It's not exactly a secret that the lifestyle of a model is rarely conductive to waking up bright and early, going to work and looking all pretty and glamorous, which is kind of a problem when your job is actually to look pretty and glamorous. Of course, in cases like Kate Moss the only solution is photoshopping her until even a vodka bottle wouldn't recognize her (seriously, I cringe every time I see her on those huge ads right before the Lincoln Tunnel). But we're here to talk cosmetics and not extreme virtual makeovers.
Shu Uemura's new(ish) Stage Performer line offers two products that were supposedly created to help the makeup artists working on models' faces hide the signs of last night's debauchery and make them look fresh and perky (or at least like flawless corpses in the case of certain fashion designers). Stage Performer Signs-Off is a liquid in a pen that is supposed to plump up skin with extra moisture that temporarily diffuses the appearance of fine lines, especially those that are a result of fatigue and dehydration. The pen has a soft silicone applicator tip that I like very much, a couple of clicks dispense enough for both eyes (I use is under my eyes, as a base for YSL Touche Eclat).
My nerdy suburban life style is not exactly the stuff of which legends are made, but like many of us I can use a little help in the under-eye area. I can't say Signs Off is making me 21 again (and that's a good thing, believe me), but I can see an overall improvement in the way my makeup ends up looking- there is a certain brightness that is lacking if I don't bother with this Shu Uemura product.
The results from Instant Glow are easier to spot. This is a thin lotion in a tube that goes over your skin care (the same as with Signs Off, by the way) and under any makeup you're using or even on. You need to wait at least 30 seconds before applying primer and/or foundation- I usually give it a couple of minutes because I love seeing the full effect before makeup. Instant Glow combines light-diffusing, moisture-locking and a similar brightening effect like what you get from NARS Brightening Serum or Blanc de Chanel. Considering the amounts of Cle de Peau skincare I use, it's hard to tell if Shu Uemura Instant Glow provides any long-term results, but I can tell it affects the way my makeup looks- everything is smoother and looks enhanced.
Both Instant Glow and Signs Off contain dimethicone, but I still find that topping them with a primer is preferred for long lasting makeup. It's probably not necessary if you're only doing your makeup for a night, but I do some of my testing as a 12-16 hour day, just to be sure what I have on hand. Both products contain ingredients like ginko bilboa, plant and flower extracts and sea water (that's the number one ingredient, actually), but also various silicones and titanium dioxide, so take that into account if you're sensitive to the stuff.
Bottom Line: I'll take any help I can get.
Shu Uemura Signs-Off ($45) and Instant Glow ($49) are available online from shuuemura-usa.com and from various retailers outside of North America.
Photos of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel at a 1990 party from some fashion message board. I couldn't find the source.