Makeup And Memories: The Long-Time-Comin’ Shiro Cosmetics Review

Published on May 1, 2017 by   ·   1 Comment

Shiro 12I’ve been planning this review for a long time.  Seriously, like two or three years – ever since my friends in the Lovely Dozen Belly Dance troupe were selling a collection of sparkly, geek-inspired pigments at their booth at Grand Forks Pride.  I bought a small selection of the colors, including two custom colors that the brand, Shiro Cosmetics, made just for them.  I kept picking them up…and then setting them down.  And picking them up.  And setting them down.  Then I ordered a few additional colors.  Still nothing.  Later, I ordered even more new colors.  For whatever reason, I just kept staring at them in my “ready for review” makeup drawer but never got around to actually writing the review.

Recently, one of the members of the Lovely Dozen passed away.  I didn’t know her as well as some of the other members of the troupe, but whenever I talked with her at an event, we always talked about makeup: what new brands we were trying, favorite products, things we hated.  Danika was spunky and energetic, and just like me she had plenty of opinions about what products she liked or didn’t.  For whatever reason, I opened my makeup drawer, saw all the Shiro products and thought of her.  I decided that tonight might be a good night to play with some makeup and think about a fabulous young woman who love to dance, who loved to play with makeup, and who was a fiery and creative presence that I was glad to have in my life, ever so briefly.

Shiro Cosmetics, known for their “handcrafted makeup and geekery,” has collections to satisfy pretty much any kind of fandom you can imagine.  As of me writing this, their “Color of the Month” is called Frothy Family Fracas Foam – where my Bob’s Burgers fans at?!  They have Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Avengers, Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft…I could go on and on, but I think it’s better if you just head over to their site and see for yourself because they have some really great products – all of which are vegan and cruelty free.  I don’t hold myself exclusively to those two things, but I know a lot of people do so I’m probably going to start mentioning them more often – and I want to make sure you don’t give yourself any excuses to not check out this brand!  I absolutely love pretty much all of the products I have from Shiro.

Let’s get into the products themselves and look at some swatches.  I’ve been playing with the layout app through Instagram (@janessajayeofficial) and I’m really digging the kinds of swatch pictures I can make.  Let’s start with the eyeshadows.

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The first two I want to talk about are what inspired this review in the first place: two custom colors created just for the Lovely Dozen by Shiro Cosmetics.  Lovely Dozen, the titular shade, is a violet purple with a ton of gold sparkle that loses some of the more red tones when applied (which is just fine with me – I prefer blue-toned purples!).  It has a nice consistent pigmentation and a little goes a long way.  This is a great shadow for darkening the outer corner, especially for cooler toned looks.  I really love this shade, and I love the way it swatches even more than what I see in the jar.  This shadow, like all of the others, was also easy to remove: I used only one Tyra Pop It Clean wipe for the entire photo session with all of the swatches I did!

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I probably should have done a little research into who this Tarkan guy is, but I’m assuming he’s super important to Middle Eastern dance, and he does have some super dreamy eyes from what I can see.  This shadow is a blue that just about crosses over into teal, and like its companion it has a lot of gold-toned sparkle.  When you apply, it definitely has a gold sheen to it, which I think is why this appears like more of a greenish-blue than it actually is.  Either way, this is a great shadow!

Both of these shadows with their jewel tones and touches of gold are perfect for the world of belly dance with it’s flowing scarves, hip scarves covered in gold and silver “coins,” and showy costumes!  I’m not sure if they still have these available to sell, but you can always reach out to the Lovely Dozen through their Facebook Page.

I decided to go and do a quick YouTube search for Tarkan and it turns out that he is a Turkish singer and once I found this song, I knew I had to post it!

Sound familiar?  That’s because it was remade by one-hit-wonder Stella Soleil!  I’m pretty sure I’ve done this song at a drag show in the basement of the Highlander!  Remember those days?  Woof, me neither! 

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming!

The rest of the shadows I’m talking about are part of the regular collection, and they should still be available (I’ll try to check, but since I’ve been holding on to this so long, it’s possible that some of them may have gotten discontinued!).

