Beauty News: Shu Uemura Closing U.S. Retail Locations

A photo of Mr. Shu Uemura at one of the free-standing stores.

photo by renaissancechambara

L’Oreal recently announced the closing of all Shu Uemura retail locations in the United States. That includes free-standing stores and department store counters at retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Fortunately, the brand will continue to be available at The brand will continue to be available world-wide. According to WWD, eighty percent of the Shu Uemura business takes place in Asia, and L’Oreal has decided to streamline their U.S. business and focus more on their core brands such as Kiehl’s and Lancome.

Mr. Shu Uemura left Japan in the 1950’s to pursue a career as a Hollywood makeup artist. He quickly became a favorite amongst Hollywood starlets, working on many successful films including the Shirley MacLaine film My Geisha. He eventually returned to Tokyo and launched his first beauty product, a facial cleansing oil that continues to be a part of the brand today. In 1967 he started Japan Makeup, which eventually became Shu Uemura Cosmetics. Mr. Uemura was an icon in the beauty industry whose makeup artistry and innovative products transformed the makeup landscape of today.

I remember getting my first Shu Uemura eye shadows and blush when I was 12 years old (yes, my makeup obsession started at a young age). I was intrigued by the bright colors (Mr. Uemura never shied away from the dramatic) and the simplicity of the mod, square packaging; I always loved that you could see the makeup color itself right through the compact.

Makeup artists, beauty professionals and beauty junkies alike agree that Shu Uemura has the best eyelash curler on the market. This award winning lash curler gives the perfect curl every time without crimping your lashes. All lash curlers are not created equal! Trust me, if you don’t have this one already – it’s a must-have for every woman. When I was working as a makeup artist, I took mine with me everywhere I went.

The brand is also known for their Tokyo Lash Bar which offers an amazing array of false lashes. Whether you’re interested in a natural accent, or something wild and crazy, they have an amazing assortment worth checking out – if only for fun. You can get feather lashes, eyelashes with gold leaf, or even lashes with sparkling diamonte rhinestones to mimic the ones that were made for Madonna with real diamonds!

Wild feather false eyelashes!

photo by snowkei

L’Oreal acquired controlling interest in the Shu Uemura brand in 2003, but Mr. Uemura himself continued to be involved in the company creatively until his passing. The beauty world was saddened when the beauty mogul Shu Uemura passed away in late 2007 at the age of 79. He continues to be an inspiration to makeup artists all over the world and the legacy of his brand remains.

What’s your favorite Shu Uemura product?


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One Response to “Beauty News: Shu Uemura Closing U.S. Retail Locations”

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