FOUNDATION REVIEWS | Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Essence, Diorskin Forever Undercover and Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Aqua Nude

Review of Shu Uemura Lightbulb Essence Foundation, Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation and Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Aqua Nude Foundation

Sorry for being missing for the last month! I misplaced my SD card and then I had to order another one, so I wasn’t able to take photos or blog, not to mention I lost all the photos that I had taken before… Anyways, I wanted to share some new foundation reviews with you today! Foundations are a staple to my daily face routine. I don’t always wear a full face of makeup, but I will usually wear a full face of foundation + powder to work to help even out my skintone. That also means they are one of my favourite things to test out. When I try a new foundation, I usually look for three main things:

  • Longevity of wear – I hate touching up during the day (and pretty much never do unless I’m going somewhere nice at night), so I need something that will wear all day without disappearing
  • Ease of application – I am almost always late in the morning, so I need something that blends easily with fingers
  • Good on dry skin – I have dry skin, so I look for foundations that don’t sink into my lines or pores

I’m not too picky on coverage, since I have various foundations that I use that vary in coverage, but the three things above are the most important to me. Today I’m reviewing three relatively new foundations that came out in the last 6 months or so.

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Essence Foundation is a serum foundation, kind of like Diorskin Air Nude or Armano Maestro. This is my favourite type of foundation to use when I am having a lazy good skin day and just need a tiny bit of coverage to even out my skin. You can apply this with a sponge, brush, or fingers, and it is said to provide “deep hydration and 24-hour rich moisture with natural coverage that cocoons the skin with softness.”

I wear the shade 564 which is the perfect match for my NC25 light neutral skintone.

The biggest downside to this product is that I absolutely hate the packaging. It comes in a dropper bottle, which is great, but the dropper isn’t like the rubber squeeze type that has a bit more “suction strength.” Shu basically designed a sleek dropper that comes out of the top of the bottle when you twist the bottle a little bit, and then you press it down to get the foundation in the dropper, then you can drop it on your hand / brush / sponge / face. In theory, that should work, expect the dropper has zero suction strength so I pretty much end up dripping foundation all over the bottle itself and then on my bathroom counter. I am super OCD about foundation on the outside of the bottle so that bothers me to no end, and I have to clean it up right away. I would honestly recommend this foundation if not for the terrible bottle design. Shu, please don’t try to be innovative in the packaging and just use the traditional dropper like everyone else!

You can purchase Shu Uemura at The Bay or on the Shu website.

Diorskin Forever Undercover is a new-ish product in the Diorskin Forever range, which promises ultra long wear and full coverage. There are 24 shades in total, and the shades pretty much match the normal Dior shade in other foundation ranges (I wear 020 in all Dior foundations).

This foundation is one of the most long-wearing foundations in my collection. It blends super easily just with fingers, and wears well over most skincare products, preferring those that don’t dry down completely. I use only a little bit on a day-to-day basis, and it gives me medium coverage, blending over my redness and pores to leave a relatively flawless finish. It does dry down almost completely matte, so no powdering is required. I see this as being a better foundation for normal, combination, or oily skin types. If I’m having a particularly dry skin day, this tends to not wear as well because it will cling to some dry spots on my face. Otherwise if I’m looking for a long-wearing, medium to full coverage foundation, this will pretty much always deliver.

You can purchase Dior at The Bay and Holt Renfrew.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Aqua Nude (C$61) is an extension of the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation. The original Lingerie de Peau is a light-to-medium coverage foundation that gives a dewy, radiant finish. The Aqua Nude version is even lighter, claiming to hydrate and plump the skin. I would describe this almost like a milky-gel foundation. It is super lightweight, and provides barely-there coverage.

The original Lingerie de Peau clinged to my dry spots, but the Aqua Nude definitely is much better for those with dry skin. It blends into the skin very well, and doesn’t settle into lines. I wear the shade 02N Natural, which is my usual Guerlain foundation shade – a light neutral beige. I love this for perfect skin days, as it doesn’t mask my natural skin. It just barely covers the redness in my cheeks, and it lightly smooths out skin texture. Finish is a dewy-satin, and because it is a hydrating foundation, there is very poor oil control so powdering is a must.

