Sunday, 23 May 2010

Storming the Castle: Shiro Cosmetics swatches and mini-review

I was approached on Twitter by Caitlin, the owner of Shiro Cosmetics, asking if I were interested in trying out and reviewing her products. I found out that she had just opened her store and that her eyeshadows were named after Pokémon which made me giggle, in a good way. I agreed to swatch her products and write a review. Since she's a new company owner, I offered to show my review before publishing it but that she couldn't alter the contents of the review or I wouldn't publish it. She agreed to this so here we are :)

Disclaimer: these products were sent to me for review by Caitlin of Shiro Cosmetics. However, this does not affect my opinion of the products nor the tone of my review.

I thought I'd be getting a few sample baggies. Instead I got this:

A LOT of products, samples AND full sizes. Everything was packed neatly in a red organza bag with business cards. The jars were secured with scotch tape to prevent any spillages. The jars have no sifter so opening them is a delicate job and there may be spills (this happens with Fyrinnae, too since they don't have sifters, either). I saw Caitlin mentioning that she would add sifters to her jars which is a good move. The jars were filled to the brim and there were no concave bottoms so no need to fear that you're getting less product than expected.

Now onto the swatchies! These colours are very intense, some more opaque than others. These are all swatched on Too Faced Shadow Insurance + Pixie Epoxy. Shade descriptions are from Shiro Cosmetics website.

(L to R): Pikachu, Charmander, Mew, S.S. Anne

Pikachu: Vivid, opaque, shimmering yellow with eye-safe red glitter sparks. Chuu!
Charmander: Soft yet bright shimmery orange, like a candle's flame, with yellow undertones and just a hint of gold.
Mew: Cheerful, bright strawberry-bubblegum pink with a slight peachy tone.
S.S. Anne: Lovely, shimmery, subtle yet rich golden brown with a peachy-copper tinge - appropriate for all ages and occasions, universally flattering, and pretty much just gorgeous. 

(L to R): Vulpix, Brock the Rock, Squirtle, Acid

Vulpix: Gorgeous shimmering coppery red-brown, soft but intense - kind of like hugging a Vulpix, I imagine.
Brock the Rock: Dark, rich, shimmery chocolate brown with red tones.
Squirtle: Bright, clear, shimmery pool blue. Apply it wet to get a gorgeous metallic effect!
Acid: Vivid, opaque, shimmery yellow-green with golden undertones and just a touch of darker green eye-safe glitter.


(L to R) Bulbasaur, Zubat, Team Rocket, Lance the Dragon Trainer

Bulbasaur: Bright, opaque, shimmering grassy green with a hint of a gold undertones.
Zubat: Dusky, shimmery, semi-sheer blue with a violet tinge.Team Rocket: Opaque, shimmery red-toned purple, kind of a cross between the Team Rocket uniform and Jessie's hair.Lance the Dragon Trainer: Deep, rich, shimmering indigo with golden sparks of eye-safe glitter.

(L to R): Articuno, Mewtwo, Hyper Beam

Articuno: Pale, powdery silver-blue with plenty of shimmer and sparkle.Mewtwo: Sheer, shimmery, medium purple with blue tones.
Hyper Beam: Sparkly opaque black, absolutely loaded with silver eye-safe glitter.

What I LOVE about the ingredients listings on the sample baggies is that they mention if the colour is lip-safe or not. As you can see from the photo above, Pikachu is lip-safe and Zubat is clearly marked as not lip-safe. Awesomeness for those who are like me and are too lazy to check the website.

I like the colours, my favourites are Mew, S.S. Anne, Team Rocket, Charmander, Articuno, Mewtwo and Bulbasaur.

These colours are extremely long-lasting with TFSI+Pixie Epoxy combo. I wore Mew with Team Rocket for our company's cruise to Tallinn. I sat on a sunny terrace for about 2 hours, I dragged my shopping bags... My foundation has melted a bit but my eyeshadows were intact except from the outer corners because my allergies caused my eyes to water. Other than that, these shadows lasted from 6am to 9pm and they still looked vivid when I took them off at night.

The lovely Phyrra got to check out these colours before I did and I went through the comments becasuse some people were worried about these colours being repacked TKB stuff. Here's Caitlin's reply (taken from Phyrra's blog):

Dropping in to clarify a bit: I consider the wax part of the base. I do use the C-SMAX from TKB, which is mica coated in carnauba wax, but I blend that with titanium dioxide and occasionally, depending on what I'm working with, additions like zinc oxide, magnesium myristrate, or silica. So it's a pre-mixed base within a base, I guess. I wanted to use the wax because of the finish it gives, and I thought the best way was to use the C-SMAX.

As for the colors themselves, I do get what you're saying about them not being especially unique. All of my colors have at least 3 unique colorants in them, but as you said, several are at least somewhat based on the Pop! colors. They're noticeably different when swatched side by side, though, and not just because of the inclusion of the base. That said, most of them are in fact fairly basic - I'm attempting to create higher levels of complexity as I learn more about how the colorants interact, but these 15 colors are my first attempts.

I appreciate Caitlin for her honest and friendly response and also the fact that she's admitting that she's still learning the art of making more complex colours.

I can't comment on the customer service since these were sent to me for review but Caitlin seems very friendly and is willing to answer any questions about her products and she's also taking new colour suggestions.

I'm sure I'm going to order some stuff from Shiro Cosmetics in the future. I already saw a swatch picture of a cool pink shade called Jigglypuff on Twitter and I've read some pretty interesting shade suggestions Caitlin may be working on in the future.

 Have you tried Shiro Cosmetics? What do you think about these swatches?