Review + swatches – Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Yes it is indeed a bit early for holiday collections considering I am a bit behind to review certain fall products, however I know there’s been a lot of interest in this collection so I wanted to get this out to everyone as soon as possible. Today I am featuring the Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collaboration, which is a collection near and dear to my heart because my boyfriend is a huge video game nerd. For the recent launch of the Super Nintendo Mini #SNES, we got up super early in the morning to line up for it. We were lucky and managed to get one each, and so far we’ve been enjoying playing with it.

This collection is split into three categories: skin, hair, and makeup. All of the products come with a super adorable 8 bit Super Mario print, featuring Mario and Peach.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

The two skin products I have are the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil and the Skin Perfector – Yuzu Makeup Refresher Mist. The Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil (C$49 for 150mL or C$99 for 450mL) doesn’t need an introduction, it’s one of Shu’s most popular cleansing oils and the most luxurious. It contains eight precious botanical oils to give you the richest and most nourishing cleanse. I have dry skin, so I love this one because it feels richer and more hydrating than the others. I can use this for a light facial massage at night, and it removes all of the impurities and makeup off my skin, leaving it supple and smooth.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

The Skin Perfector – Yuzu Makeup Refresher Mist (C$34 for 50mL) can be used as a hydrating facial spray, or a dewy makeup setting spray. It has a light smelling yuzu scent which is super refreshing and uplifting. I love to use this at my desk in the winter because it helps to rehydrate my skin without disturbing my makeup. The bottle is super cute, as the Mario print translates really well on this small dainty packaging.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Shu Uemura makes some amazing haircare products, and I’m super happy that they’ve decided to use the Cleansing Oil hair series with the Super Mario collaboration. This series is inspired by the traditional benefits of Japanese hot spring water to give your hair the same benefits (I’ve been to a Japanese hot spring, it is AMAZING for your skin and hair, probably the most magical thing I’ve ever experienced). I’ve gone through at least two bottles of the Cleansing Oil Shampoo (C$56 for 400mL) because it’s fantastic at cleansing while keeping my hair feeling balanced and nourished. The Cleansing Oil Conditioner (C$56 for 250mL) is a bit too light for my hair, and I prefer something a bit thicker so I would probably skip this. The Essence Absolute (C$69 for 150mL) is a hair treatment oil that contains camellia oil, and helps to protect hair against dryness, frizz, and UV damage. It comes in such a HUGE bottle, even though half a pump is basically enough for my hair. It’s pretty expensive but the value is pretty insane considering a little bit goes such a long way.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

After cleansing, conditioning, and nourishing your hair, you can style it with the Master Wax (C$42), a cream-to-wax formula that helps to add texture to your hair.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Saving the best for last, the Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. makeup is super cute. The star product is the Peach’s Eye and Cheek palette (C$125) which contains two sets of eyeshadows and blushes to create two unique looks. The first set is a Darling Princess pink-plum look using eyeshadow shades IR Pink, S Mauve, and P Plum, with a complementary warm pinky peach blush in the shade Dreamy Peach. The second set is an Adventurous Princess orange-bronze look, featuring eyeshadow shades G Gold Light, ME Orange, and ME Bronze, as well as cheek colour Brave Orange. Normally I find Shu Uemura shadows, especially in these limited edition collaboration palettes, to be really sheer, glittery, and lower colour payoff than most other brands I’ve tried. I was really pleasantly surprised to find that the Adventurous Princess look is quite pigmented with good colour payoff. The Darling Princess look is still sheerer than most Western brand eyeshadows, but I know that Japanese makeup tends to be on the subtler side just because women look for makeup to wear everyday to the office.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Next, we have limited edition Drawing Pencils (C$28), which are pencil liners that are ultra creamy that can add a pop of dimension to any eye look. It comes in limited edition Super Mario Bros. packaging, and is availability in four shades. The two shades I have are Light Orange and Brick Brown. Light Orange is a shimmery burnt orange-copper, and Brick Brown is a warm chocolate brown.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

In terms of lips, there are two products featured in this collection: the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte, available in three shades, and the Tint in Balm, available in two shades. The Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte (C$36) shades are all part of the permanent collection, but with limited edition Mario packaging. The shade I have is RD 187, which is a dark raspberry red. It’s a pretty full coverage red that is matte but not drying. It wears very comfortably and still feels light on the lips. The The Tint in Balms (C$36) are both limited edition in special edition shades; the one I have is Underground Adventure which is a sheer, balmy plum.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Lastly, as with any Shu Uemura limited edition collection, we have the Invincible Superstar Premium Gold Curler (C$25) With a super cute 8 bit star charm. I love collecting these limited edition curlers because they are both super useful (I always misplace my lash curler) and are a fun way to get a piece of any collection.

Out of this entire collection, I would recommend picking up a bottle of the Essence Absolute, the Ultime8 Cleansing Oil, and the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte. The other products are nice to have but not must haves. If you don’t already own a Shu lash curler, then get on it and pick p the Invincible Superstar Premium Gold Curler.

