The products: Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Collection – Vol. 02 Haute Street
Haute Street is shu uemura’s interpretation of street art for the face. However, the brand’s artistic director, Uchiide, is adamant that this collection (which is the second in a series; see Vol. 01 Brave Beauty here) is not “graffiti for the face.”
Instead, it’s meant to bring the “essence” of street art into everyday makeup looks, but here’s the thing: street art, and especially graffiti (which the visuals of this collection centre around) isn’t about beautifying streets or letting overprivileged youth express themselves. It’s a form of protest and a way to claim spaces; a way to disrupt, interrupt, and change the discourse when your voices aren’t being heard.
So, while I think the bright hues and mixed-media textures of the Haute Street collection are wonderful, I also think it’s kind of uncool that shu uemura is re-appropriating graffiti culture to sell $90 luxury eyeshadow palettes.
Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic
Cool x Chic
The Haute Street collection is a really big one, so it’s separated into “cool x chic” colours and “warm x vibrant” colours. I started, of course, with the cool tones!
First up: the Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic ($30 CAD), which is a double-ended matte neon green and neon blue shadow/liner. I loved the bright matte colours of these liners, and the colour payoff is so good, but I couldn’t get behind the “traditional” dry pencil texture.
I find that I have to make multiple stiff passes to get an opaque line with these, and they perform best as an eyeshadow base.
Swatched L-R: Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Cool x Chic, Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon, Tint in Gelato in Street Rose (heavily/lightly)
Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon
Next, we have the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in City Neon ($36 CAD), which is sheer, juicy, and so, so pretty, and the gorgeous Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in Cool x Chic ($90 CAD), which is full of beautiful plums, blues, and greens.
Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic
Swatched over primer in indirect sunlight: Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic
Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip and Cheek Color in Street Rose
The Tint in Gelato lip/cheek colours (repackaged without a doe-foot in the Haute Street collection) have always fascinated me, but they’ve never worked for me. Something in the formula makes my lips tingle (in a bad way), and on the cheeks, the silicone content always breaks me out — but oh, they are an artist’s dream!
Each Tint in Gelato is wildly pigmented and features a mousse texture with a velvety matte finish, and the Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip Color in Street Rose ($28 CAD) is no exception.
Shu Uemura Haute Street Tint in Gelato packaging vs. original/regular packaging
Warm x Vibrant
Ah, warm and vibrant colours… AKA colours that are guaranteed to look unsettling on me!
To start off the Warm x Vibrant section, let’s talk about the Shu Uemura Haute Street Eye Shadow Palette in Warm x Vibrant ($90 CAD). Like its cool-toned counterpart, its colour palette was actually designed to contain three categories of colours: two “definition shades” to line the eye and add depth, one matte grey(ish) “wall canvas base” representative of concrete city walls, and three pearl-finish “accent shades” in vivid autumn hues.
Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Warm x Vibrant
Swatched dry over primed skin: Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Warm x Vibrant
Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Avenue Sunset
Then, you’ve got the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Avenue Sunset ($36 CAD), meant to be the colour of a sunset, and a few warm-toned Tint in Gelato tubes.
As with Street Rose, I love the paint tube-inspired packaging of the Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip Color in Graffiti Orange ($28 CAD). Orange lovers, take note — this one is vivid to neon proportions, and it’ll layer to full opacity on both the lips and cheeks.
Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato Lip and Cheek Color in Graffiti Orange
Swatched L-R: Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Warm x Vibrant, Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Avenue Sunset, Tint in Gelato in Graffiti Orange
And, to wrap things back up where we started: the Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Warm x Vibrant ($30 CAD) has the same texture problems as the Cool x Chic pencil, but the pink? Looks amazing layered over the blue from Cool x Chic.
Separately, they’re kind of “eh,” but together… together, they make for just the most gorgeous matte, neon magenta! I guess it all just goes to show that sometimes, two things together can be so much better than the sum of their parts.
Shu Uemura Dual-Ended Eye Color Pencil in Warm x Vibrant
If you’re a fan of matte neons, the Haute Street collection is definitely one for you. Personally, though, I just didn’t love it as much as the first Vision of Beauty Collection (Brave Beauty) — but I definitely liked it enough that I’m still eagerly awaiting Volume 3.
My top picks: the Cool x Chic Eyeshadow Palette, Warm x Vibrant Eye Color Pencil, Graffiti Orange Tint in Gelato, and City Neon Rouge Unlimited Lipstick.
Availability: $28 CAD+ at shuuemura.ca and in select Hudson’s Bay and Sephora locations (limited edition). Use code STREETDUO for a free shu uemura lip brush and Laque Supreme lipgloss with any (yes, any!) purchase from this collection.