Tutorial: Stormy Skies with Shiro Cosmetics

Hello again beauties! I’ve always wanted to do tutorials on this blog. Now that I finally have a proper camera, I didn’t see a reason to delay! I just ordered the Hobbit Collection from Shiro Cosmetics, a brand famous for it’s fun, geeky collections. I’m already a fan of the brand, so I thought I’d start things off with a tutorial using products from their (now defunct) Notebook Collection (which you can read reviews for here).

Here’s the look I created:


I used my favorite purple, Shinigamiand a gorgeous silvery grey, Heaven Nor Hell on the eyes. I played up the purple with a coordinating liner, and completed the eyes with dark, long lashes. I kept the rest of the face natural and simple, to keep the emphasis on the gorgeous purple color.

Here’s what you need:

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-Your face essentials (foundation, concealer, powder, blush, etc)
-1 shimmery purple and 1 greyish blue loose shadow
-purple eyeliner
-lengthening black mascara
-clear gloss or balm
-a short, fluffy brush (like MAC’s 213. I used ELF Professional Shadow Brush)
-a fluffy blending brush (like MACs 224. I used one from Sonia Kashuk)
-water (or mixing medium, or MAC Fix+)

Lets begin the tutorial!

1) First, apply your face essentials as usual (I used Smashbox Foundation Primer, Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation, Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer, and NYC Smooth Skin pressed powder). If you want, you can wait to do this step after you’ve applied your shadow, especially if your loose eyeshadows are prone to fallout.

2) The great thing about loose eyeshadow is you don’t need a base for them to be pigment-rich. Instead, you just use them wet. Pour a little bit of product into the shadow’s cap, or onto another smooth surface you don’t mind getting a little messy. A little goes a long way!


3) Wet your brush (have a paper towel handy to soak up excess water if you’re dipping it right into the water), and swirl the short fluffy brush into the purple pigment. Apply over the whole lid. Using a dry fluffy blending brush, blend any harsh edges.


4) Spot clean your short fluffy brush (or grab another), re-wet the brush, then swirl it into the grey shadow. Apply to the crease, and blend. You may need to reapply more purple shadow at this point, and blend them together. Dust away any fallout using a large, fluffy face brush.


5) Using purple liner (mine is Urban Decay Ransom), line your waterline. Then, connect the purple liner to the outer corner of your purple shadow, and bring the liner down the lower lash line, about halfway. You can use a short, stiff brush or liner brush to smudge the line, if you like.


6) Curl your lashes, and apply mascara. I used Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara. 


And you’re finished with the eyes! Here is a photo of the finished eye look. Apply your face essentials now if you haven’t already.


7) Apply soft, peachy-pink blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend towards the temples. I used MAC Pinch O’ Peach. Finish off the look with clear gloss or a shiny lip balm. I used my favorite balm, Maybelline Baby Lips. 


And you’re done! I love how easy this kind of look is to put together, but with the right, vivid shades, it looks very intense and dramatic. Loose eyeshadows always seem to boast great pigmentation, and when used wet, blend together and apply so seamlessly. Here’s the finished look.


Do you love loose shadows, beauties? Have you ever tried any from Shiro? Any other indie brands/loose shadows I should check out? Let me know!


MAC Eyeshadow in Star Violet Review + Swatches + Dupes

This is my own photo.

MAC Eyeshadows are easily my favorite on the market. Star Violet was the first one I picked up, but it wasn’t quite love at first swatch. I spent hours (yes) at the MAC counter looking for a bold, unique shade (not a “natural, nude makeup look” kind of girl), and finally settled on this baby after seeing it’s burgundy flash gold. Buuuuut, when I got home, I initially found it a dupe for Urban Decay’s Last Call. (They’re actually not that similar). So I didn’t use it for a while. However, like all MAC shadows I’ve tried, the quality is great and it’s actually a really lovely shade.

