Saturday, 29 January 2011

Inspirational Interviews - Caitlin from Shiro Cosmetics

Hello beautiful followers! I'm so flipping excited about today's Inspirational Interview - Shiro Cosmetics have become one of the hottest names in the Indie Makeup scene over the past few months and as one of the first customers through Caitlin's virtual doors, I'm super excited to be able to bring you today's Inspirational Interview with the dinosaur lady herself. Enjoy my lovelies!

Thank you so much for agreeing to take part! Firstly, can you tell me a
little bit more about yourself please?

Oh, let's see here. I'm 20, half-Chinese, 5'5, a single mom of an
almost-2-year-old, a full-time student (math major), a nerd/geek, a black
belt in Tae Kwon Do, a pianist, a hobbyist model, an occasional
codemonkey, a business owner (ORLY?), a fairly awesome person, and a
velociraptor. I stay quite busy. :)

How long have you been making makeup and what inspired you to start?

Shiro Cosmetics opened in late April of 2010, so I haven't even been open
for a year yet! My inspiration was Ana of Lipsticks and Lightsabers and
many of her wonderfully geeky readers. I'd already developed a strong
interest in makeup, but then I read one of her blog posts about how
awesome it would be if somebody made nerd makeup, and her followers were
suggesting really fantastic names for colors, and I was like, "PICK ME,

What are the best and worst parts of running your own indie makeup company?

The best parts are meeting amazing people who share so many of my
interests, and making enough money to support myself solely through
something I created. The worst part is definitely the sleep deprivation. I
don't think it would be bad if I didn't have so much else on my plate, so
I really can't blame the business for that, but it's definitely a
contributing factor...

Your company has had fabulous success so far and has been really well
received - did you expect to take off so quickly?

I knew there would be an enthusiastic niche market for nerd-themed makeup,
but I'm shocked that the niche turned out to be so very large and so very
enthusiastic. I also certainly didn't expect to be making enough to
support myself in less than a year since opening! A huge thank-you goes
out to everyone who's made this possible, because you guys rock my life on
a daily basis. <3

If you could choose only 5 colours from your current collections to use for
the rest of your life, what would they be?

Meowth, SS Anne, Temple of Time, Veran, and Gengar.

Had you tried many other Indie Makeup Companies before you started making

your own makeup? If so, where were you a frequent customer and did anything
about them inspire you in making your own cosmetics?

I did buy a lot of makeup before I opened - it was all in the name of
science, of course! My purchases were mostly from Fyrinnae so I could
admire and attempt to emulate the complexity and pigmentation and adhesion
and whatnot. The other thing I did before I opened was to read a LOT of
reviews of other companies. I took note of what people appreciated and
what they didn't like, both from a product and a customer service
perspective, and tried to model my business after all of the good things.

What does your average working day look like?

No school: I wake up whenever my son does, which is between 4:30 and 9:30
AM (usually around 7-7:30). I get both of us ready for the day and then
play with him or drive him around town until he decides he wants a nap
(usually around 11-12ish). As soon as he's asleep, I begin frantically
filling orders. I manage to keep most of my items in stock, so filling
orders just means grabbing the correct items from their bins, occasionally
making a quick batch of new things when needed, picking out complementary
samples, bagging, writing cards, and packaging. My son wakes up around
2:00, and at this time my mom is usually available to take him until 4:00
or so. I continue order-filling during this time and am generally ready to
go to the post office as soon as my son returns. The rest of the afternoon
either consists of playing with my boy or bribing my brother to watch him
so I can restock items, work on new products, answer conversations and
emails, et cetera. Son goes to bed at 8:30 and my work continues well into
the night - I restock items (this seriously takes a LOT of time every
day), get started on the next day's orders if there are many of them, help
clean the house... Around midnight I print out the orders I've received
during the day and their packing slips, and then I get to bed around 1 AM
most nights.

With school: CHAOS.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time when you're not making makeup?

What is "Free Time" and where can I purchase some? In my very sparse spare
moments, I love playing games (video/board/card are all great) with
friends, reading, watching good movies, taking super-long hot showers...

You recently released your Mini Kawaii Collection - what other collections

can we look forward to in the near future? *coughstarwarsplease*

I'm sorry, were you subtly hinting at something there? :P My next
eyeshadow collection will be Sonic-themed at Ana's request. I'm also
planning on releasing a little something new right around Valentine's day
if I can get it done in time; we'll see how it goes.

I know you're an avid gamer - what's your favoured platform and what games
are you loving right now?

I love my Nintendo DSi because I can take it everywhere and be ready to
play in an instant (I'm one of those sorts of people who never turns it
off). I'm currently playing Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2, which is all
kinds of fun. Obviously I'm a huge Pokemon fan as well - I'll be buying
Pokemon White in the Spring! :)

Ok time for some quick fire questions:
3 Favourite Items of Make up:

Corporate: Bourjois Liner Effect mascara; Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in
Zero; Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Indie: Fyrinnae Velvet-Gel Silica Primer; SoBe Botanicals Oil Control
Powder; Hi-Fi Cosmetics Spotlight Lip Glaze in Gin and Sin

3 Favourite Foods:

Potstickers; Ben&Jerry's Mint Cookie ice cream; shrimp sauteed in butter
and white wine and garlic

3 Desert Island Items:

Water purifier; satellite GPS; fully charged cell phone with reception

3 People who've inspired you:

My first Tae Kwon Do instructor, Mr. Davis; my dad, who is one of the most
driven and hardworking people I know; Jesus

3 blogs you'd like to recommend:

Other than yours?  Lipsticks and Lightsabers; Le Gothique; Phyrra

3 words of advice:

Find some way to make a living doing what you love; don't get addicted to
anything *coughworldofwarcraftcough*; travel if you can because the world

is awesome.

Caitlin, thank you so much for your fabulous interview! I utterly adore your company and am in awe of all that you've achieved and all that you do (I can't believe you're only 20 - I think you might be my new hero!). Ladies, if you haven't checked them out already, I suggest you go visit the Shiro Etsy shop now!


  1. Awesome interview! I adore Caitlin and her lovely stuff :)

  2. Wow, I didn't realize Caitlin was only 20! Makin' me feel old and also lazy... haha. She and her cosmetics are awesome -- great interview!!

  3. Very interesting! I really want to try her new lip products. Now i feel old and useless :P

  4. Sirvinya - thank you! Me too - she's awesome!

    Phyrra - thanks lovely!

    Sarah - I know... I literally almost fell off my chair when I first read that. Glad you liked the interview!

    Lillian - me too they look awesome don't they!? I feel equally old and useless. :P

  5. :D I'm so inspired right now <3 Caitlin seriously is amazing. like she needs to be apart of my life lol!


Your comments and thoughts are really appreciated :) Thank you for taking the time to chat xx