Accessible Luxury: Shu Uemura Knows Lashes Inside and Out

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, News, Top Posts

Genetics bestowed upon me wimpy, ho-hum lashes… and then made me so clumsy that I couldn’t apply false ones to save my life. Oh, the sweet eyelash irony!

Enter the Shu Uemura lash bar, aka false eyelash nirvana, where the lashes are affordable and the appointment booking process couldn’t be easier.


Whether you’re looking for a little lash extension, or you’re aching for crazy, over-the-top-lashes to overcompensate for many years of eyelash inadequacy (*ahem*), Shu’s got you covered.

Case in point:


Notice how fabulously non-wimpy these are. I done died and went to eyelash heaven, ladies!

Would you believe a trip to eyelash heaven is actually pretty darn affordable? From a Shu lash bar, all you do is purchase any pair of their false lashes, which run from $16 to about $50 a pair, and a Shu makeup artist will apply your new lashes (and answer any questions you might have about them) for free!

Gratis rules, but I know you work hard for your money, so to stretch those dolla-dolla-bills a wee bit further, here’s a great money saving tip I got from Jeccica, a Shu Uemura makeup artist and manager (and all around rad girl) at the San Francisco Fillmore store: buy a pair like False Eyelashes Luxe ($20) and ask the makeup artist to cut one of the lashes in half.


Ask the artist to apply each of the cut halves to your outer lashes only. It’s a simple way to get a sexy, yet natural-looking eyelash boost. Save that uncut lash for future use. Cut that bad boy in half and you’re good to go with a new pair. It’s like getting two sets of lashes for the price of one, yah?

As if that wasn’t cool enough, the icing on the cake: Shu’s lashes are also reusable. Just take care when you remove them (gently pulling them off), and store them in their original packaging to keep them clean and safe. Now don’t you feel clever?

Shu makes arranging a lash bar appointment easy. A week before you’d like to visit, stop by or call your nearest Shu Uemura counter and ask to schedule an appointment. A lash application takes about 20 minutes.

On the day of my appointment, I met up with Jeccica at Shu’s Fillmore store early on Saturday morning. We began by discussing the kind of lash look I wanted, and she showed some samples and described the process.


I had grand plans for grocery shopping after the lash bar, so the rational part of my brain whispered, “Choose something demure. You’re going to Safeway to buy bananas,” but the wanna-be-eyelash-diva in me snapped her fingers and responded with, “Girlfriend, you ain’t here for subtle!”

I ended up going for broke and chose the Brown Feather False Eyelashes ($25), hand-crafted from feathers to look like butterflies. Oh, purty.



First, Jeccica lined my upper lash line with a black liquid eyeliner pen. While cute, lining the upper lashes serves a practical purpose, too. If you look closely at a pair of unapplied false lashes, you’ll notice a thin band at the base. A black liquid liner helps to hide that band.


Next, to blend my real lashes into the false ones and give the finished product a more realistic appearance (*ahem*), Jeccica curled my lashes with a Shu Uemura eyelash curler, following up with a coat of Fiber Xtension Lengthening Mascara in black.


Gently pressing with a thumb on the base of each lash pops them out of their little cases. I guess I have smallish eyes because the lashes I chose were a touch too long for my upper lash line. No problem for Jeccica — with a scissors, she cut away the excess from the ends with the longer feathers to make them better fit the shape of my eyes.


Now, taking the eyelash adhesive in one hand and one of the false lashes in the other, Jeccica applied a thin line of Eyelash Adhesive glue to the band at the base of the lash. The glue applies white but dries clear after a few minutes.


She set the lash gently into place on my upper lash line…


After repeating the same process with the other lash, we were done. Woot! Wimpy lashes no’ mo’!



I know these eyelashes make me look a lil’, um, nutty, but believe it or not, these lashes were not the craziest ones in the store!

These hand-crafted beauties are from the Premium (read: pricy and limited edition) false lash collection. From top to bottom…

Premium Brown Feather False Eyelashes ($50) – hand-crafted brown feather eyelashes inspired by the butterfly
Premium Radiant Yellow False Eyelashes ($50) – hand-crafted feather false eyelashes in a rustic yellow and orange and accented with a white flare finish
Premium Blunt Blue False Eyelashes ($50) – hand-crafted false eyelashes in bright blue, accented with black


And, of course, I also fell in love with these drag-queen worthy, ultra fierce Premium Radiant Yellow False Lashes…


Notice the lil’ white feathers popping out at the end? Seriously, girlfriend. Hot! While the brown ones I sported definitely brought the glam to my grocery store run (you should’ve seen the produce clerk’s face when I asked him about bananas), on my next visit I’m snagging these yellow lovelies. Maybe I’ll get even more adventurous before visiting my other “hipster” haunts, aka the library, laundromat and the bookstore, LOL!


