Shu Uemura Fall 2008 Limited Edition Instinct Collection

Published in: Makeup, News

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.

Mesmerizer, below, holds a light purple cream shadow and gold powder shadow. I wore this to work a few days ago with a look similar to this gold and purple eye I did with MAC shadows.

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,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 47 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Holly says:

    Oh no I think im going to NEED both of those duos! Mystifier in particular looks right up my street!!

    On a totally seperate note do you know anything at all about the Italian brand Pupa? I just flew back from Rome today and picked up a blush and an eyeshadow from their line in duty free. I haven’t had chance to try them out properly yet but when I swatched them they seem to have incredible colour payoff, particularly the shadow which is a gorgeous chcolate brown with a rich gold shimmer. Also on the way out to Rome I picked up an amazing Lancome single shadow which is an amazing sliver/grey and lasts FOREVER! Oooh and on the plane I got shashbox photofinish primer which ive never tried before and from first impressions am not sure im going to like :s

    Sorry didnt mean to spill out my whole holiday haul there but any input on any of the products would be great πŸ™‚

  2. Eru says:

    Now! πŸ˜€

    Erus last blog post..Deliciously dark~~

  3. Steph says:

    Great swatches Karen! Shu has a great fall line up. Two things I picked up were crimson dazzle and Dark Wine nail polish. Infact, this was the first time I tried crystal shine lipstick and it’s really fab! What do you think of the green is mystifier? too dark?

  4. cloudburst says:

    I bought all 3 of the eye duos and the Luring Powder, which I got last week. The eyeshadows are to die for! I ordered all 3 without swatching them and I don’t regret it.

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    I remember seeing Pupa a long time ago at Sephora. I don’t think they carry the line any more. I never got around to trying it (boo hoo). Sometimes I feel like their needs to be more hours in the day so we can spend the time playing wiht more makeup!

    Lancome shadows are so fab! You need to get one of their palettes, girl. They are the best. πŸ™‚

    I’ve read that Photofinish breaks a lot of people out so I’ve been avoiding it. πŸ™

    How was Rome? Was the weather nice?

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Eru,

    Mystifier is really beautiful in person. The black shade flashes from black to green in the light… super pretty. πŸ™‚

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Steph,

    I don’t think it’s too dark… I haven’t seen it yet in person, but if it performs like the others it should give your eyes a wash of color (which you can easily build up).

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Cloudburst,

    The shadows are fantastic. They are so easy to use and really just beautiful shades. πŸ™‚

  9. Indian Girl says:

    I want it all …Ok I might skip the blushes…but somebody please buy me the rest πŸ˜‰ I saw these on their site earlier…but your swatches are making me drool all over it !

    Indian Girls last blog post..Beyonce’s Makeup / Beauty Must – Haves

  10. Glosslizard says:

    Gotta check out Mystifier next time I’m at the Shu counter… veeerrry tempting!

  11. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,
    I have never really looked at the Lancome shadows before but if this is anything to go by I will be trying more in the future, this one is meant to be 6 hour wear and I actually think it lives up to it!
    Oh nooo im scared to try the photofinish on my face now πŸ™ the texture is just not what i was expecting at all but the promise of covering up my ever growing pores lured me in!!

    Rome was amazing the weather was around 34 degrees every day which was great for sitting around the pool but made sightseeing kinda difficult! If you ever get the opportunity you MUST go on a tour of the vatican and see the sistine chapel it is absolutely beautiful, im really dense about art but we had an incredible guide who was actually American and was so knowledgable and passionate that when we finally got to the chapel after her explaining all the origins of the art in the museums it was breathtaking!

    I would definately say go to see the Colloseum etc before the vatican because after seeing the vatican all the ruins kinda look like piles of rubble haha!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Mystifier is probably my favorite! The black shade is *heavenly*!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    Oh! I now have to look for that 6-hour shadow. I wonder if it’s a special line…

    I have never been to Italy before and would *love* to go. El Hub and I still haven’t gone on our honeymoon and it’s been YEARS since we got hitched, LOL. I’m thinking Rome would be a good stop on a tour.

    I have always wanted to get a personal guide like that for a tour. She sounds like she really made your visit to the Sistine Chapel unforgettable!

  14. Amanda says:

    you know I love my shu! πŸ™‚ looks like another great collection but fortunately nothing I really, really *need*. i do still want to get a crystal shine…I’m thinking a berry one.

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda!

    I know you do… Crystal Shines are so great!

    The site says RD 174 S is a “Shimmery Berry” but on me it looks totally red!

  16. Tatiana says:

    All the colors are sooo pretty!

    And I remember Nagel pix! We had them all over our house especially in the bathroom, as a kid I thought they were cartoons.

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Tatiana,

    LOL, yeah, I think I remember seeing them in the bathrooms of relatives’ houses. Whenever I see them I also think of black, leather, bachelor furniture, LOL!

  18. GG says:

    Those eyeshadows are gorgeous! I can’t wait till payday so I can go get some face paint!

  19. Fie says:

    Oh hey Karen! πŸ™‚ I think these has been out in Malaysia for quite a while because I saw them last week. Was tempted to go and look see, but I was never much of a Shu fan. But the lipsticks are gorgeous so I might change my mind. πŸ˜‰

  20. Tami says:

    Hi Karen,

    I am really liking the Mystifier duo. The colors just scream sexy…

  21. Marisol says:

    Mystifier is calling me out. That is such a gorgeous color. Is this out at the stores/counters yet? I may have to check it out when I go back to the Bay Area next weekend.

    Marisols last blog post..…And Now You Know

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    I’ll check for you tomorrow when I swing by the counter. I know they have one at Nordie’s at Union Square and there’s also the freestanding store on Fillmore (which I *love*).

