Sunday, 9 March 2014

Shiro Intertube and Custom Lip Gloss Swatches and Review

It's pretty obvious why I ordered the Sad Keanu Intertube - and it's not to support my fellow Eurasian - it's because it's straight up purple and purple's where it's at. Seemingly strangely though I also ordered a custom lipgloss in blue or 'Pantone 286C' as I described it to Caitlin the owner of Shiro and creator of magical cosmetics.

Sad Keanu Intertube and Custom Lipgloss

Sad Keanu is what I'd call a very tinted lip balm stain (like the ones Revlon makes) and it can be worn sheer or somewhat opaque. It's a bright medium cool toned purple that strangely turns slightly pinker a few minutes after it's been applied, and has no smell or taste (despite supposedly being blackberry flavoured).

Although comfortable to wear the pigment doesn't apply perfectly smoothly and can end up to settling in lip lines and accentuating flakes, though it's easy to fix and prevent by rubbing you lips together and starting with smooth exfoliated and moisturised lips. You're not going to want to actually use this as a lip balm because you'll end up with an unevenly coloured mouth and although not drying this balm isn't actually moisturising either.

The wear time is better than expected for a satin lip product with no feathering and minimal transfer to drinking receptacles, and leaves behind a bright pink stain.

The photos below show Sad Keanu applied directly from the tube onto my bare mouth, I used my finger to define the edges better - it was very quick and easy to apply.

Overall I'd give it a B+ as it's a really lovely product that's just a bit let down by some uneven pigment issues.

Bare lips / Sheer Sad Keanu
Moderately opaque Sad Keanu / Stain left after 15 minutes wear

My Custom Lipgloss needs something of an introduction: I love purple - as anyone who reads this blog knows - but often find that purple lip products (and even blushes) tend to lean pink when applied due to the fact that they're applied over naturally pink skin. This fact coupled with my love for Lipstick Queen's Hello Sailor lipstick (a very sheer blue lipstick that when applied adds a subtle berry tint to your lips) gave me the idea to get a more tinted blue lip gloss that could either give me a brighter or darker berry lip than Hello Sailor when applied alone, or, when applied over pink and red lipsticks turn them slightly more purple.

I described this idea to Caitlin in an email specifying I wanted a "bright/royal/cornflower blue around Panetone 286C or OCC's Lip Tar in Rx" and also clarified that "I understand it may not come out exactly as I imagined (which is fine), and I'd be very happy with a blue lip gloss that doesn't look true purple on (or just looks outright blue) - but if in doubt I'd prefer to err on the side of more/brighter blue and more opaque coverage."

When I first opened my package I was somewhat disappointed - the lipgloss looked almost black in the tube and when applied was a dark navy blue rather than a bright/royal/cornflower blue. But, I tried it on anyway and... it looked like I was 12 years old again when my fountain pen had exploded in my mouth after I'd be chewing it throughout an exceptionally boring history class.

One swipe onto bare (but stained from above) lips / Blended out with my finger
Almost opaque / AFTER 4 SLICES OF PIZZA (while not even trying to eat tidily)

I mean, it's clearly dark blue even when applied sheerly right? However I'm not complaining because I clearly did specify that if in doubt to err on the side of blue! I also like it simply because it's a very unique custom product and given that it only cost me $8 I don't think I have anything to be upset about.

Colour issues aside the formula is absolutely incredible - a completely non-sticky gloss THAT LASTS THROUGH 4 SLICES OF PIZZA. Seriously, I know it's not perfect post-pizza but that's infinitely better than every gloss I've ever tried and almost all drugstore/high street lipsticks, especially since I'd just slapped it on for those photos and was too lazy/hungry to take it off before I ate lunch. I can't discern a scent even though Shiro states that it should smell lightly of chocolate, and it obviously stains your lips very blue.

Anyway, since I doubt I'll be wearing the gloss alone (unless it's for a costume) I decided to try it over Mac's Flat Out Fabulous - a 'Retro Matte' lipstick that's supposed to be a "bright plum" but is really just a very cool bright pink, or a fuchsia/magenta.

Mac Flat Out Fabulous + My custom lipgloss =
THE PRETTIEST PURPLE / I love it; look how white my teeth look!

SWEET BALLS OF FIRE look at it!!!! It's... perfect. Bear in mind these swatches were done hurriedly with the lipstick straight out of the bullet and the lipgloss patted on with my finger - you could get much crisper lines and a more even colour mix if you take the time to use a brush!

Mac Retro Matte formulas are exceptionally matte, which I personally love but a lot of people find them too drying to wear. When my custom gloss was applied over Flat Out Fabulous they fused beautifully together creating a creamy, completely opaque, satin finish and non-sticky lipstick-gloss hybrid.

I've previously tried 'mixing' lipsticks but always find them to be a bit meh... maybe it's because the formula's don't fuse together well or because applying one lipstick over another on your mouth isn't a particularly precise way to do it. Moreover although Lip Tars mix incredibly well with each other they don't play particularly well with other lip products - hence why I'm not singing Rx's praises at transforming any regular pink/red lipstick into a purple.

Anyway, I've been wearing this combo now for about 6 hours with no touch ups, and with no feathering, bleeding, transferring or fading despite having drunk multiple cups of tea and inhaled half a dozen biscuits. It's dried down a bit but is still very comfortable, and most importantly still just looks so incredibly beautiful.

With flash, I wish I'd taken more time to apply this neatly

This combo is almost a perfect colour match with Mac's Heroine lipstick (which I swatched here) and could probably be made into a perfect colour dupe using the correct ratios, moreover it has a far superior formula in coverage and wear, I really could not praise it enough!

If you love my custom gloss you simply select 'opaque' out of the coverage options on Shiro's custom lipgloss page and write 'Pantone 286C dupe' in the description box, or, as I have so narcissistically named it: The Saskia. Though you'll probably also want to write a quick note linking this post in the 'extra info' section at the checkout since I'm not sure Caitlin'll be able to remember my humble order over a month after I made it!

Overall 'The Saskia' Custom Lipgloss is an A+ - the formula's perfect, it applies well over bare lips even if the colour's a bit odd (and not what I originally expected), but most importantly it will (hopefully) turn any boring pink or red lipstick into gorgeous shade of purple and improve its formula overall!

I can't wait to try it out on more of my lipsticks!

If you do end up buying The Saskia (or just Saskia? Saskia's lip gloss? I don't know) please shoot me a message because I'd love to hear how you find it!

Saskia, The


  1. That color is just perfection! I love your blog

  2. I immediately thought Heroine when I first saw it over the pink. I love the way it transforms that color. I am super into the idea of creating a custom color!

  3. Omg Sad Keanu :D The colour is awesome, and also the pigmentation seems so good :D I was thinking about getting the Zoidberg one, but now I don't know :/ :D