Monday, 7 September 2015

Kiko: a brand overview

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow

Today I'm going to present a brand which is taking make-up world by storm, offering modern approach to make-up, unique ideas, beautiful packaging, high quality and above all affordable prices.
I have already reviewed some of their products from summer and autumn collection and now I'm going to briefly describe whatever else I've got. 
What drew my attention to the brand was their eye products, so I'll start from them.

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow

My first experience of Kiko was their Supreme Long-Lasting Creamy Eyeshadow in #03 Exquisite Jasper Green. These eyeshadows come in small glass jars with their own sponge applicators. They're clearly meant to be dupes of  Chanel Illusion D'Ombre or Dior Fusion Mono eyeshadows. They are a cross between cream and powder shadows, have bouncy texture, apply like cream and look like powder eyeshadows. 

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow in Exquisite Jasper Green

Exquisite Jasper Green is an olive leaning pewter kind of shade, which doesn't suit my complexion well. I passed it on to my mum, whose skin has a much warmer undertone, but she returned the eyeshadow to me as it creased on her and didn't last till midday. On my oily lids, over a primer, the eyeshadow started creasing 6-7 hours after the application, which isn't bad for a cream eyeshadow.

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow in Exquisite Jasper Green

This eyeshadow isn't terribly pigmented, but it's buildable. It blends well, offering a smoky wash of colour.

I thought I'd experiment more with these eyeshadows and ordered #4 Gorgeous Anthracite and #02 Rich Gray Amethyst, but wasn't quite satisfied. One of them was completely shrunk, dried and hard. I made a claim and got my money back without any problems, but the feeling of dissatisfaction remained.

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow in Gorgeous Anthracite

Gorgeous Anthracite is a pretty shimmery charcoal shade. 

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow in Rich Gray Amethyst

Rich Gray Amethyst is really hard to define. It's a mix of charcoal, silver and plum. 
The problem with these two is that they look like close dupes of each other and even more so when applied. There's absolutely no need to get two of these and if I were to choose I'd pick #02 as it's more versatile and unique.

Kiko Supreme Long Lasting Creamy eyeshadow in Gorgeous Anthracite and Rich Gray Amethyst

The next product is their iconic Water Eyeshadows. These are eyeshadows with high water content, which makes them super smooth to apply. They're all insanely pigmented and come in an incredibly wide variety of shades. They come in nice sturdy compacts with matte lids and look very pretty with their whirl design, which looks like a fingerprint or a sand dune to me.

Kiko Water Eyeshadow

I picked #215 Midnight Blue, which is a metallic shine cool-toned navy shade,
#205 Chocolate, which is a dark, slightly reddish brown, and 
#204 Plum, which is a plum leaning brown colour. 

Kiko Water Eyeshadow in #215, # 205, #204

All the three are super pigmented and apply like a dream, but start creasing after 6-7 hours of wearing them, which is sooner than other eyeshadows I use. I have oily lids, but good quality primers eliminate any creasing/fading issues completely, but not in case of Water Eyeshadows. I think this has something to do with their high-gloss watery testure.   

Kiko Water Eyeshadow in #204, #205 , #215

The next product is the most unique of all I'm about to review here and I've never encountered elsewhere. Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eyeshadow is a cream eyeshadow which comes in a small clear plastic pot with a matte lid, which doesn't look as high-end as other eyeshadows by the brand do. 

Kiko Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eyeshadow #03

I found the texture of the product most peculiar. While this without any question is a cream eyeshadow, with all its softness, smoothness and blendability of a cream eyeshadow, there's also some powderiness about it, which makes it look powdery matte. If you're familiar with cream eyeshadows by, say, MAC or Maybelline, you'll find this powdery matte texture astonishing. 

Kiko Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eyeshadow #03

The shade I picked is #03 Mat Light Mahogany, which looks like rosewood to me. This is the shade that is very much in the vein of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. It's a rosy brown shade which may both be very pretty or look like you've spent all night crying or suffering from some kind of allergy-related reaction.

Kiko Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eyeshadow #03

Qualitywise this eyeshadow is perfect and I'm tempted to get some more of these and see if the shimmery ones are just as powdery as their matte counterparts.

Kiko Lasting Stick Eyeshadows

Next up is an array of Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows, which the brand is probably most famous for. These are cream eyeshadows in a twist-up pencil form. Most high-end brands make such pencils, eg. Chanel, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Marc Jacobs, By Terry, but the advantages of these are that there are countless shades to choose from and  you get comparable quality for so much less money.

Kiko Lasting Stick Eyeshadows

Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows are super easy to apply. They glide on effortlessly without any tugging or pulling, give you about 30 seconds to blend easily and then set to a budge-proof make-up which withstands sweat and heat.

Kiko Lasting Stick Eyeshadows

The shades in my possession are (left to right):
#37 Burgundy, which is a lovely burgundy red leaning brown shade. 
#39 Dark Taupe is a lovely, cool-toned dark greige colour with satin finish.
#05 Rosy Brown, which is a shimmer purplish beige shade. This is a perfect dupe for By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock.
#04 Golden Chocolate is a warm matte brown with golden sparkle. Suits warmer complexions better than mine. And I'm not a fan of the sparkle.
#25 Light Taupe, which is a very light, almost skin-like greige shade with satin finish. Makes a lovely eyeshadow base, but isn't my favourite on its own.
#31 Iris Blue, which is a bright and vibrant warm-toned blue with satin finish. This makes a gorgeous eyeliner for the summer.
#43 Pearly Cornflower Blue is a sheer shimmery frosty blue shade. This is the one I like the least. I don't like the excessive shimmer and the 'so 80's' sort of blue.
#42 Lavender is a very pale lavender purple. When I saw this I thought 'I don't like you', but I paired it with lavender and gray eyeshadows and all of a sudden it started looking unique and amazing.   

