Make Up Maestro Shu Uemura Dies at 79

Shu Uemura, has died aged 79 in Tokyo.

He rose to fame in the 1950s when he became a Hollywood Make Up Artist, and there developed his famous cleansing oil formula, to remove heavy stage make up. He was said to have kept a few drops of the original formula to this day, “for inspiration”.

(Shirley McClaine in film “My Geisha”, Make Up by Shu Uemura)

In the 1960s he returned to Japan and made a great success with the cleansing oil formula. In 1967 he started a brand called Japan Make Up, which became Shu Uemura Cosmetics in 1983. Recently, in 2003, L’oreal bought the brand but Uemura continued to hold artistic control over the brand.

Shu Uemura is best known for its eyelash curlers, its depsea water (from the seas of Japan) formulas, the incredible collection of eyeshadows and make up brushes.

He has been survived by his wife and son.

I feel saddened by his passing; I am a huge Shu Uemura fan, and it is the brand that started me on the road of love for cosmetics. As far as I am concerned, the brands I use now, expensive or not are always compared to my Shu collection, and there aren’t many that match up in terms of quality and variety.

Rest in Peace Mr Shu Uemura, and thankyou for all your creations.

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  1. MandyPandy says

    Ugh! “My Geisha”; I remember watching that a while back and thinking that it would be quite offensive if it wasn’t so incredibly ludicrous.

    I just found out about Shu Uemura’s passing today on Rocketqueen and was wondering why more bloggers weren’t covering Uemura Sama’s demise or paying tribute to his memory, and here you come swooping in to save the day! I’ll try to have my post up this evening too.

  2. Row says

    So true! Reminds me, I was watching ‘The King & I’ over Christmas, and it was cringe-worthy – the Ochre face paint of Yul Brenner!

    I was genuinely quite sad about his passing so ate a box of chocolates in his honour. There aren’t that many greats like him anymore…I think a Shu Uemura Special is the way to go…look forward to reading your post :)