Shu Uemura UV Under Base SPF 10: Primer Time with This Mini-Mousse in a Can

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

shu uemura uv under base spf 10
Small can, big mousse — Shu Uemura’s new UV Under Base with SPF 10 packs a wallop, but $32 is a lot to ask for a 2.2 oz can.

Have you ever used a mousse foundation primer before? — because I haven’t, until now. It’s kinda neat, all airy, fluffy and foamy. Because Shu’s UV Under Base is a mousse and not a runny liquid or gel like most foundation primers are, my skin soaks it up like a sponge. This baby does double duty as a skin protectant with the addition of SPF 10, which isn’t necessarily the ideal level of SPF to wear to the beach, but if you work in a black hole of an office building (like I did for years) and only see the sun on your breaks, SPF 10 should suffice.


But I wonder… The $32 can is barely 5 inches tall, and when I press the mousse trigger a ginormous strawberry-sized blob of product shoots out. I think I have poor thumb-to-mousse control. I get the feeling the can won’t last very long.

When I wore it under Becca Stick Foundation the other day, my skin looked really smooth. The pores on my face all but disappeared (although I still knew they were there, ha!), and the foundation I was wearing lasted all day long. Shu calls the product color Beige 01. I think it looks like dolce de leche ice cream. The very first time I used it, I got mousse happy and applied too much. With my skin tone (neutral, not yellow or pink dominant), it actually left a slight pink tint, so the second time around I used a lot less product — viola! No pink tint.

Can you see the Thanksgiving turkey in this clump o’ mousse?
shu uemura uv under base spf 10-product shot

Foundation primers are an optional makeup step, used to smooth the skin and to create an even surface on which to apply foundation. I’ll use one a few times a week when I have a little extra time. As a foundation primer, Shu’s Under Base works great and has a light scent that reminds me of baby powder and cinnamon. I wore it the other day under Becca Stick Foundation. Normally, I use Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Foundation Primer, and Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer has a lot of fans. Shu’s UV Under Base compares well to Laura’s primer, but I haven’t used Smashbox’s before.

Product: Shu Uemura UV Under Base SPF 10
Price: $32
Use: As a foundation primer
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

Shu claims you can use UV Under Base by itself (en lieu of foundation) to even out your skin color. Maybe for lighter-skinned cuties, but with my skin tone I’d need something a bit more pigmented to wear it like that.

I had a blast in San Francisco today! My friend and I sat on a sunny bench in the middle of Union Square, drinking iced tea and catching up. After we said our goodbyes, I checked my Crackberry/Blackberry for your makeup suggestions and headed straight to Macy’s cosmetics department. 😉

First, I checked the Clinique counter to see the new Quick Eyes Cream Shadows and walked away with two — Sunlit Palm and Sparkling Nude. Clinique’s got a hefty gift-with-purchase promotion going on at Macy’s right now. Spend at least $21.50 and get a cute makeup bag, two lipsticks (Raspberry Glace and Beauty), a travel tube of Liquid Facial Soap, a small bottle of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, a tube of High Impact Mascara and a super cute palette with the Like Mink eye shadow duo and Smoldering Plum blush. If you aren’t close to Macy’s store, the deal is also valid online. Use promo code CLINIQUEG at checkout.

clinique gift with purchase


Since today was payday, I also hit up the MAC counter and snagged a pot of Mineralized SPF 15 Foundation Loose Powder in Medium Dark, and then trekked down the street (in 3-inch heels) to Sephora to grab a tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurace Eye Shadow Primer.

I spent so much time hunting and gathering for makeup (hello, story of my life) that I only had an hour to find pants. Sigh. Consequently, the pants situation remains dire. I tried on a few pairs, but every one made my booty look flat, and you know that’s just not acceptable! Instead, I skipped on pants and got some summer dresses on sale from Old Navy. I figure at least in a dress my bum isn’t falling out, and that’s always a good thing, right?

I hope you had a fab Friday and that your weekend is off to a great start. What do you have planned for tonight?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Christine says:

    Sounds like a great way to spend your Friday off 🙂

    I should try the Smashbox stuff. I have a bottle sitting around here somewhere from Sephora’s F&F sale alst year, LOL.

    Christine’s last blog post..Magellan Says: I’ve been furminated!!!

  2. Shiny says:

    Wow that Clinque deal sounds pretty good… unfortch there is no Macy’s here in Canada. Have you ever tried that Monistat chaffing stuff as a primer? I gave it a try after I saw the rave reviews on and I’m still undecided since my skin is in such a bad state right now. Probably isn’t in the same ballpark as the Shu though.

  3. It’s raining here but since it is Friday, we normally eat out and did just that. Do tell me how you like the Mineralize Foundation when you crack into the pot.