The swatches

Darling Princess eyeshadows (left top) and blush (left bottom) and Adventurous Princess eyeshadows (right top) and blush (right bottom).

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

This picture looks a bit dark but the swatches are true to colour.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

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Shu Uemura Tokyo Trends – eyes – Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner, Calligraph:ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen and Cartridge Set, Brow:sword, and Ultimate Natural Mascara

Shu Uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner review and swatches

Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner (C$36 each) comes in five shades, four of which I have to show you today:

  • M BLACK: Define your eyes with an intense black definition for a make-up focusing on your eyes.
  • M PURPLE BLACK: Define your eyes with a purple black warmth for a feminine and romantic look.
  • M NAVY BLACK: Define your eyes with a hint of navy black for an edgy and confident look.
  • M GREEN BLACK: Define your eyes with a green black mysterious look.

I love that they have very thin tips so that you can create a precise line. That being said, they are very dry and hard to apply. It does not glide as effortlessly on the lashline and skips, so even though they have a thin tip, you will need to go over each area multiple times which will result in a thicker line. That being said, I really love this eyeliner. It does NOT smudge, transfer, or dissolve under my oily eyelids. It reminds me a lot of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, which is one of my favourite eyeliners because it stays put.

All four colours look pretty much the same on my eyes, as they are all very dark. The only one exception is probably Purple Black, as it has more of a purple tint. I can wear all to replace my usual black liner and the effect will be the same.

Shu Uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner review and swatches

Calligraph:ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen and Cartridge Set (C$24 for the pen, $22 for the cartridge, sold separately) is a liquid eye liner pen inspired by the tradition calligraphy pens of Japan. It comes in two separate parts, one is the reusable pen with the fibre brush, and the second is the liner ink cartridge. This liquid liner has a very thick brush that ends in a thin tip so that you can have the versatility to create a thick or thin line. Despite how versatile it is, the price is a bit ridiculous because it ends up being $46 for the whole liner. Personally I would prefer a new tip each time so I’m not sure how I feel about buying replacement cartridges into an existing pen package.

Brow:sword (C$42) is a pre-sharpened and pre-shaped brow pencil with a spoolie at the other end. The shade I have is Seal Brown, which is a cool-toned medium brown. It’s a very natural brown on me that is fantastic for everyday wear. The chiseled end makes it very easy to apply precisely, and then you can blend it in with the spoolie. My usual go-to eyebrow pencil is the one by Burberry (it’s SO GOOD, but you can end up overapplying), but I think I will be switching it up with this one as well because it does look more natural on me.

Ultimate Natural Mascara (C$33) in Black is just a normal black mascara… I’m not sure what much more to say about it, to be honest. I didn’t find it to be too volumizing or lengthening, which is probably by design because it is supposed to be a natural mascara. This would be good for those who already have long, thick lashes to begin with, but my lashes are short and sparse, so I can use all the help I can get. I wouldn’t reach for this on a normal day.

I recommend picking up the Brow:sword and Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner.

The swatches

M BLACK as the shape of the eye, M PURPLE BLACK as the lower lashes, M NAVY BLACK as the pupils, and M GREEN BLACK as the top lashes.

I also tried to swatch the Brow:sword, which you can see by me drawing in some eye brows, but it didn’t work great because normally these types of brow pencils activates with the oils in the brows to create pigment.

Shu Uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Create your sculpted golden glow with Shu Uemura x Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017!

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

For spring and summer 2017, Shu Uemura collaborated with hip Japanese street style brand Ambush to bring a collection featuring metallics with bold lips. There are so many products in this collection, I don’t even know where to start! The collection is divided into makeup and skincare. The makeup products are a bit unusual for Shu Uemura, as they are quite funky and bold, whereas I’m more used to Shu Uemura creating subtler looks that are more of the Japanese aesthetic. Truthfully speaking, this collection isn’t very me in general, as I prefer a more natural look with not as much metallics. I love gold, but accessories mostly and not really on my face.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

There are four lipsticks. The first two are the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte formula (C$36), which is a comfort matte that provides full coverage without dryness. The two shades are Ambush Life, a warm coral orange, and Ambush Love, a beautiful raspberry red. There are also two Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shines (C$36), which is a sheer hydrating balm-like lipstick. The two shades are Ambush Spirit, a cool-toned lilac, and Ambush Freedom, a warm brown.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

While the gold packaging is catchy, I’m not a huge fan of it on the lipsticks as I find them to be fingerprint magnets and annoying to try to figure out which one is which shade. The names themselves aren’t super obvious either, so I tend to have to open it each time to check the colour. Also just a general thought is that Shu tends to release very similar colours in limited edition packaging each season. I’d really like to see them release more unique lipstick colours because I’m not one to purchase similar colours just because they are in limited edition packaging, and I assume most people aren’t unless they are super fans of that particular collaboration.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

