I’m sure by now most of you know of the brand Shu Uemura, but do you know about the man? He was an amazing influence on the world of cosmetics, so I’d like to do a small tribute to his work.
Shu Uemura was a Japanese-born Hollywood makeup artist who got his big break on the 1962 film My Geisha. The film’s regular make up artist fell ill and Uemura was called in to fill in. Uemura gained critical acclaim for transforming white actress Shirley MacLaine into a Japanese woman. He parlayed his success into an international makeup brand under his philosophy that “beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin”.
His most famous product is probably the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (Amazon, $18). It has been hailed as the best eyelash curler on the market and even merited a mention in the movie The Devil Wears Prada (one of Gisele Bundchen’s few lines in the film).
Shu Uemura died of pneumonia at age 79 on December 29, 2007. Uemura was hugely influential in both cosmetics and skincare, and the beauty world is forever changed because of his work.