    Mrs. Lynne,’s last blog post..Product Review: MAC Mineralize SPF 15 Foundation (Loose)

  4. OOOOhhh I love airy mousse stuff…its so much fun to play with!!! <3 I will def have to check Shu’s primer out… Though I do love my M.A.C P + P SPF50…
    A girl can never have too much SPF.

    i♥makeup’s last blog post..Clint Fernandes Gives us Four Different Looks

  5. TUPRNUT says:

    I wish my booty looked a little more flat then it does right now! Well, if anything, you have an excuse to go shopping again. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear/see what you think about your new goodies! Grace and I ventured out yesterday to the Clinique counter and I got the new lipgloss in Fireberry. The counter had sold out of many of the nudes/light pinks already… but I am very happy with my purchase and was really pleased with how long the formula lasts.

  6. Tanya says:

    Sounds like you had a great day! It looks like I may have to stop by Macy’s to take a look at the GWP- looks yummy 😀 Other than making a detour to Macy’s- I need to buy a bridesmaid dress….oh. joy. 😉

    Tanya’s last blog post..Style Dupe: Carolina Herrera.

  7. Glosslizard says:

    Happy Saturday!

    What a satisfying haul! Can’t wait to hear the deets!

    The mousse sounds like something I would have tons of fun using! Maybe I’ll try it (I’ve been on something of a primer hunt lately) when I run out of all the samples I’ve currently got. Does it help at all with makeup longevity? I tend to want a primer more for than than anything else. I also want to try the Prep & Prime SPF50, how does that compare?

    Whee! Today I get to go SF and shop with Hubby! 😀

  8. Karen B says:

    Yes, I usually buy a dress or a skirt when I’m supposed to be pant-shopping. It’s just too depressing: I never find the right fit for pants. *rolls eyes*
    As for my own shopping trip: I bought the Chanel Garden Party quad 🙂 I’m gonna try out a few looks tomorrow when I get back to Ghent.

    Karen B’s last blog post..Drabble: Reverie

  9. Ping. says:

    I can’t wait for money to drop from sky because this would be the first primer/make up thing i would get.. its so bloody expensive.. but feel oh so good.. sigh..

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Christine,

    Do you have the regular one or the Smashbox light? That’s one I’m mildly curious about.

    Hope you are having a good weekend!

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Shiny,

    I’ve heard about the Monistat stuff as a primer. My skin breaks out like crazy so I am so picky about what I put on my face which is why I haven’t tried it. I’d rather just spend the money for a primer then get something that is meant for the crotch.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Lynne,

    Fun! Didja get your meat jun on at dinner?

    What I would do for some veggie manapua from Manoa…

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Iheartmakeup,

    I agree! I slap a ton of it on my face, my neck, everywhere! Do you have a favorite SPF? Mine is Shiseido 55 for face!

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    You are on your way, girl! Just keep up with your program and soon enough you’ll get there.

    Oh how fun! Did Grace have fun “visiting” with the glosses too? 😉 I noticed that the counter seemed devoid of the nudes and pink. I wanted to pick up Bamboo Pink and they were sold out! I almost cried. But yay, I’m glad you got the Fireberry and that you like it. 🙂 How long does it last on you? Do you get the 8-hour coverage?

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Tanya,

    How weird, I saw my friend today and I had a brush with a bridesmaid dress too. She’s getting hers made and so she had to take my measurements. Oh, I keep forgetting that I’m not a bridesmaid — I’m a matron of honor, OY.

    Did you end up picking one up? I hope it’s cute…

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I’ve haven’t tried the Prep + Prime because I used the lip one a few months ago and was not impressed. I can say that the Shu primer definitely helps with longevity. My foundation lasts longer and looks smooth all day. 🙂

    Hope you are having fun in the City today! I just got back from brunch with friends. We were out by Ocean Beach, and it was actually hot!

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    I have a hard time finding pants that fit too, which is why I’ve put it off for so long. Jeans shopping is even worse…

    OH I love Garden Party! How fun! That is probably my favorite Chanel quad. One way to get even more milage is to wet your bush before you apply the shadows. Applying them with a wet brush intensifies the color!

    BTW, did you ever get to try Gazelle?

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    You and me both, girl. I’d also be happy with a money tree. 🙂

  19. TUPRNUT says:

    I’d say the gloss lasts about 4-5 solid hours. I can’t wait until our counter gets some of the out-of-stock colors in so I can add a few to my collection! I was really impressed with these. Dare I say I like them better than my MAC’s???

    Grace did so well. I was really impressed. Usually she starts grabbing at stuff and I spend most of my time saying “no” and taking stuff from her hands. But she was very cooperative and got a special surprise when we got home for her good behavior.

