Monday, 10 March 2014

Shiro Eyeshadow Swatches and Review

Shiro's one of the main players on the indie cosmetics scene and it's easy to see why - their creator and owner Caitlin has hit all the indie (or really general company) bull's eyes:

  • Amazing quality products
  • Inexpensive
  • Various sizing and pricing options (sample, mini, full)
  • Inexpensive shipping around the world
  • Relatively prompt turn around time
  • A relatively easy to navigate website (though I'd love the option to view her eyeshadows by colour family)
  • Wide variety of products
  • Clear swatch pictures for every product
  • Themed collections with adorable packaging
  • An active presence on social media (Colour of the Month suggestions and voting on facebook)
  • Custom products options (the lip glosses)
  • Great customer service (responds promptly to emails and is incredibly helpful)
  • Surprise complimentary eyeshadow samples with every order

Top: comparison of Shiro's sample, full and mini eyeshadow sizes; pound coin for scale
Botton: comparison of amount of eyeshadow in Shiro's mini and full size jars

I ordered:

Reading left to right: lip products, greenish eyeshadows, gold/neutral eyeshadows, purplish eyeshadows

Swatches and colour reviews of the purple eyeshadows:

Little Bird, Day of Reckoning, Equivalent Exchange, Task Force, Alkahestry, Master of Whispers, Mother of Dragons

Swatches are all done over NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base and the top half are also over Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy.

Little Bird, Day of Reckoning, Equivalent Exchange, Task Force

Little Bird is matte pastel pink toned burnt orange, it's significantly less pink and much more orange than on Shiro's website ("mauve beige/pink") and I'm really not seeing any mauve in it. It had a really nice smooth texture and excellent pigmentation, it applied just as well over regular eye primer as over a sticky base (as mattes tend to do). Personally I really dislike anything orange so this was a flop for me.

Day of Reckoning, Equivalent Exchange, Task Force

Day of Reckoning is a dark metallic almost black based burgundy, pretty much exactly as described and pictured on the website. I requested this colour as one of my complimentary samples.

Equivalent Exchange is a metallic steel grey with cool lavender undertones and almost imperceptible pink shimmer. It's much more grey and much less purple than shown on the website.

Task Force is very similar to Day of Reckoning but is brighter (no black base), more purple and less red and is the same warmth/coolness. They look very different in their baggies but when swatched are hard to tell apart, Shiro describes both as a metallic burgundy which it accurate but not helpful for distinguishing between the two. Personally I prefer Task Force to Day of Reckoning, and would re-buy it.

Alkahestry, Little Bird, Mother of Dragons

Alkahestry is a glitter bomb in the best possible way! Pale violet base is covered with bright turquoise sparkles, a bit gritty because of the glitter but exceptionally beautiful - it reminds me of faeries and spring, another favourite. Shiro's colour description and pictures were spot on, it required a sticky base to keep all the pigment and sparkles on. I'd definitely re-buy!

Master of Whispers is one of my favourite colours of all time - it has a lilac base with a cool pink and light yellow-gold shift, it's absolutely stunning and I've never seen anything like it. If you want a cooler version of Fyriannae's Rapunzel Had Extensions this would bit it (but better). Shiro's website photos doesn't do it justice - if I hadn't seen swatches of this online I wouldn't have bought it as it looks a boring sheer white pink, however the description "soft golden shimmer shining through pale lilac silk" is spot on. Perfect in every way, I'd recommend it to everyone!

Mother of Dragons was an anticipated disappointment - Shiro's website swatches make it look like the magical greyed purple with an ethereal silver blue shimmer ("silvered royal purple over a blood red base") that my dreams are made of, however all the blog swatches I saw of it online helped keep my expectations in check. In reality it's a hard colour to describe - there's a browned wine base reminiscent of half dried blood under cold metallic steel - it reminds me of a beautifully tragic battlefield scene full of blood and armour. Along with Master of Whispers it's a perfect representation of the respective Game of Thrones characters, just not the colour I would have wanted - the artwork is spectacular though and I have no regrets!

Lingered in Twilight, Farore's Wind, Maiden Queen, Steve, You Know Nothing

Onto the green eyeshadows; remember all swatches are done over NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, and also over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy in the top half of the swatches.

Lingered In Twilight - the colour shows up best in the below photo pre-tape removal, as because it's so dark in comparison to the other shadows (and my skin) has come out underexposed in all my other photos. It's a matte black base with intense metallic emerald shimmer, there may be a touch of blue in the shimmer as the green is very cool with no warm tones. Love it, but my photos don't do it justice unfortunately.

Farore's Wind isn't quite what I was expecting but is still very nice, Shiro describes it as "light blue-toned green with silvery shimmer". From that description and the photo on the website I was expecting an aqua leaning mint green but it's both less blue and less pastel than I was expecting, however does have a high silver shimmer content. I have no idea who 'Farore' is but the artwork shows some sort of faerie which I'd safely say is very appropriate for this colour.

