[Review] Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Essence Foundation SPF 45 PA+++

Today I will be reviewing a foundation from Shu Uemura. It is the Lightbulb Essence foundation. Its also referred to as the “essential-oil-foundation”.
It’s a new release from the Japanese cosmetics line. This foundation launched in Australia in August 2017.

I’m a sucker for anything with the word “essence” in it and always on the look out for makeup which contains skin care benefits. The infusion of essential oils, lavender oil, geranium oil, ginger oil, camellia seed oil (my fave!) and rice nuka oil, drew me in. These oils both contribute to hydration as well as in creating a healthy (not greasy) glow.
Its supposed to be feel like skin care so its good for sensitive skin. It also contains SPF 45+++ which is also handy but I still layer sunscreen underneath it.


I bought this for $85 AUD at Shu Umera in QVB Sydney.


I bought shade #564 medium light sand. I was tossing between this and #764 medium light beige (their most popular shade I was told). Both shades look fairly similar on my skin, but opted for the #564 because the undertone leaned more neutral (only ever so slightly). For reference I am a NC30 in MAC and #23 or #25 (depending on the brand) in Korean foundation. My undertone is neutral.


It’s very liquidity, has a watery consistency. If you let it sit on your hand long enough, it will run right down! It reminds me of Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Acqua foundation which I have in the shade #123 (half a shade too light for me).



It smells pleasant, like lavender aromatherapy and moisturiser. The smell isn’t offensive (to me) and dissipates on application.


A con on this product is the dropper applicator. I guess since its supposed to mimic skincare that’s why they did it like this. It can get messy very quickly.

Shake the bottle a few times to mix the oil back into the foundation as it tends to float to the top. To disperse the product, you press on the button on the top. It has a pretty nifty seal, the button only pops up when you open the bottle, which is cool so you know when its completely shut properly.


I normally drop a couple of drops on the back of my hand and use a classic beauty blender, as well as reputable dupes, to apply it to my face. A little goes a long way because its watery. It spreads easily and since I don’t enjoy caking on makeup, one layer is enough. I have tried it with a buffing brush but felt like it just moved the product around. The sales assistant applied the littlest amount and pat it in with a dry disposable sponge. It looked good then too, hence why I bought it. But using a damp beauty blender is quicker and I prefer it. Oh and I also tried it with the Lightbulb sponge (mine did not come with it) and I hated the sponge because its so stiff even when dampened.


Light coverage, buildable to medium.


It is in between satin and dewy, natural would be the best descriptor. I have combo/dehydrated skin with a slightly oily t-zone and it doesn’t look greasy on me. I agree with the claims that it does create a nice healthy glow. I wouldn’t recommend this to super oily skinned people because of its glowiness. For anyone who generally layers a facial oil during your morning skincare routine, you probably won’t need to do that when you wear this foundation. Unless you have super dry skin and really need to.

Wear time

I have worn this foundation on and off since I purchased it and I can safely say that it lasts all day (around 8 hours) if I powder. It doesn’t seem to set entirely and due to this I would recommend applying a light dusting of powder over it if you want it to last. I will test it out without powder and update this post. I also tested this in winter so will also report back on wear time in summer.

Final thoughts

Rating: 4/5 (really liked it)

Would definitely repurchase. Deducting one star because of the crappy dropper applicator.

It felt light and comfortable on my skin. It brightened up my complexion and gave it a healthy glow. It looked natural and would be ideal for those light makeup days which is generally the norm for me. The fact that it contains essential oils sped up my skincare routine in the morning which is always a plus!

The fact that you need to use so little of it also compensates (in my mind) for the luxury price tag.

Highly recommend that you try it in store as the colours are very similar and since its pretty pricey its probably a good idea to.

Have you tried this foundation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!



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