There is a limited edition Ambush Custom Quad Case (C$17), which comes with the Ambush logo on a bold gold cover. You can fill the quad case with your own limited edition Ambush Pressed Eyeshadow Refills (C$19 each) and Glow on Blushes (C$19). The eyeshadow shades that I have are VVV, which is a metallic white, and Holy Mountain, which is a beautiful metallic bronze. It also comes in Montage, a pretty taupe, and AMB Nomad, a golden bronze. The Glow on Blush shade is Ambushed, which is a warm matte bronzer.
Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

Along with the Ambush collection, Shu is introducing a new eye product – the Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow (C$39) that is a metallic liquid eyeshadow that goes on with medium to full coverage to create a liquid metal effect. It comes in eight shades – yellow gold, copper, gun metal, dark bronze, pink gold, purpurite, champagne, and bronze – in addition to a limited edition Ambush shade – Dreamcatchers, which is a metallic dark blue. If you like liquid eyeshadows, these are seriously AMAZING. They go on soooo smoothly with so much pigmentation (copper is the only one of mine that applied sheerly, everything else had full coverage), blends out beautifully, and sets completely within a minute. You get a truly liquid metal effect which is fantastic for a night out or when you want a pop of shine. You can also wear it sheerly over top over shadows if you want just a bit of that shine.

Shu Uemura Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow in yellow gold, copper, champagne gold, pink gold, bronze, purpurite, and Dreamcatchers review and swatches

To complete the eye look, Shu has introduced two new shades of the Eyebrow Manicure (C$26) in classics gold and crush silver. This will create chic metallic brows to complement your cool look.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

In terms of the skincare products, you can pick up limited edition packaging of the Anti-Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil (C$46 for 150mL), which is their anti-pollution formula that contains moringa extract and green tea leaf extract to help clear pollutants and brighten the skin, and the Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil (C$49 for 150mL), which is the ultimate luxury anti-aging cleansing formula. Shu Uemura cleansing oils are the original cleansing oil that everyone always talks about. They are very reliable, gently removing all of your makeup without stripping, and also emulsifying completely without residue. The Ambush collection packaging is also available on that large 450mL size.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

There’s also the Stage Performer Glow Creator in the shade Warm Glow (C$45), also in the limited edition Ambush packaging. The Stage Performer Glow Creator is a hydrating moisturizer, primer, and foundation enhancer in one. Used on top of foundation, it can also be subtle liquid highlighter.

Shu Uemura Ambush collection for spring/summer 2017 review and swatches

Lastly, you can also pick up a limited edition blotting paper (C$25 for 50 sheets) with the gold Ambush packaging. Each sheet of blotting paper is also stamped with the Ambush logo. I’m not one to splurge on luxury blotting paper so I can’t really recommend this, sadly.

Of this collection, I’m a big fan of the Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadows and I think that everyone should go pick one up if you’re into that liquid metal eye look. If you’re a fan of Ambush accessories, or are into that more punky look, then this is a great collection to look into.

You can pick up the Shu Uemura x Ambush collection on the Shu website now, as well as at all Shu Uemura counters across Canada.

The swatches

Shu Uemura Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow in yellow gold, copper, champagne gold, pink gold, bronze, purpurite, and Dreamcatchers

Shu Uemura Eye Foil Liquid Eyeshadow in yellow gold, copper, champagne gold, pink gold, bronze, purpurite, and Dreamcatchers review and swatches

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Sneak preview – Shu Uemura x Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Hi!! I am back from my trip and also pretty much done moving so I’m starting to get back into the groove of blogging again, expect lots of gift guides and holiday posts coming up, starting with this one! That being said, I am still trying to work out a permanent place in my new apartment to do blog photos, so my next few reviews may be a bit truncated when compared to the usual reviews that I publish. Today I am sharing with you a sneak peak of the Shu Uemura x Muramaki collection, a limited edition collection for holiday 2016, and the second collaboration between Shu Uemura and Takashi Murakami (the previous one was in 2013). I just received these when I got back last week, so I hadn’t had the time to properly play with them, but I wanted to post this up quickly because this is a limited edition collection.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

I love this packaging on this collection; everything is super whimsical, cute, and colourful. The packaging is all plastic, but feel very sturdy. That being said, my biggest initial complaint is also the packaging because I feel like the eyeshadows aren’t glued on very well, especially for this price point.

