While I was in high school and only starting to learn about makeup, one of the first few luxury brands that I started seeing virtually everywhere was Shu Uemura. I was all about wishlisting their iconic cleansing oils and lash curlers, and I was so stoked to finally get their classic curler some years later. Fast forward to 2017 when the brand has unfortunately left the Philippines, leaving brokenhearted fans in its wake. But before the last of their boutiques closed its doors, I was able to grab the Shu Uemura Stage Performer Glow Creator in Warm Glow (SRP = SGD 62).
Quick Specs: 30 ml / 1 fl oz ; made in Japan
From the get go, my primer choices have been on the side of basic. I don’t always use silicone-based ones, and I’ve yet to traipse into the hardcore color-correcting category. Radiance primers are up my alley as they offer that Kbeauty glow without bringing out dry patches. This particular one is meant to be a “base and top glow boosting cream”, meaning you can use it as a primer before your foundation or as some sort of highlighter/BB booster after your foundation.
In my experience, I have used it both ways. However, I do prefer using it as a radiance primer rather than some sort of top coat or highlighter. Some liquid highlighters diffuse beautifully even over base makeup (e.g. Becca and City Color), while others tend to create a cakey mess (e.g. Benefit and The Face Shop). The Glow Creator falls under the latter category, but it does perform well as a primer.
The Glow Creator is a very runny liquid that comes out pearlescent and packed with fine shimmer. Warm Glow is a very light pink-beige that I feel would suit all skintones. (There’s a pink variant as well, but it has an opalescent finish that would, in turn, be better-suited to fairer skintones.) Once spread out, skin takes on a soft sheen that looks subtly dewy. The effect isn’t all that pronounced, especially in photos, but my complexion does look somewhat brighter in real life. Yes, perhaps you could even say radiant. And when foundation (satin or matte finish) and setting powder is applied over it, that glow tones down further but still gives off a certain je ne sais quoi. In short, people won’t be able to pinpoint that a primer did that.
As for the more technical aspects, there is a mild powdery floral scent that I don’t find bothersome. I use fingers to apply this to my temples and cheeks, avoiding the T-zone to prevent an oily look. No need for brushes and such! The formula neither hydrates nor dries out my skin, and it also doesn’t affect the longevity of my base makeup.
Verdict: There are products that don’t make the best first impressions, because there is a learning curve to maximizing their potential. But once you know exactly how to work them, they quickly become staples. IMHO, that is the case here. Shu Uemura Glow Creator gives a diffused radiance that gives makeup a continuously fresh look.