Cruelty-Free / Etc. / Eyes / Face / Lips / Makeup

Chasing the American Dream, One Eyeshadow at a Time

Still No Oscar for Leo Dicaprio from Shiro Cosmetics' website

Still No Oscar for Leo Dicaprio from Shiro Cosmetics’ website

Hey, you. Yes, you. Do you have a dream? I do. So do Caitlin from Shiro Cosmetics and Dawn from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics, two successful small cosmetics business owners. Recently I got the chance to chat with these two lovely ladies and found out everything about making their small business dreams a reality.

Conceiving Dream: 

For Caitlin, an interest in cosmetics has been lifelong: “I’ve always had a fascination with makeup for its power to transform faces in so many different, awesome ways. When I realized that independent cosmetics companies were a thing, I got really excited about it and dove in as quickly as I could!” Caitlin scoured the web, finding blogger reviews on other products to find out what they liked and didn’t. 

Summer Blue Sky from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics website

Summer Blue Sky from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics website

Dawn became interested in making mineral eyeshadows when a favorite company went out of business and sold off its raw materials. She says, “I really didn’t know anything about it, but I did some research online and by reading ingredient labels on eyeshadows and just taught myself. Fortunately I was able to come up with all of my own bases and mixers, so I don’t use any type of pre-made base, it’s all formulated in-house.”

Finding Inspiration: Caitlin and Dawn both make some beautiful colors for their makeup. So where do they get their ideas from? Dawn finds her ideas in clothing and nature, explaining, “I’m a lover of both and frequently create colors specifically to go with articles of clothing or to attempt to mimic nature’s wonderful way with color.” Hear that? If you have an outfit and you just can’t find the right eyeshadow to go with it, look up Dawn. Caitlin finds her inspiration in “all the little geeky things [she] love(s).” Her first ever set was inspired by Pokemon, and yes, Game of Thrones lovers, she has a Seven Kingdoms collection on her site right now.

The Benefits of Trying Indie Brands: Both Caitlin and Dawn make a strong argument for buying indie brands. Dawn names price. Because “indies work in quality, big names work in quantity” often indie companies are able to

Nic Cage Posing for a Calender with Shiny Bright Red Cars from Shiro Cosmetics' website

Nic Cage Posing for a Calender with Shiny Bright Red Cars from Shiro Cosmetics’ website

produce cosmetics using high quality materials for a reasonable price. They can also offer more unique shades.

For Caitlin, the bonus is the great customer service: “Indie cosmetics offer a unique experience to buyers where there’s this single person who’s handling the entire manufacturing, selling, shipping, and customer service processes. This means that, as a buyer, you get the opportunity to give feedback or make suggestions or requests and actually see changes based on that. Evonne of Darling Clandestine has blended two custom scents at my request (Tilt-A-Whirl and Selas), and Cassie over at Mag-Big sews clothing to my exact measurements for no additional charge. Try getting any larger corporation to do that for you! The personality and care that goes into every product is incomparable, plus it just feels good to support small businesses with wonderful owners.”

Benefits Specific to Shiro and Dawn Eyes: 

Amaze from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics' website

Amaze from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics’ website

Says Caitlin: “My company is 100% vegan and cruelty-free! As far as products, we’re becoming quite well known for our gloss formula… Plus I do custom color matching and flavoring, which is a pretty great feature!”

Says Dawn: “Highly glittery and unique colors are our specialty, though we do offer many shades that are not glittery, and a line of matte shades as well. We also have a lovely body dust line… We do distinguish vegan shades for the convenience of our customers.”

So What Would They Buy From Their Own Line: 


Hodor from Shiro Cosmetics' website

Hodor from Shiro Cosmetics’ website

Caitlin picks lipgloss, “which is smooth and non-sticky, lightly moisturizing, and lasts longer than you’d usually expect for a gloss.” Her favorite eyeshadows are Chimera, It’s Mossy, Hodor, Lingered in Twilight, and Moon Prism Power.

Dawn can’t pick. To her, the highlight is the variety. “I’ll confess that other than a few highlighter colors, I rarely wear any shade twice, with the exception of shades made for specific clothes items!”

So What Will I Buy: My spending ban is almost over and my tax refund just came in, so I am going to put some of that money right back into the economy. From Dawn Eyes Cosmetics, I have my eyes on The Valentine’s 2014 Collection, specifically Darling, a beautiful sparkly, pale pink shade. And from Shiro Cosmetics, it’s hard to resist the color of the month, Still No Oscar for Leo Dicaprio, a beautiful rose

Darling from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics' website

Darling from Dawn Eyes Cosmetics’ website

tinted champagne.

Summing It Up: High quality products, great customer service and prices competitive with drugstore cosmetics? Sign me up!

P.S.- Shards of Illusion does a ton of great reviews for Indie products. Check her out.

Psst…Indie cosmetics companies don’t have the same advertising resources as the big guys and there are a few shiny SHARE buttons down below.


29 thoughts on “Chasing the American Dream, One Eyeshadow at a Time

  1. Indie products really are amazing! I have known Caitlin for a few years now, and she is funny, intelligent, and dedicated to what she does. Dawn has the fastest shipping ever, and I love the variety she offers. Cant wait to see your purchases and reviews!

  2. Oh goodness, I have wanted to buy things from both of these companies for a long time, but never got around to it. I think this might have just put them on my purchasing list the next time I have some expendable cash. Thanks for all the effort put into this post! I loved it.

  3. Indie products have impressed me beyond words .. You are so right about the quality factor .. I would much rather have a less advertised quality product rather than an advertised crap

  4. I just want to take the time to thank everyone that shared this post. I can see on my dashboard that this post has been shared more than those share buttons indicate and I want you to know that every share is appreciated.

  5. Pingback: FOTD: Shiro Cosmetics | Say Hello to Gorgeous

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