The star products of this collection are the two Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palettes (C$85), available in a cool-toned variation – Cosmicool – and a warm-toned variation – Cosmikawaii. Each palette comes with seven eyeshadows and one blush. Cosmicool contains tones of grey, violet, purple, and silver colours, with a cool-toned pink blush, and Cosmikawaii has tones of orange, pink, red, and purple, with a soft peach blush. I personally prefer Cosmikawaii, because I generally tend to wear more warm-toned colours (over cool-toned), and I’m also very into the look of that bright orange shadow.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016
Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

If you don’t wan to splurge on the $85 palette, or if giant palettes intimidate you, you can pick up the Blossom Nova Eye Trio (C$39), which contain three shades in either Cosmicool or Cosmikawaii. These also come in adorable Murakami packaging, but with a transparent lid so you can clearly identify the palette when its in your stash.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

There are five Rouge Unlimited (C$36) released with this collection, three of them in the Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine and two in the regular Rouge Unlimited. The Sheer Shine formula is glossier and more translucent, although the regular Rouge Unlimited is also not completely opaque either. Both are very comfortable to wear on the lips, despite myself not being a fan of glossy formulas. From left to right, Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine in Pinky Bloom, Rouge Bloom, RD164; and Rouge Unlimited in OR520 and WN255.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Next, a new Shu Uemura product has been transformed with the Murakami packaging – the newly introduced Block: Booster (C$46) is a sunscreen and makeup primer in one. It contains SPF 50 and PA+++ for both UVA and UVB protection. It comes in two shades – Natural Beige, for evening out the skin tone, and Fresh Pink, for brightening.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Last in terms of makeup items, there are four Drawing Pencils in the limited edition Murakami collection. The most interesting shade is ME Comet Brown, which appears to be more like a rusty red-orange, based on what I’ve seen. I also have ME Navy 61. If you’re looking for a new, or replacement lash curler, the cult classic aq is now in a cool black, which a very adorable Murakami accessory. The regular silver is a classic, but this black is just too chic to pass up. I’ve gone through at least two Shu Uemura curlers and I will continue to depend on it for accurate, long lasting curls.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016
Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

In terms of hair care, the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo (C$56), Absolue Beautifying Oil (C$69), and Wonder Worker Leave in Spray (C$42) have also been repackaged for a limited time with the Murakami designs. I love the look of these in my shower – the cute designs instantly brighten up my day.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Lastly, the Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil is available in both the small and the large size bottles in the Murakami packaging. I haven’t tried this variation of Shu’s cleansing oil, but I’ve tried a few other types and I’ve been a fan of all of them – there’s a reason why Shu Uemura is known for their cleansing oil, they are definitely reliable!

My personal picks from this collection are the Shu Uemura limited edition lash curler, the Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette in Cosmikawaii, and the Block: Booster in Natural Beige. This collection is completely limited edition, and currently available at Shu Uemura’s website and counters inside The Bay.

Pssst they often do 15-20% off promotions, or gift with purchases, if you sign up to Shu’s online newsletter. It can help you save a few bucks (or pick up some additional things)!

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

The products featured in this post were provided by PR; all opinions are my own.

Shu Uemura fall 2015 review + swatches + look – Vision of Beauty collection vol. 2 – Haute Street – Tint in Gelatos, Rouge Unlimited Lipsticks, Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencils (part 2)

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

For fall 2015, Shu Uemura released volume two of their Vision of Beauty collection, named Haute Street. Inspired by street art as a means of artistic expression in a modern city, this collection was designed by Shu Uemura’s International Artistic Director, Mr. Kakuyasu Uchiide, in collaboration with the artist Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter. I previously reviewed the two Eye Shadow Palettes, and today I’m reviewing the rest of the collection.

In addition to the two Haute Street Eye Shadow Palettes, there are also four new Tint in Gelato lip and cheek tints (C$28) that are packaged in squeeze tubes rather than the usual lip gloss tube with a doe foot applicator. The two colours I have are Graffiti Orange, which is a bright orange that looks more coral on the cheeks; and Street Rose, which is a vibrant cool-toned fuchsia. I previously reviewed the Tint in Gelato formula, but I found these to be different from the formula in the regular collection. The Tint in Gelatos released in the Haute Street collection have more of a whipped, almost moussy texture, whereas the ones in the regular collection are more creamy liquids.

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

The Haute Street Tint in Gelatos are pigmented but hard to overdo as they blend in so seamlessly in the skin. When worn on the cheeks, I layered this quite a bit to get a more concentrated look, but it can definitely be worn sheerly for a healthy glow. For a cream blush/cheek tint, these didn’t wear as well as I had hoped – fading around the 8-hour mark. I have way better luck with the regular collection of Tint in Gelatos, for some reason, as they wear closer to 10 hours.

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

There are four new Rouge Unlimited Lipsticks released with the Haute Street collection, including two colours in the Supreme Shine formula . The two colours I have are City Neon, a bright cool-toned pink; and Avenue Sunset, an orange-based red. Although they look scarily bright in the tube, both colours are those moist types of lipsticks that have very glossy finishes, and easily be worn sheerly. The Rouge Unlimited Lipstick feels very comfortable on the lips; it’s lightweight and doesn’t feel sticky or slick at all. Wear time isn’t great though, because they are so glossy; it needs to be reapplied after eating or drinking.

