Last Wednesday I attended a Shu Uemura Masterclass at Liberty of London. Mr Uchiide (Shu Uemura International Artistic Director) himself was there, demonstrating how to use the Wong Kar Wai Drowning in Flames Palette (swatches here), and other Shu Uemura products like their brushes and cleansing oils.
After the demonstration we – there were about 12 of us attending – headed back down to the counter for personal make-overs with a Shu Uemura artist, while Mr. Uchiide walked around and gave specialised colour recommendations to each of us and answered our questions.
The whole experience was amazing, I really want to go to more of these kind of events (of any brand) in the future and I advise anyone considering it to go as well. It’s a really rare opportunity just to be in the presence of such a respected artist; I won’t deny I was very star-struck. In general, viewing an artist’s technique and hearing their tips can give you new ideas to use at home, and interesting solutions to problems you always face. The product descriptions in these demonstrations are very detailed, and we got to play with all the products that were used and ask questions about any aspect of them. You don’t have to be very familiar with a brand to attend a masterclass, in fact it’s a really good crash course to get you acquainted with the products.
I’ll tell you about my make-over first and then some delicious rumours about upcoming Shu collections.
I was really lucky as I got to have my make-over with Senior Make-up Artist Haydn Jones, who was visiting from Selfridges. He did my base and used the new Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation. I really overlooked the released of this foundation, mostly because I was in mourning for Face Architect Smoothing Fluid, but it’s actually very nice: it has more coverage than the old smoothing fluid and it managed to cover all the sebaceous filaments on my nose (quite a feat!), but it didn’t feel heavy and my skin still felt like skin (Mr Uchiide says it’s very important to him that foundations don’t feel mask like or heavy).
On my cheeks Haydn applied the cream blush from the Drowning in Flames palette, and then Mr Uchiide came and gave him advice on an eye look. This is where it really got interesting, as he advised to put the emphasis on the bottom part of my eyes.
This meant applying the M Brown Painting Liner (with a 5F brush) underneath my eyes, stopping halfway in. Then he patted the dark purple from the palette underneath the brown eyeliner, concentrating it on the outer corner of the eye. He did the same on the top: liner halfway in, dark purple in the outer corner. Then he applied the lighter pink in the inner corner of my eye, and the mid tone purple on my lid. The shimmer you can see in the picture is from a dab of the glittery gold shade in the centre of each lid. Then he used Precise Volume Mascara on my top and bottom lashes (can you believe that’s the same mascara?!), applying only a light coat to the top, and lots of heavy coats to the bottom.
On the tops of my cheeks he added the highlighter from the palette and applied the ‘Pink Flush’ Rouge Unlimited to my lips. Incidentally, that lipstick goes perfectly with the Drowning in Flames palette. It has a slight mauve undertone that works in synergy with purples in the eyeshadow look.
(By the time I took this photo the lipstick had worn off; it was long journey home)
I find the look a little too editorial for everyday, (I’m still struggling to photograph make-up true-to-life, it’s still a little washed out in these photos) but I love the idea of it. Focusing on my under-eye area never really occurred to me. Sure, I define it, but it’s never the centre of attention. Whole possibilities of experimentation have opened up now, which is why I love having my make-up done by other people: they can give a whole new perspective on your face, and give you loads of ideas you would never think of.
Evidently it suits because literally (and I mean ‘literally’, I’m not saying it in the way posh British people say it: ‘I was literally legless last night’ etc.) 20 seconds after I left Liberty, someone stopped me in the street and said “This is a bit random but I just saw you and I think you look really pretty” and then walked away. Now, was he employed by Liberty to lurk outside the building and say nice things to post-masterclassers? Perhaps. If so, kudos to Liberty – that’s a great idea. Either way, I liked the look.
Shumours (Shu + Rumours…I’m hilarious)
Some keen Shu enthusiasts may have caught glimpses of the Spring 2012 collection and may have noticed that there are 3 eyeshadows in a palette typically meant to fit just 2. The limited edition eyeshadows are thinner, so more can fit in a palette. This is the same in the 2012 Autumn collection which, according to Haydn, will have 8 eyeshadows in a 4-palette (this may have just been an example though, but basically, the limited eyeshadows will be thinner to some degree).
Also, the Autumn collection is supposedly going to be chocolate-based. I was a little worried to hear that at first: I had flashbacks to the Japanese 100 yen shops that had compact mirrors with chocolate bar-esque exteriors – fine for a 100 yen shop, but not what I would expect from Shu Uemura. Luckily, it seems to be based more around the idea of luxury chocolate boxes as opposed to the bar itself.
Disclaimer: Bear in mind that these are just rumours, they haven’t been verified officially by Shu so they aren’t technically facts.
Mr. Uchiide Says…
I got to ask Mr. Uchiide a few questions!
- His favourite item from this collection is the Drowning in Flames palette.
- His favourite items from the whole Shu Uemura line are the eyelashes because they represent the whole Shu Uemura concept.
- Eventually he would like to release a permanent cream blush. He has been experimenting with different formulas over the past few years (in WKW, Novadiva and Instinct collections, for example), releasing the blushes as limited edition so he can test the waters and see how customers like each formula.
- He also hopes to release a new foundation soon.