Glow Journal
Glow Journal
Gemma Watts
James Boehmer | Global Artistic Director of Shiseido
59 minutes Posted Sep 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm.
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Show notes
In episode fifty of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the Global Artistic Director of Makeup for Shiseido, James Boehmer.
Shiseido are, undisputedly, one of the largest and most influential heritage brands of all time. Founded in Japan in 1872, Shiseido has cultivated a reputation for innovation in beauty, celebrating the synergy between art and science. It was that very reputation that drew now Global Artistic Director, James Boehmer, to the brand.
Having studied fine art and costume design prior to becoming a makeup artist, James has long worked best within that very intersection of art and science. Having spent close to 20 years at NARS under the close mentorship of Francois Nars himself, the bulk of which he spent as the brand’s Global Artistic Director, James’ personal approach to beauty encompasses the arts of performance, collaboration and construction. 
In 2016 James became the Global Artistic Director for Shiseido Makeup, tasked with visiting the archives to redevelop and, in turn, relaunch, the then 144 year old brand’s entire colour cosmetics collection. James’ role sees him direct Shiseido’s innovations across colour and texture to tell the brand’s story- one that celebrates the marriage of form and function in all parts of Japanese culture.
More recently, Shiseido have announced the appointment of Hunter Schafer as the brand’s Global Makeup Ambassador, cementing their status as pioneers of not only product, but of progression and inclusivity in beauty. “Beauty should be democratic, and it should be for everybody,” James tells me in this episode. 
This episode was recorded remotely, myself in Melbourne and James in Beverly California, so if you would prefer to read the interview I have made the complete transcript available on 
In this conversation, James shares how far you can get with warm, gracious energy, the global appeal of the J Beauty movement and how his background as a “frustrated dancer” has shaped his work for some of the world’s biggest beauty brands. 
You can read this interview now at:
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