June 15, 2010

Review: Shu Uemura Face Architect Glow Enhancing Powder Foundation


I thought it was about time I wrote about the Shu Uemura Face Architect Glow Enhancing Foundation (with SPF 25+++) which seems to be much raved-about. I've always been rather loyal to ZA, but after reading Paris' review, I couldn't help but itch.

A lemming was born.

It's not that the ZA isn't great. It is, but I thought it'd be nice to have something else apart from ZA to play around with.

So on a whim one evening a few months back, I made a dash into a Shu Uemura store, and picked one up myself in #754 (which is a decent match). A dash because I wanted to make the purchase before I changed my mind.

How did it perform? Read on to find out.

The very next morning, I used this instead of my regular foundation in my morning makeup routine. When applied, it looked great, and it felt alright. The coverage you get from this one is medium, at best. Which is how I liked my foundations. But you're one for heavier coverage, then this isn't it for you.

Two days later, however, things weren't so rosy. My skin revolted and I had a huge pimples and my nose had tiny little bumps. And my pores looked like they were all clogged up with white heads.

Uh-oh. Baaaaad.

"It HAS to be the foundation," I proclaimed. And so into cold storage it went for a while.

(In hindsight though, I think my skin's eruption could have been due to several other factors as well.)

After many weeks, when I had garnered up enough courage to give it another shot, I was in for a pleasant surprise. I used it for a few days straight (in the mornings), and my skin remained fine. No breakouts, no zits, nothing. This was good.

But a few days more, and my skin started to look a little unhappy. I went back to my ZA.

Anyway, at last I've found some sort of a happy balance in my makeup routine. I now alternate between this and my ZA foundation, and nothing untoward has happened so far either. Nothing major anyway. My skin isn't as brilliant as it was before my wedding, but it's not too bad either.

It stays on okay, but I still need my usual touch-up in the afternoon. It's not very oil-resistant either, as I would still need to blot about twice throughout the entire day.

(Me, bare-faced without anything on. As you can see, there's a zit on my chin, and there are some scar marks on my right cheek which you probably can't see.)

(Applied only concealer and Face Architect. My complexion looks more even, but geez, don't I look uber washed out?)

(Looks much better, no? Added Shu Uemura blush and lipstick. How's my attempt at going red? I hope to review this lippie sometime in the near future. It's a lovely red I tote around in my bag. Shocked? =P )

If this is your first purchase, chances are, you'll be splashing RM125 for the powder refill (14g) and another RM50 for the sleek black case with the sponge. That makes it RM175, which to me, is a bit of a splurge. My ZA costs so much less but my skin just seems to love it.

In conclusion, based on my experience with it, I'll rate this one as a nice-to-have, but not a must-have. Since I have splurged on it, I'm going to have to keep up with the happy balance until it finishes. But I doubt I'll be making a repurchase. The search for an alternative foundation continues. Sad, but true.

TIP: Use the sponge and not a brush to apply this foundation as the powder is rather soft. It works much better with the sponge.


Eli said...

I really should give ZA a go. Now, if only my local Watsons would get around to restocking their ZA shelves...

Paris B said...

Aww sorry to hear it didn't work for you :( It still gives me that "Gosh! Your skin looks amazing today!" look :) I haven't tried ZA actually. Maybe I'll pick one up on sale and see how it fares. I'm currently liking Revlon as an alternative

domncroxd said...

It is a bit on the pricey side. I tried ZA before and it was great but I think it oxidized a bit too much on my skin.

Askmewhats said...

my makeup artist friend told me this foundation is either love/hate relationship Thanks for sharing your experience!

Petra said...

Does ZA animal test?

april said...

maybe...if you use a primer, Face Architect is less likely to cause breakouts?

I'm using Majolica Majorca's Skin Remaker, which works very well for me but wondering if i should switch back to ZA. Same parent company, no?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look like the right shade for you. I have the liquid version and love it.