MAC describes this shade as a “pinky-brown plum.” This description isn’t bad. The warmth and sheen in this shadow is more golden than brown, which sounds dirtier than this shade is. Its more burgundy than plum, which brings to mind a cooler, purpler shade. Star Violet is distinctly not purple/plum/brown. I feel comfortable labeling this shade “rose gold.” Without a base, this shadow is a soft, warm rose gold. Over primer, the pinky rosiness is more pronounced, making it look true to pan. (4/5)

This is my own photo.

SV went on opaquely with and without a base, and gave me no application issues, like fallout, patchiness, or creasing. It wore very well, lasting six hours before I had any issues (at that point, I had some sparkle fallout, both when a base was used and without a base). By the 8th hour, there was some minor fading. (4/5)


Star Violet is in the veluxe pearl finish, which promises to be “vibrantly toned, velvety soft, shimmeringly metallic,” and “overlaid with high-shine pearl.” This was an apt description, and the shadow made good on all claims. This definitely has a reflective finish. The powder feels soft and smooth to the touch. There’s a little bit of powder kickup when a brush is used, but this isn’t much and doesn’t translate to powderiness on the lid. The product blends easily without sheering out. (4.5/5)


SV comes in standard MAC packaging–a metal pan in a small, circular black plastic case with a flip-top lid and clear window to see the shade inside. The brand is emblazoned across the clear window and the product name and texture is on the bottom. The packaging feels sturdy but light–nothing luxurious or shatter-proof if you were to accidentally drop it. While the size is small enough to travel with, the pan is large enough to use easily. This packaging is functional (easy to store/travel with/use) but also economical: I like that there’s no unnecessary plastic used, just enough to surround the product. (5/5)

This is my own photo.

MAC shadows are $15 USD each, and contain 0.05 oz of product ($300 per ounce). While the brand is slightly more affordable per ounce than comparatively priced brands, I realize that the cost is still out of a lot of consumers’ price range. As I often state, MAC makes good quality products, so if you love the shade, splurge. (5/5)

Wow Factor:

I was impressed by this shadow’s complexity, it’s deep pinkish base with gold duochrome. It really plays well in the light. It’s excellent quality, pigment rich, soft, applies like a dream and wears great. However, it’s not the most unique shade on the market, didn’t hit the ideal mark with wear time, and had a little bit of fallout. Great, but not perfect. (4/5)


This is a great shadow that I’d recommend. I think Star Violet has versatility: the pinkiness playing up cool, fair skin, and the rich pigment and gold warmth would work well on deeper, warmer complexions. There’s enough product to last awhile, the texture, opacity, wear time, and application are all great. (4.4) B+


MAC is available at department stores, and online at their website.

Useful Information:

-MAC does not test on animals unless “where mandated by law.”
-MAC products are not vegan (and include ingredients like beeswax, carmine, and lanolin).
-MAC is a brand that gives back! Their Back 2 MAC program offers you a free lipstick if you return six empty product containers they can reuse for environmental friendliness. There’s also the MAC AIDS Fund, which donates 100% of the sale price of their Viva Glam products to improve the lives of those struggling with HIV/AIDS worldwide.

-L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Glistening Garnet
 (slightly lighter, less gold reflection, less expensive, closest dupe.)

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (cooler, pinker, less gold, more expensive.)
Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Heart Attack (Richer, bluer, cooler, no gold/duochrome, silver/blue glitter, cruelty free, vegan, less expensive. Best used wet. The powder looks like it could be a dupe for Star Violet, but actually isn’t. Don’t be fooled!)

This is my own photo.

What do you think of this shade? My makeup stash is pretty small for a beauty junkie, and I was able to pull out 3-4 dupes. Those with larger collections probably have more. Know a dupe I missed? Love the shade? Hate it? Let me know!

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Face of the Day 03

This is my own photo.

One of the things I love about makeup is the ability to play. You can reuse several products to achieve different results, or combine an eyeliner with a different shadow color, or pair a new gloss over a long loved lipstick an achieve a wholly new effect. Today, I use some of my tried and true favorites paired with new loves and achieved a look that I ended up really liking.
This is my own photo.

