Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shu Uemura Shu:Palette 16 Shades of Nude Review, Swatches and Photos

Shu Uemura has finally entered the neutral palette arms race with their latest limited edition palette "Shu:Palette 16 Shades of Nude." Described by Shu Uemura as "born to define Asian eyes", the palette offers a variety of matte, satin, metallic, glitter and iridescent shades that will work on anyone's eyes, regardless of ethnicity.

The palette itself is very large, measuring 4 x 11 x 0.5 inches, and as pictured in the photo below it's significantly bigger than the LORAC PRO palette.

Inside is 16 shades of shades of neutral eye shadows and a dual ended synthetic brush. I believe all the eye shadows are from Shu's permanent collection, although if you are a Canadian customer several of the shades in the palette are not available on Shu's Canadian website. They may be available in markets like Asia which carry the whole line, although I can't confirm that at this time.

Top row of palette, from left to right all photos taken in natural light, on NC35/40 skin. An asterisk indicates shades not available on shuuemura.ca.

G Beige 821* - A soft yellow toned glitter in the pan which translates into a bright white and gold glitter on the skin, the base itself is clear. This shade is very soft and flakey in texture and does produce some fall out. As with other glitter shadows like from Tom Ford or Charlotte Tilbury, fingers are best used to pat this type of shadow on.

M Soft Beige 814* - A matte yellow toned beige that leans on the sheer side.

ME Light Beige 825  - A light, metallic rose gold/copper. Creamy and highly pigmented.

ME Medium Brown 856 - The jewel in the crown of Shu's shadow range, this metallic, silvery taupe with plummy undertones is creamy, highly pigmented and stunning. A true holy grail colour!

M Soft Brown 851* - A matte, light/medium yellow toned brown with good pigmentation.

ME Medium Brown 862* - A metallic yellow toned copper bronze with excellent pigmentation.

IR Light Beige 811* - An iridescent, pale neutral gold that shifts more gold or silver depending on the angle and light, good pigmentation.

IR Dark Blue 690* - An opaque cool black with subtle blue shimmer throughout.

M Light Beige 813  - A sheer matte ivory with slightly cool undertones.

P Soft Beige 823 - Iridescent sand beige, good pigmentation.

S Light Beige 815* - Matte warm ivory with slight peach undertones, slightly sheer.

P Light Beige 822 - Pearl peach with sheer pigmentation and a tendency for fall out.

P Medium Brown 875* - A warm, orange toned brown with gold shimmer. This shadow has a creamy texture like a Shu glitter shadow. Incredibly pigmented and a little product goes a very long way.

M Dark Brown 895*- A matte, neutral dark grey-brown with good pigmentation.

ME Medium Olive 471* - A highly pigmented light/medium metallic silver with very slight yellow undertones. I wouldn't classify this as olive, though it definitely does not lean towards the blue end of the spectrum. 

M Black 990 - A rich, highly pigmented matte neutral black.

The dual ended brush that comes with the palette is made of synthetic fibers and has a medium sized flat shader paired with a smaller, pointed flat shader. The quality is good, particularly considering that most palettes contain "throw away" quality brushes (in my opinion). However, though this brush is above average for a palette, I personally found the brush heads on both ends to be too dense and thick for my liking. I found it difficult to get a precision application of shadow, and lining my eyes with the smaller, defining end took repeated trips to the pan to load the brush up with shadow. 

I actually think this brush would be better used with cream products! It didn't perform terribly, but it definitely required more work than my go to MAC eye brushes or even Shu's own synthetic brush 10 from their regular brush line (actually a favourite synthetic eye shadow brush of mine.)

Medium flat shader

Small defining shader

General Thoughts

In terms of value this palette excels - filled with 16 full sized eye shadows the palette offers $304.00 CA worth of product for $105.00 CA, not including the cost of the palette and double ended brush. Considering that an empty 4 pan palette costs $17.00 CA and the synthetic eye shadow brush 10 is $46.00 CA, you can't argue with the value this palette offers. If you break down the price, you are getting each shadow for about $6.56 CA which means each shadow is about 65% off the regular price!

In terms of quality, the shadows all seem in line with Shu's regular, excellent formula. The light matte shades tended to be sheerer, but for colours that more or less blend into your skin tone I don't find sheerer coverage problematic. The darker mattes M Soft Brown 851, M Dark Brown 895 and M Black 990 were all highly pigmented and performed well.

The metallic formula shadows ME Light Beige 825, ME Medium Brown 856, ME Medium Brown 862 and ME Medium Olive 471 were outstanding, highly pigmented, easy to blend and beautifully lustrous. I think Shu's metallic shadows are easily their best shadow formula and for many people ME Medium Brown 856 is their holy grail taupe...it certainly is for me!

Two shadows that might not hit the mark with everyone will be G Beige 821 and P Medium Brown 875. The glittery beige might be too flakey/chunky for some and the texture of P Medium Brown 875 is mysteriously identical to the glitter shadow but without the glitter. I found that the brown shadow once swatched could be blended out almost indefinitely, which probably means reduced wear time and creasing somewhere down the line.   

Overall, even with factoring in the mediocre brush and the few sheerer shadows, I still think this palette is amazing. I've long been a fan of Shu's eye shadows and I'm glad they finally offered a large, ready made neutral palette. It has a broad enough range of colours and textures that you could do conservative day time looks to edgier night looks and everything in between.

Now all that has to happen is for Shu to make a colourful or smokey version of this palette!

Grade: A


  1. Hello! I just discovered your blog today via this blog post, and I have to say I love your review and photos. Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Sheila

      Thanks for commenting and reading the blog! We welcome you :)