To find the Shu Uemura retailer nearest you, visit the Shu Uemura Web site, which lists both US and international locations with phone numbers (to schedule your appointment). If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, stop by the Fillmore Street store in San Francisco. The store itself is gorgeous and located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city (stop for coffee at one of the nearby cafes), and the makeup artists are knowledgeable and oh-so-friendly.

That’s me with Jeccica, my favorite Shu Uemura makeup artist!

The Shu store is also a land of lipstick heaven!


Work’s been busy and kicking my bum lately, so I have to go in early today, but hey, I’ll survive. I hope the weather stays sunny because when I get home I want to go for a really long run!

A few of us here have been chatting about working on our fitness. Last night, as I was falling asleep, I thought about running the upcoming San Francisco Bay to Breakers Race in May. It’s a 7-mile run through the city. I’ve done it before, but help me jeebus! The last time was years ago. Now, the thought of running 7 miles seems crazy to me, unless I’m being chased. But we’ll see. Hopefully today’s trial run inspires me.

I hope whatever you’re doing today is fun and makes you feel great. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Dao says:

    Wonderful! When (and if) I go to NY, I will definitely check out Mr. Uemura’s store. I heard somewhere that JLo had a pair of custom made mink lashes back in the day she was dating Diddy (or Ben?) These lashes do live up to the hype. Yours look very full but not fake-looking somehow. Love the cat with the lashes (is that Chicken?)

  2. Jeanne says:

    Fab! I’m super into feathers lately, and those (and you!) are gorgeous!

    I love that neighborhood (all the boutiques, plus Japantown right there!) — I’ve always wanted to go into the Shu Uemura boutique, but I always get snagged in by MAC across the street or it’s closed. I just need to make it happen!

  3. situ says:

    thanks for the shu post! I’m dying to go and get some blingy lashes and your posting has given me a shove in the right direction! Fillmore is one of my fave shopping and cafe destinations—love the Grove!

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Dao!

    The NY Soho boutique is closed 🙁 But I’m sure there are several counters in the NY area that can still apply lashes on ya. I’ve never heard about J.Lo’s lashes, but that wouldn’t surprise me if she did have custom ones made for her. I liked her when she was dating Diddy. That seems like ages ago!

    LOL, that cat isn’t Chicken. He looks a lot like my neighbor’s tabby, who coincidentally stopped by last night and ate all the Friskies I left out for him in his bowl. 🙂

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Jeanne,

    Thanks, girl! I love that neighborhood too. Have you ever perused the Marc Jacobs store? I walk by and and just start shaking at the sight of the accessories, LOL.

    What I really like are all the outdoor cafes. I like to sit and people/dog watch on a sunny afternoon.

    Anyway, you do need to make it happen because it’s so much fun. 🙂

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Jeanne,

    Thanks, girl! I love that neighborhood too. Have you ever perused the Marc Jacobs store? I walk by and and just start shaking at the sight of the accessories, LOL.

    What I really like are all the outdoor cafes. I like to sit and people/dog watch on a sunny afternoon.

    Anyway, I hope you stop by sometime soon! It’s so much fun. 🙂

  7. Karen says:

    Hey Situ,

    You’re welcome. You will find a lot of fierce, blingy lashes to choose from when you go there! Have fun, and let me know what you get when you visit so I can vicariously live through ya!

  8. Makeupholic says:

    Hey, I really love those lashes on you! I could never pull that off, lol

    I was just wondering, what blush do you use? and what blush would you recommend that would be a glowing effect?

  9. Lilan says:

    Dang girl! This post was AWESOME!

    I visited the Shu counter at the downtown Nordie’s not too long ago and remember feeling so intimidated by the lashes. But your no-fear attitude has inspired me to go give them another gander.

    I wonder what my family will say one I rock one of those bad boys to my auntie’s wedding next weekend?!

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Makeupholic,

    I’m kind of a blush junkie, so I use a lot of different brands. In the pic above I wore two Shu blushes that I used in this post:

    I also used just a touch of Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Enchanteresse (brown rose) on the bottom apples of the cheeks! You can see it here along with a swatch:

    Hope this helps…let me know if you have any other questions! :0

  11. EtherealPrey says:

    zomg those lashes look fierce! Feathery and light and pretty, makes me want to go out and get some more lashes! 🙂

  12. Brittany says:

    Ohhhh!! I’m definitely going to have to swing up Shu Uemura one of these days! Those are fab! I’m not a big fan of false lashes (even though mine are non-existent) but I would love to give some a try. I love that damn cat and his wittiness!

