Monday, March 18, 2013

Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse Review and Swatches

Have you ever happened upon one of those products that worms its way into being a daily must-have almost instantly?

Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse was like that for me. I'd tried primers before (and have since) but nothing like this mousse, which blurs pores yet is much more lightweight (and effervescent) than those thick silicone pastes. 

My mousse of choice is Brightening. It's lightweight, with a mild floral scent. Like all UV Underbase Mousses, it can be a little sticky if applied with a liberal hand, but it's not heavy or gluey even under those circumstances: just a tad tacky. The Driveller Kate reports that she was advised to apply a pea-sized dollop of the mousse with a flat synthetic brush. I find that using a brush does help the product go further; however, I'm still a glutton and usually end up using two pea's worth.

The heftiness of the product varies somewhat based on formula: my beige and brightening mousses feel about the same but the Tsuya mousse is decidedly more substantial and with a cloying fruity scent, higher alcohol content, and vague promises of "skincare benefits" from the guy with bleached hair who sold it to me. It was kind of like what I imagine a bad interaction at a bar would be like.

I haven't tried the BB Beige mousse (which is different from the regular beige shade) but I would guess it, too, would feel thicker than the normal underbase mousses.

I feel bad for changing the order. But not enough to take another picture of the cans.
Here are the mousses in blob form.
I would use the Brightening-sized dollop for my whole face.
You can see that the beige is, well, beige, the Tsuya mousse is a peach color, and brightening pink purple is a quite pastel lavender.

And starting to blend out into a heavy swatch.
My challenge with the Beige color is that it looks a bit dull on my skin; it's not alarmingly too dark, especially with the minimal amount of mousse I use to cover my whole face, but it just doesn't do much for me.

A bit more blended and starting to dry.
The Tsuya mousse is more difficult still. Its heavier consistency and pigment is harder to overlook. It's far too peach and dark for me. This was an easy purge.

Which leaves me with the Brightening Pink Purple, which is so deliciously pixie-ish and pore-blurring and cheery. It doesn't exacerbate redness; it doesn't make me look dirty; it doesn't make me look like I'm wearing a mask of Pepto-Bismol.
As you can see, it's not a substitute for foundation--
redness and texture issues around my nose area are still there--
but pores are where? It's not all in the bad photography.
I lahve it. I stress out about being without it. Bless you, Brightening.


  1. Your skin looks beautiful!! I wonder if any one of these formulas would be enough to cover up some surface redness. Any advice you can give on a formula and color?

    1. Thank you! Brightening camouflages some surface redness for me, definitely, though it won't take the place of a concealer. Beige, if the color works, might also be a good choice. There's also a BB Beige shade in addition to the beige. I haven't tried it on my face since it was so drastically the wrong shade, but when I swatched, it seemed to have more coverage than plain ol' Beige.

      Also a note: I think there may be some slight color variation in this line or it may be color consistency is just inaccurate in mousse products in general. I've seen several pasty people complain that Beige is drastically too dark for them when it's only slightly too dull for me. Again, I'm not sure if this is a quality control thing or just the way different users shake the can. That's not an innuendo.

    2. LOL! I really am loling.

      Agh. I see the US Shu Uemura site is mostly out of stock in everything, so I think it's mostly MOOT! But they seem to have a product called Base Control in Green which....OOS again!
      I hate this site!

    3. Yeah, the US Shu site is not the place to get these, sad to say. I'm not sure where I'll be able to order a replacement Brightening. I'm on the prowl!

  2. Hello!
    I have Shu Uemura TSUYA base and I think it does the job in brightening my face! I do feel that it helps my foundation to stay longer :)