When I first learnt about the Wong Kar Wai collaboration with Shu Uemura back in July, I’d wondered about its form and execution.
When I finally saw the collection at the preview, the concept was revealed to be a marriage of colours and cinematic elements.
Lauded for works like Chungking Express, Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love and 2046, Wong Kar Wai is a Hong Kong film-maker well-known for his layered themes.
The director’s first ever collaboration with a cosmetics brand, this partnership is viewed as a serendipitous one by Shu Uemura, given Wong’s mastery of colours and the brand’s artistic DNA.
Here is Mask, a short film exclusively created for Shu Uemura expressed in rouge et bleu (red and blue), showcasing Wong’s vision of femininity. The brand calls it a ‘lush visual poem’ – play the video to understand why.
Drawing inspiration from Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, the title of an anthology of poems by Charles Bukowski, the collection exemplifies the paradoxical theme of the work with strength of colour and contrasting delicate glitters.
With holographic packaging that mimic moving movie frames, images flash, appearing and disappearing much like some of the motifs in the acclaimed director’s cinematic oeuvres.
Below are photos and descriptions of the products in this collection, as well as my thoughts on them.
Eye and Cheek Palette in Burning in Water (S$115)
Shimmery blue eyes burn with intensity. When classic bleu is fused with silver sparkles, a new fairytale begins. Deep aqua is infused with energy. Express the flush of passion from within by cheek colors.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not fond of the director’s initials on every product but I suppose this is better than having his silhouette everywhere. :P
I do love this palette with its cool tones (water) and the pop of red blush (burning). A nice touch is the eyeshadow base in the lower right corner but I’ve yet to discover if it creases. It also acts as a soft highlighter, according to one of the Shu MAs.
On the holographic lid of this palette, an eye framed by false lashes (see below for details on these falsies) opens and closes with every tilt of the case.
The colours swatched well (the ones above were done without a base). I love the harmony of the hues and am looking forward to using the navy and the red.
Eye and Cheek Palette in Drowning in Flame (S$115)
Drown in the impulse; indulge in love and passion. When everlasting tender rose is touched with golden dust, a story begins to glow. Express natural warmth and femininity with application of cheek colors.
With the word ‘flame’ in its name, this palette contains warmer tones.
Like its cooler counterpart, it has a holographic image but is composed of eyes, lips and nails.
It also swatched smoothly. Less striking than Burning in Water, I believe this palette will appeal more to conservative makeup lovers, thanks to its less dramatic shades.
Glittery Mascara in Glorious Masquerade (S$45)
Sparkling glitter creates a mysterious golden veil and a hologram reflection on your eyelashes. Use as a topcoat over mascara for maximum glamour, or use alone for subtle, sparkling finish to make your heart dance.
I haven’t tried this on my lashes but the product not only has gold glitter particles dispersed in its translucent base, it also has a fair amount of multi-coloured sparkles (hence the ‘hologram reflection’? ;)).
Rouge Unlimited (S$45)
Drown in the sensuality of glimmering lips. Three classy yet playful colors for alluring femininity. A brightly glittering shade to add a fun, festive shine to lips.
An innocent beige shade with a heavenly splash of golden dust full of hope.
Caress your lips with this bright, warm pink with a fresh, glossy finish.
Express the heat of passion with this deep, tender red shade and a delicate gold shimmer.
These lipsticks swatched beautifully and I’m certain they will fly off the Shu shelves, given their wearable hues and smooth texture!
Lustrous Glow Powder in Pleasure Rose (S$65)
This warm, rosy powder with shimmering gold pearls enhances a lustrous glow. Use to create a natural, transparent complexion or add a little blush to cheeks.
This all-over powder looked pretty in the pan but its performance is wanting, at least on my skin.
It simply blended into my skin, as you can see from the swatch. The soft rose shade is barely discernible, though I’d admit it makes my skin look smoother.
Mini Nail Duo in Bleu Splendor (S$49)
A set of cool and classy yet playful colors. A starry shine in a midnight blue Christmas sky.
Mini Nail Duo in Festive Rouge (S$49)
Pearly warm and deep rouge meets golden charm.
I wasn’t able to swatch the nail lacquers but I like the pairing of shades. The marine blue and ruby red are pretty as festive bases, while the glitter topcoats add the requisite celebratory sparkle!
Jeweled Love Accent False Eye Lashes (S$45)
Enhance your femininity with these partial eyelashes to cast a tender and alluring gaze. Lashes blended with fluttery, classical Bordeaux feathers create a soft, gorgeous look. Decorated with gold crystals, it is perfect for a holiday celebration.
The red and the diamantes are a bit much for me but I can see how these partial lashes would be interesting on the outer corners to spiff up a festive look.
Dance in Glitter Premium Edition False Eye Lashes (S$125)
Graceful and luscious eyes for special nights. Dancing in a shower of shining glitter, entice all around you with these delicate, ravishing lashes.
These opulent lashes are more than mere blinged-out falsies – they have overlapping layers of glitter (it makes me think of star dust) that catch the light in the most awesome way (see photos of them on the model below).
Flashing Gold Mini Brush Set (S$125)
This brush set includes:
Cream Color Brush: Designed for the application of cream or liquid eye shadows. It is also an ideal brush for covering/blending blemishes and discolorations.
Powder Brush: Ideal for face powder and cheek color application.
Eye Shadow Brush: A basic eye shadow brush for bringing out various effects and provides easy control of eye make-up.
Precision Brush: Depending on preference this may be used as a lip or eye liner brush and is ideal for powder or emollient textures.
I didn’t try them on my face but as with most Shu Uemura brushes (yes, even those in sets), they felt very soft and comfortable when I flicked/ran my fingers through them.
White Recovery EX+ Brightening Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula (S$155/450 ml)
Like watching a scene from “Mask”, an exquisite image decorates this edition of brightening cleansing oil. The perfect way to end a festive day-gently remove your make-up with this cleansing oil for beautiful luminous skin.
I can’t remember if I’ve tried this formulation but the holographic packaging with the changing images is certainly different from the usual mono-tone appearance of the Shu cleansing oils.
Do visit the collection’s micro-site to find out more about its inspiration and view behind-the-scenes images.
Shu Uemura elite artist Maz demonstrated her makeup rendition of the collection at the preview. Among other products, she used the Burning in Water palette, Dance in Glitter false lashes and Rouge Luster lipstick.
I loved watching her work in rhythm to the sonorous soundtrack of In the Mood for Love. Absolutely captivating, just like the music piece. Her fluid movements also reminded me of the Shapes & Shadows show last May. Has it been half a year already?
Her makeup masterpiece, in a matter of minutes!
A close-up of those gorgeous premium lashes.
And here is Maz, with her model.
Here are two Shu Uemura 2011 Holiday Collection by Wong Kar Wai promotions at Tangs. The latter is only valid during the 12% closed door preview for Tangs and Citibank cardholders today, I believe!