Started by renowned makeup artist Shu Uemura in the late 60s and successfully rebranded as Shu Uemura Cosmetics in 1983, Japanese beauty powerhouse Shu Uemura enjoys a sterling reputation as one of the world’s best-loved and most influential creators of luxury makeup, skin care and professional makeup tools. Its motto of “Beautiful makeup begins with beautiful skin” perfectly encapsulates its founder’s desire to align “the art of makeup” with a dedicated skin care routine. Building upon Shu Uemura’s Japanese heritage and drawing inspiration from Tokyo’s distinctive energy, the brand speaks to confident, sophisticated women everywhere who appreciate a holistic approach to beauty. Today, Shu Uemura continues to lead the market with its cutting-edge, trendsetting vision, even as it offers revolutionary improvements on classic formulas. From the game-changing Shu Uemura eyelash curler and the pioneering Shu Uemura cleansing oil to the latest iteration of the Shu Uemura lipstick, each of the brand’s products is a perfect embodiment of its founder’s personal philosophy: “Never stop thinking, improving, innovating.”
The first Shu Uemura product ever launched was a cleansing oil, which introduced the west to the idea of “double cleansing.” Not only was this product powerful enough to remove stubborn traces of makeup, it was also exceedingly gentle on skin, making it perfect for use in the daytime or at night. Today, the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil family – which has its roots in the classic formula – is still a bestseller. Coming in six versions targeting specific skin types such as oily skin, dry skin and fragile, sensitive skin, this classic Shu Uemura skin purifier is infused with ingredients ranging from green tea and moringa extracts to clay and bilberry extracts in order to draw out dirt and pollutants, leaving a well-nourished, fully moisturized finish. The Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma Cleansing Oil, in particular, which is chock-full of premium Japanese charcoal for brightening effects, is a star of the series, producing a clear, transparent complexion after each wash.
When compiling a “best Shu Uemura products” list, one item that springs immediately to mind is the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, which is so iconic it has entered popular culture. As user-friendly as it is powerful, this curler features an ergonomic frame design for expert control, silicone padding for improved protection, a curved angle designed to suit all eye shapes, and a precisely engineered, patented hinge for applying the optimum amount of pressure to lashes. As a companion to this bestselling lash curler, the brand has also unveiled the Shu Uemura S Curler, designed for curling every single lash without pinching the eye. A subtle yet revolutionary tweak on the standard curler, this is ideal for those with shorter lashes, or for curling shorter lashes at the inner and outer edges of eyes.
With the brand’s emphasis on flawless complexions, it will come as no surprise that Shu Uemura foundations are perennial bestsellers. One of the most highly coveted liquid foundations is the Shu Uemura Unlimited Breathable Long-Lasting Foundation, which provides lightweight, buildable yet long-lasting coverage that won’t budge for up to 16 hours, even under the most humid conditions. Fitted with SPF 24/PA+++, it produces a natural-looking, semi-matte finish and is available in a wide spectrum of shades. Also popular is the Shu Uemura Lightbulb Fluid Foundation, another lightweight formulation providing more pronounced glow. Perfectly paired with its liquid foundations is the legendary Shu Uemura Foundation Brush (Petal 55), which stands out amongst the wide range of premium-quality Shu Uemura brushes. With its ergonomic shape, wide surface and soft bristles, it produces a seamless, poreless finish while ensuring a firm grip. Those with on-the-go lifestyles will appreciate the Shu Uemura Unlimited Foundation Stick, which comes in a cream-to-powder formulation producing a soft, matte finish. The teardrop-shaped stick glides easily onto face for highly blendable coverage while also doubling as a contouring tool. Together, these flagship products confirm Shu Uemura’s reputation as an industry leader when it comes to melding professional-level artistry with user-friendliness.
Shu Uemura has always been a proponent of simple yet sophisticated looks, with an emphasis on the precise use of color and a natural-looking finish. Its eye and lip makeup products have deservedly gained a wide global following, with standouts beings its eyebrow pencils, eyeliners, mascaras and lipsticks, which all come in sleek, minimalist packaging. The Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil, a wooden pencil formulated with the ideal mix of wax, powder and semi-solid oil, provides rich color payoff and a subtle finish on top of long-lasting wear. Its close cousin, the Shu Uemura Brow:sword Eyebrow Pencil, is inspired by the naginata, a traditional Japanese bladed weapon, and combines a sharply angled tip with a smooth texture that glides on easily to produce more defined brows. Other eye makeup essentials include the wide range of Shu Uemura eyeliners, such as the Calligraph:ink Liquid Eye Liner (with applicator and ink refill sold separately) and the Lasting Soft Gel Pencil Eyeliner, as well as a diversity of Shu Uemura mascaras in shades running the gamut from black to pink. For extra pops of color, the Shu Uemura eye shadow selection, such as the Chromatics Eyeshadow Palette Limited Edition, will come in handy. Finally, to pull your look together, the brand offers constant updates on its classic Rouge Unlimited Lipstick, which comes in both matte and sheer formulations with colors ranging from true reds to muted browns. Designed with a diagonal edge, it glides on precisely for an instant and lasting shot of glamor.
Today, Shu Uemura has firmly established itself as a global force in hair care, with its hair products constantly ranked amongst the best Japanese hair products on the market. Inspired by traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, formulated with luxurious ingredients and made according to exacting standards, Shu Uemura hair products include not only shampoos and conditioners but also nourishing treatments, including a wide range of Shu Uemura hair masks and serums. The extensive range of Shu Uemura shampoos and Shu Uemura conditioners target a range of hair concerns, from lack of moisture and extreme damage to color retention. Products launched under the Shu Uemura Color Lustre line, which locks in color for dyed locks, and the Shu Uemura Urban Moisture line, which provides intensive hydration to dry hair, are especially favored. The gentle, hair-softening Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo is also a long-time bestseller. Meanwhile, the wide selection of Shu Uemura hair oils, in particular the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue collection, leaves locks stronger, smoother and shinier by revitalizing hair from the inside out.
Rooted in decades of research and drawing from the best of professional makeup artistry, Shu Uemura is powered by the idea that every woman should “be brave in the pursuit of beauty.” Its pioneering formulas, innovative use of color and emphasis on prepping skin properly have attracted a loyal fan base across the globe that is not afraid to push beauty boundaries. What’s more, the brand constantly ups the game with trendsetting collaborations, including the 2019 Shu Uemura X Pokemon Collection – appropriately dubbed “Pikashu” – and the Shu Uemura X Onitsuka Tiger Collection. Revamp your makeup look and skin care routine today with a little help from this iconic brand! Grab that Shu Uemura lash curler you’ve been longing for, pick your very own Shu Uemura lipstick in your favorite shade of red, or go for that luxurious foundation that adheres to your face like a second skin.