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

Shu Uemura introduces new Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencils with the Vision of Beauty Vol. 2 Haute Street collection. The two shades are warm x vibrant, which contains a yellow end and a bright pink end, and cool x chic, which contains a lime green and baby blue. I’m not gonna lie – I haven’t used these very much. The colours aren’t super wearable, particularly for someone who works in an office. They are super fun for the weekend though, and aren’t like anything on the market today. In terms of texture, they are on the dry side, but still relatively creamy. It tugs a little bit when applied, but not enough to bother me or cause irritation.

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

In summary: I’m a bit disappointed by the Vision of Beauty Vol. 2 Haute Street collection, particularly because of how blown away I was by the Shu:Palette. The colours aren’t for everyone, but if you are happy with the bright colours then you will feel right at home with this collection.

The swatches

Haute Street Tint in Gelato in Street Rose and Graffiti Orange

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

Haute Street Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in cool x chic and warm x vibrant, and Haute Street Rouge Unlimited Lipsticks in Avenue Sunset and City Neon.

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

The look

On eyes wearing Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in warm x vibrant, on cheeks wearing Shu Uemura Haute Street Tint in Gelato in Graffiti Orange, on lips wearing Shu Uemura Haute Street Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Avenue Sunset (reviews to come for the Tint in Gelato and the Rouge Unlimited Lipstick)

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street collection review
Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street collection review
Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street collection review
Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street collection review

Shu Uemura fall 2015 review + swatches + look – Vision of Beauty collection vol. 2 – Haute Street – Eye Shadow Palettes (part 1)

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette review and swatches

For fall 2015, Shu Uemura released volume two of their Vision of Beauty collection, named Haute Street. Inspired by street art as a means of artistic expression in a modern city, this collection was designed by Shu Uemura’s International Artistic Director, Mr. Kakuyasu Uchiide, in collaboration with the artist Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter.

Similarly with last fall’s Vision of Beauty collection, Haute Street is extremely colourful. It is divided up into warm tones and cool tones, but the products are suitable for every skin tone. Today I’m going to share with you the two eyeshadow palettes from the collection – cool x chic, and warm x vibrant. The reviews for the rest of the collection will be posted up at a later date.

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette review and swatches

The Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in cool x chic (C$90) is a six pan palette that contains the following shades (from left to right):

  • Matte dark grey – most pigmented colour in the palette, albeit is a bit dry and chalky when applied.
  • Shimmery medium purple – my favourite shade in the palette, and one that applies the smoothest.
  • Matte lavender-grey – an ultra sheer matte shade that required a ton of layering. This would have made a good base colour, but ultimately became the most disappointing.
  • Shimmery bright purple – a beautiful jewel-toned purple that helps to create dimension. Pigmentation was so-so, but it layered beautifully over the lavender-grey.
  • Shimmery ice blue – a sheer icy blue colour that looks good when worn in the middle of the eyelid just for a pop of colour.
  • Shimmery acid green – an ultra sheer acid green that’s relatively smooth but not the easiest colour to pull off.

I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to use all of these shades in the palette. The four purple-toned colours on the left are easy to wear in combination, but the challenge is incorporating the icy blue and acid green. Of the two palettes, this one performed significantly better than the other. I was easily able to create a beautiful purple smokey eye with this palette using the first four shades. You’ll see in the arm swatches that these shades swatch quite poorly, but on the eyes they apply and wear a lot better. Despite this though, with the $90 price tag, I’d expect amazing results and not just the so-so results I get with this palette. With the quality of shadows, I’d expect a price tag of below $50, but for $90 it’d better be amazing, and this is not.

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette review and swatches

The Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in warm x vibrant (C$90) contains the following shades (from left to right):

  • Satin warm medium brown – a beautiful warm brown that looks great when paired with the pink. It’s the most pigmented in the palette, but I find it a bit hard to blend on the eyelid.
  • Shimmery medium warm pink – a semi-sheer medium warm brown with very smooth shimmer, this looks great when layered on top of the matte mauve. When worn on the eyes, it is a lot sheerer compared to when it’s swatched on the arm.
  • Matte mauve – an ultra sheer matte mauve that also requires a ton of layering, even with a primer.
  • Shimmery light cool-toned pink – a pretty light pink that looks great when dusted lightly on the inner corners of the eyes.
  • Metallic orange – a beautiful metallic orange that looks amazing when dabbed on the centre of the eyelid.
  • Shimmery bright yellow – a shimmery canary yellow that looks great when dusted lightly on the entire lid to create a multidimensional effect.

I find the warm x vibrant palette a lot easier to use than the cool x chic palette. The colours are more coordinated, and I can create a very soft, romantic look with these shades that are appropriate for day and night wear. In addition, I was quite disappointed to find that most of these eyeshadows are quite sheer and applied poorly. You can’t really build these up for more intensity – I’ve tried and they end up looking more muddy than anything. I know that Japanese eyeshadows are generally sheerer in nature so that even the most crazy of colours can be worn in any setting during the day. Despite this, I think I’m just so used to the Urban Decay-factor, AKA rich, bold and highly pigmented jewel tones.

