Shu Uemura’s newest Lightbulb Foundation and Sponge Set was released in the United States in January, and I was thrilled to finally jump on the lightbulb foundation bandwagon. I’ve been reading about this foundation and sponge set for months and have been anxiously waiting for its release here in the U.S. However, it did not impress me as much as I thought it would and I’m kind of disappointed.
As Shu Uemura’s newest foundation, this set comes with the “innovative lightbulb fluid foundation and sponge.” As a foundation that contains “multi-glow oil complex and buildable oil complex,” this is “a new way forward for natural glow yet with high coverage.” The formula is creamier and thicker than other foundations in my collection. However, it applies smoothly and a little bit seems to go a long ways. The formula is buildable and provides about medium coverage; but, after a certain point it does tend to “collect” in areas around the nose, dry patches, and any uneven textures on the face. For me, the formula sat on my skin and didn’t seem to mesh well with my skin like the Shiseido Sheer & Perfect Foundation or the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation.
While it did keep my skin comfortable and looking nice, oil control was very minimal so it’s important to use a setting powder on the t-zone. I like the glowy effect this foundation gives, but I don’t think it’s the sponge that’s doing it, lol. I also think that the glow is short-lived since the formula makes me oily.
Initially, I felt that “784 Fair Beige” might be too light and too yellow for me. But, it does seem to oxidize slightly — allowing the color to warm up to my skin and looking less ghastly, lol. As for the undertones, it’s more yellow than my NARS Sheer Glow in “Mont Blanc” and more peachy than my Shiseido Sheer & Perfect Foundation in I00. I think that a color that was more pink-toned could’ve helped, however.
The beauty of this foundation is its sponge, which is cleverly known as the “lightbulb.” It’s “designed and shaped for tapping and creating a glowing finish,” but I admit, sometimes I use the foundation with my fingers or a synthetic buffing brush and it worked out just fine. Side A (the wide side) is “glow enhancer” where you tap and spread the foundation around your t-zone, cheeks and neck. Side B (the pointed side) is the “glow controller,” where you can “adjust the glow to control the radiance.” For me, the sponge makes no difference.
The sponge is very high quality and its thick and bouncy, unlike the Beauty Blender, and it seems to retain its shape really well. It’s great for applying the foundation quickly and effortlessly without soaking up and wasting the product. The unique design of the sponge allows for more precision and control when applying the foundation — you can spread it, blend it, and tap the product into your skin. However, I don’t think the sponge creates more radiance or glow.
Following Shu Uemura’s shade chart for the foundations seems tricky, so I’d suggest browsing other beauty blogs to see in-depth swatches and color comparisons. I’d recommend this foundation, but it’s just too difficult to purchase this when there’s no physical way of getting samples or seeing swatches in real-life (or in-stores). Currently, there’s no way of getting the foundation without the sponge since they’re sold as a set. If you can, maybe there’s a deal on eBay worth looking into. This foundation was just okay for me but I’ve got a handful of foundations that I would choose over this. While Shu Uemura has some great products and the cleansing oils are a MAJOR staple in my every day routine, this foundation was a bust for me.
Made in Japan.
Retails for $55.00 USD (including sponge)