Shu Uemura Haute Street review, swatches, photos | Vision of Beauty Vol. 02

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shu Uemura Haute Street Vision of Beauty collection reviews photos swatches

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 hereis 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 eye color pencil cool chic review swatches

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.

Shu Uemura Haute Street reviews swatches cool x chic

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 City Neon swatches review

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 Cool x Chic swatches review

Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic

Shu Uemura Cool x Chic eyeshadow palette swatches review

Swatched over primer in indirect sunlight: Shu Uemura Haute Street Eyeshadow Palette in Cool x Chic

Shu Uemura Street Rose swatches review

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 Tint in Gelato swatches review comparison

Shu Uemura Haute Street Tint in Gelato packaging vs. original/regular packaging

Warm x Vibrant »

Unusual beauty finds | The Edit

Monday, August 24, 2015

The beauty world has been coming out with some pretty cool new innovations this year, so for the newest instalment of The Edit, I’ve selected nine products that have something different about them. They’re mostly skincare (what? I’ve been on a skincare kick this month), but don’t let that fool you: there’s some really nifty stuff coming out of the makeup department, too!

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click the links!

Beauty Essences

Beauty essences are far from new (they’ve been popular in Korea and the rest of Asia for years), but they’ve been tricky to get ahold of here in North America until just recently. I picked out two for this edit: a classic, the Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence ($42 USD), which is now easily accessible outside of Asia thanks to Peach and Lily (get a $10 off code here!); and a personal favourite, the Canadian-made MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ($34 CAD), which touts all the benefits of a traditional beauty essence but applies conveniently as a spray.

Mask On, Mask Off 

I also picked out two cool masks for this feature: one for oily skin, and one for dry. Clinique’s new Pore Refining Solutions Mask ($27 CAD) is one of three masks that the brand is putting out this fall, and targets problem skin with its charcoal-based formula — its muddy-charcoal texture looks super cool coming out of the tube.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum is Odacité’s Hydration Masque ($55 CAD; sample size pictured), which is bright white and is a great choice for dry skin. And, still working off of K-beauty trends, it makes an awesome sleeping mask for those inclined!

!NIOD Copper Amino Isolate, Odacite Hydration Masque

Make-Up Shake-Up 

I love a newfangled makeup product, so I picked out the Shu Uemura Laque Supreme ($35 CAD) and the Annabelle EyeInk2 Mistake-Proof Eyeliner ($10.95 CAD) for this feature. I reviewed the Shu just last week, and have been playing around with the Annabelle — the formula hasn’t been working out for my oily lids, but I love the long, thin, reversible (!!) felt-tip applicator and the built-in double-ended touch-up pen!

Cutting-Edge Technologies 

And, finally, the coolest of the coolest. NIOD (by Deciem) has a new Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00% ($60 CAD) available this fall, and it packs a major anti-ageing punch — most brands only bother to put a 0.01 to 0.10% concentration into their products, which doesn’t give you the same effects.

Also from Deciem is a range of drinkables from FOUNTAIN, including this bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement, The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD). And, from Estee Lauder, something that’s (also!) altogether new: the New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD), which creates a thin, flexible layer over the skin that tightens over the course of ten minutes to literally lift and smooth the area!

What’s the coolest beauty product you’ve tried this year?

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme review, swatches RD 01, 02, 03, 04; PK 02

Thursday, August 20, 2015

shu uemura laque supreme gloss lipstick review

The product: shu uemura laque supreme lip colour in RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, and PK 02

Shu Uemura’s new Laque Supreme Lip Colours take their cues from traditional Japanese urushi lacquerware. Urushi lacquerware has been around since 14 500 BC, and is an art form of lacquering rich pigments over wood.

shu uemura laque supreme lip colour review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme in RD 01-04, PK 02

The formula: The Laque Supreme Lip Colours are essentially gloss-stains, which use a brand-new water soluble dye to provide a translucent wash of colour, oil-dispersed pigments (used in all of your old Shu favourites) for opaque coverage, and coating polymers help the formula settle into a honeycomb molecular structure for intense shine and long wear.

The “oil in water” formula gives a “fresh and smooth sensation upon application” (very true), and the applicator on these is a slanted doe-foot — which is exactly what you want when the product you’re applying is going to stick around for four hours.

Tip: If you need to remove your Laque Supreme lipgloss before its time is up, reach for a micellar water, not an oil.

shu uemura laque supreme review

The shades: There are 15 Laque Supreme shades, but here are the five I tried (including all 4 of the reds in the range)!

