Health & Grooming | The Reconnoisseur

Shu Uemura

A cleansing oil that removes all trace of make-up

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Shu Uemura

October 15 2009
Karen Wheeler

The idea of washing my face in oil seemed a little suspect to me until I tried Shu Uemura’s High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil (£46.98 for 450ml). Drawn to the beauty counter by the colourful limited-edition bottles – by Japanese cartoon artist Moyoco Anno – I watched in awe as the oil melted away the daub of industrial-strength mascara that a sales assistant had applied to my hand to demonstrate.

The beauty of this two-in-one product is that it removes both face and eye make-up – even, I can confirm, Givenchy’s very tenacious Phenomen’ Eyes mascara – in one clean sweep. You apply one or two pumps of the oil to dry skin, add a little water to emulsify, and watch as all traces of make-up are removed, leaving your skin as polished and primed as if you’d just emerged from an hour-long facial.

I did hesitate (for all of two seconds) at the price, which is what you’d expect to pay for a decent moisturiser rather than a product that ultimately ends up down the drain. But this is the ultimate cleanser – better in my view than both Eve Lom’s and Liz Earle’s much-raved-about Cleanse and Polish. There are five different oils for different skin types and my only regret is not having oily skin as I much preferred the pink and purple bottle.

See also

Skincare, Make Up