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The first trio are Forever A Loan (Animal Crossing), Heart Piece and Farore’s Wind (Legend of Zelda).  Forever A Loan is a cute springy green that is matte; this brand definitely does a better job with their shimmer shadows, and this one applied somewhat patchy and inconsistent.  I wish I had some mixing medium – I bet with the right tools you could get a really cool liner shade for festival season, but as is I wasn’t very impressed.  It’s a pretty color in the jar, but doesn’t give nearly enough color payoff.  Heart Piece is a bit better, but unlike a lot of the shimmer shadows, this one almost looks like it’s a matte base with loose glitter in it – the components don’t really blend very well and there is a lot of glitter fallout.  It’s still a pretty shade, and I like the pairing of the bright, true red with the gold glimmer.  Farore’s Wind is the winner of this bunch, a cool minty green with white gold flash.  This one packs a good deal of pigment and I love the way it looks and spreads on the skin.  I love green shades and this little gem reminded me why.

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The theme of this trio is things that aren’t what they first appear!  Enormous Green Rage Monster and Glowstick of Destiny are from the Avengers Collection and Lingered In Twilight is from the Hobbit Collection.  EGRM looks like a matte army green, but when you apply it there is a lot of blue/purple flash and the color has a lot of intensity that just isn’t captured very well in my swatch image.  It is stunning!  I love this one.  GOD also has a similar transformation – it looks like blue with shimmer, but it applies in this absolutely breath-taking swathe of white gold, like candlelight.  I love the color I see in the jar, and I’d still love to find a color that looks like that, but this one is so pretty when you apply it that I ain’t even mad about it.  LIT has the least transformation, but the emerald green has a deeper base that shows through when applied.  It’s a nice blackened green that pairs well with this trio.  These three are all winners in my book!

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Here are three standalone lovelies – Baker’s Boy from the Hunger Games Collection, Tardis from the Dr. Who Collection, and Cake! from the Minecraft Collection.  If you’ve ever wondered how Katniss could have chosen that smarmy blonde over a hunky Hemsworth brother…well, me too.  But I guess it’s just because we’d never seen this stunning peachy gold shade named after the Baker’s Boy.  It applies beautifully and isn’t patchy at all.  There is just enough shimmer to make this a great highlight shade as well if you like more aggressive sparkle.  Tardis is a pretty good shade; the blue is a little uneven, but it has some good sparkle and it blends well, so a little finessing will get you some really good color payoff.  Cake! is my favorite of this group…and not just because a fat bitch loves cake (don’t judge me).  This whitish powder applies with a whole lot of coral/pink flash and would also be a great option for highlighting the eyes and cheeks.  The swatch doesn’t show off the pinkier tones – it really is girly and perfect.

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So I’ve never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, but I know it’s a thing and I know that nerds everyone lose their shit about every piece of news they can get about the show and the author, who apparently works at a glacial pace.  I’m going to just comment on the shades themselves, I don’t know how well they line up with the actual show or characters and I don’t really care.  Save the nerd rage for some online fan forum, kthanxbai.  Maiden Queen is a lovely mint green, like Farore’s Wind but it has a more yellow gold int he sparkle, and the base is a bit deeper.  It’s my favorite of the group, but we know how I feel about greens.  Mother of Dragons is a taupe color with a lot of great shimmer and a very subtle reddish-plum shift that doesn’t translate well in the photos.  Really pretty and unique shade.  Here I stand is sort of like those brown-green shades that most brand’s have (think MAC’s Club) but it’s got a lighter base and the green isn’t as aggressive.  Overall it’s a good shade.

Overall, they have some great loose pigment shadows, and their shimmers are pretty consistent and have great color payoff.  The one matte shade I wasn’t super impressed with, but I’d have to try a couple more to see if it’s common to all of them rather than just maybe a problem with that one shade.

I also have three cheek products: I’ll Fatone For My Sins and A Chris For Good Luck from the Battle of the Boy Bands Collection, and Curaga (it’s not listed as part of a collection and has the Shiro logo on the top, but the description references white mages – maybe something from Magic: The Gathering?  Sorry, my nerd skills are failing me here).  It says blush on the back of Curaga, but it’s now listed in the Highlighters/Bronzers section of the site, which I very much agree with as you’ll see below.

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Joey Fatone was bae circa 2000 and I would still probably do naughty naked things to him should the situation arise.  This blush applies much more sheer than it appears in the jar, but I think that’s ok – that’s an aggressive pink!  I think you could definitely use this to get some bubblegum pink into your life!  You have to work the color a little or it can appear patchy, but overall I really like it.  And it has that face….woof.

