I am basically blind. Bats, mole rats, and even those eyeless cave fish take turns humiliating me in public. This causes Issues in the department of eye makeup, namely that applying it blind should probably be an Olympic sport, and I deserve a medal. This is intense shit right here. Imagine: You are alone. You're sitting at your desk thinking, "I need to leave the house sometime this month." Today they are having a sale on crunch wrap supremes at Taco Bell and you've been thinking all week that you've been itching for a good medicinal colon-cleansing, so you reach for your mascara, liner, shadows, and brushes.
BUT WAIT. WHERE IS YOUR MIRROR? It's gone. Someone took your mirror. Someone broke into your house and took your mirror because they are a dick. You still have to put your makeup on, but now you are armed only with a vague idea of what an eye might look like in a biological sense and a shake to your hand reminiscent of heroin withdrawal. This is a horrifying scenario, right? This is a "go to K-Mart in your pajamas and no makeup to buy a new mirror" scenario, right?
This is my life, every day. I put on mascara, eyeshadow, and eyeliner purely by feel. As you can imagine, this means I don't really get to do any of those neat, complex multi-color looks, because the fact that I can make it look like a healthy, functional person did my makeup instead of a stroke victim is already nothing short of a miracle. Complicating it only leads to ruin.
That massive wall of text said: I still love eyeshadow! In the spirit of making up for deficiencies, I'm always on the lookout for intense, complicated colors that do all the heavy lifting for me. Recently, I found Shiro Cosmetics, a tiny indie cosmetics boutique that a.) caters to women (and dudes who wear makeup!) who love geek culture, like me, and b.) has some STUNNING EYESHADOWS. I've been slowly collecting samples over the last few months (bless the owner, if someone kept buying nothing but samples from me I would just send them dog shit in a box), and I'm basically completely enamored. Someday very soon I will do bigger swatch-posts of the samples I have, but since sunlight has been fleeting lately, I'm going to showcase the one I wore today in celebration of going out in public in something other than my jimjams.
(ingredients: mica, carnauba wax, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, tin oxide. lip-safe.)
As you can tell, it looks nearly black in the bag, but once it goes on, it turns into this incredible, rich gold-brown just packed with subtle, classy shimmer. Note: I didn't use primer for any of these shots, so I imagine that it would have been closer to the bag color if I had, but when it looks like this all on its own, you'd be hard pressed to get me to try it out.
Like every loose powder shadow I've ever tried, this takes some wrangling; even after tapping my brush thoroughly, some of the powder still drifted under my eye as I was applying it. You can also tell where it got all over my lashes. Other than the general, universal-to-loose-powders messiness, it's incredibly pigmented, goes on like the sweetest, most beautiful caramel-coated dream you have ever had, and blends out wonderfully.
In this picture, you can see how in addition to the shimmer, it also has soft, subtle sparks of color. This is impossible to see normally, but once the sun hits it just right, those colors all come out and the effect is amazing.
The biggest downside is that--like most loose shadows I've tried as well--this will noticeably wear down after about 6 or so hours, so if you're looking to wear it any longer than that, you need a primer. Other than that, I have zero complaints. This is one of my very favorite shadows.
As far as my experiences with Shiro Cosmetics go: shipping takes a bit (both of my orders took around 2 weeks to get to me), but the owner is very attentive and willing to go out of her way to accommodate you. Each order really does come with candy, which is inserted directly into my mouth, and also free samples, which are not inserted directly into my mouth. My first order was 10 samples and I got 2 extra; my second order was many, many more than that (I think in the ballpark of 25?) and I still got 2 extra, so I think 2 is the standard no matter what you get. I am still surprised she did not send me packaged dog shit for ordering 35 samples from her. Could you imagine?
Prices are also super reasonable! Each sample is $1 and enough to last about 20-40 applications, depending on how heavy your hand is. Standard sizes are 1 and 2 gram jars, which are $3.50 and $5 respectively. (I haven't ordered a jar yet, but from my understanding, she crams insane amounts of shadow into them, so you get what you pay for and more.) In addition to shadows, she sells blush, finishing powder, lip products, and perfume oils--I haven't tried any of them yet, but when I do, I'll let you know.