Christmas is normally my favourite time of the year for make-up – lots of glitter and lots of gift sets! However, this year’s collections are kind of lacking for me, and so far, the only item I have actually bought is this Karl for Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Mon Shu Red.
I’ll admit now, this was an impulse purchase based TOTALLY on packaging! For his collaboration with Shu Uemura, Karl Lagerfeld created this super cute ‘mon shu girl’ drawing combining Japanese pop with European chic, which adorns all the items in the holiday collection. I wasn’t too impressed with the quality and colour selections of the palettes, the metal make-up box I wanted was out of stock and I already own Shu’s eyelash curler, cleansing oil and UV under-base mousse sans fancy packaging, so I ended up picking up one of the lipsticks in Mon Shu Red.
Mon Shu swatches as a very vivid bright red on my hand but actually (like many reds), it ended up leaning quite pink on my lips. It’s a cheerful vibrant pop of scarlet that’s not as intense or heavy as many uber-pigmented red lipsticks, yet still has enough richness and opacity to make it worth it. For me, it’s definitely the signature pick of the Karl for Shu Rouge Unlimited colours – the rest are two rather too pale pinks and beiges, plus a vampy burgundy, whereas this hones in on the perky red from the mon shu girl design itself.
The Rouge Unlimited lipstick formula is also really lovely. I’ve tried some of the other colours from their permanent range and Mon Shu runs just as excellently true to form – these lipsticks deliver an extremely creamy moisturising texture but without stinting on colour pay-off (although this one did apply a little unevenly on the lips). Its sheer moisturising factor also gives a slightly shiny finish and it feels comfy on and doesn’t dry out your lips – a definite bonus if you intend on doing lots of puckering up under the mistletoe this holiday season!
Left to right: Shu Uemura Mon Shu Red vs Clinique Two Ton Tomato
For me, Mon Shu is an uber-cute halfway house for those of you that don’t want the heavy and often drying intensity of a super pigmented lipstick, but find that comfy tinted lip balms like Clinique’s Chubby Sticks don’t pack quite the punch you’re looking for either. In fact, Mon Shu reminded me a little of Clinique’s Two Ton Tomato Chubby Stick, so I swatched them side-by-side – in my opinion, the Shu leans a little more cerise compared to the slightly more orange toned Clinique, but the main difference is that Shu Uemura achieves that colour in just one pass, whereas it takes three or four swipes to build up the Clinique to the level you see in the photograph!
Nevertheless, let’s not pretend that I’ve have given Mon Shu a passing thought were it not for the adorable packaging! It features the cool Barbarella-esque metallic casing of the usual Rouge unlimited lipsticks, but with a tiny cute little mon shu girl peeping out at the bottom. I’m also having a hard time parting with the classy black and red cardboard box it came in (there’s even a chic red and black chequerboard print inside – c’mon guys, this isn’t good news for my natural hoarding instincts!).
If you’re after a pretty quickie make-up buy for the holidays without having to buy a whole palette or big gift set, Mon Shu Red Rouge Unlimited Lipstick is the perfect choice! It might not be a total essential but it’s a cheery cherry that marries comfort with colour and packaging that’s going to look cute all year round.
Read my reviews of more Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited lipsticks:
• Baby Flame
• Dolly Red Lucid
Mon Shu Red Rouge Unlimited Lipstick, Holiday 2012 Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Collection, $210
See all Shu Uemura locations in Hong Kong here