SHANY Combines High Quality Cosmetics With Unbelievable Prices

Published on January 21, 2013 by   ·   8 Comments

00000000 SHANY TableI remember when every Christmas, I would go into Walmart and look in the holiday aisles at the selection of cosmetic gift sets tucked away in patterned bags or shiny silver train cases.  I would always check them out to see what kind of cases they came in, hoping there would be one that wasn’t too expensive that would work for whatever organization project I was working on at the time.  I never paid much attention to the product inside the case; almost without exception, the makeup in these cases and gift sets was tragic and went right in the trash as soon as I could extricate it from my fancy new storage container.  Those chalky eyeshadows and oily, smelly lip colors taught me early that cheap makeup gift sets were not to be taken seriously.

That sort of thinking has been with me for many years, and so when I started to see cosmetic sets popping up on Amazon from a company called SHANY, I was more than skeptical.  The fact that they were getting fairly good reviews piqued my interest; after all, ANYTHING can get at least one or two good reviews on Amazon (everyone has at least one close friend or relative who will say glowing things about them, or an alternate email address to create a fake Amazon account!) but to get a large number of positive reviews means you have to have at least some quality to back it up.  What I couldn’t get over was the price.  88 color eyeshadow palettes for less than $25?  A dozen gel eyeliners for $19.95?  Impossible, right?  I figured this company had to be one of those big generic places pumping out a bunch of cheap makeup for dollar stores and to capitalize on $5-limit office Secret Santas.

What made me decide to finally give this company a try was a video tutorial I found by Queen of Blending where she uses an 88-color palette to create this absolutely gorgeous green eye look:

I love, love, LOVE green and this look turns out so well, and I was surprised to see that the majority of the look just used one of these large, bargain palettes (the palette used in the video is from BH Cosmetics, not SHANY) and I figured that for less than $20 I could give it a shot.  After all, I’ve spent $20 (or more) on other makeup experiments where I got much less product and ended up with it gathering dust in the bottom of my kit.  Since then, I’ve been experimenting with some of these cheaper kits and collections, and of the products that are available, SHANY really outshines the others in terms of their price, quality, and selection.

00000000 SHANY PaletteThe first SHANY palette that I picked up was the 40-color “Boutique” palette (I got mine from Amazon HERE); I loved that it had a few gorgeous greens in case I wanted to take on that tutorial and try to recreate it, but it also had quite a few other fun, vivid colors as well as a set of stock neutrals to support the other shades with highlight and shadow.  And since Amazon was offering palette for a mere $10, it seemed like an inexpensive way to take a dip into what SHANY had to offer.  When it arrived and I started to play with it, I just couldn’t believe that this shadow collection had cost me so little.  As I was experimenting, all of the colors had good color payoff, especially when paired with a white shadow base like NYX.  None of them had that dry “chalk dust” texture that I was used to seeing from cheap palettes, and they blended really well together and with other products including creme and liquid shadows from other companies.  I used this palette recently for a show and was again amazed at how easily these shadows blended and how well they worked with all of my other products, including my thick theatrical creme foundation.  The color payoff was extraordinary, and the look held through the show under the spotlight and well into the after-party!  The colors in this palette are not for the faint of heart, and the selection of neutrals isn’t exactly expansive…but then, I’m a fucking drag queen!  How many neutrals do I need?  I need vibrant, vivacious colors, and this palette has them at a price that is unbeatable!  00000000 SHANY Palette 2After this positive experience, I added their 96-color “Makeup Artist Must Have” palette to my collection as well (see it HERE) .  This palette makes up for any neutrals that might have been missing in the smaller palette while also having an amazing selection of their gorgeous eye-popping colors in a variety of neon and tropical shades.  The one drawback to these palettes is that if you find a shade or two that you like and use them heavily, you will run out of them fairly quickly (the pan size is about the size of a dime in the smaller palette, and even smaller in the larger palette) and would need a new palette in order to replace them.  Given that the price of a new palette is less than some brands charge for a single shadow doesn’t make that cost-prohibitive, but it won’t be very long until you get sick of having several of the same palettes taking up space.  Makeup cases aren’t necessarily very room, and that’s a lot of prime real estate to give up for one or two colors!

