Autumn Look with Shu Uemura, Addiction and Lunasol

L'oreal InfallibleAs you may know, right now I’m trying to pare down my stash. I started with taupes, and now I’m moving on to my other eyeshadows to see which ones make the cut. This week, I decided to try some rusty red browns – I tend to avoid them like the plague usually because I find hints of red just bring out the surface redness in my skin and around my eyes and I look a little…sickly. (Don’t ask why I have so many if I’m apparently so terrified of them – put it down to fits of madness)

So I fully went into this look expecting to look…sick chic. (pronounced ‘sick sheek’ or ‘sick chick’? – You decide!)

But actually I was pleasantly surprised. Although it did strike me as a little odd that I’d matched my eyeshadow to my hair.


For my face and brows I used:

Face and Brow Products

  • Brushes: Hakuhodo B505BkSl, Hakuhodo G5521, and Laura Mercier Concealer brush (not pictured)
  • Brows: Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown, Clarins Double Fix Mascara
  • Base: Maybelline Pure BB Mineral 8 in 1 BB Base (Jp version), Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC1
  • Colour: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pearl, Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste, Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer Antigua

For eyes and lips:

Eyes and lips

  • Brushes: All Hakuhodo: 235, Kokutan Eyeshadow SL, G5515BkSl, S142 (black handle)
  • Mascara (not pictured): Tiffa Volume Mascara
  • Eyeshadow: L’oreal Infallible Bronze Divine, Addiction Fudge (on the lid), Shu Uemura ME Medium Brown 885 (outer corner, crease, liner), Shu Uemura P Pink 125 (inner corner highlight)
  • Lips: Lunasol Full Glam Liquid Lips 06 Bright Pink



So, while I started out this look fully intending to purge my red-browns, I actually ended up loving them and I’ll definitely be reaching for them more often.

Are there any products that have surprised you recently? Any new colours you’ve found that suit you better than you expected?

Shu Uemura Masterclass with Kakuyasu Uchiide

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.

071011_lAfter 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.

My Make-Over

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.P1010552

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.

Magazine Monday

Today I perused through Voce. This issue (the January issue) is packed with ‘Best of 2010’ articles. I have yet to translate them all (and it will be quite a feat) so I will post them in a few weeks probably. For now I’ve taken some other parts of the magazine.

As always, click for the huge sizes.


These are the top 5 cheek and eye products under 2100 yen.

Top 5 Cheek products:

  1. Canmake Cheek Gradation in Shade 5
  2. Bourjois blush in shade 32.
  3. Majolica Majorca Cheek Customise in PK333
  4. Integrate Forming Cheeks in PK210
  5. Maybelline Pure Minerals Cheek in 01

Top 5 Eyeshadows:

  1. Kate Brown Collection in BR-4 (this kit has 2 eyebrow shades and 3 eyeshadow colours)
  2. Integrate Rainbow Grade Eyes in PK309
  3. Majolica Majorca Jeweling Eyes in BR792
  4. Kose Vise Brilliance Forming Eyes in A-1.
  5. Maybelline Hyper Diamond Shadow in BR-1.

Spring Lip

Spring releases are already being published! This makes me sad because now I know I’m going to get really excited about Spring and miss the whole fun of winter because I am a crazy consumer. Anyway how lovely does the Paul and Joe lipstick look? I am such a sucker for packaging. Number 6 seems to be a little palette of all the Majolica Majorca Blush shades which would make a nice gift or a good starter pack for someone who wants to give Japanese cosmetics a try. The Givenchy Blush Gelee is a new release for spring 2011. It is a gel blush in a tube and it looks very intriguing!

And now for some make-up looks!

Look 1


Look 2

Look 3

This is Risa Hirako, she is a Japanese talento, model, and singer. Also she is 39. Wow.


Here is Matsujun looking dapper and not at all like a bit of an idiot. Secretly I am jealous of his hat. Arashi are everywhere in Japan, I swear they sponsor just about every product sold here, including water. Tomorrow I am going to Arashiyama which I can only assume is their natural habitat; I expect to see them roaming around the hills like big foot.

Beauty Magazine looks

I was having a look through some scans of Japanese beauty magazines – wow those magazines are huge! I guess it’s good value for money though. The magazines heavily feature makeovers and before and after pictures which I think is pretty cool: I love to see transformations even if in these cases it’s usually from ‘very pretty Japanese girl’ to ‘very very pretty Japanese girl’ – no ugly ducklings here thank you very much! I hope I don’t get some kind of inferiority complex when I’m in Japan – surrounded by all these beautiful girls!

Here’s one of the looks that features heavily in the magazines, and to me this is the quintessential Japanese look. When I think about Japanese make-up I think of soft pink/peach blush, glossy nude lips and neutral but defined eyes. I love this look because it’s so fresh but I’m not sure I could pull it off: I am naturally predisposed (I’m not sure if that’s the right word) to look tired regardless of under-eye concealer etc. perhaps there’s something in Japanese water which makes everyone look lovely. If I ran a country my first law will make this special ‘lovely water’ (inventive name huh?) available to all and I will have the most beautiful nation. You can be a citizen if you like, random internet stranger.

Most of the transformations in the magazines feature eye looks but few of them are particularly dramatic. Instead the focus is on liner and lashes to make the eyes look wide awake. There’s an abundance of false eyelashes in Japan, as well as special adhesives and application kits that are sold separately. I can’t wait to try them – I experimented with individual lashes and it was such a failure, and fake eyelashes in the UK cost such a lot that I can’t really afford to experiment any more! So I’ll probably be indulging in 100yen store eyelashes (…wish me luck?) to practise and see what all the fuss is about.

Oh I also saw these in one of the magazines, aren’t they adorable? I could never actually scrub a pan with these, I wouldn’t want to ruin them.