Just as we thought the matte lip trend was losing steam, shu uemura offers a timely reminder why colour-rich matte lipsticks are still on-trend in many ways with an expansion (albeit temporary) of its Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line this spring. This time, it has even roped in the expertise of a familiar name to pimp up the packaging of these new (and not-so-new) additions to make them a little more special.
Following the tremendous reception to its first collaboration with Yazbukey in 2015, shu uemura has teamed up with the Paris-based accessory and jewelry designer yet again for this first ever lip-focused makeup range – the Mattitude collection – in which a total of 16 lipstick shades comprising 9 new limited editions and 7 existing bestsellers (shades may vary in the U.S.; full list in poll below) would each be accessorised with one of the 4 variations of her iconic “c’est ahh lips” specially designed for this partnership on the packaging.
Featuring across the 4 colour ranges expressing the 4 different attitudes (Sexy Red, Lovely Nude, Quirky Pink and Edgy Berry) in this collection, the lip motifs are a nod towards Yazbukey’s quirky and kooky sense of style which combines pop references with modern culture and contemporary art. The silicon lip rings*, which can be fitted into the coloured lipstick tube for an added aesthetic appeal (or simply worn on the finger to show the world how much of a lipstick addict you are), instantly transform shu uemura’s signature lipsticks into the most edgy chic statement pieces imaginable.
*Receive one limited edition Yazbukey × shu uemura silicon lip ring with purchase of any 2 pieces of Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte lipsticks at TANGS.com. While stocks last.
To celebrate the release of the Mattitude collection, shu uemura hosted a launch party at Horse’s Mouth Bar for select members of the media. While there, I was able to get a complete swatch of everything, as well as to take home four lipsticks (one from each range) to do a detailed review on. Take a look:
Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte
Yaz Red (RD1)
From the Sexy Red range, there is Yaz Red, a mid-tone raspberry red (leaning more towards pink) with a flat matte finish. A repromote from the first collaboration with Yazbukey, Yaz Red is both festive and chic, depending on how pigmented you want it to be. When applied with pressure, it seemed slightly bolder and darker at first but gradually lost its intensity and became brighter, though not to the extent of it being neon. This lightweight lipstick adorned the lips with a powdery texture for a feeling of velvety softness while delivering an even, medium to full coverage as it glided on. It did not settle into my lip lines, though, until several hours later.
In terms of its longevity, the colour on the outer edges stayed on through a McSpicy dinner but wore off at the centre of my lips as I had expected. The lipstick didn’t feel drying throughout my 10-hour wear time but it somehow wasn’t the easiest to remove at the end of the day unless I exfoliated my lips.
Coral Dance (NUDY1)
Coral Dance from the Lovely Nude range appears to be a warm, medium beige with subtle red undertones on the tube, but translates to a bright pink-toned salmon on my lips which I don’t quite fancy. Similarly, it has a flat matte finish which forbids it from having any hint of shimmers. Even so, it does not at all leave a tacky feeling on the lips nor does it zap out moisture from them. The consistency was still so smooth and velvety that it glided on my lips without tugging or pulling. This lipstick provides a nearly opaque payoff in one swipe which was buildable to a full coverage, along with a texture that allows for an even application that stays put for more than 8 hours.
Rose Flows (PK2)
Rose Flows, a deep warm pink with a flat matte finish that isn’t too over-the-top for work environment that isn’t too accepting of unconventional makeup looks, nor is it too dark that it would make thin lips appear smaller.
Intensely pigmented with an evenly soft consistency that sits so ever comfortably on the lips alongside a texture that impeccably conceals any imperfections (as it attempted to fill the lines instead of caking around them), it is not difficult to understand how this shade surfaced as my top pick for an effortless early morning pick-me-up. It doesn’t take a lot out of me to get a prominent colour on my lips as all it requires is one firm swipe. This shade wore well on me when I test-drove it for about 6 hours before fading evenly to a muted rosy stain and is neither drying nor hydrating.
Magenta Spell (RD2)
Representing the final colour range Edgy Berry is Magenta Spell which takes the form of a promising flat-matte warm burgundy (leaning more towards brick red) but lets down with its uneven and smidgen streaky finish on the initial coat, partly because it also tends to skip during application. Then, as I tried building up the opacity of the lipstick, it became noticeably patchier whereby areas that had received more product becoming a lot darker than those that didn’t. Although, to be honest, the payoff wasn’t the worst I had seen (I’ve also had my fair share of disappointing M·A·C purchases), I found it to be rather unacceptable given the high standards on which shu uemura prides itself.
But to be fair, the unsatisfactory texture is too minor a flaw to render this lipstick an F grade considering that there are worse offenders in the market than it is. Discounting the fact that application could have been better, Magenta Spell does have its good points, too. For a start, it has the same non-sticky powdery smooth texture and is as long-lasting as the other shades. Somehow, it also feels comparatively more hydrating on the lips.
Magic Metallic Lip Liner
From S Curler to star-shaped stamp, shu uemura never fails to surprise us with interesting novelties. This year, the newest innovation from shu uemura features another line of lip products (sadly, also limited edition) that enable you to add a fun and artistic twist to your lip contour, or in this case your matte lips. Make a lip statement that will truly turn heads simply by applying metallic lines with any of the four Magic Metallic Lip Liner shades for a contrasting finish against the matte background.
Gold – WOW
Unlike most traditional metallic liquid lipsticks, these lip liners have way thicker consistency with an exceptionally fast dry-down rate, hence preventing them from bleeding or dissolving into the product beneath them. The finish of the liner becomes flat matte once it dries with no hint of tackiness. The pigment of my gold liner is incredible and filled with densely packed high-shine gold shimmers, so much so that for a split moment, I actually had the suspicion that this was the same substance used to foil lettering. But it’s obviously not because it can be removed entirely with regular water (so only apply on the outer edges of the lips if you want it to last through meals).
Instead of a doe-foot applicator, these liners are applied using the brush applicator (similar to that of nail polish) attached to the cap. It is dense and stiff enough to allow easy manoeuvering along the outline of the lips. Embellishing lips had never been so much fun 🤩
Watch out, M·A·C: these matte lipsticks will be giving you a run for your money! Through the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line, shu uemura proves that it is absolutely possible to create non-drying, true matte lipsticks without compromising on the quality. In fact, what I find most admirable about the brand is that they actually delivered what they promised. Just how many times have you encountered lipsticks that claimed to be matte but turned out to be anything but that? Ever seen or run your finger over matte countertops? These matte lipsticks by shu uemura look and feel exactly like them – they are smooth to the touch and don’t reflect light. shu uemura is the real deal.
But regardless of the brand of the lipstick, the same ol’ rule applies: exfoliate before application as these lipsticks won’t show their potential on rough, flaky surface. And if possible, apply with a brush because as you might have noticed, the lipsticks have the tendency to ball up on the lips.
shu uemura, to me, has always been the underdog in the global beauty market that hardly gets any acknowledgement for their quality and performance. Despite the cutting-edge and superior formula the brands constantly puts out, it has never (not that I know of) ranked on international beauty charts which more often than not are dominated by Western beauty giants. Perhaps, it’s about time shu uemura gets the recognition it deserves. What do you think?
Thanks for reading!