In conclusion, I’d recommend skipping both palettes altogether. The colours are sheer, not super wearable, and even as “fun” makeup they don’t perform very well. For $90, I’d recommend splurging a bit more and getting the Shu:Palette instead because the shades in that palette perform much better than the ones in the Haute Street palettes.

Watch out for the second part of my Vision of Beauty Haute Street reviews coming soon!

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street collection review

The swatches

Keep in mind these were swatched with multiple swipes of each colour, but they apply a lot sheerer on the eyes.

Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in cool x chic

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in cool x chic swatches

Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in warm x vibrant

Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in warm x vibrant swatches

The look

On eyes wearing Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in cool x chic

Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches
Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches
Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches
Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches
Shu Uemura fall 2015 Vision of Beauty Haute Street review and swatches

Soft, romantic birthday look featuring Charlotte Tilbury & Shu Uemura (with some mini reviews)

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation

My birthday was this weekend! To celebrate, the boyfriend took me to one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver to celebrate. I put together a soft romantic look for the occasion, featuring products from Charlotte Tilbury and Shu Uemura.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation

On face:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream to prep
  • Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Primer to smooth
  • Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation in 2 to cover
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

On eyes:

  • Shu Uemura Shu:Palette in ME Medium Brown 856 on inner corners and 1/3 of eyelid, M Soft Brown 851 on rest of eyelid, M Dark Brown 895 to smoke out the look on the upper and outer lower lashline
  • Paul & Joe Liquid Eye Liner to line the upper lash line
  • Anna Sui Mascara Primer & Top Coat, with one coat Length & Separation Mascara and topped with one coat of Curl & Volume Mascara
  • False lashes from Daiso
  • Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03

On cheeks:

On lips:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation

Some mini reviews

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream is seriously amazing, especially when used with Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Primer and Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation. Magic Cream is very thick and great for dehydrated or dry skin (like mine); it just melts into the skin, and if you give it a minute to soak in, it will give you a plump, smooth canvas to apply makeup on top of. Wonderglow primer works very well with Magic Cream because it is silky in texture, blends in very well, and leaves skin looking glowy and healthy.

Light Wonder foundation in #2 is a good match for my NC25 skintone. Coverage is light to medium, and it’s extremely buildable without ever looking cakey or feeling heavy. It doesn’t really do a good job at covering imperfections or spots, you’d definitely need a separate concealer for that, and it’s just okay in covering redness (I built it up around my cheek area where I’m the most red). The texture of Light Wonder is where the magic lies, so if you have relatively good skin (not much redness or spots), then this foundation would be good for you. Compared to other foundations I’ve used, this one is more like a BB cream than a true foundation, but the light, watery texture is just really great for those hot summer months.

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Bitch Perfect is the perfect pink nude for my skintone. It works amazingly with Pillowtalk lip liner in that they just complement each other so well. Texture, again, is very creamy with great coverage in just one swipe. I absolutely love Charlotte’s lipstick formulas, and I can’t wait for her Matte Revolution lipsticks to make their way across the pond.

What do you think of this look?

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Wonderglow and Light Wonder foundation

Review: Kerastase Reflection Bain Chrome Riche shampoo, Masque Chroma Captive, and Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner

Kerastase reflection collection review

If you’re into luxury haircare, Kerastase and Shu Uemura Art of Hair are both great professional haircare products that use quality ingredients to help maintain the status of your hair. Since my hair dye job a few months ago, I’ve constantly been on the outlook for new and good colour-maintenance hair products. Today, I have some products from the Kerastase and Shu Uemura Art of Hair colour-protection lines to share with you.

Kerastase Reflection Bain Chrome Riche shampoo

Kerastase Reflection Bain Chrome Riche shampoo review

Formulated for very sensitized and damaged coloured hair, the Kerastase Reflection Bain Chrome Riche (C$39) shampoo is a gentle shampoo designed to softly cleanse the hair. It also helps to increase shine, maintain the vibrant colour, and prevent against colour fading (which is a big problem with faux-redheads). It has a refreshing powdery floral scent that is quite pleasant, and helps me to relax after a day at work. It also lathers very richly, creating thick, creamy foam that removes any grime from the hair, but is still soft on the hair follicles. I really like how gentle this shampoo is, it leaves my hair feeling cleansed by never stripped. It feels great on the scalp too, especially because my scalp is on the drier side. I haven’t noticed it helping too much with preventing colour fade, but I didn’t have too high of expectations on that because I know red dye fades out extremely fast. The price is high but Kerastase is a luxury haircare brand so if you normally buy drugstore brands, you probably won’t consider this. If you like to invest in your hair products and generally like Kerastase products, do give this one a try!

