Basic Luxury

Cotton balls  are indispensable for a myriad of beauty tasks and tidy-ups.


An ordinary bag containing hundreds of these little puffy spheres are tossed into the cart at the grocery market or drug store and we don’t even think about them again until we’ve run out. There are a few options: budget vs organic cotton; squares or orbs; but there is nothing quite like the SHISEIDO FACIAL COTTON for the ultimate luxury option.


So why on earth would you pay $11 for a disposable cotton product, you may well ask? Try it and they will be your new beauty staple. Totally worth the splurge.


  • Natural: made from 100% raw cotton
  • Soft smooth texture
  • Multi-layer structure
  • Made in Japan

For one thing, you are going to use a lot less product than with those thirsty cotton balls. Whether it’s eye makeup remover, or toner, or cream, you don’t lose any product from the pad to your face: it doesn’t absorb the product and is akin to applying with your fingers (but more hygienic). So you pay a bit more for the cotton, but save money in the long-run. You can even use them to apply primer and moisturiser. They are thick, pillowy soft, smooth, and feel amazing on the face. If you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, these are extremely gentle.

Some advise reserving them strictly for skincare routines, but it only takes one square to do all ten fingers or toes and my nail polish remover lasts longer. Your call.


Secondly, you can say so long to wispy white strands of cotton batten lint all over your face. Unlike regular cotton balls which tend to shred apart, the Shiseido cotton is super soft, yet strong — you can even soak them in water (tea, rosewater, whatever) and they retain their integrity. According to Shiseido, they are water-jet processed which means that they go through a curtain of highly pressured water which firmly binds the fibres together. Therefore, when wet, they act like mini facecloths. This is useful to apply and wipe away micellar water and creamy cleansers; moistened and gently rubbed into lips to remove dry patches; even to apply face masks neatly. For the ultimate in relaxation, soak two pads in chilled green tea to reduce under-eye puffiness and dark circles. Having SHISEIDO FACIAL COTTON  like having a spa in your bathroom.

And rather than using multiple cotton balls to accomplish a single task, the substantial Shiseido squares are more than adequate for every beauty challenge. The size and shape makes them convenient and easy to maneuver into curves and corners.


They also take up less space in your cupboard than the difficult to contain rolly polly, bouncy balls of cotton clouds.



You get 165 sheets. And you can use both sides because there is no seep through since each sheet is up to 20 layers thick. That’s 330 swipes!



Depending on if you use one or two a day, they last a good long time.

If you do the math, each pad is only 7 cents. Swisspers organic cotton rounds on are 20 cents each.

Actually a veritable beauty bargain, I say.

It even comes with instructions:



Suddenly something so basic feels so luxurious.

Available at Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay, Sephora and at Shiseido counters.

POST PHOTO: Illustration from the cover of Laura Mercier: The New Beauty Secrets


One Comment

  1. dakotacheryl
    August 18, 2016

    Shiseido cotton squares have been a staple in my beauty/skin care regimen for years now!

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