  20. Dao says:

    I went to MAC for the in store event only to find out it’s moved to next week. Managed to return one thing and got 3 things: Perky and Bare Study paint pots plus Sock Hop lipglass. I was surprised to see Perky still in store, after all Fafi was on sale for 6 weeks already. Came home and applied the things on my face and surprise surprise, they work well together! Those 3 are perfect for a spring look, all I need now is a peach/coral blush.

    The MUA also applied mineral makeup for me in store and it itched like crazy! Texture-wise, I would prefer MAC mineral makeup over Bare Minerals because it’s very matte. However, I don’t think you can use it by itself because it’s very sheer. For the fragrance-free people, it does have some fragrance and from the feel of it, the product has talc too.

    I hope this helps answering Mrs. Lynn’s question. It’s a pass for me, I know how real mineral makeup feels like and this ain’t it.

  21. Amanda says:

    sounds like a great day Karen! I am very intrigued by the shu primer. I use tarte’s right now (like you, only for “special” days when I have more time). Maybe I’ll check into shu’s when I need a new one-that mousse looks cool.

    I will await the verdict on the shadow insurance! can you compare it to urban decay primer potion-which I have a love, trying to decide if the too faced is better.

  22. Allie says:

    The primer seems great, I’d like to try it. Laura Geller Spackle is a good one too.

    I did the same thing last week–I went to Old Navy for pants, and came out with a summer dress. What does your dress look like?

  23. Bea says:

    I’ve tried this many times, when i go to parties the make up artist at shu does my make up most of the time. the problem with this is that i have oily skin so sometimes i start getting really oily by the middle of the night! i think it’s cause of the liquid foundation at shu.
    what i love about shu though is that the colors are perfect for asian skin!

    which foundation do you think is better, the one in smashbox or laura?:)

  24. Sal says:

    Um, I see the turkey!

    Back from Malaysia and reading all the posts that I missed 😛

    I was wondering though, dyou know of a primer for lips? One that fills in those lines like primers do for pores?
    I realised awhile ago that if I found something to fill in those lines on my lips, my gloss would be glossier. I also realised thats why glosses look super glossy in ads- they do something to fill in those darn lines beforehand. grrrr.

    Having said that, I find Bloom’s glosses don’t sit in the lines as much for me.

  25. Karen B says:

    I’ll try the tip when I try out some looks.
    I didn’t get my hands on Gazelle unfortunately. They didn’t have it in Ghent. They did however have the limited edition Galactic but not Gazelle. I asked the lady and she was going to ask her boss for me.

    I’m going back there on Thursday, there’s a Lancôme event 🙂

    Karen B’s last blog post..Drabble: Reverie

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    Aww, I’m glad Grace was so well behaved! I know youngins’ usually can’t help but get their paws up in the mix but it sounds like she was having a good day! I will keep my fingers crossed for you and hope that on your next mall trip she’ll be just as cooperative.

    I think I’m feeling the same way too about these glosses. These are waaay more moisturizing than Lipglasses and last just as long (for me). If I don’t get my hands on Bamboo Pink soon I’m gonna freak the heck out. 🙂 What color do you think you’ll get next?

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    NICE LOOT, girl! Any day you snag some Paint Pots is a good day. This is kinda off topic but I found out from my friend who’s getting married in Florida that the wedding is in Boca Raton, not Miami. Is that anywhere close to you? Dang my geography sucks…

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    It was a lot of fun (but I still need pants, aaahhh). Anyway, the mousse is cool! It’s so fluffy and kind of fun to play with. 🙂 It looks so good under Becca Stick foundation, too!

    I will be testing the Shadow Insurance this week. I used to for the first time yesterday with a cream shadow and preliminary results look good! The real test will come when it’s time to blend.

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Allie,

    Oh gawd, the pants situation was so stressful. I ended up getting this crazy printed tube dress in green:

    Which one did you get? 🙂 I really love Old Navy, especially when I get stuff on sale.

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Sal,

    LOL! I knew somebody would! Please tell me all about your trip! I have never been to Malaysia before and would love to go someday.

    As for primer, I’ve only used one: MAC Prep + Prime. I didn’t like it. I dried out my lips and did not make any visible difference in smoothness or product longevity. I looked at the Sephora website and found a few that look kinda neat:

    Laura Gellar Lip & Eye Spackle

    Smashbox Lid & Lip Primer

    Boscia Jujube Salve Stick

    I think I’m going to pick up the Boscia one on my next Sephora run, because it looks very moisturizing.

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    What did you think of Galactic? I know it’s super sparkly, but in the right circumstance it’s fun. I hope you can check out Gazelle soon!