00000000 SHANY LinerI also decided to try out their collection of gel liners; this was another purchase spurred by watching Queen of Blending tutorials.  She often uses a gel liner as a base color for building up shadow colors on top.  Gel Liners can be a bit pricey, so once again I was convinced by the amazing price point – SHANY has a collection of 12 shades that are on Amazon for only $19.95 (once again, here’s the link: HERE).  I wasn’t bowled over by the color selection (I think this is why gel liners are such a hard sell for me: they just aren’t as bright, colorful, and dramatic as eyeshadows!), especially the greyish blue that wasn’t that different from the plain grey, but they are creamy and spreadable and make an excellent base for color, especially when used over that trusty white shadow base.  I was also impressed with the quality of the packaging, given the low price point.  All of their collections and palettes come in a printed box with gorgeous, detailed pics of the product inside as well as other SHANY products wrapping around the back and the SHANY logo.  Inside, the liners were in small plastic pots with glossy black lids all featuring the SHANY logo embossed in gold.  It’s a cheaper grade of plastic, but the containers still look sleek and attractive, though the color stickers on the bottom sometimes leave a little something to be desired in terms of representing what’s inside.

00000000 SHANY LipsWhen I decided to experiment with their lip products, I finally hit a rough patch in the road.  I love lip products.  There is something about a new lipstick that just feels good.  On the inside.  I decided to try out one of their two Smooch collections of lipsticks (Collection 01, seen HERE).  These lipsticks feature a longer, skinnier product design than your traditional lipstick bullet tube, and though the price was higher per piece ($14.99 for the 6-piece set, compared to $19.95 for a 12-piece collection of “Slick and Shine” lipsticks), I was hoping this extra investment would pay off with a better product experience.  Unfortunately, this bargain collection really is too good to be true.  The high point was the exterior packaging: once again, SHANY packages the lipsticks in a signature box, this one made of very heavy cardboard, well designed and featuring metallic embossing.  If only some of that attention had gone into the lipsticks themselves.  Unlike the gel liners, you can really feel the cheapness of the plastic with this product: it feels flimsy, and the covers are ill-fitting and asymmetrical.  The stickers on the bottom are once again somewhat sketchy, with the purple and the blue-ish pink, two totally distinct shades, having almost indistinguishable color stickers.  This is more of a problem for these lipsticks since they are packaged in opaque tubes, as opposed to the gel liners in their clear pots that can be identified by color by just looking at them.

The application experience was also less than satisfying.  Of the two that I tried first, one was so sheer as to almost seem to be a heavier version of a tinted lip gloss and the other, though more opaque, felt oily and unpleasant.  There wasn’t enough pigmentation for me to use them alone, though I may try to work them in with other products.  It’s unfortunate that SHANY’s lip products didn’t have the same ease of application, high pigmentation, and overall quality as their eye shadows and gel liners.

00000000 SHANY LashesThe last SHANY product that I added to my collection was a colorful collection of eyelashes.  I was in the middle of planning a Gaga-inspired finale for one of our Bismarck shows, and the crazy colors and textures were calling to me – they weren’t kidding when they called this collection “Color Frenzy!”  The set features 9 pairs of full lashes as well as one package of individuals (Unfortunately, the original set isn’t available any longer, but they do have a set of different styles of traditional black lashes; check them out, HERE), and although the individuals may be handy to have around “just in case” they don’t seem to mesh well with the feeling of the whole collection, and I think the collection as a whole would have been better served by including a tenth pair of lashes featuring another color to further diversify the collection.  This is a really small complaint, considering that Amazon is selling the whole collection for only $7.99, making each pair ring in at under $1.  This price is unbelievable and becomes even more so when you consider that each pair comes in a fully enclosed plastic tray (to protect them while being stored in your kit) and an individual portion of adhesive, and again when you see that they are actually of pretty good quality: the bands are flexible and easy to apply, and the lashes themselves are shiny and vibrant, and look amazing!  There is just enough color and/or sparkle to really dress up some of your wilder looks.  My personal favorite in the collection was (no surprise!) a green pair featuring a foil accent.  A pink pair would have been nice (especially if it had taken the place of the singles!), but again my complaints are pretty minor given the tremendous value for your money.

Part of the reason I am so excited to have found SHANY (beside the fact that it allows me to get lots of new goodies without the crushing bill that usually accompanies one of my makeup binges!) is that this company will allow lots of potential performers to dip their toes into the cosmetics world without spending a fortune.  The large palettes and diverse collections will allow people to play and try to figure things out without having to worry about how much product they are using or feeling like they are “wasting” their goods when they are practicing at home.  With the exception of the lipsticks mentioned above, I’ve found their quality and pigmentation to be excellent, and these products will give makeup students a chance to really grow and experiment with their craft.  I’m probably going to add more of their products to my kit and I will keep you updated on what I like and what I don’t.  I also review the products that I buy on Amazon directly (under my “civilian name,” Chris M Stoner – feel free to like my reviews!).  I haven’t received any free products, so everything I’ve written here is about stuff that I paid for with my very own sweaty titty money, though I wouldn’t turn down some free shit that anyone wants to send my way!