Here are the products I used an the order I used them:

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Too Cool all over the lid.
-Shiro Cosmetics Loose Eyeshadow in Detective all over the lid.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Junkie on the lower lashline/waterline.
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara on top lashes only.
ELF Blush in Pink Passion on the apples and blended towards the temples.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake
-Avon Brow Pencil

I don’t usually rock liner on my lower lashline, but since the shadow has a strong glittery effect, I didn’t want the color to compete with it. So I tried it down below and loved the results! I mentioned in my review that Detective dries sheerer than it applies, and once I got Too Cool I knew instantly I’d love the way the two would look together. The results are as lovely as I expected! Here’s a pic to show you how it really glitters (sorry for the fallout!)
This is my own photo.

Isn’t it lovely? What makeup did you rock today?

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A Beginner’s Guide to Eye Products

Following up with my Beginner’s Guide to Lip Products post, is a novice’s introduction to the basic products used on the eyes. This includes primer, shadow, liner, and mascara. Any combination of eye makeup can enhance the face and create an interesting look. That’s the beauty of (eye) makeup–it can range from stunning to simple to fierce to playful. Whatever mood you’re in or person you want to be, you can create and project that image through your cosmetics, and eye makeup has a lot to do with that.

1) Primer: Eye primer is one of those products those outside of the beauty habit don’t really know of, but it’s such an important, useful step. Any shadow can be enhanced with a primer, also called a base, under it. This works by making the shadows more vibrant, decreases problems like creasing and fallout, and helps them last longer. Some provide coverage on the eyelid, others are more invisible. Some are smooth, some are tackier (which helps keep powdery shadow and loose shadows in place).

Urban Decay Primer Potion is a staple in many beauty fans’ collections for it’s ease of use and effectiveness. Another popular choice is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. While the previous two come in tubes, MAC Paint Pots come in small jars and have more color options (both in skin-tone and colorful shades). ELF also makes an affordable drugstore primer.

Image via Beautylish

2) Eyeshadow: A common, popular product among beauty junkies and girls who prefer to stick to the basics alike is eyeshadow. Eyeshadow is a pigment that can subtly or dramatically enhance the eyes. There’s a lot of versatility in the way these products are used, as well as in the formula of the products themselves. There are single shadows, duos, quads, and palettes, as well as pressed, cream, loose, and pigment formulas.
Pressed eyeshadows are powders that are pressed into a pan, making them generally light and easy to travel with. They often can be used wet or dry, and get the best application when used with a brush. There’s a shadow in this form to meet everyone’s needs: matte/frost/shimmer/glitter/satin finishes, ranging from natural to smoky to colorful, sheer to pigment-packed, in every shade of the rainbow at every price point. Be on the lookout for fading, short wear time, or fallout with this formula, though. Wet ‘n’ Wild Trios are some of the best (and affordable) pressed shadows I’ve found at the drugstore, and MAC eyeshadows can’t be beat.
Image via Drugstore

Cream shadows come in an emollient, smooth formula that feels richer (and obviously less dry and more creamy) than powder shadows. There’s still loads of color options with this formula, as well as versatility. This formula can make a great base for sheer powder shadows, and works better than wet powder shadow as an impromptu eyeliner. These shadows are typically housed in glass jars and can be applied with your fingers or a brush. While I love this formula for it’s staying power, beware lesser quality formulas, which can crease or dry out quickly. Maybelline Color Tatoos come in a bold mix of shades, with some softer, skin tones added recently. These wear really well and are quite affordable. For high end shadows, I’m dying to try more of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Creams.

Image via Drugstore

Loose eyeshadows and pigments are fine powders that boast richer, more vibrant color payoff. They’re not pressed, so they can be more prone to fallout. When worn on the eye, these function much better wet (but a too-wet brush can cause streaky, patchy application!) This formula tends to really sing, with bold color payoff and rich texture. Because of the loose form, these can be reused for other things, such as becoming a lip product when mixed with clear gloss, or nail polish when mixed with clear varnish. This formula has a lot of versatility! I fell in love with indie brand Shiro’s loose shadows, and MAC makes to die for pigments. 
Image via Shiro

3) Eyeliner: Eyeliner is another useful tool in a makeup user’s arsenal. The swipe of liner across the lash line can enhance or alter the eye shape, add definition to the lashes, and add some personality to your look (depending on the color/finish you choose). A flesh tone or white liner on the water line (bottom inner rim of the eye) can make your eyes look bigger and the whites look brighter, helping you look more awake. There are three kinds of eyeliner: pencil, liquid, and gel/cream.
Pencil liner should be soft and creamy enough to draw the line on the delicate skin of the eye without skipping or tugging, but not so smooth that it smudges or has no staying power. Because pencil liners need to be sharpened, there can be some product waste, but this can be avoided by freezing the pencil first. Pencil liners are great for everyday use as they’re easy to use and don’t require any special tools. You can get close to the lash line or make a thicker line and do detailed work. I’ve tried Wet ‘n’ Wild’s liners, but so far, I find that Urban Decay’s range of pencils can’t be beat.
Image via Sephora

Liquid eyeliner is a thin formula that’s brushed on, and housed in a small bottle. This liner has a shiny, very classic look and is great for making a winged, cat-eye shape. However, this formula is also the easiest to mess up and requires patience and a steady hand to nail down. The fine point of a liquid liner’s applicator also make them great for playing with shapes and doing detailed work to your makeup. Because I’m quite bad with liquid liner, I’ve stuck to Wet ‘n’ Wild’s range, but haven’t been disappointed with it’s affordability, ease of use, and color options.
Image via Walgreens

Cream/gel eyeliners are smooth, rich, and my favorite to use. They’re not as convenient as a pencil, since they require a brush to apply, but they’re not nearly as tricky to make shapes with as a liquid. This formula mostly comes housed in jars with screw on lids. They’re creamy and go on like a dream, but can dry out quickly (put the lid back on while you’re applying your liner to prevent this). Ulta’s gel liners are surprisingly good, and I’m eager to try Bobbi Brown’s as well.
Image via Ulta

4) Mascara: Mascara is a special product, because it does different things depending on different women’s needs. That’s probably why it’s one of those well-loved items. Mascara comes in a tube and coats the lashes by applying product with the included wand. Depending on the formula, mascara can make your lashes look more voluminous or longer, as well as tinting and curling them. It’s important to know your bare lashes well, as what works for sparse lashes could cause thick natural lashes to clump, and so on. Whatever your needs, be careful of mascaras that clump, run, or dry out. I love Maybelline mascaras, and Benefit They’re Real! is also very good.
Image via makeup-wholesale

What are your favorite products to use on your eyes?

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Best of Beauty 2013

2013 was the genesis of Peak Volume, and so there were many products in need of review this year! I’m happy to report that through all the testing, there were some truly great products. So, here’s a list of the best products PV experienced this year (all of ’em earning a score of A- or higher):


This is my own photo.
*UD shadows not pictured, because they’re in a palette!*

Urban Decay Maui Wowie (A+)
Urban Decay Haight (A+)
MAC Humid (A)
Urban Decay Smog (A)
Urban Decay Rockstar (A)
MAC Steamy (A-)
Shiro Perfect World (A-)
Shiro Divine Justice (A-)
Urban Decay Last Call (A-)


This is my own photo

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Junkie (A+, Perfect Score)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Radium (A+, Perfect Score)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (A)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Woodstock (A)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (A)
Wet ‘n’ Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner in Black (A)


This is my own photo.

Benefit They’re Real! (A+)
Maybelline Colossal Volum’Express Mascara in Classic Black (A-)
Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Black (A-)


This is my own photo.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart (A-)
MAC Ruby Woo (A-)
MAC Girl About Town (A-)

Nail Polishes:

This is my own photo.

China Glaze Be Merry, Be Bright (A)
Essie Brazilliant (A)
China Glaze This Is Tree-Mendous (A-)

Of the 79 products reviewed this year, these 24 were the best! What do you think of the line-up? Have you tried any of these products?

