. For me, I have decided to use it on other parts of my body instead of face since my face (with oily surface and dry under) dont seem to react well to the purchase.
At the end of the day, I personally would prefer using Menard products rather than Shisedo. Menard is also another established Japanese brand, comparable if not better than Shisedo. While Menard might seem a little bit steeper in price, but I love their products better because Menard never cause zits outbreak or allergic reactions after use. My skin often feel calmer even when I am using the less expensive basic care range.