REVIEW: Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector Skin Smoothing Beauty Cream SPF 30 PA++

My latest base makeup obsession has been the Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector SPF 30 PA++. While the product is no longer available on the Shu Uemura website (for the US), I found mine on eBay. The Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector Skin Smoothing Beauty Cream SPF 30 PA++ “is a 5-in-1 magic formula for the ultimate complexion. Inspired by vast backstage make-up experience, Shu Uemura unveils BB Perfector, a new generation BB cream that integrates five secret tools revered by make-up artists into one innovative formula.” This new BB cream “combines the latest technologies used for hydrating masks, essences, primers, concealers and illuminators to re-create professional artist’s techniques to create a natural flawless complexion in an effortless step.”

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I absolutely LOVE this BB cream because it’s everything that you could ever want in a base product. A little bit goes a long ways; and, it spreads and blends so effortlessly into the skin. Once it’s on, your skin instantly looks perfected, smooth, and so natural. I can’t tell you how many times people just though I rolled out of bed with good skin, but really, it was this BB cream doing its magic! There’s a slight lingering scent to it but not as strong and floral like Chanel and YSL products. The product is lightweight and feathery on the skin; and, I just love how great my skin looks when I use this product.

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As far as I know, the Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector Skin Smoothing Beauty Cream comes in one shade and is only available overseas. It’s so inconvenient and I wish some of Shu Uemura’s product were more readily available. However, I still recommend this product and it’s been my favorite for the last two weeks. No other BB cream in my collection comes close to the way this makes my skin look and feel!

Made in Japan.
Contains 30 ml.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils are famous for being a one-stop-shop for makeup removal and face cleansing. Developed to protect the skin’s delicate balance while removing make-up and impurities in a single step, cleansing oils are gentle yet powerful. I’ve written previously about how wonderful Shu’s cleansing oils are; and, no matter what other brand I use, I always come back to Shu’s oils because there’s just nothing like it. Currently, there’s tons of cleansing oils from various brands: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil; Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil; Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil; Amore Pacific Treatment Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes; Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Purifying Cleansing Oil; Shiseido Ultimate Cleansing Oil; and, Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil to name a few.

Refer to my posts here about the Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil and the Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil. Information about my makeup removal process is posted here.

Here, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils.

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For me personally, the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils are staple items in my collection. And, they’re an important part of my skincare/cleansing routine. I immediately notice a difference when I don’t use this oil to remove my makeup in the evenings and I refuse to be without one. They’re expensive but worth it since they last nearly all year. And, if you’re like me, you should purchase a replacement and a backup when there’s a major sale during the holiday season!

For general makeup removal/skincare, try the High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula. It’s designed for all skin types and addresses general concerns, like makeup removal and skin conditioning. Evolved from the original “Classic” Shu Uemura cleansing oil, it is reformulated with an advanced High Performance Cleansing Oil system for improved removability of waterproof make-up and sunscreen.

The Cleansing beauty Oil Premium A/I is a step up from the High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula, but targets dry or sensitive skins. This luxuriously rich cleansing oil with plant extracts “focuses on improving the texture of the skin, leaving the skin moisturized, nourished and more radiant looking.” This is great for general makeup removal/skincare as well.

For specific concerns, try the Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil for oil and pore concerns; the Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil for brightening and evening the complexion; and, the Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil for anti-dullness — specfically targeting environmental concerns that affect aging of the skin.

The Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil is a “water-like cleansing oil goes beyond make-up removal to dissolve and wash away excess sebum and blackheads that are stuck inside pores.” This newly advanced formula includes “cinnamon bark extract [and] regulates sebum secretion day after day.” Oil is controlled and pores are cleansed; and, with that, “blackheads are removed to reveal a refined, smooth skin.” The Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil is for those with brightening concerns, as this oil removes “melanin-filled dead cells” and it cleanses. “Fortified with the Ultimate Removal System, [Shu’s] latest development, the lightly textured formula effectively removes accumulated melanin and heavy make-up.” The brightening technology contains an “innovative combination of Mito-White Complex and Vitamin C to help prevent the accumulation of melanin deep within” to clarify and brighten the skin, giving it an even-toned complexion. The Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil targets dull and sallow complexions by using a combination of “moringa extract and green tea extract [to] create a result of glowing clarity and refined smoothness.” This cleansing oil is designed to clear pollutants that accelerate aging stress.

