It’s finally here! I promised a couple of weeks ago that I would review one of my new favourite make up brands, Kiko, and here it is. Kiko Milano is an Italian cosmetics company and it was while on holiday in Venice that I first came across one of their stores. It was a typical high street make up store down a Venetian side street, just like your Mac, Illamasqua, Inglot et al. It had been one of my goals while I was away to have a rummage around in a local pharmacy as I love trying out new products and especially foreign brands, so when I found a make up store I couldn’t get in there fast enough.
On entering I was wonderfully surprised at how reasonably priced the store is. We’re talking nail polishes from £1.50, concealers and mascaras around the £4 mark, eyeshadows around £5 and great blushes and base products under £10 too. Naturally I grabbed a basket and began making my way around throwing in everything that took my fancy, including one of their single eyeshadows which has become one of my all-time favourites.
Having used and loved my products since returning from Italy, I began looking to see if they had an online store so I could replace the products I bought when they ran out. It turns out they do have an online store which is brilliant and better yet they have two stores in the UK, one of which is in easy commutable distance from where I live in London. Success! I couldn’t believe that they had a store in my local shopping centre and I had never noticed! Both stores are in the London Westfields, White City and Stratford City so if you’re in London that’s a great bonus for you. If you live in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal or Spain you probably already know this brand as they have tonnes of stores in your country but for now it’s just two in the UK and none outside of Europe, yet anyway.
So now onto the products. We’ll start with number one from the header image which is the Sheer & Creamy Lipstick Duo in 02 Candy and Hot Pink. When I bought this in Italy I’d been looking all over for a good light pink lipstick. I already have an amazing matte fuschia from Rimmel for an edgier look but I wanted an everyday pink that I could just sweep and go, and this product does just that.
I’m almost out of ‘Candy’ which is the lighter pink side which glides on the lips and leaves them looking healthy and glossy. Candy is definitely more glossy than Hot Pink on the other side which has a more satin finish and which is more pigmented. Although I haven’t tried both shades together the product claims that you can pair them together to give your lips real depth, but I’m not completely sold on that one. For £8.90 I think it’s a great deal as you’re getting two great, wearable colours for under £10 and they wear really well on the lips. It’s the kind of product you can top up without a mirror, the colours aren’t too stark and I love patting them into my lips with my finger to create a more natural ‘my-lips-but-better’ look.
Here is a swatch from my hand with Candy on the left and Hot Pink on the right.
Number two is one of their nail lacquers in 234 Pearly Fuschia which I find is a misleading name as it’s nowhere near a fuschia, it’s also worth pointing out that the swatch for this online is completely wrong! The nail lacquer is actually a baby pink iridescent shimmer polish made up of the tiniest glitter, although the swatch online shows it as a fuschia glitter. It’s a gorgeous pink shimmer to paint over the top of another manicure, although not great on its own as it’s more of a sheer polish and doesn’t have a coloured base. Building up with three or four coats may create a cute sheer nail look but that’s not really my style. I prefer to layer this over a candy or baby pink as a shimmery, iridescent top coat. I found these polishes really hard to chip actually which is always good and they dry exceptionally fast which is a bonus for someone like me who can’t stop fidgeting all the time. I thought that £3.90 for this polish was a reasonable price point and it’s such a cute spring polish to play around with.
Number three is another shimmery nail lacquer strangely named 277 Blueberry Glitter. Ignore the name, as this one is actually a fuschia shimmery iridescent polish. Unlike 234 Pearly Fuschia, the online swatches for this polish are spot on. The iridescent glitter does lean slightly blue toned which is maybe what they were going for with the name, but it has a gorgeous fuschia base which is opaque in two coats and leaves a gorgeous shimmer on the nails. You could use this as a topcoat for a dark pink polish too but I think it looks great on its own. This one is also £3.90 which I think is a fair price for the product and it’s super glossy which I love for a special event or evening out.
Number four is a fabulously dense glitter polish which for £1.50 I thought was a complete steal. It’s number 231 Sparkle T. Multicoloured Sequins and unlike the others this name matches up quite well, as does the online swatch. I wouldn’t say that the sequins were ‘multicoloured’ although they are iridescent and go from yellow to pink to blue. I love just how packed full of glitter and sequins this is, it ranges from miniscule glitter, to regular glitter polish size chunks and then there’s hexagonal sequins which really bulk it out. This is a really fun topcoat for any polish, I used this over the top of a Kiko coral pink in a recent OOTD which I’ll post below with the coral polish review. It looks like the really dense glitter that you can pay through the nose for, such as a Deborah Lippmann or a Lynnderella but it’s only £1.50, you just can’t go wrong.
