Review: San San Create-Your-Own Eye Shadows

Hey, beautiful!

I write this entry to you from the comforts of my bed, as I had gotten back from hosting a friend's wedding (post and photos to follow!), and this entry has been stranded in my drafts for weeks now! Jeez! But I figured, I should be more diligent as I promised to be more present and visible this 2014, so here it goes!

I have been loving these San San Create Your Own Eye Shadows

FYI, the ones I got are the more neutral ones, there are actually 20 shades available (I have 7 in my collection), but I just feel like I can get the most use out of neutral shades as I still have my ELF 100 Eyeshadow Palette to provide me with some unexpected and colorful shadows for when I feel a little more playful. Needless to say, I've been getting so much use out of these bad boys. I really reach for them a lot lately and I love creating different looks, given the wide color range in the collection, and even with just 7 in my possession, I still surprise myself with the many other ways I can come up with combinations.

Here are the product shots and some swatches for comparison. I did not use any primer and just swatched the shadows with my fingers on to the back of my hand. I have also divided them into sections (light and dark colors) for ease of reference. Also, please disregard the dents in the shadows. It only means that I have been reaching for them more often than the others.

Product Shots (Group):

Product Shots (Individual) with Description:

1. Light Colors

Cotton Candy Pink is a light, shimmery pale pink-champagne color that works great as a base, a brow bone or inner corner highlight. The shimmery specks are not too chunky, but given 2-3 layers, this can show up as really sparkly on the eyes. Use a light hand and apply on to your lids with a patting motion to lessen fallout. 

Natural Air Sienna is a matte nude shade that's great to use as a base for neutral or natural eye looks. You can also use this as a brow bone highlight. I like to use this with a wet brush first, then pat on a second layer with my ring finger to seal in the pigment.

Vanilla Bean is a shimmery silvery white color. I use this highlight either my brow bone or my inner corner, or both. Great for opening up those peepers! You can also opt to use this as a highlight color for your lid, but use sparingly. The shimmer factor can be too overwhelming when overdone. Use with a light hand. 


Yellow Topaz is a muted gold hue that is perfect for glamorous and festive makeup looks. You can also use this as an inner corner highlight, but as a lid color, I think this is just gorgeous. I know this can be a dupe for one of my Urban Decay Naked 2 shades. Will get back to you on that. ;) 


2. Dark Colors

Deep Earth Brown is a neutral-toned brown that is great for creating detail on the crease area. Use with a light hand. This can be a good mid-tone when used sparingly as it is very pigmented (otherwise, you will tire of blending and blending and blending away). It's always a good idea to start with little product and build up the color intensity from there. This can also work as a brow powder.

Charcoal Brown is a deep, taupey brown with hints of silver micro-shimmers. I like to use this for defining the "Outer V" of my eye, which is done to create a more defined and pronounced look on the eyes. I have yet to try this a base, perhaps for a smokey look, but I bet this will look amazing.

Blackground is a matte black. At first glance, there seems to be hints of shimmer, but once it's applied, I think it shows up to be more matte. Ideal for sealing in pencil eyeliner, especially when tight-lining the upper and lower lash line, just to make sure the eyeliner doesn't budge and give you panda eyes. This is also great for creating a smokey eye look and giving more definition to the eyes. 


What I like:

  • They come in a wide variety of colors! From neutrals to more exciting shades, you will never run out of options and color combinations, I promise! 
  • The packaging is simple. You can see right through the clear plastic cap the color of the shadow so you won't have a hard time going through your stuff when putting on your makeup. Plus, you can close the cap for proper storage.
  • They also come in a wide range of finishes - from matte, to satin, to more shimmery. You can always mix and match! (Pro Tip: When doing a three-tier color-combo, opt for a matte crease color, the wash on the lid and the brow bone highlight can be shimmery and satin, respectively, but be careful not to overload on the shine. A matte crease shadow can really cut down the overwhelming and overdone effect of an all-shimmer eye shadow look and can give you a more refined outcome.)
  • Super affordable! Regular price is at Php 50, but I got some of mine for Php 35 each on sale!
  • Easily available in all HBC stores and kiosks in malls. 
  • The texture of the matte shadows are super buttery and it goes on smoothly. 
  • Gives pretty decent color pay-off. I'm surprised. 
  • Each pan contains a lot of product. Since you don't really need much for the color to show up on your lids, these will last you a very long time.
  • Travel-friendly. If you're a minimalist and think you can work with just three shades, these can easily fit in your kit and you can customize your color combinations to suit your taste. 
  • Some of the shades can be dupes for more famous and more expensive counterparts. These are definitely a steal!
  • The formula is not too chalky like I initially expected.
  • Multi-purpose! They can be used not just as lid colors, but as brow powder, highlighter, etc. as well.
  • Staying power is commendable. I always use an eyelid primer anyway (to help them cling on there and stay for longer hours), but I suppose these would last about 4-6 hours without a boost.
What I don't like
  • The packaging can be improved. Then again, I can't really expect much for the price I paid for these bad boys!
  • I wish these come in palette! I like seeing my shadows sprawled across in one container. I like seeing all my options all in one place. Makes it easier for traveling too.
  • I hope San San releases more shades! I super love these eye shadow singles and I would really love to collect more and create more looks with it!

Sample Makeup Looks Created with the product:

I would really recommend this for beginner makeup enthusiasts and even for personal/professional use. You can go as simple or as playful as you want with the wide range of shades available. This product is ideal if you don't use eye shadows very often (like me!), they're not much of an indulgence. But I'm pretty sure you won't be able to resist taking them out for a spin every so often! So go ahead and have fun creating different looks with the San San Create Your Own Eye Shadows!

Let me know what  crazy fun looks you can come up with! Share them on my Instagram page (click the link on the side bar) or post them on She Goes Thrifty's Facebook Page. I'm also considering of venturing out into the beauty video how-to/tutorial shenanigan. What do you think?



  1. Nice review!! Madami din akong nabasang blogs abt SanSan eye shadows, pero wala kong makita sa SM haha! They're pretty cheap huh? Php50 a pot lang? Nice!

    Btw, you can try "depotting" the eyeshadow and get a palette from Wild Peach Cosmetics!

    xx Dianne

    1. Wala ka tlga mkkita sa SM nyan... sa HBC mo lng mabibili yan...hehe

  2. Wala ba silang palette version nito? I mean ung eye shadow quads...