natural beauty buff | victoria tsai, tatcha

victoria tsai tatcha

TATCHA beauty founder Victoria Tsai has a startup story similar to many of those in the clean beauty industry — except her story takes us to Japan and back to the Bay Area.

Like many who work for large corporations, punching the clock and working for a bottom line in which perhaps didn’t feel as connected to, Vicky was seeking to live a more simple, authentic life.

Travel opened her eyes to what could be, and on a trip to Kyoto, she met the muse who would change her entire path.

victoria tsai tatcha

That muse was the geisha, the traditional Japanese entertainer and artist with seemingly flawless beauty and an air of mystery surrounding her very presence.

Vicky uncovered the beauty secrets of the geisha and came away with a new skincare philosophy that many clean beauty enthusiasts adore, but sometimes have trouble actually applying: less is more.

Knowing that the geisha must maintain the utmost beautiful skin beneath all the layers of performance makeup, removing it and reapplying it daily, Vicky was intrigued to learn about the geisha’s focus on local, time-tested ingredients such as rice bran, green tea and Okinawa red algae.

This inspired Vicky to dig deeper into the history of geisha beauty, and it was with this research that that she found an ancient text considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan.

The book details an approach to beauty and elegance, and Vicky knew that this special text would be the foundation of her Japanese- and geisha-inspired line, TATCHA.

In addition to capturing the essence of the geisha, Vicky formulated TATCHA to work with her own finicky skin, which was susceptible to acute dermatitis, or inflammation and irritation. This led her to keep TATCHA free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA and TEA.

Vicky stays true to using cleaner beauty products in her daily life — including Japanese apothecary lines as well as American favorites we’ve all come to know and love.

Perhaps I should bring you a part 2 to this interview in which Vicky spills the secrets of her favorite Japanese lines?!

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love.

victoria tsai tatcha

“I pick my products based on the company’s value systems (animal testing, ingredients, etc.) and also based on what I know of their founders and formulators. Many of the products I use come from little apothecaries in Japan, but when I’m in the States, here are my favorites.”

Jennifer Fisher x RGB Nail Polish in Taken

“I love her jewelry and her nail polish collaboration. This has become my go-to nude.”

Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue

“This is my best friend for photo shoots. I also love Leslie Blodgett — she’s an incredible woman.”
Editor’s Note: Me, too!

*LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla

“It took me so long to find a clean deodorant with that actually lasts. This has become a new staple in my purse.”

Laura Gellar Ombre Baked Blush in Pink Blossom

“Another necessity for going on-air or doing a photo shoot.”

*TATCHA Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers

“I always have at least one pack of these on me. Not only do they wick away excess oil, but they remind me of the first time I ever met a geisha.”

TATCHA Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick

“As a mom and a CEO, I rarely have the time to apply a full face of makeup. A quick swipe of red and I’m ready to go out the door.”

Nonie Creme Color Prevails Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo in Fig

“Nonie Crème, the founder, is a friend of mine and whips up the most amazing colors.”

Have you tried any of Vicky’s picks? What have you tried from TATCHA? Tell me in the comments section! may include affiliate links to featured products. Not all product links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase from an affiliate link, earns a small commission.

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  • I wish this brand was not containing any silicones in their creams and serums….:-(. I would not classify it as a natural beauty brand as it contains other non-natural origin ingredients.x

    • Nic Gustafsson

      I have to agree with Audrey here…I was so intrigued by this brand for a while until I read the ingredients list and found to my dismay quite a few that I avoid. I hope she changes her formulations so they don’t contain silicones and phenoxythanol.

  • It’s very interesting learning the histroy behind a brand!

    Thanks for sharing :)

    The Everyday Life of Rachel