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Tami,

    It totally does! The neat thing is that you can still wear during the day. It’s really a versatile duo.

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Fie,

    Even if you aren’t a Shu fan you hafta give the Duos a try!

    Hope that the lipstick shades work out for you. Let me know if you end up snagging a tube.

  25. Karen says:

    Hi GG,

    Woot! We are birds of the feather, LOL. That’s practically my mantra…

  26. Marisol says:

    Thanks Karen! I may have to stop by some of the places you mentioned.

    Marisols last blog post..…And Now You Know

  27. Tami says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m aware that Shu’s products are on Nordstrom’s website, but I’m an instant gratification type of girl and the last time I was at the store (I’m in Chicago) I didn’t recall seeing a Shu counter…maybe it was because I had tunnel vision while rushing to the MAC counter…lol…I will have to check the next time I’m at Nordstrom…

  28. Asta says:

    Speaking of Lancome shadows, I’ve found a whole bunch for $6 each at TJ Maxx in both Maine and Connecticut. I grabbed four neutral/shimmery shades with names based on gemstones: topaz/amber/garnet/opal. Not sure when they came out, but they’ll be great for fall. They also have a bunch of lipsticks, glosses (the jelly ones), eyeliner pencils, and mine even had cute retractable lip brushes in hot colors (pink, purple, orange). So if you wanna try Lancome for cheap, check it out!

  29. Shefali says:

    Mesmerizer duo is AWESOME. Shoot…I’m on a makeup ban and it’s going to kill me not to be able to buy this…I might crack, not sure.

  30. Ditte says:

    The brown dazzle lipstick! *LOVE*
    Beautiful swatches and pics πŸ™‚

  31. Megan says:

    I like Lust and Mesmerizer…and why do i always want to buy shu stuff just for the pretty sleek packages?

  32. trishket says:

    Hey, Karen – I think we are twins separated at birth (even though we look nothing alike)! I, too, was in LOOOVE with John Taylor as a young lass. And I think I read in another post that one of your favorite books is Ender’s Game, which is also one of my favorite books! Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit your makeup-genius DNA from our (unknown, and completely fictional) common ancestor, but I hope to pick up tips from reading your wonderful blog.

  33. lexi says:

    Okay one of these days I will walk into this shop right after i hit up the MAC pro shop on Fillmore! Those shadows are hot! Yes John Taylor was my first crush and I wanted to either grow up as one of the chicks in the Rio/Hungry Like the Wolf video or Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High πŸ˜‰

  34. Betsy says:

    The colours are amazing! Wow Shu Uemera…why you always so dazzling?

    Betsys last blog post..Memories from France II: l’embarras du choix

  35. Michelle says:

    I want to get Mesmerizer & Crimson Dazzle πŸ™‚

  36. Lianne says:

    Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!! You were a Durannie too?? I was Lianne The Durannie in high school LMAO. Nice comparison with the photo…

    Liannes last blog post..Hot or Not: Total Beauty Bytes…

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    The collection is available both at the Union Square Nordie’s and at the Fillmore street! Have fun playing. πŸ™‚

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Tami,

    I think that only select Nordies stores carry the line. Oh – but I’ve also seen it carried at Neiman Marcus! I looked on the site for stores and there are locations in Auburn Hills and Troy. Are these anywhere near you?

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Asta,

    Oh that’s such a great bargain! I wish I had a TJ Maxx near me. I’d go and plunder like a mad woman!

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Shefali!

    Are you back home now? I hope your trip was okay and that your lil’ guy was okay on the way back.

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Ditte,

    Thank you. Brown Dazzle = Love! It’s really pretty in the light, too, because of the way the gold flecks shimmer. πŸ™‚

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    LOL, I know! Even El Hub had to comment upon the “sturdiness of the plastic and the cleanliness of the lines.”

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Trishket,

    Remember how you had to choose your favorite member of the band? Like, if you liked John there was NO WAY IN HELL that you’d be on Team Simon or vice versa? LOLOL!

    Ahh, Ender’s Game. Did you read the whole series? I have to confess: I went through a phase when I wanted to name my children Ender and Valentine.

    Makeup is a fun and artistic way to express your creativity! Like all skills it takes a practice. I still have a lot to learn … but I enjoy playing with it and sharing the tips/tricks I learn along the way. πŸ™‚ Did you just start wearing it? What are your favorite brands?

  44. Karen says:

    Hi Lexi,

    Oh yah! It’s just up the street. It’s a beautiful store and has this gorgeous mural on the wall. There’s so much space and the artists are really great. I gotta warn you, though, that you may end up spending a LOT of time there. πŸ™‚

    Ha! I totally wanted to be one of the Rio chicks, especially the one skulking around the speed boat! Do you have a favorite Duran Duran song? Mine is probably Reflex.

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Betsy,

    I know! The shadows especially are really fantastic. πŸ™‚

  46. Karen says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Great choices! Are you a Shu fan, too?

  47. trishket says:

    Yeah, you couldn’t like more than one of the band members, because one of your other friends had dibs of them, and that would be disloyal.

    I’ve read all of the Ender series, at least twice. I’ve handed them out to friends, so that they too could experience the wonder πŸ™‚ Actually, I’m not sure where all my books are – I need to get them back!

    I’ve been wearing makeup forever, but not well, unfortunately. I usually give things the old college try, but it ends up looking like I used Homer Simpson’s makeup gun on my face. And now I work from home, so I almost never wear anything on my face. But I love to read about makeup and to window shop for it. And I’m always learning valuable tips from blogs like yours, so maybe one day it will all come together and I’ll be able to put on a great face.

    As far as favorite makeup brands, I don’t really have one. I’ve liked a lot of the Stila things I’ve tried. But I’ve never tried MAC – can you believe it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge