Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shiro Cosmetics Part I: Geekery Goodness

Warning: this will be two very long posts, because I'm reviewing both the products themselves, and my experience with the company.  I've broken it up into two posts, so that your computer can have a break between loading gazillions of photos.  Grab a cup of tea (or coffee, whatever your poison is :D) and settle down with a cookie.  Or two.  I won't tell.

Here, I will cover my experience with Shiro Cosmetics.  In the next post, I will cover the products themselves.

So.  I broke my no-buy, but it was because I decided it was being counter-productive.  Normally, if I decide I want something (I'm not much for impulse buys, so I usually do deliberate over products - look up reviews, swatches, try it out, etc), I'll just put in my order and then I'm at peace while I wait for it to arrive - it's out of my hands, you know?  I'm not usually impatient about orders arriving, so long as I know they're not lost.  This time though, since I couldn't buy anything, I constantly just thought about what colors I wanted from Shiro Cosmetics.  Well, not constantly, but seeing all of her "new colors in the works" pop up on my Facebook feed did not help.  So I caved.  I'm a bad person, I know.

But I like to think that I ordered less than I would have if I hadn't been on any sort of restriction.

A note about Indie makeup: this is my first foray into the Indie makeup world, and I don't know that it will become a routine thing - not that this experience was in any way bad - quite the opposite, in fact.  It is simply that I am pretty content buying mainstream makeup and don't go out of my way to find Indie alternatives - I buy what I like, you know?  I don't have anything against Indie companies - I think a lot of them are handled very well, actually - but I personally don't have the time to invest in doing careful research in a lot of small companies.   With that said, I will repeat: I buy what I like.  If I find something I like from an Indie company, I'll buy it.  This is, of course, assuming that they check out okay - full ingredient lists, safe practices, good customer service reviews, etc.  Shiro Cosmetics checks out perfectly, and has a lot of great reviews from a number of beauty bloggers, which is why I felt confident enough to make a purchase.  (And, based on the experience I had this time with Caitlin - Shiro Cosmetics' super cute owner - I will definitely order from her again - there are at least fifty colors that I don't have, you know, and she's coming out with a new collection very soon!)

Enough of that.  I ordered the Kawaii set (those pastels called to me!) and the 15 mini-jar set.  These are the fifteen colors I picked:
1. Majora's Mask
2. Clefairy
3. Pikachu
4. Charmander
5. Gyrados
6. Bulbasaur
7. Small Key
8. Acid
9. Triforce
10. Shaymin
11. Zora
12. Gengar
13. Link
14. Rattata
15. Lance the Dragon Trainer

I picked a lot of bright and unique colors that I'd be hard pressed to find in drugstore or high-end brands.  I've been lusting after Givenchy's Acid Lights palette, but I think this will be a nice replacement.  My order was placed on April 30, and arrived on May 4; the turn around time was listed as "1-2 business days" at the time of purchase.  April 30th was a Saturday and I ordered at night, so it only took three business days to get to me!  It arrived in a sturdy little box.
Everything was packed beautifully and snugly with brightly colored tissue paper; the invoice also had a handwritten thank you :)
Kawaii set is in the cute box; fifteen mini jars on the right - that star sticker holding the package closed = adorable.  Where can I get some?  I would stick them on everything!
Everything that came in the box - Caitlin included three samples and candy :D  The candy's gone...S. ate it.
The Kawaii set is $28.50 for five full jars (2 grams each); the 15 mini-jar set is $38.25 for ~1 g each.  And, Shiro offers free shipping for orders over $35, which is nice.  Each jar came sealed (that's what the little white tabbies are in all the jars) which is good, because some of the jar lids were slightly loose.  I did find that a few of these lids don't close very tightly, but that's more a fault with the jar manufacturer.  Since they were all sealed, there were no messes and everything stayed well-contained during transit.  Happy points for that!
The Kawaii shadow set, wrapped in pink and green.  I felt guilty that I was keeping this, and not giving it to someone as a gift. ^^;  I could not get over how cute the packaging was for everything. 
Final thoughts: I appreciate the considerate, thoughtful packaging - you can tell that a lot of care went into it.  I also appreciate that all of the ingredients for every product is listed on the product's page, and then on the product jar/sample bag itself.  There's also a note as to whether the product is lip-safe or not, which is good to know.  One thing I would like to see more of: better swatches on the Etsy store website.  Some colors have them, some don't, and while you can find great swatches at Lipsticks and Lightsabers (I think Shiro features these swatches, too, with permission from the blogger, of course) and on various other blogs, it would be nice to see swatches on the shop pages without having to go through The Google.  I had absolutely no problems with payment/delivery, and I also appreciate the samples and candy - such a thoughtful gesture!

Also, the geek theme - love.  As an avid Zelda and Pokemon fan, I think there are only a few references that I'm puzzled over, but then, I spent far too much of my childhood (and etc :p) playing video games.  I'm so happy to see a company that joins my makeup hobby and my video game addiction (or is that makeup addiction and video game hobby?).

Okay.  Hope I haven't bored you.  Grab another cookie and stay tuned for Part II.