  13. Jamie says:

    I am so in love with those lashes! I definitely need to stop by one of the Shu counters in NY to do the same!

  14. Megan says:

    So the sad part is that I love those lashes and I don’t think that look is over the top at all…LOL maybe something’s wrong with me…

  15. Amanda says:

    how FUN are those lashes???? I’ve never tried falsies. and I *love* those yellow ones too-how crazy, fabuolous! OK, now I really want to plan a SF trip, and must go to the shu store! that lipstick picture has me drooling.

    And I think Dao is right about JLo….I don’t remember that they were shu custom, but she did sport a red minx pair, on one of the famous red carpets (maybe the oscars, when she wore that green goddess dress?) but I’m not 100% sure. maybe i’ll browse for a photo!

  16. marie says:

    OMG!! Those lashes looks AWESOME on you! They totally make your eyes so beautiful and huge. The only time I’ve used falsies was on my wedding day oh so long ago. I’m so low maintenance with makeup that I can’t be bothered adding the time to put false lashes on for work.

  17. Karen says:

    Hey Ethereal Prey,

    Aren’t they hot? I love em. When I took them off I felt like I was losing a part of me, sigh!

    Do you wear false lashes often? I wish I was wearing them today. I’m kinda tired and thing they’d perk me up.

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    You gotta go! It’s fun and a big thrill, especially when you aren’t used to seeing yourself with big, can’t-miss-em-if-you-tried lashes. 🙂

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Helllooo NY! Do it, girl! You won’t regret it. You could wait for a big event or a date, but sometimes, just doing it for fun is cool too!

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    LOL! Your lash tolerance must be super high! I wanna see you in some crazy lashes someday. Hmm, what would that look like? 😉

  21. Paige says:

    I LOVE the boutique! And I’ve had your same makeup artist before and she is so nice and awesome!!! She and Miranda (also nice and awesome) are the store managers. Wonderfully talented girls. Sometime, you should also try to get Rita or Sterling. If you go to Nordstrom, try to get Lindsey. And if you go to Neiman’s, get Jian or Judy. Thanks for this great post. You look fantastic, Karen!

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    You could make an afternoon in the Fillmore! Hit up the Shu store, then head to MAC (right down the street…although I prefer the Pro Store in the Marina), and then have lunch or coffee at one of the out door sidewalk cafes! There’s also lots of clothing and accessories stores around too. It’s not a makeup related, but one of my favorite places is Paper Source. It has a lot of fun paper, stationary, cards, and various doo dads.

    I vaguely remember that pair of lashes. LOL, I haven’t thought about that green goddess dress in years! I remember it being kinda scandalous at the time.

  23. Karen says:

    Hey Paige!

    I take it you are a Shu fan, too 🙂 You know your bay area Shu artists — that’s awesome. Thanks for all these wonderful recommendations! What are your favorite Shu products? I am in love with the eyeshadows and the blushes.

  24. Tekoa says:

    So fierce! Those are some funky eyelashes. This summer I plan to take the time to learn how to apply false eyelashes myself.

  25. Karen says:

    Me, too, Tekoa. Jeccica told me the key was to just keep on practicing when you aren’t in a hurry and have time. I hope to be able to work them on my own someday!

  26. Laura says:


    The lashes look lovely. Were they heavy at all?
    what product are you wearing on your cheeks? I love the subtle glow.

  27. Megan says:

    Agreed – I don’t wear lashes too often, but you just have to be patient and take your time…and definitely practice makes perfect.

  28. Karen says:

    Hey Laura,

    They were a tiny bit heavy but not uncomfortable. And I could sorta see them at certain angles, LOL, which messed with my equilibrium.

    I used a combo of two Shu blushes and a Chanel blush. Check out comment #11 to Makeupholic – you’ll find links to all the products. These are some of my fave blushes because they aren’t too flashy (for when you want a subdued look) and are super easy to apply!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    Do you use the band of lashes, or individual ones? The individual ones look very intimidating to me.

  30. Holly says:

    wow what amazing lashes!!
    Im pretty lucky that I have long lashes naturally but they are so fabulous I may just have to get my hands on some for my next big night out!!

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    You should definitely go for some fun and crazy lashes. For some reason I can imagine you really working the bling-bling kind with rhinestones on the lashline!

  32. Breezy says:

    Wow you look AWE-SOME Karen! You totally pulled off the look. I’m gonna have to try some now, usually I’m kinda intimidated of the SHU store so thanks for throwin out some prices, that helps.
    And i’m with you on not being able to apply them on myself ugh, I tried it last night and looked ri di cu lous blah!