    I’m glad you have your Lancome event on Thursday to look forward to. 🙂

  32. Karen B says:

    Well, it’s a bit too sparkly for me. I probably couldn’t even wear it when going out as I usually go to balls and I can’t wear gloss then because my hair keeps getting in my face and hence in my lipgloss.
    I hope I’ll see some Gazelle soon as well 🙂

    Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. First time I’m going to a beauty event so it’s pretty exciting. My friend can’t come with me so I’ll have to practise a lot of self-restraint not to overspend… lol

    Karen B’s last blog post..Drabble: Reverie

  33. Mine most definitely has to be M.A.C P+P SPF50, and Neutrogena the one with SPF 70…Im totally covered!;)

    i♥makeup’s last blog post..Clint Fernandes Gives us Four Different Looks

  34. TUPRNUT says:

    I think my next one would be Bamboo Pink, too! 🙂 It’s hard to tell online, so I’ll have to wait until our counter gets more in.

  35. PIA says:

    I used Shu UV base and it did do what it promised compared to MAC’s which does absolutely nothing. My skin looked flawless and non greasy longer and it also evened out my skintone. The nozzle was fragile, though. I broke it (by accident of course) and the can still sit useless by the counter mocking the $$$ i spent it for. I guess I’o still hoping miracle will happen and the can will work again.

    PIA’s last blog post..FOTD – Neutral Look

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Oh boy! If this is your first time then you must mentally prepare. At those things I always get tempted big time to buy everything the makeup artist uses on me, so I either 1.) go in with a pre-set amount of cash and leave my credit cards at home or 2.) bring a friend to keep me in check (too bad your friend can’t go, boo hoo). Both tricks have worked well to keep me from going spend-crazy. Save your receipts too, cause you never know when you might want to return something!

    Yah, Galactic is very sparkly, it’s true. If you like more subtle sparkle then something like Gazelle or Pink Crystal would be pretty, me thinks.

    Oh, and that’s cool you go to balls! Do you get to dress up and have escorts and stuff?

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    I “adopted” a tube of Bamboo Pink today! It’s a nude pink with a bit of silver shimmer. I can do a lip look post for you either Monday or Tuesday!

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Pia,

    Oh no! That sucks! Too bad it’s not like a tube you can just cut in half and dig the stuff out of. I haven’t broken the nozzle (knock on wood) and keep my fingers crossed for it to remain intact.

    This stuff works minor miracles but I wish the lil’ bitty can was bigger!

  39. msnotty says:

    Looks good, but it is rather expensive.

    msnotty’s last blog post..Initial Review: Cetaphil

  40. Karen B says:

    Well, it’s not the formal kind of balls, but folk balls. It’s just that there’s a lot of traditional music in France, and those dances have evolved to be a bit more modern. So those are the kind of balls I go to, not strict and a lot of dress-up but warms and fun balls with my friends that are unfortunatly not really make-up friendly. lol

    Karen B’s last blog post..Drabble: Reverie

  41. Allie says:

    Cute dress, Karen! Mine’s not on the website, but it’s a white, v-neck, light sweater material dress. I can not wait to wear it.

    So I recently got Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More (I actually got it using a Dermstore giftcard I won writing product reviews for and I like it. I have combination skin with only slight oilyness, but I have huge pores. This stuff does a great job of hiding them.

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Msnotty,

    Yah, it’s not exactly budget friendly. It works crazy good, though!

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Those balls still sound fun (even if they aren’t makeup friendly!). I like any party where you can dance and hang with your friends. I wish we had those here, dangit!

  44. Karen says:

    Hi Allie,

    Your dress sounds cute and summery! I love white dresses in the summer time (I just can’t drink coffee when I’m wearing them, LOL). Can’t forget about the accessories… maybe brown sandals and gold jewelry?

    Oh! I’ve heard of Pores No More (and congrats on that giftcard, how fun). Does the product have a slippery feeling (ie, contain silicones?) to smooth out the skin?

  45. Allie says:

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing for accesories. I also have these really cute white wedge sandals with a wooden heel, and some bangles that look like the heel.

    Pores No More is very slippery and lightweight. You barely feel like you’re putting anything on, but it makes a visible difference.

  46. J-Money says:

    Speaking of pants…I bought white pants. My first pair as an adult. Okay…off to

  47. Karen says:

    Hi Allie,

    Cute! I love wedge sandals because they are so much more comfortable than spiked heels. I love them when they are extra high, too 🙂

    Okay, I am now putting Pores No More on my investigation list. I like the thought of lightweight, especially for summer.

  48. Karen says:

    Hey J-Money,

    That’s hot. Send me the link so I can see em. I need to get myself a pair (sigh).

    BTW, got the save the date card today… AWWWW! I want to go on the wedding website and leave comments.

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