Repurchase? Maybe

Ingredients:

Kerastase Reflection Bain Chrome Riche shampoo ingredients

Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner

Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner review

The Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner (US$58 for 250mL) contains Musk Rose Oil and Goji Berry extract to help provide lightweight conditioning with enhanced shine while preserving the hair colour. The texture is a lightweight milky cream that spreads easily throughout the hair. I end up having to use a lot of this conditioner whenever I am washing my hair because I feel like it just absorbs into my hair immediately and I’m not able to spread it into my hair evenly.

I’m quite disappointed in this conditioner because it is very gentle and doesn’t address the damaging aspect of the hair colouring process. While my hair looks shiny, it feels extremely dry and also looks quite damaged as well. I’ve been using this in conjunction with the Kerastase Reflection Masque as I find that this conditioner alone isn’t enough to keep my hair looking healthy, especially after a dye job.

Repurchase? No

Ingredients:

Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner ingredients

Kerastase Reflection Masque Chroma Captive

Kerastase Reflection Masque Chroma Captive review

This hair masque is designed to increase shine intensity in coloured hair. The Kerastase Reflection Masque Chroma Captive (C$59) is the more lightweight version of the Masque Chroma Riche, which has more reparative functions to it. I really enjoy using this masque as the final step to my hair cleansing regime because not only does it help to increase shine, it also helps to smooth out my hair, leaving it looking healthier. It’s never heavy feeling and it doesn’t leave any residue in my hair, which is great because I love my hair to wash out clean but at the same time still have the smoothing benefits. I feel like even if you don’t have colour-treated hair, you can still use and benefit from this masque because it really does help to smooth out your hair, and would be especially helpful for those with more unruly hair types. Even though it is quite expensive, you don’t need very much of it each time, and I like that it really works. Because of that, I can see myself repurchasing.

Repurchase? Yes

Ingredients:

Kerastase Reflection Masque Chroma Captive ingredients

Review + swatches + look: Shu Uemura Shu:Palette 16 shades of nude

shu uemura shu palette review

The mother of all neutral palettes, the Shu Uemura Shu:Palette (C$105) contains 16 shades of neutrals, from the lightest bone shade to highlight to the darkest matte black shade to line, designed for Asian skintones in mind. The Shu:Palette contains 16 full sized Shu Uemura eyeshadows, including (from left to right, top row then bottom row; where M is matte, P is pearl, IR is iridescent, ME is metallic, and G is glitter):

  • G Beige 821, M Soft Beige 814, ME Light Beige 825, ME Medium Brown 856, M Soft Brown 851, ME Medium Brown 862, IR Light Beige811, and IR Dark Blue 690
  • M Light Beige 813, P Soft Beige 823, S Light Beight 815, P Light Beige 822, P Medium Brown 875, M Dark Brown 895, ME Medium Olive 471, and M Black 990

shu uemura shu palette review
shu uemura shu palette review

Of the 16 shades, I generally like about 80% of them. The quality on all of these are great, as they’re smooth, very easy to apply, and mostly adhere well to skin. Not all of them pack the punch in terms of pigmentation though, which is understandable because some of them are more subtle highlight shades. The ME shades applied the smoothest and had the strongest pigmentation, and were by far my favourite. They weren’t glittery metallics either, but smoother, almost like molten metal.

My favourite shades in this palette were ME Light Beige 825 (3rd from left on top), ME Medium Brown (4th from left on top), M Soft Brown 851 (4th from right on top), P Medium Brown 875 (4th from right on bottom), and M Medium Brown 895 (third from right on bottom). These applied all incredibly smooth, pigmented, and were just a delight to use. The most disappointing shades were G Beige 821 (first from left on top), it’s sheer, somewhat glittery, and powdery – I had a hard time getting this shade to stick; M Soft Beige 814 (2nd from left on top), it was too powdery; P Light Beige 822 (fourth from left on bottom), it was too sheer but would make a great inner corner highlight colour; and M Black 990 (first from right on bottom) , it was a little bit patchy when swatched and had to be blended out significantly.

shu uemura shu palette review

Because these shades were curated specifically with Asian skintones in mind, they don’t lean too cool or too warm in tone – most of them being neutral – as such, this palette would work great for any skin tone, whether you have Asian skin tone or not. Because of the wide range of colours, this palette is truly versatile and can be brought along with you on your travels or safely kept on your vanity.

shu uemura shu palette review

In terms of packaging, it is housed in sleek, long rectangular case and comes with a large mirror. It also comes with a full size, double-ended eyeshadow brush designed specificially for this palette. Made with synthetic bristles, it has a flat wide end for applying and blending on the entire eyelid, and a thinner, smaller end to define the eye frame. While sleek, the packaging is also the biggest downside. While I don’t mind that the palette is quite large, I did find that each eyeshadow pan were not very well glued into its slot; many of them were wobbling a lot while I was swatching these, which made me question how safe it would be to take this on a trip with me.

shu uemura shu palette review
shu uemura shu palette review
shu uemura shu palette review

While at first glance, the Shu:Palette looks like a hefty investment, but when you break it down, it’s actually very good value. You get 16 full size eyeshadows in this palette, along with a full size brush. Shu Uemura eyeshadows are C$19 for each refill, plus their synthetic eye brush is around C$45, and a refill quad is C$17 to house the eyeshadow in. If you just take into consideration the cost of the eyeshadows at full size, it totals to C$304, tack on the brush and you get C$349 in value on a C$105 product. Breaking down the cost of each eyeshadow in the palette, each shade costs approximately $6.56, which is cheaper than some drugstore eyeshadows even.