Shiro The Notebook Collection Collective Review

Shiro’s The Notebook Collection thrilled me when I first saw it. I’m a big fan of the anime that inspired it (Death Note), and was super excited to see how the shades would perform. I’m happy to say that most of them were impressive, if not very unique. There are ten shadows in the collection, all loose. As I’ve stated in reviews, one can purchase the whole collection at once and receive a 10% discount.

Sadly, there was not a lot of diversity in this collection. It’s more muted/neutral, with softer pops of color compared to the brand’s brighter, more pastel collections. There are two greys (Detective and More Sugar), two browns (Divine Justice and Mistrust), two burgundy-reds (Heart Attack and Task Force), a blue (Heaven Nor Hell), a gold (Perfect World), a black (Second Kira), and a purple (Shinigami). In more detail:

  • Detective: Cool, iridescent silver with silver glitter. This one was more of a layering shade and was a bit sheer. It had some issues with fading and glitter migration. This is safe to use on the lips. (3.8 C+)
  • Divine Justice: Warm, medium orange, with warm brown overlay and golden shimmer. This was probably the most unique in the collection, as I’ve never seen another shadow self-layer like this one did. This shade only slightly faded around the edges. This is safe to use on the lips. (4.5 A-)
  • Heart Attack: Frosty cranberry wine with silver and blue glitter. Urban Decay Last Call, L’Oreal Glistening Garnet, and MAC Star Ruby are considerable dupes. This wore flawlessly, without creasing, fading, or falling out. This is safe for use on the lips. (4.3 B+)
  • Heaven Nor Hell: Steely, gunmetal blue-grey. This was an interesting shade and another that wore perfectly without any problems. This is safe for use on the lips. (4.3 B+)
  • Mistrust: Warm, chocolaty brown with silver and orange sparkles. Apart from the special layering effect of Divine Justice, the two colors aren’t that different. This had application fallout but wore well. This is safe for use on the lips. (4.1 B-)
  • More Sugar: Steely, storm cloud grey. This applied and wore perfectly. This is safe for use on the lips. (4.2 B)
  • Perfect World: Soft yellow gold with slightly metallic frost. Urban Decay Maui Wowie is similar. It applied and wore perfectly. This is safe for use on the lips. (4.5 A-)
  • Second Kira: Dark, cool grey with a greenish tinge and highly reflective gold sparkles. This shade was so unique. This faded slightly around the edges. This is safe for use on the lips. (4.4 B+)
  • Shinigami: Light lavender with silver shimmer. This faded and had glitter migration, and had fallout during application. This is safe for use on the lips (4.2 B)
  • Task Force: Cool, purplish pink-burgundy. This faded around the edges. This isn’t that different from Heart Attack, except that the latter has the bluish shimmer. This is the only shadow not safe for use on the lips. (4.2 B)
I wore all of these shadows foiled (wet). Some of these had issues with application over a base. Generally they went on well, opaque and easy to blend. More often than not these wore greatly, although some did fade around the edges or on the lid. Application was generally good too. I experienced no creasing with any of the ten shades, despite their wet application. 
All of these shadows are cruelty free and vegan, made with gentle ingredients. The ingredients are readily available, listed on the brand’s site and stamped on the bottom of each shade. The mini 1g jars, which are the ones I purchased, are small, about the size of a quarter, with clear lids and sifters. The light weight of the plastic and the shadows’ small size make these tricky to store, and I imagine even worse to travel with. 
The cost of this collection was not too steep, and US shipping was only $2.50 USD. They do ship internationally for a flat rate of $7.50. It wasn’t long before I got my order (less than 2 weeks), and the customer service was out of this world amazing. 
On the whole, I liked the Notebook Collection. Second Kira ended up being my favorite, followed by Perfect World and Heart Attack. I thought Divine Justice was unique but not flattering. Heaven Nor Hell also stands out to me. Shinigami is a pretty purple, but not that different from others on the market.While  Detective  got the lowest score, it is a fantastic layering shade and I look forward to experimenting with it over different bases. Mistrust, More Sugar, and Task Force are more forgettable, but none of them are really poor quality. This collection may be better for someone who still needs to round out their stash as opposed to someone who’s makeup collection is more extensive, as one only needs so many of the same few shades. 
I’m looking forward to trying some of the brand’s brighter, more unique shades. I didn’t think the Notebook Collection was that inspired or interesting-some of the colors within the collection are dupes of each other! The sifters and lids can be unreliable and at times, problematic. But the color quality, wear time, and lack off issues (creasing/fading/fallout, etc) are excellent. I’m always happy to see cruelty free, vegan, and non-irritating cosmetics that are pretty and good quality on the market. And, I’m equally very happy to support the indie, smaller businesses. Overall, this brand is great, I’m satisfied with my purchase, and would highly recommend them to anyone.
The average score for this collection is 4.25 (B).
Shiro products are available exclusively on their website,