  • RD 01 AKA Red – A warm, tomato-orange red; more vibrant than RD 02. This shade was developed with lacquer wear brand Yamada Heiando, who once provided lacquerware to the Imperial Househould of Japan. It’s inspired by the traditional shade of Japanese lacquer, so expect to see a Vermillion red with a slight yellow tint.
  • RD 02 Red Player – Almost a berry red. A cool fuchsia red with blue undertones.

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01 AKA Red, RD 02 Red Player, RD 03 Flaming Red, RD 04 Shu Red, PK 02 Dreamy Pink

  • RD 03 Flaming Red – Browner and more of a brick red than RD 01, Flaming Red is a warm orange-red.
  • RD 04 Shu Red – Shu Uemura (the man, the legend)’s favourite red — red with strawberry pink undertones; the same shade as the Rouge Unlimited 165. This one’s a little too warm for me, so it makes me look kind of dated. Best on warmer skintones.
  • PK 02 Dreamy Pink – A milky lilac pink. This one really settles and stains on my lips to give an instant (but inevitable) Korean popsicle-stained lip look.

shu uemura laque supreme pk02 swatch review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme Lip Colour in PK 02 Dreamy Pink swatched lightly / heavily

shu uemura pk02 dreamy pink review swatch

Wearing PK 02 Dreamy Pink

The experience: I liked the feel of these lip colours, but my lips are a tricky beast — even with regular lip products.The inner edge of my lip tends to make lip products either cling or slide, and for these glosses, it did both. The stain really caught on the inner rim of my lip, and the gloss slid away from it, resulting in a popsicle-stained lip that could give even the trendiest Korean magazine a run for its money.

Which, I mean, is awesome if that’s what you’re going for, but unavoidable if it isn’t. Unfortunately, it kind of killed these lip colours for me — but, again, I don’t think that most people will face this problem. (My lips have just always been weird!)

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches RD01-04 PK02 review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, RD 04, PK 02

The verdict?

I really wanted to love these, but with the way they caught on my lips… I just couldn’t. Almost, but not quite.

If you don’t usually have problems with products catching on your lips, though, I’d say these are definitely worth a look. They’re almost identical to the YSL Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stains ($38 CAD; comparison based on texture and ingredients), which I love, but I think the pigments are different — the Shu Uemura Laque Supremes are, generally, more pigmented and stain more intensely.

So, if you loved the Glossy Stains but you’re ready to try something just a wee bit different (or if you still have yet to try a gloss-stain!), give these a go!

Availability: $35 CAD at and in-store at select Sephora and Holt Renfew locations across Canada.

Keep reading! »

shu:palette review, swatches, photos | A shu uemura eyeshadow palette made just for Asian eyes

Saturday, June 6, 2015

shu uemura shu-palette review photos - 16 neutral eyeshadows

The product: shu:palette pressed eyeshadow palette

The palette: What makes the shu:palette special is that, unlike almost everything else available here, all 16 eyeshadows included in it have been specifically selected to work well on Asian skintones, which is — I mean, pretty darn exciting. (Plus, all of the application suggestions are designed to accent monolids, not disguise them!)

shu palette eyeshadow review

Included double-sided synthetic brush

The eyeshadows: I was very, very happy with the formulas here, as always. Yes, shu products are rather pricey, but you always get what you pay for — which is more than I can say for some other brands (ahem, MAC).

That said, I wish there were more light/medium shades in here. For some reason, it contains six highlighters, which seems a little excessive to me? Like, they’re all great, but… that’s a lot of highlighters in one palette.

Top row

shu palette swatches review shu uemura neutrals

shu:palette top row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

G beige 821 – A sparkling, transparent yellow gold glitter. (I do love the way shu uemura does their glitter eyeshadows — they’re wonderfully flaky and sparkly.)

M soft beige 814 – A sheer yellow nude; great for neutralizing any lid redness.

ME light beige 825 – A beautiful, peachy metallic shade.

ME medium brown 856 – Taupe lovers, unite! This is a gorgeously buttery taupe with a warm red base and a cool silver sheen. The more of this you apply, the cooler it will look (and vice-versa).

shu uemera palette swatches review

shu:palette top row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

M soft brown 851 – Matte camel brown. (The texture of this one is just fantastic.) Not too warm, not to cool.

