Review: Shiro Cosmetics loose eyeshadow

I know the world of independent cosmetics companies can be a bit daunting, but some companies are genuinely worth checking out. Shiro Cosmetics is right up near the top of my list, nowadays. Their Loose Eyeshadows can be purchased in jars, mini jars, or sample bags, and in quantities. There’s many options for trying things without killing your pocketbook, and the colors are lovely!

My shiro was WELL worth the money—15 minijars for $38, affordable shipping, nice service, high quality pigment, and beautiful colors! Especially if you’re just learning to blend bright colors, Shiro is a good way to get a variety of colors to learn with!  They are one of the easiest eyeshadows I’ve ever worked with, and with most of the colors, my results were phenomenal, even WITHOUT specialized make up techniques(Foiling, Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, etc.)

(Shiro Veran, applied wet(left) and dry(right).)

The most unique thing about Shiro eyeshadows is the texture. Obviously it varies a bit from shade to shade, but all of them tend to be almost creamy. The base is slightly waxy, so they spread evenly, and adhere well, even WITHOUT primer.

Their eyeshadows all have cute themes-Pokemon, Zelda, Kawaii style…. The themes can make some unusual/difficult color names, but are cute and well suited.
I ordered 15 sample jars. I had one color turn out to be a dud-the formula caused it to meld together when pressed and shipped(see swatch photos for Rattata), and it would not apply at ALL to the skin over ANY primer, or even adhere to a brush.  A short conversation with Caitlin, the owner, confirmed that the color does NOT handle like that, and a new one would be coming, to see if we caught the problem.  It DID. I just updated this with the new swatch photos, to compare the difference.  I think she is looking into ways to ship it that WON’T cause the problem, so hopefully no one else will encounter this.

One of the more distinctive things about the shiro texture is that most of the eyeshadows seemed to apply the same REGARDLESS of if they were applied over primer, or applied wet. Most shadows gain a bit of vibrancy from being Foiled. But the shiro cosmetics worked just as well dry. Since many make up users have a difficult time applying shadows wet, the ability to use it with a more easy technique is a HUGE advantage.

Additionally the shadows didn’t seem as fragile as other mineral eyeshadows, or loose pigments, in application. Even with Fyrinnae shadows, or MAC pigments, you notice the color maybe difficult to blend, while preserving the intensity, if you aren’t careful. These shadows were almost(Please don’t take offense) IDIOTPROOF!

These may well be the creamiest, easiest to blend shadows I have ever touched.

There’s a good variety of colors, from bright, neutral…. Some are more unique than others, but they are all obviously well planned formulas, not simply repackaged mica, or basic blends. From the size of glitter or shimmer mixed in, to the color of the base, it’s obvious that the owner, Caitlin, put a lot of effort into developing quality colors.

I hadn’t been sure how my review would read, since my first experiences with them were sort of iffy. The product was so sticky, and packed in beneath a sifter, that I had to remove the sifter from ALL of my sample jars to get enough product to swatch or apply. In the first looks, trying to shake product through the clogged sifter, I didn’t care for them, and hoped the texture was easier to work with if I could get a little more product on the brush. Rattata, one of the shades I was most eager to get, turned out utterly disappointing, and I hoped that I hadn’t purchased any other colors with that texture and finish.(It turns out that was my dud color, that got ruined in shipping. I kept the swatch photo of the error jar here, in case anyone thinks they’re having the same problems with it, as well as the “real” swatch of the replacement. It’s a shocking difference.)

Once those difficulties were handled, though, I was blown away with the color, texture, and ease using these colors!

Two of them, Ganondorf, and Epona, make the prefect neutral smoky eye. I consider them easy duplicates for my $38 Hourglass Exhibition eyeshadow duo. Color, texture, finish, is surprisingly luxurious, and full of depth. Others have contrasts and complexity similar to Fyrinnae finishes(rich, orchid lavender with pale aqua shimmer, orange with varying sizes of gold/brown/bronze glitter and gold microshimmer, deep dusky gray with burgundy pearl, etc.)

Shiro Cosmetics are primarily sold through the Etsy store, right now. A true website is in progress, but most of the tabs still don’t function. Since it is a new company, I agree with Caitlin’s priorities. Good products, Good themes and packaging, and THEN worry about expanding your presentation!

Lipsticks and Lightsabers took phenomenal swatch photos for Shiro, that have not made it into the store or website yet. Eventually they will, and I look forward to it, since they give a FAR better idea of the product than the photos currently on the Etsy.

Etsy is pretty easy to process orders through, although I wish they could have a different system for handling lot orders of colors. Maybe some kind of a check sheet? Add the 15 color thing to your cart, and then check fifteen boxes for the colors you want? Right now, you type the color names in the actual order notes box, and it can be a PITA to remember all of the colors and spellings, and write down the correct amount…. The individual colors have listings, but they are not linked at all to the quantity listings.