Number five is the last of my Kiko polishes and it’s one I’ve worn non-stop since I got it. It’s number 282 Coral Pink and this one is completely true to the name, but definitely not the online swatch! Seeing as corals and pastels are so hot for spring, I had to buy into the trend and get this gorgeous glossy colour. It was opaque in two coats which is great and just like the other lacquers it dried really quickly. To me it’s a really fun, totally bang on trend spring polish and it was only £3.90 like the other lacquers. As I mentioned I painted it over with the Kiko sequinned polish for a more playful look but it looked great on its own too before I painted it with glitter polish.
Here’s the polish in the bottle and then my nails from a recent OOTD post where I layered it with glitter polish.
Number six is my favourite blush at the moment and I have pretty much worn it everyday since I got it. It’s the Soft Touch Blush in 108 Orange Coral and it is a true gorgeous coral colour. I picked this up because I wanted a lovely coral glow for spring, and when I swatched this instore I loved how silky it felt. It goes on so smoothly on the skin and is really pigmented so you need the smallest amount to add a hint of colour. I’ve found that it doesn’t cling to or emphasise dry patches on my skin and just seems to glide over and leave a natural rather than super obvious blush look. It comes in a round compact with a mirror which is very handy for on-the-go although it’s slightly rubbery Nars-esque packaging so it does leave prints etc. which isn’t the best.
I love that the instore swatch translated to my face as I always get demoralised when it looks amazing in the pan or on your hand and then doesn’t live up to it on the face. This though is my new number one blush and I just use it with a small blush brush for ultimate control as it is, as I said, very pigmented so you could go overboard more easily than with some. I think this is a great one for spring/summer as it looks great in contrast to very pale skin like mine, but would look great with a tan too and at £7.50 it’s not going to break the bank. Top pick right here.
Number seven, lastly but by no means least was another great purchase, and it’s one of Kiko’s single eyeshadows. I don’t know if they have palettes that you can de-pot these into, I haven’t seen them, but I love this little eyeshadow for travelling and being on-the-go. They have such a wide range of colours and they also have great loose pigments and mineralised eyeshadows for around the same price point, this shadow was £4.90. I picked up a regular eyeshadow in 143 Macropearly Pink and hurrah, both the name and the online swatch match on this one. It is literally a super light pearly pink with tiny silvery glitter particles in it that give it such a brightening effect. Although the eyeshadow is really well pigmented it really doesn’t show up on camera very well, you have to see it in person to appreciate how great it is, so bear with me on that one.
It’s a great, girly, all over the lid shadow as the glitter isn’t ‘disco dolly’ it’s much more subtle once you have it on. It creates a shimmery effect that’s not too much for day and I’ve been wearing it over the top of Urban Decay’s Virgin from the Naked palette with a cat eye which is more or less my everyday look. If even the thought of glitter in the day is just too much for you, I’d say that this is great for those who don’t like having a really heavy or smoky eye for a night out or special event as it gives just a hint of shimmer and like I said isn’t overwhelmingly glittery.
I think this is a great ‘new’ brand to give a go but like I said beware of the dodgy online swatches and names as they can be misleading. The best thing to do is to go instore if you live in London or can get to a store in one of the other European countries I mentioned and try out the products for yourself. I’m sure I can’t be the only beauty writer who’s tried this brand, so if you want to order something from online which you haven’t seen in person, it’s worth doing a bit of a google check for real swatches before you commit to buying. Other than that I absolutely love this brand and can’t wait to try out more of their products. I haven’t even got started on their extensive brush selection or foundation or skincare products yet, so keep your eyes peeled for further reviews. You can shop online at Kiko by clicking kikocosmetics.com
That’s it for today’s beauty review, I hope it gave you some insight into the brand and some tips for products to pick up. What brands have you discovered lately and do you have any product recommendations for me? Let me know by leaving a comment or tweeting me @MillieDelacoe. Until next time…