Shadow Theatre: Swatching Hiro

What’s closer to creating your very own eye shadow, eye liner, or lipstick colour than playing with mineral pigments?  Welcome to some swatching fun.

I wrote about the Hiro founders earlier in an interview for LOCALSPOTTER, and several friends asked me for a review of the range because clearly, this mineral cosmetics brand from Berlin was news to many.

Since I’m well covered in the foundation department (right now I’m using Everyday Minerals Jojoba Foundation in ‘Olive Fair’ and RMS Un-Cover Up in ’11’ plus this incredible versatile, talc-free baked bronzer that’s ideal for fair skin), the only thing I can review right now are the amazingly intense shimmery pigments – Mineral Eye Shadows. Or, as anybody who’s used to mineral make-up knows: pigments for everything.

That’s the beauty of this thing, the mineral pigment: use it with a clear or coloured nail polish for a custom nail, create your own lip or eye shade, eye shadow or eye liner – the sky’s the limit.

The only thing I have yet to hack is How on Earth do I make this LAST?

Because there’s the problem that you get with pure pigment when using it as an eye product.


Sorry, I just channelled Shakespeare’s Sister. Ahem. What?

So, pure loose mineral pigment is made without any fillers or toxic softening agents that could give it such desired properties as great blending texture and great stay: no talc, no BO, no silcone, no waxes, no binders, nothing. So the outcome and the look/effect really vary depending on how good a particular shade will go on to your skin and how long it will stay put. It varies within a brand’s range and it definitely varies from brand to brand.

Now, when I tried creating make-up looks with Hiro, I attempted at using them as both eye shadows and eye liners (and the two reds for custom lip colour).

The Hiro colours have fancy, playful names. Let’s have a quick look:hiro-eye-shadows-swatched-dry(Please click on the images to open them in their original size so you can see the shimmer and the texture a bit better.) I have chosen summery, fresh, bold colours – different shades of violet and purple (blue-ish ‘Flingy’, bi-toned ‘Crazy Plum’, rich ‘Purple Rain’), a clear, gemstone-worthy emerald green (‘Green Pepper’), a coral red (‘La Fraise’) and a darker, less intense but more shimmery red (‘Ruby Sky’). I chose to swatch them on off-white paper to be sure to catch all the intensity of the colours. I found that all three violets/purples looked a lot washed down on my skin, probably due to my naturally yellow/olive undertone. Green rocks on the lids as much as the paper, and the reds look fantastic on the lips though ‘Ruby Sky’ provides only litte colour – it’s really more of a shimmer colour, and works great as a blush!hiro-eye-shadows-swatched-as-eye-linersMixed with water, the pigments get a more “metallic” quality. Click on the image to see the multicoloured, super-fine shimmer particles: they cater for a really fine, sophisticated look – no crazy glitter here.hiro-eye-pigments-swatched-as-lip-stainAnd here’s how ‘Ruby Sky’ and ‘La Fraise’ look like blended with pure shea butter (Cattier, I talked about it here.) ‘Ruby Sky’ surprises with the very light colour, while the innocent-looking coral pink ‘La Fraise’ gets hot and near fluorescent.hiro-shimmer-work-as-lipstick

How do I wear pure mineral pigments?

hiro-eyeliner-mascara-eyeshadowAS EYE SHADOW
blending small amounts and building up. You work differently than with standard eye shadow. It can go on smoothly or crumble and flake.
You need a technique and a darn good brush set.
da-vinci-classic-brushOther than with filler-based standard eye shadows that really apply themselves, mineral eye shadow is a pure pigment.
A really quick make-up (with some pigments, particularly with “unforgiving” bold colours).

To create a custom eyeliner, my best idea so far was mixing it with a silver eyeliner, and I use Santé Dipliner in ‘silver’ to do so.
The results are good, but it’s nothing for a quick eye make-up.
Mixing pigment with water alone looks good on paper (and on skin) but disappoints (wear, longevity) when you wear it.


hiro-and-scotchnaturals-custom-nailpolishYOU CAN USE MINERAL PIGMENT AS NAIL POLISH
In a disposable cup, mix your dry pigment to obtain the desired colour, then pour in some clear nail polish.
Or add colour to a polish that seems too bland.
Or (again, using a disposable cup), get an easy ombré look without fuss.
Pouring the pigment into the clear polish might or might not work. Don’t try this with a clear polish and pigment you love, test it with your least favourite products, and who knows? Maybe they just fall in love 🙂hiro-and-scotch-DIY-nail-polishhow-to-make-your-custom-nailpolish-with-mineral-shimmer hiro-greenpepper-purplerain-flingy

Obviously, you can play with mineral pigments adding them to mascara or applying them as a blush or mixing a great colour with some hair gel.

So, got hold of Hiro mineral eye shadows?
Knock yourself out!”

hiro-eye-shadows-reviewWords might be shadows of our feelings, but eye shadows are the vocabulary of our individual aesthetics.
Mineral pigments might be not the easiest thing to use (until you’re used to), but they offer the most unique and custom tools.

Now spill it, Adventurers: What is your fave eye shadow colour on yourself?


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

11 Responses

  1. […] Hiro is new on the market. Founded by a Berlin-based company that specialises in distribution of exclusive organic brands, the mineral makeup brand offers 15 shades of Mineral Foundation (approx. €33 per 9g jar), seven of which quality as fair. While Hiro doesn’t offer sample sizes for sale, you can request samples with your purchase. // UPDATE: read my interview with the Hiro founders on LOCALSPOTTER or check out my swatches of their Mineral Eye Shadows (with quite a heap of other fancy tricks like making your ownn…. […]

  2. Thanks for the great post!

    We agree the loose powders are more for experienced make-up users – but actually most people don’t have problems applying them as eyeshadow pure – we especially like dipping your brush in a bit of water, then putting some shimmer on it, and applying it. You can even draw lines then, like you can see on our website – click on Eyes and see the background photo.

    You need a good brush though – most brushes on the market are not too good unfortunately.

    I have good news for you as well: we’ll have super magic balms soon, >85% Organic, in 5 or 6 tints, that will work as a concealer and camouflage cream but also as primer for the shimmers. They will make the shimmers look totally different, so that they can be used as blush, or as matte eyeshadows!

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