The packaging is pretty utilitarian(the annoying sifters aside), and it is sent in style, with a receipt, in a organza bag, with a handwritten note and business card attached. The jars are your standard mineral makeup sample jars. The sifters were useless for mine, but the packaging itself is sturdy, and easy to store. They’re nicely labeled, with ingredients listings, and a taped-down insert over the sifter holes to prevent mess during shipping. That irritated me a bit, since about half of the inserts in my order had NO TAB to pull them up by, and I had to enlist the boyfriend and his longer nails to open them without spilling anything. But that’s my own fault for being a compulsive nail biter with hand and joint problems.  Overall, I found the sifters to be FAR more trouble than they were worth. I’d have preferred the jars without them. Maybe with a little tape circle over the edge of the lid to secure it, for shipping. Even that is well above industry standard. My fyrinnae eyeshadows have NEVER had sifters, or inserts, or taped down lids(Except for the Pixie Epoxy jar). It’s a fairly finicky precaution, and while I appreciate Shiro taking all the steps necessary to get the product to me in one piece, I’d just rather not spend more time opening the packaging and removing elements, than I spent actually picking the colors OUT and drooling over the pretties online.

If you, like me, remove the sifters, use tweezers with a sharp angled edge-insert them below the lip of the sifter, and twist the tweezers to start popping the edge up. Move the tweezers around the edge of the sifter, twisting, and when its loose enough, it’ll pop right up, and you can scrape the last scraps of products from its edges, and toss it aside!

Free sample baggies included!  Yay!

Streaky Rattata applied over Fyrinnae PIxie Epoxy, and bare skin.

Normal Rattata applied over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy and bare skin.  It barely looks like the same color, right?

Veran, applied wet, and dry.

Veran, in the jar

Shiro Butterfree, applied wet, and dry

Butterfree in jar

Zubat, applied dry, and wet

Zubat in jar

Epona  swatched dry, and wet

Epona in jar

Deku swatched dry, and wet

Moosh in jar

Spirittomb swatched wet and dry

Spiritomb in jar

Deku swatched dry and wet

Deku  in Jar

Acid swatched dry, and wet.  Behold, a Shiro color that actually DOES like being applied wet!

Acid, in the jar

Shiro Ganondorf, swatched dry

Ganondorf in jar

Eventually, I’ll post swatches of the colors I haven’t toyed with or photographed yet, but this is already quite picture heavy.  That should give you a good idea about the finish and application of Shiro loose eyeshadows.  I’m sure I’ll be ordering more soon, and may buy some for future giveaways as well.  I really can NOT recommend Shiro highly enough.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. spidergirl
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:27:41

    The colors looks quite pigmented! I’m going to order mine 🙂

    Reply

    • dolcearia
      Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:32:08

      I think you’ll love them! They’re very pigmented, and the texture is just delightful! Plus, they don’t require as much special technique as some other drier loose pigments do. You don’t NEED to use Pixie Epoxy under these(which has a steep learning curve) or apply them wet(Which can make them more difficult to blend).

      I think I may be diving in for another match of colors, as soon as I decide what I want.

      Reply

      • spidergirl
        Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:36:48

        Now that’s a good news! I hope I’ve a nice experience with these 🙂

        Happy New Year to you lovely! May you have a more creative and fruitful new year! Love 🙂

  2. dolcearia
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:42:15

    Thanks! You too! I think my new years will be going better when the pay periods done. Holiday pay, vacation buyouts….. SHOPPING SPREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Ahahaha.

    Let me know how you like the Shiro, and what colors you get! Particularly if you get ones I haven’t tried!

    Reply

    • spidergirl
      Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:45:10

      That sounds great! Happy shopping, me too looking forward to my payout ha!

      And I’d definitely let you know when my Shiro samples arrive! Thanks sweetie 🙂

      Reply

  3. Phyrra
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 13:00:50

    Veran is my favorite, though I also love Midna, Meowth and SS Anne

    Reply

    • dolcearia
      Dec 31, 2010 @ 13:47:53

      Have to admit. I’m shocked at how much use I’ve already gotten out of Epona and Ganondorf. Those and Veran are my favorites. Haven’t seen Midna or Meowth, though.

      All of the colors look so pretty, I just sort of randomly picked colors to snag last time!

      Reply

  4. Erin
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 18:24:08

    I had the same issue with Rattata, and I discussed it with Caitlin at the time, but I didn’t get a replacement – and looking at your pics, I see that that’s what happened to mine too, since EVERYONE else in the world has gorgeous swatches of Rattata and mine just looks like fail 😦

    I love Ganandorf, too – it’s complex and stunning. Link is my HG green. Veran, my HG sapphire. So many of her colors are just insanely gorgeous!

    Reply

    • dolcearia
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 08:50:37

      Yeah, she said that others had had that issue. the formula for Rattata is slightly creamier, and that can lead to problems in shipping. When last we spoke, she planned to alter the quantity, and not pack it in as tight, to help prevent the melding. There were a few other colors of that formula, but it didn’t sound like they had the same trouble, since they had a more prominent sparkle that prevented them from adhering as much to themself.

      It IS a very pretty color, and I’m happy that i just had a dud. But, it’s always better to be aware, though. And now, if you’d like to try it again, you know what to expect. How long ago did you order it?

      Reply

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