If you don’t already have a neutral palette that you love and are loyal to (which is rare because there have been so many of them out recently), I’d definitely recommend checking out the Shu:Palette. It is available online only, and just for a limited time.

See swatches and the look I created with this palette… Continue reading

Review: Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo, Cleansing Oil Conditioner & Essence Absolue Oil-in-Cream

shu uemura art of hair cleansing oil shampoo and conditioner

If you are not one to splurge on your haircare, then I urge you to stop reading now. Shu Uemura is best known for their facial cleansing oils, and the Shu Uemura Art of Hair has its own line of oil-based products for the hair featuring ferments found in onsen (hot springs in Japan) that are known for their purifying properties. Today I’m sharing with you my thoughts on the Shu Uemura Art of Oils line, specifically the Cleansing Oil Shampoo, Cleansing Oil Conditioner, and the Absolue Oil-in-Cream.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo

The Cleansing Oil Shampoo ($56 for 400mL) is a light fluid clear liquid that is lightly scented with camelia. Claimed to be paraben and silicone-free, it also includes onsen inspired ferment. It gently cleanses the hair while balancing the scalp. It also claims to provide radiance, leaving hair feeling light and airy.

This shampoo is super gentle on my scalp. I get dry and sensitive scalp often around this time of year, of when I’m feeling stressed out, but this helped to balance out the dryness and protect my scalp. My scalp never felt tight, and it cleaned it right so it didn’t feel heavy either. The best part was because my scalp was balanced, I could get away with washing my hair every 4 days instead of the usual every 2-3 (it sounds kinda gross but washing your hair less is actually better for the hair and scalp).

My biggest issue with this shampoo is that I felt like it didn’t lather as much as I would have liked it to. The soap suds are rather thin, and it doesn’t leave my hair feel as squeaky clean. Although I know my hair is clean, I prefer that there’s a squeaky clean type of feel after rinsing out my shampoo, and this just didn’t give that.

The price of $56 is pretty hefty, so I can’t exactly recommend it. I like it because I can get away with washing my hair less. If you are someone who has scalp issues and need more of a balanced shampoo that cleanses your hair and scalp but never strips, then this shampoo is worth looking into. Or, if you’re like me and want to transition into washing your hair less and/or is lazy, then this is also perfect for you. If you prefer a more clarifying shampoo, then you should overlook this.

Repurchase? Yes

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Conditioner

The Cleansing Oil Conditioner (C$56 for 250mL) is an ultra lightweight, fluid conditioner that you leave in the hair after shampooing, then rinse out. It claims to be formulated with onsen inspired ferment that leaves hair feeling soft and radiant, as well as light and airy. It is also lightly scented with camelia.

This conditioner is super light, more of a lotion texture than the cream conditioners I’ve used in the past. It coats hair well, and it absorbs very quickly. I like to leave it in my hair for a minutes while I wash my face and body so that the conditioning properties are maximized, and I found that by leaving it in my hair just a tad longer, it makes my hair feel 10 times smoother and more moisturized than if I had just rubbed it in then rinsed it out. My hair never feels heavy, and there is zero residue left behind after rinsing.

While I really like this conditioner because it is hydrating and doesn’t weigh down hair, priced at $56, it’s not enough of a miracle worker in order for me to recommend it. There are other conditioners out there that do a similar job at a fraction of the price.

Repurchase? No.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue Oil-in-Cream

My favourite of the three products, the Essence Absolue Oil-in-Cream (C$69 for 150mL) is a hair cream that melts into a thin oil once rubbed into the palms of my hands.

This cream is so lightweight and lightly scented with camelia oil; it absorbs right into the ends of my towel-dried hair. I use it every time after I wash and condition my hair with the Cleansing Oil Shampoo and Cleansing Oil Conditioner – only a pea-sized amount is required – and right before blowdrying. It helps to alleviate several of my hair issues in the winter, such as frizz, flyaways, dryness, and static, and it also protects against the blowdryer’s heat. My hair is never left feeling heavy or greasy, rather it feels silky and smooth. It has been a winter necessity, especially because of how static-y my hair feels due to the dry air.

Of the three products in the Shu Uemura Art of Oils line reviewed here, I would have to recommend this one. While it is very expensive, it truly does work. A tiny bit goes a long way, and if you’ve had issues with frizzyness or dryness, and dislike silicone-heavy hair products, this one will be good for you.

Repurchase? Probably.