Note – I no longer support Shiro Cosmetics. Not every product or every company is right for every person. You may not be bothered by the same things that bother me, such as bullying or harassment. These are my opinions. Please draw your own conclusions.

This month’s Independent Spotlight is with the charming Caitlin of Shiro Cosmetics.

How long have you loved Makeup?
About 2 years, give or take? That’s about how long it’s been since my skin stopped being terrible. When it was bad, makeup was nothing more than a mask for me. Now that I have a clean canvas to work with, I can have fun with the entire process. :)

I know that Ana of Lipsticks and Lightsabers was your inspiration for creating your own brand. How long did it take you to decide to start your own business?
After I found Ana’s blog, it probably took me no more than one week to be like, “I AM SO TOTALLY DOING THIS.” Actually planning and ordering and designing took much longer, of course!

How many hours a day do you work? Days a week? How do you balance work with school and motherhood?
Oh gosh. Well, are you talking business-related, or just “work” in general? I probably devote between 6-8 hours a day, 7 days a week, to business-related things. With my son and my schoolwork and business combined, I work for… around 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every other Sunday night I take about 4 hours off to spend with my friends, but that’s dependent on whether or not I can get everything for Monday done.

I pull off this balancing act with a lot of support from my family and not a lot of sleep. ^_^;

What are your favorite colors to wear?
Clothes-wise, I love wearing red – I really like the contrast with my dark hair and eyes and pale skin. Makeup-wise, neutrals and jewel-toned purples are by far my favorites.

What are your top 10 favorite colors you’ve created?
Oooh, this is a tough one. Um… Veran, Meowth, SS Anne, Gengar, Temple of Time, Deku, Epona, Midna, Steelix, Majora’s Mask. Not in that order. ;)

What are your favorite lip colors?
I tend to like natural tones for lips, particularly on myself – I always grab colorless balm, or else a very sheer red/pink/berry color. I can’t resist buying new lip things, though, so I have a fairly large collection of lip colors which I’m not brave enough to wear. XD

Do you have a favorite beauty trend?
Clean, super-pale skin, with neutral but well-defined eyes and red lips – classic and, IMO, completely gorgeous when done well.

Do you have a trademark look or trademark colors?
My “trademark” look is probably… um, normal/lazy. On a regular basis I’ll just wear fitted jeans with printed t-shirts or sweatshirts, or sweaters in solid colors, and no accessories. Sometimes I’ll go a little rocker-chic if I get up early enough to bother with eye makeup. I am very much the antithesis of fashion inspiration. XD

Do you have a favorite seasonal trend?
Nothing’s really coming to mind, sorry! ^_^; I like the jewel/earth tones frequently associated with autumn, but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re asking.

Where do you look for inspiration when you’re in the mood to create something new?
Geekery, naturally. :D I haven’t had to really search for inspiration since I opened, since there’s so much geekery just begging to be tapped. Really, my problem is narrowing down the enormous number of options I have!

How many collections do you already have planned out?
Two new collections are “officially” planned, as in, I have all the names and color descriptions already decided. There are three other collections that will definitely happen, but I haven’t gone through and planned them out yet.

I know you take custom requests. What are your favorite custom requests that you’ve created?
I haven’t had very many custom requests, actually – only three. Ralts, Milotic, and Espeon. Of those, I believe I like Espeon best. :)

Have you ever dyed your hair crazy colors?
Maybe not “crazy,” but I have dyed my hair. Its natural color is a very dark brown (most people would call it black) and it has a lot of copper tone to it, particularly in sunlight. I’ve dyed it a super-dark red-based purple, which faded to auburn; a coppery red with a blonde streak; and true black. Right now, it’s just my natural color.

I’ve done more exciting things with the length of my hair – I’ve had it everywhere from a pixie-cut to butt-length. It comes just to my shoulders right now, which I plan on keeping for a while.

What’s your skincare routine?
I wash it twice a day with Clean’n’Clear Blackhead Removal Scrub, and follow-up with one of my holy grails: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. It’s this completely amazing moisturizer that’s lightweight enough for the face and heavy-duty enough for the feet. A+ stuff IMO.

What are your favorite authors or books to read, when you’re not busy studying?
I absolutely loved the Song of Ice and Fire, and I’m waiting anxiously for A Dance with Dragons to come out – I’m gonna be so angry if Martin dies before he finishes the series. x_x Orson Scott Card is also incredible.

Do you have any favorite tv shows?
I haven’t had time to watch TV in forever. Um… I really like Iron Chef! I’d want to be a chef if I wasn’t a cosmetics-maker. :D

What’s on your iPod?
I don’t know, I lost it. ._. I can tell you about my Pandora station, though! It’s seeded on some gorgeous instrumental pieces (To Zanarkand from FFX, and Wind Forest from My Neighbor Totoro), some J-Rock that makes me want to dance (Ready Steady Go from Fullmetal Alchemist), and assorted video game themes.

Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
Earlobes are my only piercings, and I have no tattoos. I’m scared of needles, you see. Even just getting my earlobes pierced was super-scary, since I didn’t have it done until I was 14. XD

What’s your favorite way to accessorize?
On the rare occasions I bother accessorizing, I usually just put on some earrings. My son pulls on necklaces and puts them in his mouth, and rings and bracelets get in the way when I type. ^_^;

Do you have any pets?
My family has a pair of German shepherds, but I don’t own any pets unless you count a few plants. I’ve entertained the ideas of having a corgi, an African Grey parrot, an anteater, and a miniature goat, but ultimately I’m sure none of this will ever happen because I will never have time. :P

What colors do you like to decorate with?
Hmm… Interior decorating isn’t really my forte. If I had a lot of money and a lot of time, I’d probably put together a look with mostly cream colors, accented with mid-toned gray and a subdued shade of aqua? I dunno, haha.

What color is your bedroom?
Cream, the same color it was when I moved in. Too lazy to change it. :P

What color is your office?
I would tell you, except I don’t have one. :P

What do you do to relax?
I quit working and go to sleep. ._.

How do you pamper yourself?
The only pampering I have time for nowadays is basic hygiene. x_x Hot showers with Haus of Gloi’s Imp sugar scrub are really nice, though, so I can’t complain!

Do you have a favorite chocolate?
I like milk chocolate. My dark-chocolate-loving sister calls me a heretic and a wussy, but I don’t like when chocolate is so strong as to be bitter. White chocolate is good (although it shouldn’t be classified as “chocolate”) but it’s absolutely terrible for my skin.

I know this month is your birthday! What are you planning on doing to celebrate?
I’m gonna take a little time off! I’ll be on winter break from school, and I’m going to be visiting family in another state for a week or so, so I won’t be able to fill orders. I’ll still have my son, of course, and I’m also gonna be working on making the website functional, and catching up on my graphics work for other people, and… I’m not gonna have a break, am I. XD Ah well. I guess at least the time off from school will recharge me a bit before I dive right back in. I’m taking 5 classes next semester because I want to graduate early.

Can you tell me something about yourself that would surprise your fans?
I’m actually a dinosaur! Maybe that’s not so surprising. ._.