There are a few things I love about this foundation – how easy it is to blend into the skin, and the bottle. Most Guerlain foundations come in a glass bottle which is tedious to bring around with you. This foundation, despite it being 30mL like most foundations, is in a plastic bottle that’s just very easy to transport. This is great for travelling when you want a little bit of coverage but not so much, or to bring with you to touch up after the gym.

That being said, it’s just an okay foundation. I would wear it, but it doesn’t wow me. For $61, I’d say skip.

You can purchase Guerlain at Beauty Court, Holt Renfrew, and the Bay.

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

Advertisements

Celebrating 50 years of cleansing oils with Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

I can hardly believe that it’s already been 50 years since the creation of the cleansing oil by Shu Uemura. Indeed, Shu was the first brand of cleansing oil that I’ve ever tried, over 10 years ago. At the time, there were only a few formulas available, so it’s amazing that there are so many different variations available for different skin types. I was generously sent a beautiful gift box containing the top four formulas, made for specific skin types.

Shu’s cleansing oils are made to effectively remove makeup and impurities from the skin, and prepping the skin for the follow-up steps. Shu claims that double cleansing is not necessary since it rinses completely and doesn’t leave behind any residue (although I personally still prefer to double cleanse).

The four formulas I received are:

  • Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil – the richest formula created by Shu, this is the all-rounder product that targets all skin products. Created primarily for those with dry or aging skin types, the Ultime8 is made with traditional Chinese medicine in mind. This is an amazing cleansing oil, particularly in the winter, as it is very effective at removing all makeup, including eye makeup, without getting into my eyes. It smells a bit medicinal, like something that would be good for you. It’s not stripping at all, unlike some cleansing oils, and is great for all skin types except the super oily types. Shu often makes limited edition bottles of the Ultime8 so if that’s also something to be on the lookout for.
  • Anti-Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil – created for those living in highly populated big cities with pollution, this cleansing oil is anti-pollution and will remove polluting impurities from deep within your skin. It contains the potent anti-oxidant green tea extract, as well as moringa, to improve skin dullness and sallowness. I really enjoy this one, as it is not too rich and not too light. It’s a very effective makeup remover, and doesn’t strip the skin. I’m not sure how good it is at anti-pollution, but my skin usually looks pretty good when I use this (in combination with other products). The Anti-Oxi is one of my top picks in terms of a cleansing oil from Shu.
  • POREfinist2 Sakura Fresh Cleansing Oil – the lightest Shu cleansing oil, made for oily skin types. Blended with sakura and cinnamon bark extract, it helps to regulate oil production as well as shrink the appearance of pores. This is probably my least favourite cleansing oil – not surprisingly because I have dry skin. It feels too light on me and also strips my skin a little. The lightness of the oil also means that if I am removing eye makeup, the oil migrates into my eyes and then it stings. Regardless, it’s an effective cleansing oil for removing base makeup, and because of the slip, a little goes quite a long ways.
  • Nutri-nectar Cleansing Oil in Emulsion – this is a brand new formula for this year to celebrate Shu’s 50 years in the cleansing oil market. Created for sensitive skin types in mind, it blends together acai, magnolia, and reishi mushrooms. It has a thicker jelly-like texture that is really fun to use. Because of the thicker consistency, I find it a little bit harder to rinse off (you’ll need a bit more water and a bit more effort to massage the skin and emulsify the jelly). I also prefer to use this on days where I am not wearing so much eye makeup because it doesn’t have as much slip compared to one of the lighter oils. That being said, it feels really nice and gentle on the skin.

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

My top pick is definitely the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil.

Lastly, of course everyone knows Shu Uemura also for its lash curlers. Over the years, I’ve purchased and repurchased this lash curler a number of times, and it’s still my #1 go-to lash curler that I bring with me everywhere I go. I’m a fan of the classic silver design, as well as of their various limited edition designs such as gold, black lacquer, and more. A lash curler is such an essential part of the makeup kit, and Shu’s version is definitely a top cult classic.

You can pick up Shu Uemura cleansing oils and lash curlers, as well as other Shu Uemura products, at The Bay and Sephora.

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

Product provided by PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

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

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