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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Task Force Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Last but not least in Shiro’s The Notebook Collection is the “shimmery deep burgundy,” Task Force. This is a cool-toned purplish pink-burgundy. It’s not glittery, or even shimmery-it has more of a satin texture. The shadow color looked similar whether or not a primer was used (it was a bit brighter over bare lids, but marginally).  Shiro Heart Attack is warmer and redder, and also has a blue sparkles.
This shadow went on opaquely and blended nicely (when foiled). Like with other Shiro shadows, this has a different texture when used with a base. A base brings out the shimmery/shiny/glittery texture of the shadow, whereas they settle down to a more velvety finish over bare lids. When used without a base, this had faded around the edges after a pretty impressive 6 hours. By 9 hours, it had faded around the edges when a primer was used. Otherwise, the color was uniform and solid, even if it was a bit muted. Without a primer, it was a bit uneven by this time. Regardless, I didn’t have issues with fallout or creasing.
These shadows come in three different sizes: $1 USD sample baggies, $3.50 USD 1g mini jars, and $5 USD, 2g full size jars. They also offer a permanent deal, where you can buy the whole collection at once and save 10%! My collection is in the mini size, which come in plastic with clear lids, with the shade name and ingredients stamped on the bottom. They’re pretty small, about the size of a quarter. They come with sifters. Some times the sifters pop off easily, sometimes they’re nearly glued in there. Sometimes, they shake out way too much product, other times, they need a good few shakes to get enough product to use. The lids need to be pressed down and then screwed shut-some of them pop on easily, other ones need to be clamped down pretty hard to keep the lids on there.
Task Force is one of the few shadows in this range that are not safe for use on the lips. All of their products are cruelty free and vegan, with gentle ingredients. Like most indie brands, Shiro is only available online, via their website. The shipping was not expensive ($2.50 USD, $7.50 for international shipping, orders over $35 and shipping is free). I also got my order in a reasonable time frame (it was in my mailbox within 2 weeks). Not to mention brand creator Caitlin Johnstone was super kind-she included a handwritten thank you note, candy, and 2 free sample baggies with my order.
Color: 4/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 4.2 (B)
Recommend: Task Force is a pretty color and performs well with a base. But, it’s not that unique (even within the collection)-you may have something similar already. But if you’ve been on the hunt for this type of shade and prefer gentle/animal friendly products and/or you’re on a budget, this shadow would be worth looking into.

