Fans of shu uemura should be no stranger to their Rouge Unlimited range which is known to carry some of their signature lipsticks.
Well, guess what? They have blessed us with 33 more new shades (38 outside Singapore) in various textures, including 4 mixer shades (Purple, Glitter, Yellow and Pearl), for you to experiment with. On top of that, the range also boasts a new formula that offers an intense, true colour with versatile coverage in ultra-light texture.
The lipsticks are encapsulated in (very reflective) silver retractable tubes with thick transparent dome-shaped caps which, according to the designer Kumiko Inui, have been “simplified” and “sharpened” to help enhance the shade visibility (honestly, that’s a fantabulous idea right there as it potentially saves me the trouble of having to remove the cap of every lipstick before finally getting to the shade I want). The crystal-like bottom is also designed as such to enrich a sense of luxury. Sleek and elegant, the packaging basically screams “high-end”.
All 38 new shu uemura Rouge Unlimited shades
WINE · WN225 · WN237 (NA) · WN248 · WN256 · WN288 · WN299
RED · RD154 · RD160 · RD164 · RD166 · RD170
PINK · PK325 (NA) · PK340 · PK355 · PK359 · PK363 · PK365 · PK368 · PK369
ORANGE · OR520 (NA) · OR540 · OR551 · OR560 · OR564
CORAL · CR321 · CR324 · CR330 · CR332
BEIGE · BG900 (NA) · BG923 (NA) · BG928 · BG931 · BG935 · BG965
MIXER · Purple · Yellow · Glitter · Pearl
NA – Not Available in Singapore
You can pretty much tell from the list above that shu uemura stands for no nonsense when it comes to naming their lipsticks. They don’t give their lipsticks gimmicky names (probably save for a selected few, but they’re not really marketed so you won’t know until you look them up online) like most beauty brands out there to attract consumers. This gives me the impression that shu uemura means business with their quality. Aesthetics seem to take a back seat to functionality, which is not really a commonplace in today’s competitive business environment.
Let’s now find out how the five shades apply!
Yellow is a vibrant warm-toned yellow with a glossy finish. As a mixer shade, its purpose is to warm up and brighten tones to create tomato reds, tangerines and corals. Therefore, it needs to be used alongside another Rouge Unlimited lipstick to realise its full potential.
When worn on its own, it appears very oily and tacky with an apparent streaky texture on the lips which requires a few coats of it to be reasonably opaque. Yellow works better on a smooth canvas. Hence, the lips need to be exfoliated before application or the product would cling onto the dry areas. Apart from that, the colour seems to only show when the lipstick is applied directly onto the lips. There was hardly any pigment transferred to my lips when I used a lip brush to create my ombré lip looks, even with multiple passes. That said, this lipstick feels lightweight and hydrating and is extremely easy to remove.
CR330 (or Coral Minim) is described as a medium grapefruit pink with a glossy finish. A pink-toned coral that is not too subtle nor garish, it complements pretty well with cool skin tone like mine and exudes a girly demeanour.
It applies smoothly and hydrating with no tug and brightens up the complexion of the wearer with its lustrous shine. Marked by a thin, jelly-like consistency, this shade runs slightly streaky and sheer if applied with only one or two coats but the colour intensity and opacity build up with increasing layers. The product, however, settles into lip lines.
RD160 (Shu Shu Baby) is described as a medium true classic red with warm undertone. When applied, it appears to be a medium-dark red with slight orange undertones and a glossy finish. Lightweight and hydrating, it combines the eye-catching shine and wet look of a gloss, with the comfort and high-impact pigmentation of a lipstick.
Buttery soft and creamy in texture, it glides on like a dream with full, even coverage. One swipe is all it takes to instantly transform a girl next door to a glamourous bombshell. Suitable for fair skin tones, this lipstick adds a pop of colour to the lips and is source to a nice little confidence booster. It does not leave a tacky sensation (just the usual mild greasiness from the cushion oil) nor does it emphasise dryness or lip lines. Most of all, it is fairly long-wearing, leaving a stain after about five hours of wear.
BG965 is described as a muted rose but I would consider it to be more of a raspberry mauve, a shade which is absolutely flattering on medium skin tone. Creamy and smooth as butter, the application gives a uniform consistency and a more satin finish with a hint of shimmer. It applies with some tug (since the bullet itself has a slightly drier texture) and does not emphasise dryness or lip lines. This also has great spreadability, that is, the product distributes evenly with just a little purse of the lips.
It lends an emollient and moisturising effect as it wraps the lips with a comfortable and balmy veil of colour that feels like second skin. It has a buildable colour intensity which enables the shade becomes more pigmented and opaque with more coats. But in all honesty, the colour is perfectly gorgeous on its own so you don’t really need to go too heavy on it. Needless to say, this is easily my favourite in this review!
Inject some sultriness into your autumn look with WN288 (Ride’n Berry)! The darkest shade in this review, it applies as a warm burgundy with a luscious sheen. It is such a pretty colour that I cannot imagine it not working on any skin tone. You can literally ditch the smokey eye and still look high-fashion whilst wearing this lipstick alone.
Apart from a thicker and drier consistency, this also has more of a matte texture to it than the rest. Due to this reason, it causes some tug during application (but no drag). Although buildable to a more opaque and deeper hue, certain areas tend to become patchier than the other as more coats are added. That said, it feels equally hydrating and lightweight on the whole. It also lasts longer and melts into the lips to a just-bitten stain after a few hours of wear.
In addition, I had fun mixing the aforementioned shades on my lips to create some simple ombré lip looks without the use of any lip brush (although using the shu uemura 6M or 6F lip brush is highly recommended by their makeup artist for a more seamless result). I blended the colours just by pursing my lips and this goes to show how blendable the texture of the lipsticks is and how fuss-free the application can be.
Read on to see how my attempts turned out!
All in all, based on these few shades, I think it is quite safe to say that the shu uemura Rouge Unlimited (Central) lipstick series is a worthy investment despite the heftier price tag (M·A·C lipsticks typically never go beyond US$25) which mostly accounts for the R&D that went into the making of these lipsticks (and you know, the Japanese don’t fool around when it comes to their desire for perfection).
Although, admittedly, not every shade gives an “ultra-smooth” application, all of them fulfill the promise of delivering a non-sticky, hydrating and highly-blendable texture as well as a buildable colour. In fact, the finish kinda reminds me of M·A·C Huggable formula. And for the record, these lipsticks don’t carry a strong scent, though I can’t quite put my finger on the smell (it’s not something I had come across before) but it’s definitely pleasant and sweet-smelling. Now, they have got me really curious about their Supreme Mattes too, which already sound like a finish that’s right up my alley 😆 Should I?!?
What are your thoughts about the new shu uemura Rouge Unlimited shades? Let me know your views in the comments below or take a quick poll!
Thanks for reading!
shu uemura Rouge Unlimited is now available at all shu uemura outlets and on TANGS.com for S$38. It is also available on Shu Uemura USA for US$30.
Products featured in this review were editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!