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Breezy,

    You’re welcome, girl! I was surprised, too, to find it so affordable. Gotta love that cut ’em in half trick. 🙂

    I’ve made it one of my goals to learn how the heck to apply false lashes. I have a feeling it might take years, though, OY!

  34. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,
    haha you have me spot on! I love a bit of bling!
    I am great at putting lashes on other people but when I have tried to do them myself I always get one eye perfect and then just cant get the other right!
    Its lucky I have clever, steady handed friends to help me out!!

  35. Megan says:

    I’ve use both…it depends on the look you’re going for. I tend to like strips because they’re a dramatic look, but faster. If you’re going for subtlety then the individuals work bcause you just stick a couple groups on each eye. But with me…normally if I’m bothering to put them on, I want dramatic…so strips are faster.

  36. Glosslizard says:

    Oh, that is some serious fabulosity! I am so loving that you rocked the look to Safeway! LOL! I adore the style of the yellow ones, but they have them in a limited edition blue and you know that would be my pick! 🙂

    In other news… I GOT MY TOKIDOKI BAG!!! Yay! I finally caved and got one on E-bay! The canguro belt-bag in the Inferno print (which I’d never even seen before)! It’s sooooo cute! It has vampire bunnies! 😀

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    Yes you are! That’s so funny, I’m the opposite of you. People ask me to put makeup on them all the time and for the life of me I can’t…I can do it on myself, but haven’t had enough practice on others!

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    I hear ya. I figure false lashes are one of those things where you either go big or go home! I think I will try my hand at both and keep my fingers crossed that I don’t end up making myself look too crazy.

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I saw the blue ones online and the SF store unfortunately was sold out! They were too fabulous, I suppose!

    You know, I just saw some Tokidoki bags on sale at Macys and I thought of you. But yay for your eBay find! That’s great. Vampire bunnies…how cute! That reminds me of a book I liked as a kid, Bunnicula, which was about a vampire bunny that sucked the life out of the vegetables at night, LOL.

  40. karen, you look fantastic! i loove those crazy shu lashes!

  41. tricia says:

    i love so them, what is the difference with the $25 and the $50 ones? yeah jennifer lopez did have them made out of red fox for the academy awards 2001 and she also had mink ones too. peta and eveyone got on her for them.

  42. Karen says:

    Thanks Marina! 🙂 Aren’t they nuts?

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Tricia,

    The $50 are longer and the lashes are thicker and bolder. The $25 have a slant and a bit more subtle. 🙂

  44. Glosslizard says:

    I saw some of the Tokidokis on sale too, but all of them had had their qees stolen off of them! Boo!

    I remember reading Bunnicula in 4th grade! 🙂

    I also saw an eyelash applicator at Pure Beauty (I know Sephora has them too) which was a little clamp in the same curved shape as an eyelash curler. I guess the idea is that you can use it to hold the lashes in a smooth curve and stick it to your lids all at once! I’m thinking of getting one to help me with the lashes my mom bought me!

  45. Breezy says:

    yeah I keep buying cheap ones so practice on but try getting your nails done and then going at it, I feel like a monkey. boo

  46. Mej says:

    Karen you look gorgeous! =)

  47. Minky says:

    Karen, you’re working those lashes like nobody’s business! I got exactly the same pair in my Christmas stocking but was a bit worried about wearing them. The look so glam on their own I wouldn’t know what make up, hair, or outfit would go with them. So i still have unwrapped sitting on my dressing table. Do you think you’ll be able to give me some ideas?

  48. Fie says:

    Lol yesssss…Shu’s Lash Bar is

  49. Fie says:

    [Ignore the top one. Somehow the rest of my comment for deleted D:]Lol yesssss…Shu’s Lash Bar is heart . I remember splurging solely on lashes for that month. But other than their lashes, I don’t have anything else from them. And work it girl! I can never make those kind of lashes work. Haha.

  50. Jenny says:

    love love LOVE the lashes!!! I have no idea where the nearest Shu counter is.. but I most definitely will find one by this weekend!! And I’m really digging your blush. Now, I really MUST find my shu.

  51. Girl-Woman says:

    Loved that post…from eyelash heaven to the cat batting her eyes!

  52. Susanne says:

    OMG! The lashes are amazing!

  53. Ping. says:

    hohoho.. those lashes are fierce! i can feel their heat.

  54. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I’ve seen that gadget too at both Pure Beauty and Sephora. Never tried it though – like heated eyelash curlers, they kind of scare me. If you get one maybe you should practice first on a few cheapie false lashes before you bust out the good ones for your birthday celebration!

