So I swear I was going to make an introductory fashion post next, but then my Shu Uemura package arrived, I was blown away by their matte lipstick, and here I am. I promise this blog will live up to its name as a beauty and fashion blog someday!
My first exposure to Shu Uemura was actually through one of those weirdly targeted Facebook ads for their Holiday collaboration with Murakami, and those happy flowers lured me right in. Procrastinator that I am, I put off buying their holiday collection until the last possible second, until they only had the orange shade of their lipstick left. That being said, I made two separate orders. The first was with the introduction of their new Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line of lipsticks, which offered free shipping (a rarity in Canada, I know!). To my surprise, there was also a promotion where a simple promo code could give you access to 5 deluxe samples, as well as the regular deluxe sample that was provided with every order! This sealed the deal, and I wholeheartedly accepted the adventure into Shu Uemura skincare, not sure what I was getting myself into.
Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte
I purchased the colour BG 934, in an attempt to expand my collection of nudes and pretend I’m in tune with current makeup trends. I had very low expectations for this lipstick, for some inexplicable reason. I like to think it owes to the overall tendency of matte lipsticks to be drying, chalky, and overall just not as good as their satiny or glossy counterparts. How wrong I was! This lipstick actually feels hydrating when I put it on – after a half day of wearing just this lipstick (no chapstick, either!), my lips felt softer and more hydrated than when I started. At the same time, it’s super matte, and the soft, creamy texture of the lipstick almost fills in the lines in your lips. The pigmentation is good too; not super super pigmented, but buildable. It’s also relatively long-lasting. I mean you can’t eat with it and expect it to stay, but things like drinking don’t seem to affect your lipstick! It sounds almost too good to be true, but you don’t have to take my word for it – try it yourself!
Laque Supreme Shimmer
The Laque Supreme Shimmer is a strange lip product, at least to me. It’s somewhere between a lip gloss and a lip tint – light in texture, with a shimmery/glossy finish. The initial application is cool and refreshing, and the pigmentation is really good – you only need one layer to have full coverage on the lip. The more astringent texture of the lacquer keeps it from feeling overly sticky or mess, while the tint-like properties allow it to adhere and soak into the lips for longer-lasting wear. The texture also allows for a lot of versatility in how strong you want the colours. Though this particular sample had a shimmery finish (achieved through superfine glitter), Shu does have a non-glittery line which I assume would be the same texture, just without the glitter. If glossy lips are your thing, but you hate the stickiness and thickness of traditional lip glosses, I would definitely recommend giving this a try.
Anti/Oxi+ Skin Refining Cleansing Oil
With the Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil as my only real basis for comparison for cleansing oils, the bar was set pretty high and the Anti/Oxi+ definitely rose to the challenge. After my initial use, I was amazed by everything about this cleansing oil; it smells amazingly herbaceous, it cleans really well, and after I rinsed, my skin felt and looked so healthy and good. The oil itself is super lightweight, and a little bit goes a long way for cleansing. I used maybe a nickel-sized amount to clean my whole face! It rinses off really easily, too, sliding right off with water (I didn’t even need to use a sponge or washcloth), and left my face feeling supple and soft, without any greasy feeling. The best part: it’s gentle enough for eye makeup (including mascara!). After I washed my face with my normal cleanser, I noticed that my skin seemed to be glowing, something that I have to admit I’ve never really experienced before. The only real downside is the price; at $44 for 150mL, it’s a big ask especially if you don’t have first-hand experience with the product. Believe me though, it’s everything it’s hyped up to be.
Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil
With my experiences with Shu Uemura cleansing oils bolstered by my use of the Anti/Oxi+ cleansing oil, I was prepared to either be wowed or disappointed in the Ultime8 Sublime cleansing oil. With this 50/50 mindset, I also decided to do a side by side comparison of the two cleansing oils, cleaning one side of my face with the Anti/Oxi+, and the other with the Ultime8. My mistake: starting with the Ultime8 and letting it sit on my eye while I cleansed the other side. Man, did it sting! Not to say it wasn’t effective – it definitely got everything off, but while it was strong, it clearly wasn’t formulated for the sensitivity around the eyes that the Anti/Oxi+ was. It does, however, leave the skin noticeably more moisturized. With that in mind, I’d definitely recommend the Ultime8 over the Anti/Oxi for drier skin types!
Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil in Lotion
This is a lotion like none other I’ve tried before. I understood the whole dewy look, but I honestly didn’t understand it, that is, before I tried this. Tiny droplets of oil are suspended in a toner to give you an intense hydration. Despite it having oil, it does not leave you greasy whatsoever, just with happy, glowing, hydrated skin. If travelling hadn’t wreaked havoc on my skin, I would have forgone my usual CC cream – that’s how good my skin felt. This lotion is definitely a good one for revitalizing your skin. I did notice, however, that it made my skin stickier, as the formula does tend to sit a bit closer to the surface of the skin compared to other emulsions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to consider with oilier skin types; daily use can result in oiliness throughout the day.
Maxi: Hydrability Moisture Intensive Essence-in Cream
My first impression of this cream was one of amazement, which seems to be a trend for my interactions with Shu Uemura products. Super hydrating, with a cooling finish, and no greasy aftereffects whatsoever despite being a very moisture intensive cream! It also left my skin feeling baby soft, soaking into my skin rather quickly. This product is generally recommended for dry skin types, so as a daily cream, it isn’t exactly the most feasible for oily or combination skin. I did notice that with daily use, this cream actually gave me too much moisture in combination with my current skincare routine. When I first tried it, it was after a vacation to DC I took, and so my skin had gotten super super dehydrated. That being said, using this cream just once fixed it all up, and my skin suddenly felt plump and soft. With this in mind, I’d definitely recommend this for oily or combination skins as a recovery-type cream; used for extra boosts of hydration or as an alternative to hydrating masks!
Maxi: Hydrability Moisture Essence-in Gel
From the same line as the cream, the Hydrability gel is exactly what it advertises; a lighter, gel version of the cream. While it provides the same soothing and hydrating effect as the cream, it absorbs into the skin and there is no residual feeling on the surface aside from a boost in hydration and softness of the skin. It feels almost emulsion-esque in its lightness, but you can tell that it’s sitting in your skin to hydrate you throughout the day. As someone who’s struggled with creams in the past, I’m definitely going to keep this in mind as I continue my adventures into different skincare. The only thing really stopping me from buying this as my go-to cream right now is the price (at $69 for 50mL that’s a lot!), and the fact that I have so many unfinished creams that sometimes work!