In other parts of the world, brands like Shu Uemura, Shiseido, and Kanebo are household names and integral parts of most women's skin care regimens. Globally, they're renowned for their technologically advanced formulas, and the European market loves them. But given Shu's recent withdrawal from the US market, clearly things aren't going so well here.

Why, though? The US is the world's largest cosmetic market, and brands from other parts of the globe, like Illamasqua, have arrived here to a big welcome recently. So it's strange that such well-respected Japanese brands don't have a much larger share of the market. The current theory is that American women spend far less time on skin care than their Asian and European sisters. We aren't as willing to invest on prevention, preferring instead to use makeup or fast-working products for existing problems. It's an interesting idea, but do you think it explains the phenomenon?