Makeup Wars: Sugarpill Absinthe vs. Shiro Acid

These two shades look almost identical at first glance.  Absinthe is a bit more shimmery than Acid, though.  In practice, they handle very differently.  If you don’t wear lime greens very often, you may not need both, and your preference may come down to how you usually apply your shadow, and how much you usually spend on your makeup.

Acid has the buttery texture of Shiro pigments.  It applies beautifully WITHOUT special techniques, like sticky primers, foiling(applying wet).  It may be an easier product to work with if you aren’t used to using unusual techniques to work with glittery pigment. There is a definite “base” color, with sparkles over top.  It CAN be blended sheerly, but it still retains a darker color when used that way.

Absinthe is a bit glittery-it doesn’t have any real base finish.  It can be blended sheerly to soften brighter greens, applied over sticky primers or foiled.  If you know how to handle pigments, it is REALLY a versatile color.  It’s one of the easiest pigments I’ve tried.  Well worth the time to learn to work with.

Ease of application

Shiro Acid-5/5

Sugarpill Absinthe 4/5

Both of these are pretty good values, for what you get.

Shiro is sold in a 5g jar, but the product weight is between 1.8-2 grams.  For 5$, that’s still a great amount of product.

Sugarpill pigments are sold by weight.  5g, for $12. It’s a MASSIVE amount of product.

The prices, by weight, are comparable.  Shiro has additional sizing options(Mini jars, or sample bags) if you’d just like to try.  Sugarpill sells the one size.  If you aren’t sure how much you’ll use it, the Shiro sizing options are a boon.  I find I like having LOTS of product though, and I am glad I have the full size of Absinthe, though.  It comes down, a bit, to preferences.


Shiro Acid- 5/5

Sugarpill Absinthe- 5/5

Shiro mini-jars and full sizes have a sifter, and a screw on lid.  They are clear, so you can see the product.  There’s a label on the bottom with the color, ingredients, and whether it’s lip safe.  It’s a very utilitarian packaging, on par with many other small Independant makeup brands. Their full sizes have a black lid, with decoration.  I noticed my minijars lids loosening slightly during storage, but nothing that resulted in mess or wasted product.

Sugarpill jars have a decorative black lid(Very cute), all of the ingredient info, no sifter.  For some, this may be a disadvantage, but I actually prefer it that way.  THe jars are low-built, and difficult to tip over.  I’ve found that sifters usually get in the way.  I actually removed the sifter from almost all of my SHiro shadows, including Acid, because the buttery pigment texture wouldn’t fall through the holes properly.


Shiro Acid-4/5

Sugarpill Absinthe 5/5


Shiro is sold online, through Etsy.  Sugarpill is sold through their own site. Both ship internationally, with reasonable shipping costs.  Shiro shipping costs depend on the items ordered.  Sample bags ship for $1.50.  Purchases with minijars or standard sizes ship for $2.50-3.50, even for international orders+.  Orders over $35 ship free.  The shiro sizes are smaller, so this pricing scale makes a degree of sense. Sugarpill offers free shipping for orders over $75, with shipping ranging from 6-12$ depending on the order total.  But since the packaging is often a bit heavier, adn the products are larger, this prices is well on par with online makeup merchants like Sephora, Ulta, or MAC.


Shiro Acid- 5/5

Sugarpill Absinthe-4/5

I’ve corresponded with both brands owners in regards to product defects, or issues, in other colors.  Both brands have been EXTREMELY helpful and accommodating.   Both are continually tweaking product formula or packaging to make sure it reaches the seller in the best shape it can, and is a great product.

Sugarpill is undoubtedly a larger brand than Shiro. It has been in business longer, and Amy Doan obviously put a lot of time into the brand before it became available.  Even though it’s still an “indie” brand, it is a much larger, and better organized sort than you woudl expect.  Everything about the brand is well thought out, gorgeous, and great quality.  Most of Sugarpills products are Vegan, and it is clearly marked. There’s no animal testing used.

Shiro has been in business less than a year, so you would expect a level of a learning curve.  While the packaging may be more basic, and there’s a few kinks to work out, the colors are LOVELY, and it’s still a very well run company to buy from.  All shadows are vegan, and there’s no animal testing used.

Both companies are great to purchase from, and have superb branding and customer service.  I think Shiro has a bit more developing before it will be “on par” with Sugarpill in terms of packaging and presentation. The products are great quality, though, and the sizing options are excellent.  I’m happy to give my money to both of them!

Customer Service



Our end tally,…. drumroll please…..

Shiro Acid-24/25

Sugarpill Absinthe- 23/25

Close, yes, and both products are well worth having!  Shiro wins by a nose, for being a bit more accessible for less practiced makeup users, and having a pricing scale that makes it VERY affordable.  I’m a little sad writing this, because I LOVE absinthe.  It’s a PHENOMENAL product, and you can get more versatile results,  but if you don’t know quite what you’re looking for, Acid may be a little bit easier to use at first.  And it’s less of an investment if you try it, and decide that it’s too bold for your tastes.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 09:29:42

    Thanks for the review. Beautiful colors….


  2. Phyrra
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 15:30:09

    Both pretty colors 🙂
    I love Absinthe!


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