Review & Look: 16 Shades of Nude Palette | Shu Uemura

This spring, nude shades continue to dominate in makeup trends. While we’ve seen many variations from high end to low end, warm to cool shades and multitude of sizes in between. This time, it was Shu Uemura who dropped a fully loaded, incredibly valued, 16 shade full sized eyeshadow palette. Say hello to the 16 Shades of Nude.
Brand: Shu Uemura
Product: 16 Shades of Nude*
Size: 16 x 1.4g
Price: $105 CAD
Availability: Shu Uemura Online Exclusive
Would I (re)purchase: Possibly
Now I must say $105 sounds like one very expensive palette; in a way it is and in a way it’s not. It turns out that all the individual colours in this palette are full sized, normally retailing for $19CAD if sold individually. Break this down in a palette and this rounds off to approximately $5.6CAD per eyeshadow. Bang for your buck? Definitely.

The Shu:Palette comes packaged in a very sturdy yet slim matte black plastic casing with a wide mirror under the lid and an accompanying flat duo ended shading brush. I personally prefer a thicker, denser brush for all over shadow application but I have had Shu artists use a similar flat brush for eyeshadow and create some amazing results on me so this really comes down to personal preference.

Note that this palette is designed in Japan but made in Korea according to the packaging.

A closer look at the range of colours and finishes in this palette which are set up from light intensity (denoted by a 1) to medium intensity (denoted by a 2) and dark shades (denoted by a 3). This systematic approach or numbering is meant to help you easily create pairings for a 3 step gradation eye look.
Shades & Intensities according to Shu Uemura

TOP: Beige 821 (Glitter 1), Soft Beige 814 (Matte 1), Light Beige 825 (Metallic 1), Medium Brown 862 (Metallic 2), Soft Brown 851 (Matte 2), Light Beige 811 (Irridescent 2), Dark Blue 690 (Irridescent 3)
BOTTOM: Light Beige 813 (Matte 1), Soft Beige 823 (Pearl 2), Light Beige 815 (Satin 1), Light Beige 822 (Pearl 1), Medium Brown 875 (Pearl 2), Dark Brown 895 (Matte 3), Medium Olive 471 (Metallic 2), Black 990 (Matte 3)

On the rainbow scale, I feel like the shades even out to be fairly neutral. Although there are some golden tones (like the flecked golden glitter) and cooler tones (like the bottom brownish purple), it doesn’t swing dramatically in either direction and thus is a very approachable palette for a variety of skin tones. From my count, there are 5 mattes, 3 satins, 2 glitters, 6 metallics.

Above: Colours layered over each other to show variance.

For my light NC15-NC20 skintone, I felt that certain paler shades were just too similar or too light to show up well on my skin and in an everyday situation I wouldn’t need all of them in my palette. For someone with a more light-medium skin tone intensity, this would be the perfect colour spectrum with super pale highlights and rich smokey darks. 
The overall texture of the shadows were super smooth (except the glitters which were a little patchy but not gritty) with the matte being exceptionally impressive. What I’ve learned about Shu eye shadows as a whole is that they are really designed for layering rather than the “one swipe does all” method that you may be used to from brands like Urban Decay for example. The formulations here give a translucency that makes it easy to create subtle or dramatic nuances by building the various textures and finishes together without ever coming off as powder or heavy on the skin.

In this look, I decided to try out a very basic high contrast eye but keeping the style and placement simple. I started with the matte Soft Brown 851 all over the lid, then layered the metallic Light Beige 825 over the same area. I also decided to try out the intensity of the matte Black 990 (a tricky shade for any brand) using the flat brush included with the palette to create a super deep smokey extended liner. In fact, I was so impressed with the richness of the black eye shadow that I did not even pick up my usual liquid liner and instead merely dotted some pencil liner between my lashes, popped on some falsies and called it a day.

Without any additional primer or setting spray, these shadows stayed pristine for 4-5 hours before I noticed some slight creasing but there was no significant shifting to warrant a touch up through the rest of the day. Some of the colours had slight fall out during application but again it was minimal.

The Shu Uemura 16 Shades of Nude Eyeshadow Palette is a very versatile and approachable every day neutral eye shadow collection that will take care of not only your daily makeup but also a few party time looks as well. If you appreciate the subtle nuances in your colours then this is a must have for your collection and at an incredible value as well. The textures of the powders are very easy and forgiving to work with whether you like a singular, gradated or a layered multi-faceted makeup look and you don’t need a makeup artist to make this look spectacular. If you’re just a very simple neutral sophisticated makeup lover looking to build up a great wearable fool proof routine, this is it. Personally I don’t think every single colour in this palette is a must have but there I’m sure I will be able to put them all to good use.

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