How a dream of acting led makeup artist Shu Uemura to create a brand that is now famous all over the world

One of the most famous beauty brands from Japan today is Shu Uemura. Famous hydrophilic oils and other skin care products are popular, as well as decorative cosmetics, which are appreciated by both experimenters and lovers of the classics. The brainchild of makeup artist Shu Uemura has been living for over 50 years and continues to develop rapidly.

The path to the beauty industry

Shu Uemura was born in Tokyo in 1928.Since childhood, he dreamed of playing in the theater. But an acting career was out of the question, as the boy was haunted by he alth problems. The main task of the parents was to cure their son, so the questions of his creative realization interested them insofar as.

Recovering from his illness, the young man entered the Tokyo Academy of Beauty and Hairdressing. The idea to change direction in search of himself came to him just during rehabilitation. It was no coincidence that he chose this path: Uemura hoped to get, if not on the stage or the big screen, then behind the scenes of the world of cinema and theater. And he got his way.

At the academy, he was the only young man out of 130 students. Uemura's efforts made her classmates smile. Meanwhile, fate was already preparing a chance for him, which he did not fail to take advantage of. The producer of the film "Joe Butterfly" , which was filmed in Japan in the late 50s, turned to the director of the academy for help: a make-up assistant with knowledge of English was required on the set.Uemura approached in all respects - the young man's diligence was known.

Working in a film crew has become an opportunity for him to train, honing his skills as a makeup artist. He coped with his duties so well that he soon ended up in Hollywood. The first time - still as an assistant. Chance helped him get out of the shadows. On the set of My Geisha, Uemura had to replace a sick make-up artist and turn actress Shirley MacLaine into a geisha.

The transformation turned out so successful that the young make-up artist was talked about in the circles of Hollywood professionals. He was increasingly invited to film crews, and no longer an assistant.

Start Shu Uemura

Despite the fact that in Hollywood he was invited to work in large projects with celebrities of the first magnitude, Uemura wanted more.


In 1965, he moved to Japan again and, having collected all his experience, opened a make-up school under his own name.Here he teaches students the art of creating images with the help of cosmetics. But the matter is not limited to this. Already in 68, Uemura launched the production of his own products. This is how Shu Uemura was born (which was originally called Japan Make-up Inc. and only in the 76th acquired the name of its creator).

The product that started the story of Shu Uemura was not lipstick, mascara or foundation. Uemura made his debut with an oil that cleansed and cared for the skin at the same time.

Maestro took up skin care cosmetics for a reason. Hollywood experience gave him the understanding that masking flaws with make-up may not be the solution to all problems. He saw what a load on the skin becomes makeup, how hard it is to remove. And memorized the secrets of Elizabeth Taylor and other stars who shot oil makeup.

This is how the first Shu Uemura product appeared - Unmask cleansing oil. It was amazing: upon contact with water, the oil texture became an emulsion and slightly foamed, helping to remove makeup effectively and gently, as well as to cleanse the skin in general.

Japanese beauty brand

Shu Uemura make-up collections were also not long in coming. Uemura named the first one Flaggy, inspired by the racing aesthetic. She made a splash thanks to a bold advertisement: the make-up artist repeated the models for one of the shootings of the checkered from the starting flags on the eyelids. Colleagues in the shop considered it outrageous. But Uemura only suggested changing the attitude towards makeup, making it a means of self-expression.

The noise died down and Uemura's approach was adopted. For some 10 years, the brand has not only gained popularity - it has become a cult. The army of Shu Uemura fans is growing day by day.

Unlike many others in the industry, Uemura decided to put equal emphasis on skincare and bold make-up choices. The brand's laboratories are constantly working to improve the quality of products and expand their range. For example, hydrophilic oil is now available from Shu Uemura in several formulas, which we discussed in detail in this article.

As for make-up, here Shu Uemura support the creation of memorable images and release everything you need for this: colored eyeliners, large eyeshadow palettes, lush false eyelashes (they come with rhinestones and with an unusual “fur” effect!).

The quality of Shu Uemura's instruments is also well known. Eyelash curlers of this brand are considered the best.

How to use such a tool, we described in detail in this video.

Shu Uemura cosmetics today

From year to year, Shu Uemura expand their makeup and skin care collections. There are make-up products, without which the brand can no longer be imagined:

  • Poreraser CC primer mousse

  • Petal Skin creams with a delicate texture of sakura petals

  • cushions (not only for an even tone, but also for a fresh blush - Fresh Cushion Blush, which we talked about in detail here),

  • eye shadows of all possible shades, colored mascaras and eyebrows Brow Unlimited

and more to create bright accents.

To take care of the skin, in addition to hydrophilic oils, Shu Uemura has developed a whole range of skin care products.These are serums, creams and lotions, essences and mists - in the best traditions of skincare rituals from Asia. And the legendary oils are now represented by a whole collection of products - for different skin types.

Porefinist - For oily skin with enlarged pores and prone to breakouts.

Ultime8 - anti-aging.


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