Travel Beauty Routine: Tatcha Review


I try to keep my summer beauty routines as simple as possible: wash face, apply SPF, repeat. It’s no-nonsense and effective but ever-so-boring. Skincare can be tedious, even for the most devoted, and I enjoy test-driving new products to give a jolt to the old routine.

Enter Tatcha, the geisha-themed beauty line.

Tattoo products, from left to right:
Tatcha products, from left to right: Dewy Skin Mist; Rice Enzyme Powder; Camellia Beauty Oil

The company generously sent me some samples before my trip to Mexico. Overall, this is an elegantly packaged collection that’s perfectly travel-sized. It’s not a perfect set of products — and to be fair, I haven’t found a perfect product yet. But that may be by design, as Tatcha’s emphasis on design and backstory thrusts just as much importance on form as function. Why use a bar of soap when you can use powder that magically turns into cleansing foam?

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

This beauty oil is flecked with real gold flakes.
This beauty oil is flecked with real gold flakes.

Each product in the trip included a smattering of exotic and eccentric ingredients, like pearl powder (the facial scrub), red algae (in the dewy skin mist) and 24-karat gold flecks (in the beauty oil).

It’s no secret that certain customers respond to ingredients that evoke faraway places. These ingredients tend to awaken the quintessential American insecurity that the skincare grass is always greener on the other side of the world. (How else do you explain the recent increase in Korean BB creams’ popularity when vastly similar tinted moisturizers were already in the market?)

I admit, I’m a sucker for these formulations and their inherently tantalizing backstories. Each Tatcha product comes enclosed with a vivid description of its uses and ingredients printed on matte rice paper that evokes an ancient scroll. The presentation is a calculated combination of raw, unapologetic glamour and green-tinged eco-beauty. It’s a fine line to walk.

Using the refreshment spray. | Blouse: Isabel Marant Etoile (Consignment)
Using the Tatcha skin mist spray. | Blouse: Isabel Marant Etoile (Consignment)

But back to the actual products.

Rice Enzyme Powder: As I mentioned, this is a pearl-powered powder that with transforms into a cleansing foam with the addition of water. It’s a neat feature that adds some interest to the dull-as-dishwater chore of face-washing. Con: You need a LOT of product to get a truly delicious lather going, and within one weekend, I had used almost half the bottle.

Dewy Skin Mist: I love the sensation of these mists, which ostensibly prep your skin for moisturizer and make-up. I see no evidence that this does anything noticeable for my skin’s health, but the mist feels cool and unbelievably pleasant, making it an addictive part of my summer routine.

Camellia Beauty Oil: This oil is swimming with flecks of real gold, which is a beautiful touch but a wholly unnecessary one — the gold provides zero noticeable glow or glitter effect. That aspect made the oil feel a bit like a dog and pony show, focused more on aesthetics than efficacy. That said, this was probably my favorite product of the bunch, thanks to its multiple functionalities (I used the oil on both my face and hair). Con: There is no SPF, which I suppose makes sense. But that also means that this is really only usable for night, and I wish it were marketed as such.

Have you tried any of Tatcha’s products? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Andrea Billups

    i’ve never seen this. where is it marketed? sounds a bit like all flash.