    Bunnicula rules. I would dig a vampire bunny.

  55. Karen says:

    Hey Breezy,

    Yah, welcome to my world! This is so random, but I took out a bottle of lotion the other day from Bath & Body works that I haven’t used in a few months. It’s their Aloe Vera one from the BBW “Classics” scents. Anyway, I noticed your handle on the back label, LOL! I swear, it says, “BREEZY” as a title and then the paragraph below it talks about the scent. 🙂

  56. Karen says:

    Thank ya, Mej! Are you ready for the weekend?

  57. Karen says:

    Hiya Minky,

    Hmmm, you should definitely take advantage of the glam factor and wear them for an occasion where you can get away with looking over the top fab! You could work these with a cocktail dress – black, white, or even something with a bold pattern and color! I’d leave my hair down and wear it curly and wear heels, for sure.

    I can also see these lashes working well with a tailored, chic black (or white) evening suit and big gold jewelry (either a necklace or earrings, but not both). I’d slick my hair into a slick bun at the nape of the neck with clean side part in the front. Or I’d put it up into a high pony tail with the hair slicked back. Heels again, would be a must.

    As for makeup, since the lashes are so prominent I’d use neutrals on the eyes – warm browns and golds! Then I’d add color in the cheeks and lips – either with soft pinks or peaches. If you’re really feeling bold then another option would be to leave the cheeks bare (or use bronzer on ’em) and then go for a super red lip. WOW! That would be hot!

  58. Karen says:

    Hi Fie,

    If you’re curious about any other Shu items, I’d recommend the eyeshadows, fo’ sho! They have a fabulous texture and color payoff.

    I think I’m hooked on the lash bar!

  59. Karen says:

    Hi Jenny,

    I hope you find your Shu too! Good luck, and let me know if you make it to a counter and if ya do some hauling! 🙂

  60. Karen says:

    Hi Girl-Woman,

    Thank you! Are you a false lashes kinda girl?

  61. Karen says:

    Hi Susanne,

    They are fun, yah? You should totally try some crazy ones if you ever get the chance. 🙂

  62. Karen says:

    LOL, Ping! I definitely felt fierce in them! I was actually very sad to take them off, LOL.

  63. Hillary says:

    Ooh,I looooove those eyelashes!!! I tried to apply false eyelashes before going out one night, and I’m just way too clumsy. I will definitely stop by Shu to buy a set and have them applied for my next night out. I love the brown feathers on you, but I’m not quite sure I could pull those off. I think I’d probably have to choose something more demure. How fun was that to wear those to Safeway??? 🙂

  64. Baby Girl says:

    I feel the wrath!!! I love the feather lashes. They are soooo pretty. I have to practice putting on my lashes. I can never get the whole thing on and close enough to the base of my lashes.

  65. Karen says:

    Hi Hillary,

    It was a LOT of fun! And I wore them to grab coffee and croissant afterwards too! Some people just stared me down when they saw me. It was pretty funny…

    Shu has a done of demure lashes to choose from (your lashes but better!). The criss-crossed ones in the picture up top look really natural, believe it or not, when just used on the outer corners!

    Hope you’re having a good weekend so far. Doing anything fun?

  66. Karen says:

    Hi Baby Girl,

    Yeah, that’s one of my (many) issues when trying to apply false lashes. Jeccica recommended really taking your time and practicing, so that’s what I think I’m going to do so that I can nail down my false lash technique!

  67. kia says:

    great experience! thanks for sharing!

    kia’s last blog post..Yummy411: EcoTools Cosmetic Brushes

  68. Karen says:

    You’re welcome, Kia! Have a good week! 🙂

  69. melissa says:

    Ok, this is what I’m doing for prom this year so thank you for the tip Karen!!

  70. Michelle says:

    Oh man I would love to do this. Too bad there are only 2 Shu couters in my state, none of them near me 🙁 sigh.

  71. Jenn P says:

    These are GORGEOUS!!! I am a big fan of Shu Uemura too! I love reading your blog, and I’m leaving my first comment today 🙂

  72. Situ says:

    I went over to Shu on the spur of the moment to get falsies put on for a Halloween masquerade party and had a great experience with Nicky, one of the Shu artists. I looked so doe-eyed! The lashes looked great, but I def need practice putting them on myself at home. You would think with all the years wearing contacts, it wouldn’t be so hard, but getting the lashes positioned just right at the base of the lashes requires a steady hand and minute adjustments! I think I’ve found my new ‘going out’ beauty accessory:)

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