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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Review: Shu Uemura Powder Eye Shadows

(Pictured shade is ME Blue 650)
Shu Uemura eyeshadows were recently reformulated into the 'new' version. In the old version, only the ME(metallic formula) shadows were good. However, now, in my opinion, they're all good.

What shu says about their shadows:
"Empowered Eyes: Intense Colors. Various Effects. Single eye shadows with light-capturing powders in 4 different lasting effects.

- Micro-fine powders: 2 different shapes adhere firmly to skin for an even, long-lasting finish
- Silicone-coated powder: results in truest color pay-off and a non-fading finish
- Light capturing powders: absorb and reflect light for a multi-dimensional finish
- Apply sheer or layer for intensity. May be used as eye liner with dampened eye liner brush

4 powders in 4 finishes: Matte (M), Pearl (P), Iridescent (IR) and Metallic (ME)." (taken from the Shuuemura-usa site).

First, the shu uemura way of naming. Only Limited Edition items are properly named. Normally you will see a name such as 'P Green 450'. The first letter, P, is for the formula. They have already explained this above what the first letter means. The 'Green' would be the color; this is usually left out in discussion. The numbers at the back are sorted by colors.
So, 100 = Pinks & Rose
200 = Oranges
300 = Yellows, Gold & Bronze
400 = Yellow-Green, Olive & Green
500 = Green & Turquoise
600 = Blue
700 = Purple
800 = Beige & Brown
900 = 'Rainbow'(the whites that flash iridescently), White, Gray, Silver, Charcoal & Black.
Basically, within the 100, the higher the number the darker the color is. So 'M Blue 600' is one of the lightest blues while 'ME Blue 650' is quite darker.
Sometimes you will see a letter, such as 'IR900Y'. The Y will usually not stand for anything, but when shu has several 'IR900's, Y stands for yellow, the undertone. Other IR900s include G(green), P (pink) and V (violet).

So, in all, the naming of IR Rainbow 900Y:
IR--Iridescent formula
Rainbow: It flashes more than one color
900Y: The lightest color within the 900 family, and Y for the yellow undertone.

Formula Differences: Matte is no shimmer, like many of you know. Pearl has no shimmer as well; it's more of a gleam. Iridescent is the shiniest and has lots of shimmer (may also flash different colors) and Metallic is the next most shimmery (same color flash).

Packaging/depotting: Many people complain that shu's packaging is ugly. In my opinion, they're simple and sleek, very futureistic. They are built for depotting into seperate palettes that shu sells. To depot, poke a toothpick or pen through a hole on the upper left hand side, next to where it says the shadow name. The following picture illustrates that.

And...one of the reasons shu should have magnets on the back of their shadows/in their palettes. Ewww glue...

Texture of these are all AMAZING. Remember MAC Starflash and the buzz it caused? THEY RIPPED OFF SHU! Texture is soo similar, buttery and soo pigmented. A definite thumbs up!

Colors: Shu rivals MAC in the sheer amount of colors. If you're looking for neutrals, brights or anything in between, shu has it. The colors I have personally are:

ME Beige 800: Super pale champagne pink. Pretty icy and I would think for cooler skin.

ME Purple 700: Slightly cool candy grape. Very pretty purple. Purple ladies, this one's for you!

ME 885: This is the only shadow I have from the old formula, given to me by an awesome MUA'er. A rich bordeuax wine shade, perfect for Fall 2008 trends.

IR Brown 850: Lots of people ask me what's the difference between this and ME brown 850 (best dupe of the long DC'ed cult item ME945). This is definetly more silvery as a silvery gunmetal brown (it's also a great substitute for MAC starflash shadow Smoke & Diamonds). Recommended for taupe lovers.

ME Brown 850: The best dupe for the old formula ME945, it's warmer than it's sister IR Brown 850 but still a taupe. Also recommended for taupe lovers.

IR White 900Y: This is a white shade that flashes gold and golden green strongly. Great shade to pair with greens.

P Green 450: A mid-tone grass green. It's perfect for green lovers, especially paired with IR900Y.

IR Pristine Green: Limited Edition for Spring 2008 in the Rebirth collection, this is more 'matte' despite it's Iridescent label. The design on it quickly fades. A nice pop of lime green for bright fans.

ME Green 450: Don't get this confused with P Green 450! This is an olive green, quite different from P450. There seems to be more brown in it than other olives (such as MAC Sumptuous Olive or Mink & Sable).

ME Blue 650: A beautiful metallic navy blue, I highly recommend this one. It's a deep shade, no doubt, but very 'bright'.


These retail 20USD a pop at shu uemura boutiques or counters near you (go to shuuemura-usa.com's store locator) or online at shuuemura-usa.com. Completely worth the price because a little goes a long way.

Lots of thanks to CarolineSwing of Makeupalley for informing me on Shu's numbering :]


  1. thanks for the lovely review, so detailed!

    love the swatches, i want ME650 now, looks stunning.

  2. good review! I like how you separate each item. i prefer the old ME. so much smoother!

  3. love the review. lobe how you separate each item. i prefer the old formula. :)

  4. No problem Ariana! ME650 is beautiful :]

  5. Hi Jojoba!! Thanks :] I never use the one old ME I have (I find the color a little hard to pull off) so I can't really compare :]

  6. Good review and great pics, you really captured the colors well. I'm also glad to see you explain the depotting, far too many people don't know.

    P.S. I agree with Jojoba, I prefer the older formula. :)

  7. Yay! So glad you added the info about the numbering system. :D

  8. Hi CarolineSwing!! Thanks :] Have to take pics in direct sun! I remember some people were trying to melt the lucite of Shu's packaging so I tried to inform then about the method that Shu uses.

    Again, thanks for the numbering system!! I hope it doesn't cause too much confusion.

  9. I've only recently started using Shu Uemura products. I had no idea that Shu eye shadows can be depotted. Again, very informative. I love your blog =)

  10. Hi Trang! :D Thank you so much :) I hope it helped you! Alot of people don't know that they can be depotted, but hopefully, now you can make your own palettes!


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