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The man

Shu Uemura (植村 秀 Uemura Shū?, June 19, 1928 – December 29, 2007) was a Japanese make-up artist and founder of the Shu Uemura international cosmetics line which bears his name.

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Shu Uemura

A native of Tokyo, Shu Uemura reportedly first became interested in hairstyling and make up as a teenager while recovering from a severe illness which left him bedridden. He enrolled at the Tokyo Beauty Academy, becoming the only male student in a class of 130 pupils.[2][3]

His first experience in film make-up occurred during the filming of 1957’s Joe Butterfly, which was partially shot in Japan.[3] Uemura left Japan in the late 1950s to try to break into the film and television make-up business.

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Shu Uemura’s big break!

Uemura’s big break came on the set of the 1962 film, My Geisha.[1] The film’s regular make up artist fell ill and Uemura, who was working as a Hollywood beautician at the time, was called in to fill in for the sick artist.[1] Uemura gained critical acclaim for transforming actress Shirley MacLaine, a Caucasian, into a Japanese woman.

Actress Shirley MacLaine transforms into a Japanese geisha!

On the picture below, the incredible transformation of Shirley McLaine. Makeup by Shu Uemura himself.

Shirley MacLaine from the movie “My Geisha”

Shu Uemura’s first product : the cleansing oil

Uemura developed and launched his first cosmetics product in 1960.[1] His product was a cleansing oil, which left the skin cleaner than soap and also acted as a moisturizer.
His cleansing oil remains popular in Japan today.

Mika Ninagawa collaborates with Shu Uemura for 2014 spring collection!

Mika Ninagawa (蜷川実花 Ninagawa Mika?, born October 18, 1972 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese photographer and director, known for her vibrant and brightly colored photographs of flowers, goldfish, and landscapes.

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Mika and Shu Uemura’s collaboration makeup

Eyeshadow spiral duo palette.

Cleansing and face products

Shu Uemura also makes amazing lashes!

Lashes created by Shu Uemura

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