sorry for the crap photo!
Here's what I hauled (some of this was free!):
Miracle Cherry blush tint
Pressed eyeshadow in P 595 Deep Emerald Green
Harmony Pink Lip Duo tint + gloss
High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil
Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O sample (freebie)
Phyto-Black Lift firming anti-wrinkle cream sample (freebie - two of these!)
Face Architect foundation sample (freebie, not shown)
P 595 eyeshadow, Harmony Pink lip duo tint + gloss (the gloss is pretty much invisible - disappointing!), Miracle Cherry blush tint
I was really excited about their holiday collection this year - I'm a sucker for cute packaging! - and when I saw they had a free shipping promo going on, I couldn't resist. Overall, I'm really pleased with my choices (and the freebies, too!). The eyeshadow in P 595 in particular is AMAZING. I think this is a shadow that applies nicer when wet (I just wet my brush before applying), but the pigmentation is fantastic. I'm a huge fan of dark green eyeshadow, and this does not disappoint! For those who missed out on MAC's She Who Dares mineralized eyeshadow duo, I think this is a nice alternative to the green shade. It's more pigmented and less bright, and the sparkle is less obvious.
The Harmony Pink lip duo tint + gloss is what I'd call a "nice to have" product. The tint is a nice coral pink that reminds me of Illamasqua Obey when applied. The gloss part, however, in the pan looks like a bright pink, but applies COMPLETELY sheer (can you see it in my swatch? Neither can I...). I think it's a little too pricey when considering only 50% of the product is any good. I'd go for Illamasqua Obey unless you particularly like the packaging (which is pretty cute, if tricky to open).
The Miracle Cherry blush tint was definite purchased for the packaging! The palettes were too pricey for my liking, but I needed something with the reindeer girl on it, and this fit the bill. (Told you I'm a sucker!) I was pleasantly surprised with this one, though; it has great texture (it's a liquid gel blush) - very soft to the touch, and is very pigmented but blendable. It gives a nice flushed, winter-cheek glow.
As for the Cleansing Oil, I wanted it for the packaging, but I really like cleansing oils for removing makeup. I've been using it every night since I got it to remove my makeup. If you've never used a cleansing oil, you just pump the product into your hand and rub it into your skin (it gives a nice warming sensation), then remove with a wet washcloth (I use tissue first on my eyes so I don't destroy the cloth). My skin feels soft and refreshed afterwards. Aside from their eyelash curler, I'd say Shu Uemura is best-known for their cleansing oils - and it's clear to see why. I definitely prefer this to MAC's Cleansing Oil, which I liked for removing makeup swatches and cleaning my hands after applying foundation with my fingers, but my face didn't like it much!
The samples were nice, too, and they were all pretty sizable portions, too. The Phyto-Black Lift cream has a light, clean lemon scent (like their lipsticks) and feels good on the skin, without making it oily or greasy. I've been using the cleansing oil as I used to use the MAC one - it has a nice cucumber scent (I'm scared to use it on my face for this reason, though! I tend to be sensitive to scented face products). The Face Architect foundation is a nice, full coverage, matte foundation. I don't like full-coverage OR matte finishes in foundations, though, so it's not for me! It'd be worth sampling if you do like that, though!
Overall, I really like Shu Uemura products, but it sucks that US buyers are now limited to shopping on their website since they closed all US in-store locations. Who likes buying beauty products without seeing them in person first? However, I have a few products of theirs already in my stash that I really like (one of my all-time favorite blushes is M Peach 44, a gorgeous pale peach), so I wasn't too scared!
Wow, this was a beefy post! If you've read it through, congrats, that's quite an accomplishment! haha I just really wanted to do an in-depth review, because I think Shu Uemura's a great brand, and it tends to get overlooked (by me, too!), and it's really challenging to find swatches and reviews of their products!
See you all soon,