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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Shinigami Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Next up in my ongoing reviews of Shiro’s The Notebook Collection is the “dark royal purple with silver sparkles,” Shinigami. I applied this shadow foiled (wet). This shade looked a bit different depending on whether or not a based was used. It was lighter, a touch more lavender, when used with a primer. It was darker when used over bare lids. The base allowed the silver shimmer to show up much better. When used without a primer, the texture seemed more velvety and less iridescent. Shinigami was a bit drier to apply over bare lids. However, whether or not a primer was used, it still went opaquely and was easy to blend. This didn’t have any of the difficulty with wear or dryness that people often associate with purples. There was some fallout, both with and without a base, but nothing deal-breaking.
In terms of wear, I was happy with this shadow. There was a little bit of glitter migration to the browbone after 3 hours. This wasn’t an unattractive thing though, as the glittery is not at all large or chunky. By 6 hours, this had faded around the edges when a primer was not used. At the end of the day, the shadow was less vibrant than during initial application. The interesting thing is that each way to wear it (primer vs. no primer) kept the shadow’s respect texture (frosty vs. velvet) throughout the day. There was no creasing or additional fallout throughout the day. 
Shiro’s formula of loose shadow is very nice to work with. It’s soft and not too powdery, packs bold pigment with minimal fallout, stays all day and blends well. It never creases, even when used wet over a cream base. Many of these, including Shinigami, are safe for use on the lips as well! They’re all cruelty-free and vegan, using gentle, simple ingredients.
These shadows come with three sizes, a $1 USD sample bag, a mini 1g jar for $3.50, and the full size, 2g jars are $5. I have the mini jars, which are clear, with the shade name and ingredients stamped on the bottom. With this mini size, the packaging is hit or miss. Some of them are simple, easy to pop on and screw down tightly. Others, like my Shinigami, are tougher-with this I have to clamp down the lid a bit hard, and then give it a tight twist. The lid will pop off and make a horrible mess in my stash otherwise. Also, the jars are small. I imagine the size, and the lighter plastic of the container makes these less than ideal to travel with and store (I keep mine in a plastic bag, which is not optimal). You get a good amount of product in each jar though, and for the quality you get, the price cant be beat.
One thing about Shiro, like other indie brands, is that they’re only available online. Now, I prefer to shop online, but many people don’t, and that limited availability could be inconvenient for some. However, if you do go ahead and purchase from them, their service is amazing! Shipping is $2.50 USD, or free for orders over $35. They ship internationally, for a flat rate of $7.50. They also have a permanent deal where you can purchase an entire color collection at once and receive 10% off! I got my package less than 2 weeks after placing my order, so not bad at all. But the quality and care that went into my package was amazing. I received a handwritten note from brand founder Caitlin Johnstone thanking me for my order, along with some free candies and two free sample bags of shadows from their other collections. I was definitely impressed!
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 4.5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.2 (B)
Recommend: I think the quality of this shadow is great, a lot better than what people are used to with purple shadows. It packs pigment, is versatile (you can create different textures depending on your base), lasts all day, and is very affordable.

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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Second Kira Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Continuing on with my review of The Notebook Collection by Shiro is the beautiful “charcoal with bright golden sparkles,” Second Kira. It’s a dark, cool grey with a greenish tinge and highly reflective gold sparkles. Without primer, it’s a bit more soft (although by no means sheer-it’s perfectly opaque)-a bit more daytime. Over primer, it looks sootier, and with the glitter, it would look great as a part of a glam smoky eye. 
As always, I foil these loose shadows. Both with and without primer, Second Kira goes on opaque, and blends like a dream. I did have some fallout, less with primer. The glitter is more reflective when used with a base, as it sticks to the eye better. 
After 6 hours, it looked a bit faded around the edges when a primer was not used. Otherwise, the shadow still looked amazing after a full 8 hours of wear. With primer, it was still sooty and glittery. In both instances (with and without a base), there was no extra fallout, and no fading or creasing. 
Shiro is an indie brand, so a little bit of leeway is expected with their packaging. The “medium” sized jars I purchased are small, circular, and clear, with a sifter included, and the color name and ingredients list stamped on the bottom. These can be tricky to store because if they get tumbled around (say, in a drawer), the product will sift out (no big deal if the lid is tight, but it can get the lid messy). Unfortunately, the lids on these shadows is weird-they need to be pressed firmly onto the shadow, and then screwed down, or else the lid can not close evenly (and can fall off).
But each shade comes in three sizes, $1 USD sample baggies, $3.50 USD “medium” 1g jars, and full size, $5 USD 2g jars. Since these shadows are made with pure ingredients, are cruelty free and vegan, handmade, long-wearing, and creaseless, I have to say the quality can’t be beat for the price. The only disadvantage is that these are only available online, via the brand’s website. However, shipping is quick (less than two weeks) and customer service is astoundingly great. Also, many of the collection’s shadows (including Second Kira) are also safe for use on the mouth. It’s also worth mentioning that the brand has a permanent 10% discount if you purchase this whole collection at once, no matter what size you’re buying (and the discount applies to many of the brand’s other collections as well!).
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4.75/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.4 (B+)
Recommend: Absolutely! Second Kira may have been the darkhorse of this collection. You may not expect much based off how it looks on the site or in the jar, but once it’s on, the base color and glitter is really distinct and very beautiful. It’s great quality, affordable, and something I couldn’t dupe. The shady packaging is the only thing bringing this score down.

