On my recent European trip, I not only managed to find a very expensive but beautiful addition to my makeup collection (hello there Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo!), but I also delightedly stumbled across a brand I had not previously known of: Kiko Makeup Milano.
Read on to find out more about this brand which I hope makes waves in Asia soon!
Kiko Makeup Milano is a big Italian brand that boasts freestanding stores throughout Italy and the rest of Europe.
My first thought upon entering the store was “Oh Lordy, it’s crowded” in more ways than one. The sheer volume of human traffic in the small store was staggering, rivalled only by the mindblowing array of makeup lining every wall, every shelf, every square inch that was not occupied by a warm body. While this was a slight stimulus overload, I was quite giddy with excitement at all the products just waiting to be swatched.
Take a look at what was on offer (photos borrowed from another website as I didn’t have my camera with me when I was in the store, and likely I would have only gotten photos of people swarming the place anyway!):
As you can tell from the photos, Kiko Makeup Milano are huge proponents of colour. Their nail colours and eyeshadows seem to exist in every shade of the rainbow and then some, making it quite difficult to pick from the array. Fortunately for us (but not for our bank accounts), their prices are very reasonable, adding to the temptation to buy everything in sight.
I was not spared from the lemming onslaught and ended up purchasing a few things from Kiko:
Three nail lacquers in 238 (a rather loud warm glossy red), 300 (a shimmery peacock blue) and 221 (a shimmery champagne shade with pink pearl undertones). They were so incredibly affordable – only EUR 3.90 per 11ml bottle!
The colours are highly pigmented (especially the red), smooth and glide on well, and the brushes are standard nail polish brushes. While I prefer the one-stroke brush of Rimmel’s Lycra Pro Professional nail colours, I can’t complain about Kiko’s. Two coats lasts a solid week without chipping – pretty good for an ultra-cheap nail lacquer.
On a whim, I also bought myself a Kiko Smart Eye Pencil in 000 Nero Fumo for a staggeringly pocket-friendly EUR 2.50. Texture-wise, this eyeliner pencil glides on like a dream. The colour is a gorgeous smoky grey that works well both lined or smudged out.
I love this nifty little pencil in every way except two: its staying power on my oily lids is pretty abysmal (lesson of the day: prime beforehand, and re-powder lids often if you’re wearing Smart Eye Pencil!) and removal is a minor nightmare. Even my superheroine makeup remover, Pond’s Cold Cream, had to be worked in hard to get rid of all traces of this pencil. The one time I wasn’t diligent, I was left with a very attractive raccoon-eyed look for a day. It was not pretty.
Just for your information, a large part of their mascara range also retails at an ultra-cheap EUR 3.90. It took a lot of willpower not to purchase, as I have three more mascaras from the US awaiting testing and review – but the next time I’m in Europe, I will happily attack Kiko’s range – my eye is on the Volume Attraction Mascara!
Kiko Makeup Milan has plenty to offer – not just makeup but also body and skin care. Hopefully they bring the brand to Asia soon, I have a feeling that it will be a huge hit (and offer great dupes of colouriffic brands like Shu Uemura and MAC) if it ever makes it to these shores. Meanwhile, though, do check out their website. Annoyingly, it is entirely in Italian, with no English option (grr) – but with a little bit of educated guesswork, navigating the site isn’t too difficult.