True confession: when I was nine years old, all I wanted out of life was to star in a Duran Duran video. My fourth grade brain believed it was my destiny to be that glamorous Patrick Nagel girl on the cover of the Rio album, and I thought that looking like her would lead to me being cast as John Taylor’s love interest in a video involving pirates and perhaps a very fast boat.
Illustration by Patrick Nagel
Sadly, I never fulfilled my Duran Duran music video dreams, but a part of me still yearns to be that glam album cover girl.
Enter Shu Uemura’s Fall 2008 collection. The minimalist shapes and lines used for the packaging feel oh-so-80s, as if Nagel’s Duran Duran cover exploded in my makeup bag.
The design echoes throughout the entire color collection of three blushes, three eye shadow duos, two lipsticks and a face powder, but the packaging isn’t the only thing that distinguishes this release from others this season.
Yes, the reds, browns and purples so popular this fall are also present here, but this collection is more about shine, gloss and textured layers. It’s a clean break from the matte eyes and lips we’ve seen so far.
Instinct marks the first collection for Kakuyasu Uchiide, Shu Uemura’s new international artistic director.
The Eye Shadow Duos
Mystifier Eye Shadow Duo
With a cream shadow on one side and a powder on the other, each Duo Eye Shadow ($36) provides plenty of flexibility. I can see myself wearing the cream shadows alone or layered beneath the powders. For an easy eye look (’cause, girl, you know I like easy!), I applied the cream shade on the lid and the powder in the crease.
The cream shadows feel thinner and drier than MAC Paint Pots do. One layer delivers a sheer wash of shimmery color (much like Laura Mercier’s Cream Eye Duos from the Dreamy collection); two layers create a bolder pop. If you have super oily lids, you might want to prime them first before applying these cream shadows to prevent color from settling into the creases of your eye.
The powdered shadows in these duos are classic Shu Uemura — finely milled, highly blendable and highly pigmented (aka eyelid heaven).
Mystifier, pictured above, houses a black and green duochrome cream shadow (SOO PRETTY) and a brownish bronze powder shadow.
I haven’t used Tantilizer, the third of the three fall collection eye shadow duos (a green cream shadow and a goldish bronze powder), but I love both of the other two. They’re easy to use and deliver just the right amount of color without going over the top.
Mesmerizer Eye Shadow Duo
Shu’s Rouge Unlimited Crystal Shine lipsticks ($23) shine like a gloss and feel super moisturizing and slick on my kisser.
Brown Dazzle lipstick
Two layers o’ Brown Dazzle, sans lip liner
If this season’s many matte lippies haven’t sparked your interest, consider Brown Dazzle (brown with shimmery gold flecks) or Crimson Dazzle (red with shimmery gold and brown flecks). The glossy formula of these limited edition shades makes them much easier to apply and lower maintenance than a typical matte lip. They’re a great way to get your fall lip colors without having to go matte.
Crimson Dazzle lipstick
Two layers of Crimson Dazzle, no lip liner
The gold in both shades warms these lipsticks, and I like the way both colors look on my skin tone. If you’re very cool-toned, you might want to try them in-store before buying just in case.
Both lipsticks are taste- and fragrance-free and feel very slick and moisturizing, too. Unfortunately, because they’re so glossy, they aren’t the longest lasting lipsticks around. Expect to have to reapply every couple hours.
Pulse, Lust Glow On Blushes; Steam not shown
See the pretty fall design on both of these blush pans ($21 each)? Well, they both disappeared after a few swipes of my blush brush across the pans. *tears*
Because the eyes and lips shades in this collection feature such bold colors, it’s no surprise that the accompanying cheek shades are a bit subdued. I tried two of the three shades — Lust and Pulse.
Lust, a shimmery reddish pink, gives my cheeks a just-pinched flush, melting right into my skin, and looks especially fab when paired with Crimson Dazzle lipstick!
I think Pulse, a warm and shimmery light pink, seems a bit too light for my tanned summer skin, so I’m saving this for the winter, when I’m a few shades paler than I am now. I think it’s very pretty, though, and if you’re a little lighter than I am, you could rock this in a heartbeat.
Pulse, Lust swatches
Like my other Shu Glow On blushes, both Lust and Pulse are highly pigmented, long lasting and gimme that J.Lo glow. Love em!
A face powder, called Luring Powder (not shown), is also part of the collection. Available in Rose, a calm pink, it sells for $38.
The Man Behind the Instinct Collection: Renowned Makeup Artist Kakuyasu Uchiide
Uchiide, Shu Uemura’s new international artistic director, is well positioned to carry on the brand’s trademark quality and style, having trained directly under Mr. Shu Uemura before his passing late last year.
What do you think of the Instinct collection? Aren’t the textures and shades interesting and sexy? I’m in love with the packaging. If you’re on a strict makeup budget and need to triage, take a close look at the eye shadow duos. I think they’re the real stars of the show!
Speaking of beautiful fall collections, today’s the day MAC Cult of Cherry arrives in stores. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,