shu uemura X Karl Lagerfeld: review and swatches
The shu uemura X Karl Lagerfeld collection - 'a celebration of Japanese pop and European chic' revealed to us in Paris last week and created by Chanel's chief designer - is probably one of the strongest brand collaborations I've come across. This is probably down to A. The fact that I imagine anything Karl Lagerfeld does has to be as perfect as is within his ability to make it, and B. Because of the respect he has for the brand - the story of Karl using shu uemura to sketch with has given the collection a lovely kind of romanticism.
So - the products! A really well rounded range I think. First of all, the eye and cheek palettes (£45), which come with two applicators and a Mon Shu Girl shaped mirrored lid, and contain five perfect-for-A/W eye colours and a blush. There are two - the Karl for shu smoky velvet palette and the Karl for shu prestigious bordeaux palette.
The smoky velvet palette (above) is full of moody shades, glittering black (obviously), matched with a dark metallic khaki, and then a pale silver and gold and a shimmery pale mint. The blusher looks quite dark in the palette, but is really soft and pretty when just lightly applied, and so easy to build up if you want a stronger result.
Prestigious bordeaux (above) is a brighter collection of colours, with a metallic deep purple, a copper and an orangey-gold, balanced by a pale shimmery lavender, and a beige, so you can create some really nice smoky eye looks. Both excellent palettes for the holiday season (especially as the inclusion of the blush cuts down on handbag space) but shades you'll be able to wear all year too.
Kalr has also created four new shades of rouge unlimited lipstick (£19), including mon shu red, his idea of a 'true' red. Most of us would have picked a pillarbox colour as a true red, but Karl's has more of an orange tone to it. We also tried luxe burgundy, a darker, gothic red - you can see how they both look on below. The formulas are really nice - super comfortable and really hydrating, with quite sheer finish that you can intensify with some blotting and layering.
There's also an eyeliner - painting liner in blackish satin purple (£20), which is a really pretty dark metallic plum with a beautiful consistency and a glisten that this image doesn't do justice. Thin lines and flicks are a snip, but you can also do some nice smudging with it too. Plus it'll work really well with the two palettes.
Of course, no shu uemura collection is complete without a pair of their iconic eyelashes or two, the Karl for shu mini lashes (£25), half size, feathery black lashes whit a shot of red through the centre for the outer corner of the eye. They look really striking on actually - the red is really intriguing. The Karl for shu premium lashes (£50) are far more statement making: amazing black and white patterned strips of paper printed with metallic red diamonds, so they glimmer in the light. They look heavy, but they're really not, and you even forget you're wearing them after a while. If you're feeling flush, Selfridges will have two pairs of lashes with rubies in place of the red paper available for purchase.
That's not even all: there are also nail polishes and transfers (check them out here), a special edition eyelash curler (£20) with a little mon shu charm hanging from the handle, mon shu uv underbase mousse (£29), mon shu cleansing oil (£56.50), mon shu mini brush set (£45) and a hand crafted professional make up case (£300).
With such a big range, it's admirable that the quality of products is still so high, and instead of there being one or two strong pieces, its all totally desirable. It's released October 14th 2012 exclusively at Selfridges and I'd advise you to get down there fast if you want a piece! You can find out more about the collection and Mon Shu Girl at su-kl.com and check out our coverage of the Paris launch party here!