Kiko Perfect Eyes Duo Highlighter Pencil

Perfect Eyes Duo Highlighter Pencil is a major fail. This is a double-ended jumbo pencil which is supposed to be used on the brow bone to highlight. 

Kiko Perfect Eyes Duo Highlighter Pencil

There's a fair neutral matte concealer shade on one end and a pearly highligher on the other. While the shades themselves are very pretty, I have quality issues related with them.
Both ends are very dry and hard to apply. The pencil pokes the sensitive eye area and tugs my skin in a very unpleasant way. The matte end deposits product in an excessive, patchy way, which is hard to blend and instead of having a lifting effect looks heavy and cakey. It makes a good spot concealer, though.

Kiko Perfect Eyes Duo Highlighter Pencil

Other products I didn't quite like were concealers.

Kiko Soft Focus Concealer

Soft Focus Concealer arrived in packaging that looked as if it had been tampered with and the product itself as if it had been used or at least swatched. Again, I complained and got my money back without any problems.
This is a click pen concealer which is supposed to highlight and help conceal signs of fatigue.
I picked the lightest shade, #01 Light, which turned out to be way too dark for my skin tone to highlight anything. I was able to use it only in the summer, otherwise it was darker than my foundation. I suppose the shade matches MAC NC25.

Kiko Soft Focus Concealer #01

According to the description the product has lightweight consistency and antioxidising properties and using this is supposed to offer instant lifting effect. However, I found it extremely drying under my eyes. So, this is a big no no for me.

Kiko Natural Concealer #01

The other concealer I picked was their Natural Concealer in #01 Clear. 
This is an interested product as it comes in 7 different shades, including green, to target different problems of different skin types and ethnic groups.
This comes in a lower-shelf drugstore type of packaging, with a doe foot applicator. The consistency is very thin and I think it might not be enough for some people to conceal seriously dark circles. 
The shade I picked is very pink-toned, but it has very nice brightening function. 

Kiko Natural Concealer #01

My regrets about this product are that it isn't particulatly long-lasting and super effective and the packaging is super duper tiny. Not only does this mean that there's very little product, but it also gets lost among other things and slides to the bottom of the drawer.

Kiko Soft Focus Concealer #01 and Natural Concealer #01 
While the undereye concealers turned out to be quite disappointing, the lip primer was a great success. 
Kiko Lip Base Primer

This product was a big surprise for me. I thought it would be something like a clear lip pencil in a tube. I thought it would be a sort of silicone primer that would prolong the wear time of my lipstick. But it turned out to be a kind of foundation-coloured product. I was iffy about it at first cause it wasn't what I wanted, but it soon became one of my favourite products of this kind.

Kiko Lip Base Primer

This is the product which takes off  your lip colour completely, which is useful if you want your lipstick to be brighter and more true to the bullet. This also works well with lipsticks which you feel intimidated by because of their dark shade.
You may say, this is nothing new, you can conceal your lips with any foundation or concealer. Yes, true, but this thing prolongs the wear time of any lipstick like a good lip liner does.

Kiko Lip Base Primer

Another good product is the Mat Base Corrector.

Kiko Mat Base Corrector

This is a very heavy duty mattifying primer which only very oily skin types will appreciate. 
This is a very thick, clear substance which is pretty hard to squeeze out of the tube and when it does it spurts in blobs. 

Kiko Mat Base Corrector

What I do is warm this product between my palms and then pat it on the oiliest areas on my face as this product lacks any slip whatsoever and is very difficult to distribute. It instantly dries and makes my skin look super matte, shrinks pores, but that's because it generally makes my skin feel tight.
This is a very successful matifying primer and a perfect dupe for Make Up For Ever Step 1 mattifying, but I have some issues with it. Since it leaves my skin super matte and without any slip, it makes it very hard to apply foundation. Foundation refuses to blend, goes on very thick and turns cakey. What's more, on my skin the oily effect lasts for 2-3 hours and then my oilies explode with double force and as a result my face, with the heavy and unblended foundation on, looks like a hot mess.
My advice is use this very sparingly and only when and where needed. Skip this if you have normal to combo kind of skin.   

Kiko Mat Base Corrector

And the final make-up related product is a dupe of the Beauty Blender.

Kiko Precision Make-Up Blender

Precision Make-up Blender is an interestingly-shaped sponge, which 'grows' when dampened with water. It has both round and pointed tips, which make it easy to access areas round the eyes and nose. I don't have the Beauty blender, so I can't compare these, but it's not as soft as the Real Techniques sponge, but I suppose it's a bit cheaper. 

Kiko Precision Make-Up Blender
This was definitely a good tool to apply make-up, but I foun that it broke sooner than other sponges that I'd used did, so I won't repurchase.

Kiko Precision Make-Up Blender
And finally, two nail products:

Nail Care Smooth Base is a perfect cheaper dupe for Essie Anti-Age fill The Gap treatment. It's a peachy nail polish base with self-levelling properties which fills all ridges and makes the nail surface look smooth and even with no buffing. Apart from that it's also a nice nail polish base which prevents the polish from chipping and staining the nails. I haven't noticed any long-term smoothing and ridge filling results. 

To top up one of my orders and get free shipping I picked a glass nail file. I'd beed planning to get one for a long time as I'd heard they're good for nails and last for ever. I haven't been using this one for very long, but so far it seems to be both gentle and effective. Got it during the summer sale for a buck or two and I believe this was a very good investment.

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