How to use Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils:
1. (optional) Use a cotton pad and eye makeup remover to remove eye makeup, including mascara
2. With dry hands, pump 2-3 pumps of cleansing oil
3. Apply onto dry face and massage — including lips and eyes
4. Apply water to the oil on the face so the product emulsifies and turns white
5. Continue massaging and rinsing
6. Rinse thoroughly
7. (optional) Follow-up with a cream/foaming cleanser + Clarisonic
8. Pat skin dry
9. Proceed onto skincare routine

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

Finishing a cleansing oil is a big deal for me since it takes nearly 10 months to go through it all. While Shu Uemura cleansing oils are initially expensive, they provide excellent results for makeup removal and the overall condition of your skin; also, they last a super long time so I find them worth the money. Personally, I stock up at the end of the year when there’s deals for the holidays. Usually with a coupon code during that time, Shu’s products are 25% off so I buy one 450 mL bottle and one 150 mL bottle every year. The smaller bottle is convenient for traveling or when I go visit my parents for a few weeks.

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I recently finished my trusty pore purifying cleansing oil and I moved onto the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil. This is my favorite by far (and I’ve gone through every single cleansing oil available throughout the years). The Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil is the most expensive in the range and contains “precious essence of 8 exquisite botanical origin oils.” Combining beauty and health philosophies from Chinese medicine, beauty oils from all over the world have been merged together “to have the highest skincare efficacy for a petal-soft silky smooth sensation.”

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All of Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils are superb. But what makes this one my favorite is the long-term benefits I see with this product. After cleansing, my skin is smooth and soft; my skin looks and feels healthy and even. And, it gets better and better the longer I use it. Even my pores seem clear, my brows and lashes feel conditioned and full, and even if my skin was irritated before, this oil soothes it. At the same time, this cleansing oil is super gentle and very rich — only 2-3 pumps is all I need and it feels very good on the skin. I’ve noticed if I use a different brand of cleansing oil to remove my makeup, my skin notices — my pores get clogged, my nose gets especially oily, and I swear my makeup doesn’t apply as smooth.

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For me, I feel that the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil truly removes make-up and impurities effortlessly. My skin feels softened, conditioned, hydrated, and nourished all at the same time. I think my skin benefits from including this into my nightly ritual and I refuse to be without it! Read more about my Makeup Removal Process here.

Made in Japan.
Retails for $90.00 USD (450 mL) & $42.00 USD (150 mL).

REVIEW: Shu Uemura Lightbulb Foundation and Sponge Set in “784 Fair Beige”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

REVIEW: Shu Uemura New Generation Eyelash S Curler

As many of you already know, Shu Uemura released their New Generation Eyelash S Curler and it’s been causing quite the buzz around the blog world, YouTube, and Asian beauty medias as well. For me, this lash curler was just okay — but, in theory, the design of the curler could have some good uses. Depending on what your lash needs are, this curler could prove to be a valuable tool. However, I think I prefer to stick with Shu’s regular favorite.

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The New Generation Eyelash S Curler is marketed as an innovative curler that “fits any eye shape and offers precise application so that you can really emphasize parts of your lashes without pinching [the] skin.” Considering its “small structure without side-bars,” the new design is supposed to be more effective than the traditional design — in that it has unrestricted access, so that lashes don’t get left out. This curler does make it easier to get the pesky inner corner lashes. Also, without the side bars, there’s no pinching of the eyelid or the skin around where you’re clamping the curler.

The new S curler is smaller compared to the traditional curler; but, because of that, it takes multiple clamps along the lashline to curl your lashes. Also, since you’re re-clamping along the way, you don’t get a uniform curl along the lashline. Instead, one group of lashes could curl more than the others; or, another clump of lashes may not get curled enough. While not having side bars is supposed to be a plus, I find it hard to measure where you have lashes to curl and where you don’t. At least with the traditional curler, the side bars gave you some indication as to where you should being curling the lashes. Shu Uemura claims that the New Generation Eyelash S Curler is an important “addition to your make-up bag [because it] is compact and portable, [which] allows you to curl even the shortest of lashes due to its non-sidebar and angle of the padding.”

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The quality of the curler is really nice. It’s sturdy and reliable, and the grip is nice without feeling too loose or too stiff. I agree that this curler is portable and can be great for on-the-go people. However, if you don’t find the need to re-curl your lashes midway through the day, the portability of this curler doesn’t mean much. I find this curler useful for bonding your real lashes with fake ones (after the faux lashes have been glued on); or, for curling lashes at the ends that were left out by a traditional curler. In some cases, if I’m testing out a mascara that isn’t holding the curl well, I give my lashes a once-over with the S curler to give them extra oomph.