Shiro products are available for purchase at

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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Perfect World Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Next up in Shiro’s The Notebook Collection series, is the “pure, soft, slightly metallic gold,” Perfect World. This shade is absolutely beautiful. As always, I applied this loose shadow foiled, and it went on as a gorgeous, soft yellow gold with a slightly metallic frost (both with and without a primer-a base didn’t make a difference in pigmentation). This color looks common, but it actually became one of my favorite in the collection, because it’s so pretty. Think Belle’s ball gown in Beauty and the Beast.

I was sure Perfect World was a dupe for Urban Decay Maui Wowie, but they are different enough. Maui Wowie is much, much cooler, softer, less yellow, less bright, and has silver glitter. In fact, the base color of that shade almost looks khaki in comparison. Perfect World has no glitter, but a very nice sheen, and is much more of a true gold.

This shadow applied easily: it went on opaque without a hitch and blended without a problem. I had no issues with fallout, either, both during application and after 8 hours of wear. This shade is nice and versatile: it’s opaque but neutral enough to be used as an all over wash, but it also looks stunning as an inner-corner highlight. In fact, this formula is another knockout from Shiro. After all-day wear, Perfect World didn’t budge. It showed no signs of letting up in the 8-hour testing period: no creasing or fading (maybe a hair of fading around the edges when used without a primer, if you’re being nitpicky). 
I’ve mentioned my dislike for the packaging of Shiro’s eyeshadows before. They’re small, circular, lightweight plastic with clear lids and a sifter included. The shade name and ingredients list is stamped on the bottom, which is a nice inclusion. But there’s a few issues. First, there’s some discrepencies between each individual sifter-some pop off easily, some are impossible to get off. Also, while the lids can screw on tightly, they’re a bit tricky to evenly seal. Also, they’re so small they’re a bit odd to store. One would need a lot of flat space to rest these on. In a drawer, they can tumble around, which can cause some product to sift out (not out of the jar, but out of the sifter, so when you open up the jar, there may be a ton of product already waiting for use on top of the sifter. With this, and depending on how you apply them, this obviously makes the lids quite dirty). 
Shiro’s shadows come in three sizes, $1 USD sample baggies, $3.50 USD 1g jars, and $5 USD 2g jars. I don’t know what the packaging is like with the full size, but hopefully there is some improvement. Otherwise, I definitely think the quality can’t be beat for the exceptionally affordable price. Also, Shiro has a permanent offer to receive 10% off if you buy the whole collection at once (and this is true for most of the collections, not just The Notebook). Shipping was not expensive (in the US), and it was quick: my order was in my mailbox within 2 weeks of purchasing.
Since Shiro is an indie brand, they have extremely limited availability. Their products can only be bought online at their website. However, all their products are handmade, cruelty-free, and vegan. Also, the customer service I’ve experienced with this brand is incredible. Included in my order were two free randomized samples, as well as some candy treats and a handwritten note thanking me for my order. I was truly impressed with the gratitude Shiro founder Caitlin Johnstone expressed-I’ll definitely be a repeat customer! As with many of the collection’s shadows, Perfect World is also safe for use on the lips.
Color: 4.75/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)
Recommend: Absolutely. Perfect World is a gorgeous, true gold that may be harder to find at this price point. The cost can’t be beat given the excellent quality, and Perfect World is a versatile shade: It’ll look great on different parts of the eye and across a multitude of skin tones. The ingredients are gentle and cruelty-free. What’s not to love?

Shiro products are available for purchase at

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