Thursday, December 8, 2016

Shu Uemura Murakami 2016 Holiday Collection: Review & Swatches

When it comes to holiday design and symbols of festivity many of us think candy canes, Christmas trees and Santa but contemporary artist Takashi Murakami does things a little differently. When it came to creating the colourful holiday collection for Shu Uemura, he used his cosmic bloom flower pattern to evoke the magic of the season from a child’s perspective and reawaken our dreams and innocence. I think the packaging is vibrant, fun and cheerful while staying true to Japanese trends.

The Cosmic Blossom Eye and Cheek Palettes are available in two color collections. This compact is called Cosmikawaii and the finishes range from matte, shimmer and glitter with tones that flatter many complexions. The beautiful garnet-red (my favorite for the season) has good pigmentation and the shimmery orange is bright and radiant. The deep matte purple is a little dry but creates contrast and definition for sculpting and all shades have a smooth texture. The lighter purple is quite soft compared to the others and the glitters are all very sheer so they require a lot more layering. I also found that sponge applicators or eye shadow brushes don’t really pick up and transfer the glitter very well so you may be better off using a finger or dusting them over other pigments. The coral blush with sparkling gold fragments provides just enough saturation for a fresh summery effect.

The Cosmicool palette is idea for those who prefer cooler tones. The purples, grey and midnight navy mix, match and pair beautifully in any combination for a harmonious balance of iridescence and smokiness. The lavender has a soft finish but the 4 central shades have the best color pay-off in the palette and can be enhanced for more coverage. Like the glitter shadows above, these are also very sheer (more like an overspray without much underlying pigment) which is probably what the artist was going for. The pink-coral blush reminds me of spring. It isn’t my favorite shade but it definitely helps perk up a dull complexion on a gloomy day and the glitter is very subtle. The palettes retail for $85.00 each.

The shadows are also available in trios with the same design for $39.00. I love the smouldering aubergine and bright orange combo!  

You don’t usually see much sunscreen in holiday collections let alone in makeup primer but these will shield you from harmful UV all year long with SPF 50. There are 2 tints available - Fresh Pink and Natural Beige which are formulated to balance uneven skin tone and hydrate for up to 24 hours. The primers do have a faint white finish if you use a generous amount but when blended very well the tint becomes unnoticeable and creates a smooth, even surface for foundation. Although they contain high SPF, the consistency is light, non-sticky and non-greasy so it doesn’t feel like sunscreen at all! The Primers retail for $46.00 each.

The Skin Purifier Anti/Oxi + Pollution & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil is enriched with moringa and green tea to remove stubborn makeup and impurities. The citrus scented oil glides across the skin and loosens heavy foundation and pigments while nourishing, soothing and stimulating. After massaging it in for a few minutes, simply add water to emulsify and rinse clean. Unlike soap cleansers this one is gentle and non-drying. It leaves my skin soft, supple and moisturized which is why I will be using it all winter! It retails for $44.00.

The Rouge Unlimited Lipsticks come in the cutest packaging ever! The colors are vivid and luminous with sheer finishes that make lips look plump and pouty.

Although the tints are not intense, there is enough pigmentation for a nice wash of juicy color and the formula is light, non-sticky, hydrating and comfortable on parched lips. Some of the lipsticks have a simple, shiny finish while others contain floating pearls for a bit of dazzle but they are all bright and flattering no matter which you choose. They retail for $36.00 each.

This collection has a wide variety of products including the Wonder Worker Leave-In Spray. It detangles, conditions, smoothes and tames frizz. I spritz it on clean, damp hair before heat styling to enhance moisture, shine and softness. You can pick it up for $42.00

The Cleansing Oil Shampoo formula is one I am very familiar with. The lush oil works its way through every strand and transforms into a light cleansing lather that eradicates build-up, and excess oil. The shampoo also purifies and balances the scalp without parabens or silicone. It retails for $56.00.

You can find the Shu Uemura Holiday Collection at Sephora and

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