When L’Oreal announced that they were going to pull Shu Uemura out of the U.S. — but keep the U.S. website operational — I wondered how they were going to convince American shoppers to keep buying new collections that they couldn’t see or touch. The answer, I just discovered, is that Shu is using bloggers to be your eyes and ears (and skin and lips).
They offered me the opportunity to swatch part of their fall collection, and I gratefully accepted. Shu is still a brand I admire, and I miss having them in-store.
Shu’s fall collection is called Novadiva, and the explanation of who and what a “novadiva” is… is almost David-Lynch-ian:
The diva has arrived.
Amid silence and darkness,
with a single gesture
her radiance breaks the ice.
Suddenly the stage lightens,
the diva reappears.
The same woman, yet totally different.
Her face is transformed as spotlights shine on her from different angles:
coquettish; sweet; sensual; even evil.
She transports the audience to a different time and place…
Novadiva, the modern diva.
The 2011 A/W mode makeup collection reveals the novadiva inside, capturing the light and shadow of every stage for the many roles all women play.
Choose your face. Choose your role. The world is your stage.
Though I don’t have swatches of everything, let’s start with the eyes. Almost as beautiful as the eyeshadow itself, this collection introduces a limited edition, refillable, empty palette ($15). The Prima palette is printed with lace, and though I don’t currently own enough Shu products to fill it, I want one.
Shu has created four color quartets for this collection, though each eyeshadow shade is sold individually for $15: Cool & Mystique blues (G white rainbow, ME soft light blue 665, P dark blue 696, M black 990), Fairy & Fresh green and gold (G gold, P light green 432, P dark green, 595, P black 995), and Elegant & Romantic pinks and browns (G bronze, ME soft pink 140, ME medium brown 885, M dark brown 895).
Of course, you’re also not getting the complete Shu experience without lashes, and Novadiva offers “Tutu laceflare” (limited edition, $28), tiny skirts for your eyes.
There is also new, limited edition, liquid Shimmer Eyeliner: “Comet Silver,” a bright shimmery, sparkling white ($24).
And there are two limited edition products for cheek: a Cream Cheek (blush? contour?) in Amber, and a Cream Shimmer Highlighter in Radiant Pearl — both $21.
With Novadiva, Shu also introduces a new formula of lipstick — Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte ($30) — though all these shades are limited edition.
Brilliant Gold is a shimmery silver white with gold sparkles. Darling Beige is warm pink. Angelic Pink is cool pink. Evil Pink is a fuchsia-strawberry, an azalea pink. Alluring Brown is a muted wine-pink. At this moment, only Evil Pink, Angelic Pink, and Darling Beige appear on the U.S. website.
The formula wears quite comfortably. It applies with a “water-based” feel (perhaps on account of the hyaluronic acid it contains?), but dries down to a not-unpleasant, somewhat powdery feel. This is my first Shu lipstick, and I did not detect a scent.
Finally, this collection includes two limited edition nail polishes ($16). Mysterious Green is “light and metallic, to match the Fairy & Fresh eye look.” I don’t have it to swatch. Coquettish Brown in the bottle looked like not-my-cup-of-tea, but oh! on the nail!
It’s silver taupe with a hint of purple, nearly a nail polish version of Chanel’s Rose Platine eyeliner. It’s also a foily frost (not quite a smooth frost, it looks slightly glittery/gritty – though it feels completely smooth under topcoat).
Coquettish Brown paints on in thin, fast-drying coats. I recommend applying two coats, and not worrying too much about brush strokes — the topcoat will even it out.