Friday, January 30, 2015

Shiro Cosmetics CoTMs and Lip Gloss - Swatches and Review

I'm so ashamed of how long this review actually took me to post.  I made a Black Friday order from Shiro and got my package less than two weeks later, so it's been awhile.  They were having a small sale, which made me want to pick up their CotMs at the moment.  I also decided to give a shot at ordering a custom lip gloss dupe for the famous Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in 'Dragon'.  It looks extremely different in different swatches, but the general consensus is a bright, holiday red with gold microshimmer.  I'll describe my experience further below.

Pictures taken in daylight and swatched over ELF Glitter Primer (top half) and ELF Essential Primer (bottom half)

Something Sweet as Pain
Something Sweet as Pain:  light blurple with blue sheen.  This was my free sample and I was glad to see it was a color I didn't have yet.

Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis:  beautiful eggplant base with teal sheen and purple sparkles.  This was the CotM for December and was released a few days after I made my order.  As soon as I saw the swatches, I knew I needed it.  I emailed Caitlin and asked if she can add it onto my order and she agreed immediately and sent me and invoice for the shadow with the Black Friday discount!  The teal sheen and purple sparkles are even more apparent in person and looks absolutely beautiful over a sticky base.  I wore this to work one day and it lasted throughout 6-7 hours without fading.  I definitely recommend picking this beauty up.

Sweater Weather
Sweater Weather:  purple brown base with strong gold sheen.  This was an older CotM, but it's a pretty known secret that older CotMs are still available for purchase until Shiro actually officially discontinues them.  I've heard this compared with an even older CotM, Yzma's Essence of Llama, which is a plum base with a copper sheen.  They're very different and I like them both for different reasons.  Sweater Weather makes a very pretty neutral look with a twist.

Cool Dragon
Cool Dragon:  opaque metallic copper red with copper sparkles.  This was the gloss that the Shiro team finalized from my description and swatches.  Because it's been requested before and several users posted their Dragon dupe results on IMAM, I kind of knew what to expect and what to ask for.  People who have gotten Dragon dupes said the gold shimmer isn't noticeable at all and the gloss always ended up a bit more orange/warmer than they wanted.  In my descriptions, I asked for the cooler end of the spectrum (I provided many swatch pictures) and to make the shimmers more apparent on the lips.  I also requested peppermint scent because the unscented gloss smells like burning plastic to me.

Anyway, when I received the gloss in the mail, I realized that there was so much gold shimmer added that it turned the whole gloss into a coppery color.  The finish was more metallic and not at all what I wanted.  Granted, it was still pretty, but definitely not red.  It doesn't look so frosty in my swatches, but trust me when I say the frostiness shows up so much more in real life.  The scent also ended up smelling a bit odd to me and I realized it was because they put in spearmint instead of peppermind.  I was pretty bummed with my gloss because I had spent a good amount on it (around $11) and I ended up with a color very similar to something that was already in my stash.  I'd never ordered a custom gloss from Shiro before and I was hoping there would be some progress pictures sent before the final result was confirmed and shipped out.  Shiro's a really big company, so I wasn't surprised when they didn't do progress pics; honestly, if there were an option to pay a bit more for progress pics, I would have.

The people on IMAM encouraged me to reach out to Caitlin, even if she couldn't do anything about gloss, maybe she can offer up progress pictures in the future to avoid this again.  She emailed me back very promptly apologizing for my disappointment.  She offered a refund or a remake of the gloss; I chose remake because I ultimately really wanted it.  She said she would definitely send progress pictures and we ended up texting back and forth.  She was extremely attentive the second time around and sent me a lot of pictures with detailed information on each.  She also let me choose a different scent; I chose sangria, which wasn't offered on the shop but I fell in love with that scent from the Halloween glosses and she said she can do it for me.  After the final result was confirmed, she sent out the product.

Dragon:  semi sheer red with faint gold shimmers, sangria scented.  This was the final result of the remake gloss.  It's considerably sheerer than the first try and Caitlin had said this was the most opaque she can make it without changing the consistency.  The gold shimmers don't show up much anymore, but I'm definitely fine with that (less is more in this case).  Obviously, I wish the gloss would be more opaque, but overall I'm pretty happy with the final result.  It's a red that I really like and I absolutely love the scent.  

Daylight:  Something Sweet as Pain, Aurora Borealis, Sweater Weather, Cool Dragon, Dragon
Overall, my experience with this was pretty great!  I was disappointed at first, but Caitlin's fantastic customer service totally turned it around.  She was so attentive and patient with me as I was working with her on the remake.  She's always been known for her amazing customer service, but I never experienced it first-hand because I never had a big problem to contact her with.  I hope the Shiro team considers sending out progress pics, or at least a pic of the final result before sending it out to any future custom gloss buyers because it really does help a lot.  Custom colors are extremely personal and sometimes it can't be expressed through color descriptions and swatches.  I appreciate the all the effort Caitlin put forth to rectify my situation and will definitely consider making another custom gloss.

- Jolie ♥


  1. Have you tried layering them? Cool Dragon might be dark enough to give Dragon that opaqueness you're looking for

    1. I actually thought about doing that! I haven't done it yet because I have so many other lip products to test and swatch, but the second I'm done with those, I'll be layering these. I just hope Cool Dragon's brownish tones won't show through as much because I really love the redness of Dragon.

  2. The second gloss is absolutely gorgeous on you.