For the most part, I’d only recommend this curler if you’re a false lash wearer. For general, everyday curling, I would recommend Shu Uemura’s traditional eyelash curler. Its reputation stands for a reason and is worth the price. For those with flatter eyelids, I’d recommend the Shiseido eyelash curler. Of course there are cheaper alternatives at the American drugstores, as well as the Asian markets as well. When choosing a good eyelash curler, it depends on the curvature of your eyelids and what fits your eye shape comfortably. It’s a great tool to have with you in your makeup bag, because lifted and curled lashes can do wonders for your appearance!

Retails for $24.00 USD.
Made in Japan.

Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil

I stock up on Shu Uemura cleansing oils whenever they have deals on their website. I don’t mind investing in them because the large 450 mL bottle lasts nearly a year for me, so I take online deals very seriously. This time around, I wanted to try some of the other formulas, so I chose the Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil and the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil (but more on that one later).

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The Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil is designed for “dull skin complexion[s] [in need of] removing melanin-filled dead cells.” As “the first step in brightening care,” this particular cleansing oil is “fortified with the Ultimate Removal System–[Shu Uemura’s] latest development.” The “lightly textured formula effectively removes accumulated melanin and heavy make-up.” As with all cleansing oils, you apply this directly to your dry face with dry hands. After massaging the product over your skin, you add water to emulsify the product. I rinse again with warm water, and then move onto using a cleanser with my Clarisonic.

This brightening cleansing oil “contains an innovative combination of Mito-White Complex and Vitamin C to help prevent the accumulation of melanin deep within.” Normally, I don’t pay that much attention to brightening cleansers because the effects are temporary. However, this cleansing oil seems to help my skin remain brightened in a healthy way. I can’t say for sure that the “advnaced technology” is providing significant results; but, my skin does look clarified and brightened and feels refreshed. After makeup removal and cleansing, I have an even-toned complexion that looks clean, bright, and healthy. Unfortunately, I did notice that I don’t get the same effects when I use something else, but it doesn’t bother me that much. I invest in cleansing oils for their makeup removal abilities and not so much for the brightening effect — that’s just an added bonus. :)

Made in Japan.
Retails for $81.00 USD for 450 mL.
Retails for $38.00 USD for 150 mL.

Shu Uemura Depsea Water Facial Mist – Lavender

Facial mists are definitely an optional part of anyone’s skincare or makeup regimen, and there’s so many choices out there from the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray to the Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray to the well-known MAC Fix +.

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I hauled some Shu Uemura products a few weeks ago and decided to get the Depsea Water Facial Mist because my cousins have previously raved about it. It’s a shame that Shu Uemura is only available online for US customers — their range of products is truly phenomenal and the cleansing oils are a strict and mandatory part of my makeup removal routine. Customer service via the phone is atrocious, however, and after your order has been placed, it takes up to 3 days to even get a shipping confirmation from them. On top of that, after you’ve received the shipping confirmation, it still takes an additional 2 days for it to really get going and for tracking info to be updated. And, since the products are coming from Canada, it takes over a week to be delivered. I only order from Shu when I have to because of the nearly two week process. BLEH.

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The Shu Uemura Depsea Water Facial Mists contain “eight herbal aromas formulated with Depsea Water provide a refreshing, relaxing feel with a fine mist that gently wraps the skin.” To make a long story short, this is fancy water that looks like water and feels like water. The nice thing about the pump is that it’s easy to use because the mist is fine and the pump doesn’t get stuck. Unlike other facial mists that contain moisturizing ingredients that can be used during your skincare routine, to me, the Depsea Water Facial Mists are designed to be used after makeup and as a refresher during the day.

The Lavender scent is nice and calming. It doesn’t smell fake or powdery, so that’s nice. I can’t say that I see drastic changes in my skin or makeup because of this facial mist; and, I can’t say that this mist “sets” makeup or helps it last longer by “sealing” it. On the other hand, Shu never claims to do these things either. While other facial mists out on the market are marketed with these promises, I believe that the Shu Uemura Depsea Water Facial Mists are just that — mists.

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One thing that I think that this mist does well is helping your skin look like skin after mineral powder and powder foundation application. The mist of water takes away the look of powder on the skin — almost like it’s melting the makeup you’ve applied into the skin. The finish is extremely natural and very pretty. I think this is a great final-step if you’ve applied some kind of powder makeup, but other than that, I wouldn’t say that this facial mist is a must-have. Having said that, I really like it and will continue to use it. I just wish Shu Uemura would take better care of their US customers.

Made in Japan.
Retails for $25.00 USD.