Monday, July 4, 2016

Shu Uemura Color Atelier Eye Shadow Swatches and Review


Shu Uemura has revamped their eyeshadow line and added an additional 41 shades, They will also be resurrecting 5 discontinued shades, so the total will eventually add up to 100 whopping colors.

Currently in Singapore, there is stock for 82 colors. 41 new, 41 catalogue. Once stock issues have been sorted out all 100 shades in 6 textures (matte, pearl, metallic, shimmer, iridescent, and glitter) will be available for you to pick to your heart's content. 

If you've never purchased Shu shadows before, you'll know they usually work with a custom-system where you buy empty 4-pan palettes for SGD$25 (that's the most common size) and slot in individual shadows at $22 each. The shadows are very reasonably priced as far as high-end shadows go in Singapore, but the palettes themselves tend to be a bit expensive.

If you're put off by that, what a lot of people do is keep their eyeshadows and blushes in the original plastic cases, buy one or two eyeshadow palettes, and just slot in 4 shadows - or 2 shadows and a blush - whenever they need to bring their makeup around. (Or skip the palette entirely if you don't travel or have large custom palettes already; it's up to you.)

Grey-toned smoky eye done with the 4-pan palette pictured at top of post
Shu Uemura shadows have always been great quality; there's no dispute on that. But I've always felt their strength was in the metallic (ME), iridescent (IR) and glitter (G) textures, and not so much the mattes, which were not as buildable or blendable.

But I was quite surprised after swatching 41 new and 2 re-promoted shades below that a lot of the mattes were actually my favorites of the lot. They are designed to have high color fidelity; what you see is what you get. And the textures are also meant to be ultra-smooth and easy to blend.

My custom palette is composed of the below shades:
M 907 -  matte white (catalogue)
M 613 - matte baby aqua (new)
M 935 - matte dove grey (new)
IR 685 - iridescent navy (new)

I had zero problems blending the mattes and iridescent together; the colors didn't go muddy. And there was no patchiness or grabbing in spots while working with the buttery mattes. Another plus was there was minimal fall-out. A few tiny stray specks with the navy, but far less than I would usually have expected from a dark shadow.
I also wore no shadow primer the past week, and I wore different Shu shadows each day. My lids are not oily so I can't speak about creasing, but shadows tend to fade on me after a few hours, and I did not notice a lot of fading with these.

Without further ado, here are the 41 new shades, plus 2 repromotes.













I would say the red shades and teal shades are very fun. Wear a primer beneath if you intend to be packing on a lot of matte shades. Matte pigments tend not to cling on to skin as well as metallics, and even though these go on very smoothly, they still need something to grab on to.

I STILL love the metallics and iridescents, but I would add a number of the neutral mattes to my faves as well now. They blend beautifully.

My only beef with some of the shades is - a lot of the pale matte shades look about the same once they go on the skin. They all go to a similar soft ivory-white tone, so if you are picking shades, I wouldn't buy more than 1 or 2 of the paler mattes. (In fact I would stick with a white or off-white, and use it with all looks that need a pale tone.)

Customize your own palette!

Right now, Shu Uemura has a fun app on their site which will pick out 4 shades for you based on a photo you upload. The 4 shades I wore above were the result of the app picking out key colors from a photo of a Scottish Fold kitten. (I honestly would have picked another photo if I'd known what it was being used for initially!)

The team can also help you apply these colors in a 15min makeover and show you how to use the different colors. Just check here to make an appointment.


If you're keen to try out the app for fun, here are a few tips:

  • Take a photo of an outfit so you can get eye shades matched to it.
  • Fun scenic photos tend to have a lot of bright colors and whites; these might not be the best option for an eye look.
  • Cut out the white-space in your photo; we often forget there is a lot of blank space in an image. You could end up with a palette that has 2-3 pale matte shades, which all look similar on the skin.
If you ask me though, here are a few of the combinations I would pick based on colors I personally associate with Tokyo, plus a balance of transition, lid, defining and pop shades - which make for more flattering looks when applied together. Feel free to take inspiration from these or come up with your own combinations!


"Sakura Plum"
ME 126 (highlight/pop), M 845 (transition/socket), ME 770 (lid/main), IR 795 (smoke/liner)

"Cosmopolitan"
IR 685 (smoke/liner), M 935 (transition/socket), GD 311 (pop), M 814 (lid)

"Autumn Leaves"
G Bronze (pop), P310 (highlight), ME 853 (lid), M 797 (smoke/liner)

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