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I actually think about this blush the same way I felt about Chris in the heyday of NSYNC: I’m not entirely sure why either one exists.  This is a pretty crazy red, and I bet you could actually do some pretty cool editorial looks, but it’s an odd choice.  It seems just a little too straight up primary red to be that useful as a blush, and it’s not labeled as eye safe (though the usual culprits that lead to that designation from the FDA are approved for eye use in many other countries, so use at your own risk).  Its’ lip safe, but you’d have to be putting this over a pretty dark red to get a decent ombre effect.  It’s not bad, I’m just not sure that it’s that good.  Maybe I just haven’t found my muse yet.  We shall see.

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Blush?  Say what?  This is a damn highlighter and we all know it!  And it’s a gorgeous one, creamy and pearl with a touch of gold with al ot of shine!  I put it on thick in the swatch (I love it thick, gurl) but you can get a range of coverage with this from a subtle glow to full on signaling-planes-from-the-runway sort of illumination.  This might just be my favorite product of the whole bunch.  I know, right?!  All of those bright colors and glitter, and I choose the highlighter?!  Its’ just that pretty.

Not to end the review on a sour note, but now let’s talk about my least favorite products: the three lip glosses.

The three I picked up were Amortentia from the Harry Potter Collection, Red in the Ledger from the Avengers Collection, and one of the Nicholas Cage glosses (that I’ll talk about more below):

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Let me start by saying that these glosses aren’t bad, they just aren’t what I need in a gloss.  If you like a gloss with a thicker texture and a light to medium amount of pigmentation, then these are going to be great for you.  They just don’t have enough color payoff or glitter and shine to work with my show makeup.  Here are some swatches:

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In the upper left, from left to right, we have Amortentia, Red In The Ledger, and the Nic Cage gloss (I promise, there is a reason that I haven’t given the name yet – wait for it!).  Starting in the upper right, they go clockwise in the same order.  Although they look different in the tubes, they look pretty similar when swatched.  Amortentia has much less glitter than it appears, and the purple color actually looks much more of a deep berry.  Red In The Ledger is red, but it’s a red that borders on berry as well; I was hoping for a blood red with as much sass as the Black Widow herself.  The best of the bunch is the Nic Cage gloss, which has the most pigmentation and a fair amount of shine (it looks sort of flat in the tube).

Now, let’s talk about these Nic Cage glosses.  I don’t know how or why they exist, but they are some of the funniest fucking things I’ve ever seen.  There is a whole series of glasses where on the label, a sort of vintage-look portrait of a woman has Nic Cage’s face superimposed on it.  They all have little stories to explain where the shade name comes from, and they have the most ridiculous and entertaining names ever.  Are you ready for the name of the shade I selected?

Nic Cage Resigned to a Loveless Marriage for the Good of the Realm.

When I read that, I laughed so hard I knew that was the shade I needed.  There were some other great options…

Nic Cages Through The AgesNic Cage Posing for a Calendar with Shiny Bright Red Cars

Nic Cage Churning Butter One Crisp Thanksgiving Morn

Nic Cage Being Birthed Amidst Seafoam and Cherubim

Nic Cage Nibbling Petit Fours in a Posh Victorian Tearoom

But I knew I had to have my poor, exploited bride Nic Cage.  Here’s the description:

After slaying several fierce dragons and rescuing many distressed squires, the fair Princess knew that no more could be accomplished by might alone, and accepted the marriage proposal from the far larger and more militaristically advantaged neighboring kingdom. And there was peace, and the realm prospered.

I’m not a big Nic Cage fan, but these glosses are definitely a national treasure (see what I did there?!).  They are only $9 each, I might just break down and buy all 8 shades – they really do amuse me that much!  Trust me, I’ve spent more money on dumber things.

Shiro Cosmetics is a great indie brand that sells reasonably priced handcrafted products.  Because of the “handcrafted” part, be prepared to exercise some patience – it took me between 2 and 3 weeks to get the two orders that I placed.  But you can rest easy in knowing that you’ll get some fresh cosmetics that were lovingly created just for you when your package arrives.

Hope you enjoyed this one, Danika.  This one is for you.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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