Review: Sigil Inspired (by Tammy Tanuka)

Posted on Friday, at • • 74 views


  • Company name: Sigil Inspired
  • Presence: online storefront on Etsy, and Russian-language website
  • Products: eyeshadows
  • High points: some interesting colors (not just the multichromes, either), very durable and decorative packaging
  • Low points: no ingredients list, some colors very similar to unblended mica, photography is not straightforwardly representative of the product(s), multichrome shadows are extremely expensive
  • Would I buy from them again: with caution and caveats
Review: Sigil Inspired (by Tammy Tanuka)

I haven’t done one of these in a while because I haven’t tried new companies in a while. When these first caught my eye, I researched them online and found people saying that they suspected the eyeshadows of being unblended micas, and that they were distinctly uneasy at not seeing a comprehensive ingredient list, especially for the multichromes. I’ve purchased MANY micas and oxides from TKB Trading and wear them regularly, so while I could spot some (mostly the single-color shades) that might be unblended micas, there were others (mostly the duotones) that looked to have some blending involved. And so, I decided to try some of them out.

When I made my choices, I avoided the multichromes (the Chromatic collection) both because of the lack of ingredients list and because of the price. Most of the non-“Chromatic” eyeshadows are about the same price as many Aromaleigh shadows for a very similar amount. I also avoided the simpler colors like Hydra or Phantom, that were most likely to be the simplest formulas. Many of the single-color mattes were fairly good candidates for being unblended oxides, so with one single exception I steered clear of those, as well. That still left me quite a few colors to sample.

The Store / The Site

Since I don’t read Russian and wanted to use my Etsy account, I stuck to shopping on the Etsy site. The photography is very good, visually appealing, and highly detailed. It also appears to make use of different-colored lights to add or heighten duotone or duochrome effects on some of the shadows. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that jewelers use similar photography techniques to enhance their product photos. If you’re looking to buy colors from Sigil Inspired, look through all four or five “montages” on each product page, but also check the internet for several swatches, to see what the colors look like when not in a “professional” setting. While the photography is gorgeous, it isn’t always representative of how the colors may actually appear.

The language in the product descriptions shows a few hints of a non-native English speaker writing the text. There aren’t enough errors to cause difficulties learning how much product you receive, there are just some word choices or sentence constructions that sound a little less than polished. I don’t know if the lack of an ingredient list is partially due to translation problems, or some other reason; but not being able to see a complete list of ingredients beyond the occasional “mica” is a little offputting. It’s also mildly concerning not to see any ingredients for the multichrome colors.

The Shopping Experience

Since this is an Etsy shop, the experience is much the same as other Etsy stores. The colors are grouped into “collections” so that it’s possible to see some related colors all grouped together. There isn’t a way to buy an entire “collection”, which is okay since each “collection” contains over a dozen colors - and I’ve looked through all of the collections, and there isn’t one of them where I want every single color, or even half.

Shipping and Packaging

Once an order is placed, packages can take 5-10 business days to be sent out. Since the packages all come from Russia, nothing gets to the US particularly fast. On the upside, every package gets a tracking number, and I’ve placed several smaller orders and none of them have been lost or damaged in transit.

The packaging has obviously had thought put into it. Inside the envelope, the items are wrapped in plain paper and tied with colored twine. A decorative fabric swatch is often included for visual appeal. The jars are all in individual boxes with either metallic gold or metallic silver “scrollwork” artwork on the top and four sides. The product name is on the side of the box - it’s in the Cyrillic alphabet, but if you have a translation app on your phone, you can use that to translate the names. (When I started writing this review, I initially included “text on packaging in Russian” as a low point. Then I thought: well, people in non-English speaking countries have to deal with something similar when they buy US-based indies, so that’s not really a “low” point. It’s just…a point.)

The Products

Bearing in mind the other reviewers and indie-thusiasts who have observed that some of Sigil Inspired’s eyeshadows strongly resemble unblended micas that they have, I steered clear of colors that I suspected might be unblended micas. I got Chimera, Red-Headed Teacher, Sweet Tooth, and Dreaming of a World Split for my first order. The jars feel like they’re made out of some kind of rubberized plastic, so they won’t easily slip out of your fingers. The jars also are pretty durable - I threw an empty one to the pavement in front of my house, and while there were some scrapes in the sides (concrete will do that), the jar had no cracks. The lids have a raised design of the Sigil Inspired logo. The jars also have sifters in them, which can be removed easily enough if you repot your loose-powder shadows for any reason. There’s a sticker on the bottom of the jar with the color name - again, in Russian/using the Cyrillic alphabet.

The shadows apply well enough dry over primer or mixed with water. They tend to not want to stay put as well when applied dry over primer, which may point to a lack of any ingredients to help with adhesion. When mixed with water, they apply smoothly enough. I found that unless I spritzed the shadows with a sealer, though, they tended to flake away as the day went on. The colors did show the duo- or multichrome effects that I saw in the shop photography…for the most part. Dreaming of a World Split was described as a “purple/orange” eyeshadow, and the photographs showed a slight orange or coral-ish sheen at certain angles, but I didn’t really see that.

Summary

There are a few other colors that I’d like to get from Sigil Inspired, but many more that I’m just as happy not to try. If you’re newer to indies and want to avoid getting something that you could get from a wholesaler like TKB Trading for a lot less money, do plenty of research before placing an order. Look at many other swatches of the colors you’re thinking of getting, to see some other examples of how those colors may actually appear.

While there are lots of people online posting photos of themselves wearing the highly-multichrome shadows, I personally don’t feel comfortable buying them (let alone recommending them) without seeing an ingredient list and without some kind of discount. They’re more expensive even than Dawn Eyes Cosmetics, who I now think are at the more expensive end of the indie-eyeshadow range.

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