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The Geisha. Few women have captured the imagination like this Japanese icon of female beauty. Three hundred years ago, the Geisha discovered that the papers artisans used to pound gold into wafer-thin flakes were the perfect texture to absorb excess oil from the skin without overdrying. These women, whose job it was to wear heavy makeup on a daily basis, were able to preserve their flawless complexions by blotting the skin first thing in the morning and after washing their faces in the evening, as well as throughout the day.
Fast forward 300 years, and Japanese women still use these blotting papers, made from the core of the Abaca (hemp) plant, to keep their skin clean, refreshed, and luminous. In the west, many companies have created variations on the blotting paper, using moisture-sucking tree pulp (it's the same stuff used to make toilet seat covers), and adding mineral oil, talc, and synthetic fragrances. Other brands offer inexpensive blotting films made from petroleum.
Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai happened upon these magic skin perfectors while working for one of the world's largest personal care companies. Her job required frequent travel to Asia, and she quickly realized that the Japanese blotting papers performed the tasks of at least 6 messy and inconvenient beauty products taking up space in her purse. When she returned to the United States, she could not find a product that matched the quality, purity, and performance of her abaca papers, so she set out to create her own. Contracting with the very same artisans whose families have been making gold leaf and abaca papers for over a thousand years, she created Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers.
In only a few weeks, makeup artists all over the country have worked themselves into a frenzy over Tatcha, using them on their celebrity and high-fashion clientele. Tatcha was recently featured on The Today Show's Fashion Emergency segment, and you will soon read about them in several major magazines.