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Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Fluid Foundation and Sponge: Try-out and Tips for Usage

Sponge lovers, heads-up!

Meet Shu Uemura’s “The Lightbulb” Fluid Foundation and Sponge kit. They come in a box together (1oz foundation and a sealed Lightbulb sponge). It’s called this both because of the glow the foundation gives, as well as the shape of the cute little sponge.

Before we begin, let’s establish 2 key things first:

  1. This foundation is not oil-free. The secret to the fresh reflective “glow” this foundation provides is a blend of non-allergenic, non-comedogenic mineral pigments and liquefied pearls suspended in macadamia oil-infused base. It is designed to be VERY reflective and dewy.
  2. You cannot buy that cool sponge separately yet. Each Lightbulb sponge is painstakingly hand-finished by artisans, and there’s a limited supply globally, so there will only be enough stock for individual sale towards end of 2013.

"Natural Glow and Perfect Coverage"

That’s the end-result Shu Uemura promises with this foundation. Well, I kinda put it to the test above.

Natural glow? Check. Buildable coverage? Check.

This does give a skin-like finish. Not just any skin. Dewy skin. If you have dry, dull skin, and you want something that can add a glow and KEEP a glow for hours, under any lighting condition, get thee to a Shu Uemura counter.

The coverage can go from a light-medium all the way to medium-high. I applied 2 layers and that covered most small marks, dark circles and discolorations. I built it up to 3 coats and then set with powder, and it STILL looked luminous and skin-like after that.

The Lightbulb Sponge


The nifty thing about this sponge, aside from the durable, antibacterial material and the handy groove in the middle, is that the two ends are actually made with slightly different finishes to give you a different effect.

Step 1: The flatter, rounded side is modeled after the Shu “Botan” brush, and designed to repel oil from itself. This allows it to create a polished finish when you gently tap foundation onto the skin.

Step 2: On the other end, the pointed tip is created with a different sponge coating to lift excess oil from the skin surface.

Tip: You tap foundation all over, and then you use the pointed side to get into corners, and to dull down the shine where you don’t want it. Usually the T-zone, and areas where your face creases more from movement (by the nose, around the corners of the eyes, etc).

Cleansing: The sponge is durable and can be washed and re-used for a long time. I don’t use the beautyblender, so I can’t make a comparison but I did find it very difficult to get all the foundation stains out, maybe because the sponge is so fine-grained. But take my opinion on this with a pinch of salt because I don’t use sponges often. (I have a compulsive need to wash them after every single use, which wears them out faster.)



This isn’t a long-wearing foundation and isn’t designed to be, unless you have dry skin, in which case an oil-based foundation will actually adhere to the skin and look better longer. The soft focus effect and conditioning formula will also soften and plump up the skin, so this could be a very nice one for mature skins.

If you have normal skin and like a strong glow, it works too. Dust a little translucent powder onto the T-zone and under the eyes and just leave the rest of the face glowy.

While Shu lists this as being suitable for all skins, the formula is designed not to set and “dry down” the way oil-free formulas do, so it will have a tendency to slide and crease on oily/combination skins.

The glowy finish is probably also not that good if you have raised blemishes because any sheen will highlight uneven textures and bumps. If you only have blemishes on select areas, make sure you mute the sheen in those areas with the pointed end of the sponge, and powder.

Recommended for…

Those with normal to dry or more mature skins who want to achieve that naturally radiant, youthful, supple effect without shimmery highlighters.

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb will be available starting from September, at SGD75 per set. The Lightbulb Sponge will be available for individual sale from December 2013 at SGD25. (Apologies, I am not able to obtain international prices yet! Do check at your local counters/stores for the most accurate info.)


I tested this with my fingers and was surprised when I actually got a nice semi-matte finish. If you want to tone down the shine a bit, just smooth it on with your hands and skip the sponte!

Shu Uemura Lightbulb Foundation Ingredients:

Aqua, dicapryl ether, isododecane, peg-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, glycerin, isohexadecane, alcohol denat, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, calcium carbonate, sorbitol, benzyl alcohol, silica, disteardimonium hectorite, sodium chloride, disodium stearoyl glutamate, parfum, aluminium hydroxide, isostearyl sebacate, sodium hyaluronate, algin, limonene, propylene glycol, linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol, benzyl benzoate, citronellol, lilium candidum flower extract, mica*

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