Thursday Guest Post: Shiro Cosmetics gloss swatches + flavour reviews

Hello all!
I’m dictura/Jasmine and I’m most pleased to be your guest blogger for today. About me: I’m a recovering academic and chronic geek with an indie makeup obsession. I am also a stereotypical Canadian. I blog at Shimmer is Coming, or something. And I’m pretty starstruck to be in the company I’m in right now, so. Let’s get on with it before I start apologizing!

Today is a day for new Shiro gloss swatches and first impressions, some of my thoughts on many (though not all) of Shiro’s flavour options, and a quick comparison.

Plausible Walrus custom gloss (moderate, cherry pie flavoured)

I am once again and for always a jerk for posting swatches of things that can no longer be purchased. Plausible Walrus was a colour of the month that did not make the high scores. It does, however, make a kickin’ lip gloss so maybe Shiro will come up with something like it in future. (You can see a swatch of the eyeshadow right here on this blog, if you like taunting yourself.)

Shiro described the eyeshadow as “a right poppy-pink with a violet shift.”

The gloss comes off to me as a warm, bright pink, slightly coral-tinged (is that poppy-pink? I thought poppies were red? has Remembrance Day been lying to me all along?), with a strong violet shift. No picture I have taken has accurately portrayed the strength of this shift. It’s surprisingly wearable, though, and even more so if sheered out a bit, as the violet is more evident when the gloss is more heavily applied. …and this is all useless information unless they bring this colour back. I am so sorry.

But. Onwards–to the things you can buy!

Cognitive Recalibration custom gloss (moderate, cinnamon flavoured)

My first thought when I saw the Hawkeye-inspired eyeshadow in the The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes collection was: “I want that on my lips.” This is because I am the world’s biggest sucker for lip products with blue shifts. I’d been planning to order another blue-shifting shadow, Heart Attack, as a gloss for ages, but found that others’ swatches showed very little duochrome in the finished product. Sadness.

Shiro describes Cognitive Recalibration as “medium burgundy with a strong blue shift.”

I’d say the gloss almost fits the bill–the blue shift in this one isn’t nearly as strong as the violet in Plausible Walrus, and these are both moderate opacity glosses, so I feel it’s fair to compare. I found the website swatch of the shadow quite purple, so I expected that initially, but the base colour here is clearly burgundy, or in my layman’s terms, a purpled-red. This is surprisingly wearable and not too bad to work with for a darker colour.

Red in My Ledger (black walnut flavoured)

When Shiro announced the Avengers collection, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I would buy whatever Black Widow (and Captain America) things they came up with. I have an investment in loving this gloss, and you should know that.

Shiro describes Red in My Ledger as “blackened mulberry, a slightly darker take on our old Team Buffy color.” (Another sidenote: this was even more reason for me to want to love this gloss, because I adore the colour of Team Buffy, but the old Intertube formula didn’t work so well for me.)

However, I had some issues with this gloss that are maybe evident.

Blackened mulberry is pretty accurate, I think. It’s a little less purple than I would imagine, but in tube it does have a very smoky purpled base that reminds me of MAC’s Smoked Purple/Cyber so maybe it just pulls redder on me. I think it comes out looking a lot like Team Buffy, but that’s a comparison for another day.

As you might be able to see, though, I had an interesting time applying this gloss. Though it’s a dark colour, it’s a pretty thin consistency and that made it somewhat difficult to apply evenly, because it slid around more than my other glosses. (This is very feather-y on me. You may already be able to see the ring it’s forming at the edges here.) It also gave me a hard time about adhering to the inner parts of my lips, which you may be able to see–I ended up with a lot of gloss on my teeth, which is a problem I have never had with Shiro glosses before and one of the reasons I usually love them. I intended on building up a slightly vampier look with this, but ended up sheering it out a lot to try to get even coverage.