Hopefully this was helpful for you and will encourage you to think twice before dismissing products you see, just because the price seems too good to be true (or more accurately, too cheap to be good).  The world is changing, and the days where you HAD to spend a ton of money on your makeup to get anything worthwhile are done.  I’m not saying I’ll ever turn my back on my other makeup favorites completely (I’m a MAC girl to the core, bitches!), but it does mean that if I’m in the mood to try something new or I need a little retail therapy without putting a huge dent in my finances, I now have options that I can feel good about.  And so can you.

Now go forth and get painted!

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Readers Comments (8)
  1. Sasha Maria says:

    I used the electric blue lashes for a recent show! Not a huge fan of colored lashes so I just put some mascara on the tips to tone down and then glittered them and they turned out amazing! The only downside I can see with these lashes is that they do run a little small, but they are such a great deal that it’s no problem if you want to Get creative and put a couple sets together!!! They really were great for my
    Gaga look!

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  3. I was hesitant to order this because I have never heard of the brand before but the reviews for Shany products are pretty outstanding. I ordered this pallette and it arrived in excellent shape. No broken eyeshadows. The colors are fantastic. Very blendable and pigmentation is excellent. Very shimmery. Compared to my Sephora eyeshadows, this product is better quality. When I use Sephora, a lot of the powder ends up on my upper cheek when I apply it. I have not had this issue with Shany. When using an eyeshadow primer (always a must for me anyways) it stays put for hours. Very good value–I look forward to trying more Shany products. This item arrived very quickly which was great because I was very excited to try out these colors. I was scared at first when I opened the package and saw sparkly blue powder on everything but luckily only one color had been half broken on top. I wiped that color off everything and the rest was fine. It comes bubble wrapped but I guess there is only so much you can do for transporting powders. They are all very shimmery which was one of my reasons for buying this, and the colors are very bold which will be great for when I’m on stage. I’m experimenting with lots of different looks and after putting on an eye primer these look and go on great and blend nicely. For the price I think this is a very fun palette and a good buy.

  4. epapierosy says:

    Very descriptive post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part Two?

  5. Gimme' Pillsen-Licher says:

    Hey Janessa, Great post! Was so shocked when that Queen of Blending turned out to be a real girl! She makes it look SOOO easy! I have for years used potted cream clown white as a base before applying eyeshadows. I’ve only recently heard about these shadow bases. Of course it’s been a year or two since my last show… so you think these bases will work better than my clown white? My method does tend to “eat up” the shadow as well as dull the color. Thanks for the wonderful blogs and of course I love your face gurl! Do you have any videos of your makeup techniques? Look forward to hearing from you, and to performing with you again soon! Love ya, Pills

    • janessajaye says:

      The NYX eyeshadow bases are not quite as heavy as the theatrical cream bases and they definitely help hold the color. I haven’t done any videos yet…I’m tech challenged! Maybe someday… 😉 miss you lady!

      • Gimme' Pillsen-Licher says:

        Well I’m definitely excited to try it. I’m also excited to try using a brush instead of applicators for eyeshadow… who knew, I didn’t! I’m having a lot of trouble, unfortunately with dreaded wrankles :) so I think the brush will help with this as well as with application control. BTW, I’ve also always admired your base blending, which looks amazing. I use Mehron powder base applied with water and a sponge. I like it because it dries to a powder and doesn’t get into pores and cause skin irritation like the old drag go to I was taught with back in the olden times which was Pan Stick in the tube. It was so greasy and had to be powdered down with a translucent powder. The Mehron or Ben Nye powder based theatrical makeup has worked well for me, but recently, again due to wrinkles, it tends to look a bit dry. I like the way your base looks so natural and real. What do you use, and do you have to set it with a powder? Is it an oil-based product? Thanks for the tips, and if you want, you can reply in private to my my email address at Oh and “I got your lady, lol! :)

        • janessajaye says:

          Hey diva! For my base, I use a theatrical cream base, either Ben Nye’s Creamy Peach or Graftobian’s Golden Bronze (maybe Light Bronze? I forget!). For the countour on my cheeks I use a dark brown cream foundation to create the cheek curve, and then build over that with powder blushes. I set the whole thing with my trusted Coty Airspun powder, plus I also spray it with a couple of coats of aerosol hairspray to give it a good finish and keep it from going anywhere.

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