ME medium brown 862 – Metallic copper. Simple, but lovely!

IR light beige 811 – Medium-pigmented butter yellow frost.

IR dark blue 690 – Functionally, this one reads as a cold, satin-matte black — not a dark teal, as it appears in the pan.

shu uemura neutral eyeshadow palette review photos

Synthetic double sided brush (included). This is the point/liner end.

Bottom row

M light beige 813 – Matte bone shade with sparse microshimmer for depth (reads as a medium-sheer matte white.)

P soft beige 823 – A very pretty, sheer shimmer with a very fine particle size. Can lean either pink or yellow, depending on the light. I’m quite fond of this one!

S light beige 815 – Creamy, satin-finish light beige.

P light beige 822 – Peachy and medium-sheer with very fine, uniform shimmer.

shu palette swatches for asian eyes

shu:palette bottom row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

P medium brown 875 – Warm (orange, not red) brown with distinct gold shimmer and an absolutely gorgeous texture. (You can really see the gold shimmer in the swatches below).

M dark brown 895 – Dry matte brown with very good pigmentation. This one is actually very neutral/cool, and doesn’t warm up as it sheers out (which is a rare find!)

ME medium olive 471 – Cool grey with a strong metallic finish and green (!) undertones.

M black 990 – A very, very neutral, dry black. Good pigmentation, but not the blackest black to ever black.

shu palette swatches review 16 neutrals

shu:palette bottom row swatches – indirect sunlight; over primer

shu eyeshadow palette for asian eyes review

The verdict?

It took me a horrifyingly long time to test each and every one of these shades to finish my review, but if you can still get your hands on this palette, do. Each and every one of these eyeshadows is up to snuff, and with 16 full-sized pans, you’re only paying $6.56 per eyeshadow — which is less than a lot of drugstore eyeshadows out there, and far less than shu’s usual $19 CAD price tag.

The only thing that I’d change? I’d love to see a version 2.0 with more light-medium shades!

Availability: $105 CAD at shu uemura counters in Holt Renfrew.

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review, photos – Gentle Radiance Cleanser (Airy Touch)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Conditioner review

The product: shu uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser Airy Touch

By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the giant, iconic Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils (oh, sorry, skin purifier cleansing oils), but did you know that Shu’s The Art of Hair line has a few cleansing oils in its lineup, too?

Yup. All of you cleansing oil fans can now oil cleanse your hair, too — and it is just as hysterically awesome as you’d expect.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review photos

The science: The Airy Touch Cleansing Oil Shampoo and Conditioners are formulated around the idea of onsen, the classic Japanese hot mineral-spring-water bath. To achieve this, both of the products are enriched with volcanic ferments sourced 2000 metres below sea level, and are formulated to leave the hair squeaky-clean and with an “airy touch” of volume. 

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser review

The formula: My favourite part about this Cleansing Oil Shampoo is that there is, in fact, something distinctly oily about it. It functions just like a normal shampoo (gentle, no oily residue, and a good amount of lather), but the formula is really silky. There’s no other way to put it — it just feels like a really luxe, thick, smooth, silky shampoo, and its texture is entirely unique.

Functionally, I think this one performs like a normal shampoo (maybe a touch more stripping than I was expecting), and just like with the face cleansing oils, you get a lot of bang for your buck. (I can easily shampoo my entire scalp with just one small pump from this giant bottle!)

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo 400 ml size review

The scent: One of the weird things that I’ve always liked about shu uemura is that their skincare and haircare products, for some reason, often have an actual, dedicated fragrance associated with them.

This one is scented with yuzu calm, which lists citrusy top notes, watery middle notes, and base notes of cedar, sage, and musk. Honestly, I don’t really think that it smells like yuzu, but I do like it! It smells like fancy shampoo; that’s the best I can do.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Airy Touch, conditioner review

The verdict?

I could’t try the yellow Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Conditioner due to its silicone content, but I’ve been using the Cleansing Oil Shampoo on and off for about a month, and I quite like it. 

For my dry skin and scalp, it’s a little too stripping to use every day, but it gives a good amount of volume — and its silky formula is quite a unique experience. If you’re really into textures (which you really should be; textures are great), then you definitely need to give this one a try!

Availability: $56 CAD/$57 USD for 400 ml at Shu Uemura – The Art of Hair (or $19 USD for a 75 ml travel size).

Keep reading! »

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