So, all of that said–this is a great colour, and this is the first time I’m ever had an issue like this with a Shiro gloss, even though it happens to me with like 90% of other glosses in the world. (I own thirteen Shiro glosses at this point–yes, that’s maybe a problem–so I have a lot to compare to!) So I’m going to try to troubleshoot this gloss. I imagine that if I give it some clear lipliner to cling to or layer it with a lipstick, I can probably get it working a little better. (I put up with plenty of crap just to wear Rimmel’s Apocalyptic, so I’m sure I can get myself to put a little extra effort with a Black Widow item.)

But you should know if you buy this that it is apt to be much fiddlier to apply than Shiro’s other products! That may be totally fine for those of you who always whip out your lip brush.  I am, however, not a makeup artist nor even a daily-makeup-fabulous kind of lady (mornings suck, okay) so it was a bit sad for me, given my usual experience. P.S. Here’s a comparison of  the popular custom gloss Women’s Weapons (top) in opaque to Red in My Ledger (bottom):

Women's Weapons vs. Cognitive Recalibration

Women’s Weapons vs. Cognitive Recalibration

I swiped Red in My Ledger twice to show more of a sense of its colour, but WW once because it’s thick, opaque stuff. As you can see, Women’s Weapons is more red-brown with shimmer where RiML has more of a purple base, is blackened, no shimmer, much sheerer.

And now for:

Flavour Reviews

I’ve noticed lately on Reddit that folks have been asking about the Shiro lip gloss flavourings because the custom glosses can have a bit of a metallic smell/taste to them. I find that doesn’t bother me, but if it’s an issue for you, here’s a quick review of many of the gloss flavourings Shiro has available for customs, as well as a couple they have exclusively in their regular-line glosses. (I think the only ones I haven’t tried are the grape in one of the Nic Cage glosses–my partner is allergic to artificial grape flavouring, weirdly enough–and the mints.)

Black Walnut (exclusive to Red in My Ledger)

This is one of the stronger flavours, I find (or scents, rather, since I don’t find most of the glosses actually taste like anything). However, I don’t find it bothersome despite the fact that I am pretty ambivalent about walnuts. The smell is nutty and sweet; less artificial than some of the scents. Probably fine if you don’t mind nuts and great if you’re a walnut fan.

Cherry Pie

The pie smell is nice. Whatever is cherry-like comes off a little too artificial with a hint of cough syrup. But the pie pastry scent overwhelms it for me, then it all fades pretty quickly. Generally inoffensive overall, but not my favourite. Lots of people do really like this one, though, so it’s a safer bet!


Somewhat artificial-smelling cheap champagne. One of the stronger scents, I find. Kind of strange for a lip gloss! I enjoy cheap champagne, though, so I’m okay with it. Your mileage may vary.


Eep. Well. I made the mistake of applying my cinnamon gloss after exfoliating my lips a bit and sweet merciful Zeus did it sting. This flavour of this seems to be somewhat of a flavour (not just a scent) and more natural–essential oil maybe? I wouldn’t recommend it if your skin is sensitive and do not make my mistake, but otherwise if you like cinnamon (and normally I do) it’s quite nice. I suspect it’s the same cinnamon they used in Three Wolf Moon.

Cranberry (exclusive to Red Wedding)

I find this has a nice, vaguely fruity scent that doesn’t really seem cranberry to me. Which is a huge relief, as I hate cranberry-flavoured things but I like the smell of this gloss. It’s not the fastest to fade but it does go away. I really don’t imagine this being offensive to anyone unless you hate fruit.


A lot of people hate this scent. I actually love it. It’s strong, it definitely has an artificialness to it, but it’s sweet and honey-like. One of the stronger scents, takes longer to fade.

Pink Frosting

My favourite. Buttercreamy with a hint of artificial strawberry flavour? Anyway it’s moderate in strength and smells like a delicious cupcake. Maybe a bad plan if you are avoiding cupcakes.

I hope some of the information here is helpful for folks (except re: Plausible Walrus, sorry) and it’s been an honour to be here! Back to your regularly scheduled programming. :)

About me

indie makeup blogger / geek / recovering academic / stereotypical Canadian / owner of cat