Review: Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Intensive Cleansing Balm


Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Intensive Cleansing Balm ¥9,000

Product Released: October 2016. Available in Japan only.


What is Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Intensive Cleansing Balm?

“Shu Uemura first-ever, treatment balm that leads to plump cashmere skin. Massage into the skin to give a beautiful skin treatment. Make your usual cleansing time more luxurious.”  *

*The above is a translation and may not be exact wording.

A rich treatment cleansing balm that contains Shu Uemura’s award winning cleansing oil formula Ultime8 essence. The Ultime8 essence contains a blend of 8 exquisite botanical  beauty oils from all over the world, that are proven to have the highest skin care efficacy.

Utlime8 Intensive cleansing balm is designed to massage into the skin, effortlessly removing all make-up and impurities, while giving the skin a luxurious skin treatment creating softer, plumper feeling.



Ultime8 Intensive Cleansing Balm comes in only one size-100g which is quite large, but  on par with most other luxury cleansing balms like  Sunday Riley’s Blue Moon. Due to the large size, I would estimate that this cleansing balm would last quite a few months, which is good as it is expensive.


The light round plastic tub, is the signature amber and black colours of the Ultime8 range, and comes with a basic screw top and handy spatula that make using this cleansing balm very straight forward.


Texture and fragrance.

The Ultime8 cleansing balm is solid in the tub, but has a velvety smooth consistency which immediately melts on contact with the skin. There is now problem at all treating a rich, thick massage oil consistency on the skin, your fingers slip quite effortlessly while using this balm which makes it ideal for facial massage.

As you would expect with a luxury skincare product there is quite a strong fragrance to the Ultime 8 cleansing balm. So,if you have sensitive skin or prone to reactions to fragrance then I would absolutely recommend that you try a little in-store before purchase to make sure your skin has no reaction. That said, I have sensitive skin and I have no problem with the Ultime8 range.


What did I think?

I am a huge fan of the Ultime8 Cleansing Oil, which effortlessly removes my makeup and leaves skin clean, but not stripped of moisture. In the dry winter in Tokyo, my skin can not tolerate a double cleanse. Over recent months, I have really enjoyed using cleansing balms which are also rich in moisture and effective makeup removers and cleansers, but I feel are more luxurious and nourishing on the skin and allow for a comfortable facial massage while cleansing. Facial massage is so huge in Japan, and a regular part of a daily skincare routine, helping to eliminate puffiness and define the structure of the face. Recently, I have been trying to incorporate more facial massage into my skincare routine and I find a using a cleansing balm is great entry point product for a novice like me.



Ultime8 Intensive cleansing balm is an extremely effective makeup remover and cleanser.

I use it each night to remove all of my makeup, and to be honest it removes everything in one go except mascara. I wear a lot of mascara, so it is quite difficult to get it all off without  using a cleansing water or eye makeup remover as well. In fact, I am yet to find a cleanser that can remove all traces of my mascara. After using the Ultime8 cleansing balm I gently wipe any remaining mascara away with a cotton square and cleansing water.

Below is a picture of my hand some quick swatches of my usual makeup products: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, Suqqu eye shadow, K Palette Real Lasting eye liner pencil, K Palette Real Lasting eyebrow pencil and Stila convertible lip and cheek colour.


Apply a spatula of cleansing balm directly onto dry skin (I used a little too much above!). Then gently massage into skin.



You can see here that the balm melts to create a thick oil, the dirty colour is a mixture of all of my makeup and the balm, but you can see how effective it is at picking up the makeup pigment from the skin.




Then you just wash away the balm with lukewarm water. No need to wipe with a wash cloth, the Ultime8 cleansing balm washes away beautifully leaving so waxy residue.


My Recommendation

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Intensive cleansing balm is a fantastic winter skincare product, it quickly, gently and effectively removes makeup and impurities from the skin in application.Definitely no need for a double cleanse, which can be quite drying and therefore irritating for dry and combination skin types in the cold, dry winter months. If you really enjoy facial massage or are looking to make the process of facial cleansing more luxurious and enjoyable at the end of a long day, then look no further than this cleansing balm. The superior, velvety texture is heavenly under the fingertips and the delicious warm fragrance is quite decadent and now something I look forward to each night. i love that the balm washes clean of the skin easily, and no need to rub the skin with a wash cloth which can be quite harsh on delicate skin.

For me the only draw back with this cleansing balm is the price. Yes, it is a luxury skincare product, but as there is only one large size available, you make a big commitment when you purchase. For me it payed off, as I love Ultime8 Cleasning oil, the fragrance and there are no irritation issues with the ingredients. But, if you haven’t tried Ultime8 before I urge you to go into the store, smell, test the product or even ask for sample to try at home before you buy it.  Once you check that you are all clear on these points, I am certain that you will love this cleansing balm as much as I do.

As this product is available only in Japan, this is a great product to pick up when you are visiting Tokyo on holidays or a cool Christmas gift for a beauty lover in your home country.

Where can you buy this product in Tokyo?

Shu Uemura- online store 

Shu Uemura Flagship- Omotesando Hills

Japanese Department Stores



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.