Maiden Queen is the perfect bright mint green with equal green and blue tones, and a lot of shimmer which appears to be a mixture between aqua and gold giving an overall mint light reflection. Of all the green shadows it adhered and lasted best to the primer only section of my skin, as well as obviously doing faultlessly over Pixie Epoxy too. A truly lovely colour and I almost wish I'd gone for the full size as the character artwork was my favourite after Mother of Dragons, but to be honest this isn't a colour I can see myself wearing a lot.

Steve is a complimentary sample from Shiro that they picked out for me, this in itself impressed me as it ties so nicely into the shadows I've already ordered. It's a bright shimmery turquoise just as Shiro described it, less metallic than Farore's Wind but more so than Maiden Queen.

You Know Nothing is my third and final complimentary sample that Shiro also picked out for me, it's a matte white base with lots of aqua shimmer - I'm not seeing the "wintery grey-white" Shiro claims but there is definitely lots of "bright icy shimmer!" It's a nice twist on a pale highlighter shade and is almost like Little Bird's less exciting brother. Again, I'm impressed with Shiro's choice as it really suits the rest of the shadows and is from the Seven Kingdoms collection which is clearly my favourite.

Lingered in Twilight, Farore's Wind, Maiden Queen, Steve, You Know Nothing

And finally the gold and neutral shadows! Again, everything over NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base and the top half over Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy. I swatched No Men Like Me twice because the first time came out pretty meh, so I foiled a new swatch of it.

Climbing Chaos, I Loved A Maid, No Men Like Me, Hordor, No Men Like Me Part 2

Climbing Chaos is a lovely blackened bronze/gold, it has a high shimmer and it's sparkles at first seem colourless but upon closer inspection are almost holographic adding a wonderful but fairly subtle twist. It works fine without Pixie Epoxy but is less dark and sparkly. It's close to the photos on Shiro's website but is much less warm than described there.

Climbing Chaos rainbow sparkles, I Loved A Maid green sparkles

I Loved A Maid no where near as peachy as it appears on Shiro's website, but the description is pretty apt if you take "softened Lannister crimson" to mean burnt red-orange. It certainly has green sparkles but I'm honestly not seeing a lot of gold. It's interesting, but not what I expected nor a colour I personally like.

Hordor, No Men Like Me

No Men Like Me is both glorious and very annoying - as you can see from the first failed swatch above you can neither apply it just over eyeshadow primer or you'll end up with a flat, dull grey matte, nor can you just pat it on over Pixie Epoxy or it'll go as patchy as Elmer the Elephant.

However if you foil it over wet Pixie Epoxy (or I assume with water/sealant) it becomes an amazing almost matte gold. As gold is an inherently metallic colour a truly matte gold would just be a dull shade of yellow, No Men Like Me is not that - it's metallic without the shimmer or sparkles. It's definitely a very interesting and unique colour and is well work the extra effort. I'd love to know how Shiro got their swatches to look like they do on the website - a very pale matte ashy gold - though.

My favourite element of it though is a very, very subtle rainbow glow to it - it is neither a shimmer nor a sparkle, but a glow like like real gold would have at sunset. Or what I imagine a pregnant lady's glow would look like...

Hordor, No Men Like Me

Hordor is exactly as described: "medium near-matte taupe." It's a cooler taupe when swatched over Pixie Epoxy and a warmer taupe over primer alone, it's nice and soft and overall a lovely neutral colour. I discovered something slightly exciting about it when I was trying to capture No Men Like Me's pregnancy glow - a very light dusting of rainbow glimmer that you can see above, it's not obvious, but it's there like some naughty multicoloured secret in the otherwise sober taupe.

And finally the lip products Sad Keanu and the Custom Lipgloss aka The Saskia... You can check out tons of swatches and full reviews of them on my last blog post here!

Overall I absolutely love everything I've bought from Shiro, somethings were not exactly as I expected or quite to my taste but I can't fault the gorgeous colours, finishes and most of all astounding quality and customer service.

I would 100% recommend Shiro to anyone looking to try out indies for the first time, anyone who would appreciate the themed collections, anyone looking for something unique and a custom order, or really anyone looking to expand their collection with unusual colours - $1 samples are a great way to experiment!

Things I want for next time:

  • Custom medium opacity gloss in Master of Whispers
  • Full sized Task Force
  • Full sized Alkahastry, maybe
  • The entire full sized Seven Kingdoms collection because it's perfect in every way and I love the artwork (oh if only money was not limiting factor)
  • A bunch more colours I'm sure I'll find browsing the website

Saskia X
@aiksasarual on Instagram


  1. Oh my gosh I love that custom lip gloss! I'm going to be swatching my shiro shadows and lipsticks pretty soon and your post makes me want to make another shiro haul! I actually made my own lip gloss out of alkahestry a while ago before she started offering custom glosses and its just as amazing as you'd imagine, haha. Thanks for sharing these awesome swatches!

    1. I love Shiro's gloss formula! I plan on experimenting with more Shiro shadows + clear gloss before I jump (blind) into a full size on her website - though I'm very excited about the new custom flavour options!