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I Purchased This

Shiro Cosmetics Review & Swatches

(5/12/11 UPDATE: All links have been changed to direct to the Shiro Cosmetics website at Caitlin’s request!)

(This was actually the first review I wrote for this blog, but due to a variety of issues I haven’t finished it until now. Fail!)

Shiro Cosmetics was what got me into buying indie mineral makeup.  Because, Pokemon.

In all seriousness, though, I wouldn’t have given loose eyeshadows a second thought if it wasn’t for Shiro’s “Super Effective” collection, which found its way onto my Tumblr dashboard one fateful afternoon.  Being the predictable nerd I am (Pokemon pretty much consumed me for all of 3rd and 4th grade), I immediately went to check it out, and was drawn to the selection of red/red-brown eyeshadows.  My best friend (who happens to also be a nerd, and male) gave me the final push upon noticing the eyeshadow named after Ganondorf — he loves all things related to the character, makeup apparently included.

The Basic Picture:

If you haven’t realized it by now, Shiro Cosmetics is a company with a gamer/geek theme.  At the time of writing, the owner, Caitlin, has two collections: the “Super Effective” collection, which is based on Pokemon, and the “Legend” collection, which is based on Legend of Zelda. She has a website at shirocosmetics.com, but it’s currently under construction.  For now, you can purchase her shadows at her Etsy store. (EDIT: The website is now live!)

The store offers three different sizes: a sample bag with 1/4 tsp of product ($1); a 3 gram mini jar with about 1 gram of product ($3); and a 5 gram full size jar with about 2 grams of product ($5).  Bulk discounts apply to all three sizes.  I really like that Shiro offers a middle option between sample and full sizes; I don’t use most mineral eyeshadows often enough to go through the 5-to-10 gram jars many companies offer by default.  With Shiro, I can start out low and upgrade to a larger jar if I feel like I use a lot of a particular color, as opposed to letting most of a larger jar go to waste.  It doesn’t hurt that the prices are extremely reasonable.

Shiro Cosmetics also makes pressed blushes (called “Heart Containers”) and lipsticks (“Intertubes”), in addition to slightly pricier “Special Collections” sold as complete sets.

Stats at a Glance:

  • About 75 shades total
  • Vegan
  • Hand-blended, custom-made colors — no repackaging!
  • Mostly glittery/shimmery finishes
  • Free samples with every order
  • Cheap shipping, starting at $1.50 for sample-only orders to $3.50 flat rate for international orders w/ jars.  Seriously, that’s as high as it gets.  Plus, US customers get free shipping on the generously low threshold of $35 or more.

Ordering Experience:

Shiro Cosmetics is based on the easy-to-navigate, easy-to-order Etsy system, so no complaints there.  However, Caitlin does get points for making organizing her store well and in a manner that makes sense. (Many Etsy sellers fail to do either or both of these things, which can be highly frustrating — why are your foundations lumped in with brush cleaners?)  I like how she includes full color charts of all of her shadows in the set listings, so you don’t have to trawl through the rest of the store to find what colors you want.

She also makes sure to state the ingredients for each color up-front, so there are never any surprises.

Customer Service:

When I placed my order, there was a notice on the page stating that turnaround was about 2 weeks long.  I placed my order on March 17, and it shipped out just yesterday on April 2, which is just over 2 weeks.  However, since then Caitlin has hired an employee to help her with shipping, which has reduced turnaround to the very reasonable time frame of 1-2 days.  I did not get a tracking number for my order.

What I Got:

I love it when sellers wrap up the package in something other than a plain plastic bag–it just gives it so much more character!  Inside this fun printed bag I got a bag containing Caitlin’s business card, some candy (yay!) and my samples.

The mini jars don’t come with the labels on the full jars, but I don’t really mind this all too much.  I like the labels for the bottoms, which clearly state the name of the colors, the ingredients for each, and whether or not each shade is lip-safe.

Caitlin makes a great effort to give you as much product as possible — as you can see in the above right photo, it’s really packed in there.  The downside is that getting the shadow out with a sifter is a bit tricky the first couple of times — it may help to take off the sifter and shake out some of the pigment, so it actually has room to move around.

The Products:

Shiro eyeshadows have some of the best pigmentation and application I’ve seen out of any makeup company.  These shadows apply butter-smooth and with fantastic opacity in just one stroke.  They also blend well and last fairly long.  All this without primer!

Subrosia is one of my favorite colors from Shiro.  This dark brownish-maroon color is near-matte with subtle orange sparkle.

Ganondorf is black with a strong velvety red shimmer.  This is probably my second favorite of the colors I got in this order, as it makes a great substitute for plain black when I want a contour shade in a red look, or a dark smoky eye.  The King of the Gerudo would be proud–this color is badass.

Octorok is a near-matte earthy burnt orange.  This is really one of the most beautiful oranges I’ve seen for sale, which is why I’m mad I have yet to find a good look for it!

Moltres is a brown-based red with intense gold sparkles. (They don’t come across in the swatches.) Another beautiful color I’ve yet to find a good look for. Gaaah.

Finally we have Dimitri, the last of my mini jars.  This is a very shimmery red-brown.  I actually don’t like the way this looks on my eyes.  However, I do love how it looks dabbed on my lips!  It makes them look super red and metallic.  So cool.

These colors were included as free samples with my order.  As you can see in the photos, they easily fill up a good portion of a 3-gram jar.  For colors I don’t use as much, this is really far more than I could even dream of asking for. (The samples come in bags, not jars; I potted them to make them easier to use.)

Ricky is a near-matte yellow-orange that I imagine would make a great fiery eye look combined with Octorok and one of the red shades.  I definitely need to try that some time!

Deku is medium brown with intense green sparkle.  It’s gorgeous and applies well, but I just don’t see myself using a shade like this.

The Verdict:

Pros:

  • Great geek theme, large collections with lots of colors. (Lots of reds, no less!)
  • Incredible, super-heavy pigmentation with smooth application.
  • Generous sample sizes.
  • Sweet, personable owner.

Cons:

  • I waited a long time to get my order, but this is no longer a problem.  So, really…I can’t think of any cons!

Final Grade:

10/10

Would I order again? Yes!  The prices are great, the samples are generous, and I love the colors I received.  Now that the turnaround has been reduced to only 1-2 days, I have no hesitation in giving Shiro a full grade!

Swatches:

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