A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

KIKO Make Up Milano (Introduction and Review)

So, Saturday night we safely arrived back home in Ottawa.  After two flights and a very long day, we were in a word “exhausted”.  I’ve got to say, it felt very amazing to sleep in our own bed!

I’m so far behind with things I want to post about on here, so I will do my best to get caught up.  I’ll try to mix in trip photos over the next couple of weeks amidst everything else.  While in Europe I ran into a couple of make up brands that I’d never heard of before and to the best of my knowledge, aren’t available anywhere in North America, so I was sure to pick up a few items so I could share them with you.  And hopefully learn more about them from my European readers who have likely had a much wider experience with them.

Kiko Cosmetics, Venice Italy

The first one I wanted to post about is KIKO Make Up Milano.  Available online at their website for residents of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and the UK…KIKO Cosmetics is currently only available for sale in Europe.

KIKO’s identity is rooted in “Made in Italy” values and the world of the capital for fashion, art and design. The research into original textures and colours is combined with research into quality formulas with guaranteed performance, for a perfect fusion of quality and creativity.


KIKO Makeup

We ran into this stand alone cosmetics store in the shopping district of Venice.  They had every makeup and skincare product under the sun and tonnes of nail polishes too.  And as you can see, it was packed!  They had so much product in this little shop, I really wasn’t sure where to start.  Because I had no idea of if there were any “must-haves” for this brand, I just snooped around and picked out a few things I thought I would enjoy giving a try.

I ended up opting for two eye pencils, an eyeshadow palette containing 4 shades and a nail polish.

KIKO Make Up Milano

The Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette I decided on was the one called Hyperreal Green Wood (no shocker there!).

Hyperreal Green Wood - Color Fever quad

Inside the box the palette comes inside a small velvet pouch for safe keeping.  And you’ll be happy to know the lid offers a full size mirror with no wasted space.

"Hyperreal Green Wood" Color Fever swatches

The Hyperreal Green Wood palette features 4 gorgeous shades that are easily paired together and are all shimmery baked eyeshadows so they can easily be used dry or wet, depending on how intense you want the look to be.

Color Fever Eyeshadow swatches - "Hyperreal Green Wood"

Left to Right: Top Row, Bottom Row

The look I’ve created here is using a dry brush.  And I found them to be very vibrant with lovely pigmentation and great blendability.  After several hours of wear I experienced no creasing, fading or patchy wear of any kind.  I was very happy with this palette and the overall quality of the eye shadows.  I paid 12,90 Euro for this palette in store (that is equivalent to about $17 or $18 US dollars).

Hyperreal Green Wood makeup look by Kiko

I also purchased Nail Lacquer 298 (no cute names, only numbers) for 3,90 Euro (which is about $5-$6 USD).  The nail lacquer was not at all like I expected.  It was a very sheer shimmer and after trying it out, I would think this is best used as a top coat if you wanted to add some shimmer to a matte or creme blue, green or black polish.

298 Nail Lacquer by Kiko

298 Nail Lacquer by KIKO Make Up Milano

This picture here is showing 3 coats.  I did 5 and still had a visible nail line, so you’d have to do at least 6 for an opaque/close to opaque look.  Not sure who has time for that?

swatch of 298 nail lacquer by Kiko

Unfortunately I only picked up the one shade, so I have no idea of whether this is just the case with their shimmer formulas and if an experience with a creme would’ve been different.  I imagine it would be.  Perhaps if anyone has tried out more than one of their nail lacquers you can leave a note below??  I’m really curious!

As mentioned earlier, I picked out 2 eye pencils while at KIKO.  The first one was from their “Glamorous Eye Pencil” line and was number 404.  It was only 2,90 Euro which is equal to about $4 USD.

Plum eye pencil by Kiko (404 Glamorous)

It is a nice rich plum shade in a waterproof formula that starts out blendable and then sets into place.

swatch of Glamorous Eye Pencil by Kiko - 404

For this swatch, I did a single fine  line on the left which is just the width of the tip and then did a thicker swatch so you could see the true colour a little bit better.

The other eye pencil I decided to pick up was from the Smoky Eye(s) Pencil line in shade 03 (Violet Indigo).  This one retailed for 6,90 Euro which equates to about $9 or $10 USD.

KIKO Smoky Eye Pencil in "03"


When I saw this product, I knew I just had to give this a whirl because it was the first time I’d ever seen a brush on the end of an eye pencil opposed to a smudger.

"03" Smoky Eyes Pencil by Kiko Cosmetics

For the above swatch, on the left again I did the single fine line to show the width of the tip and on the right, I’ve lightly blended it out using the brush on the other end.

Both eye pencils had an extremely creamy texture and slid across my lids gently with ease.  Below, you can see I tried pairing the blue one with some brown crushed pigments to add a pop of colour to my look which created a nice alternative to brown or black.

"03" Smoky Eyes Pencil by Kiko


Overall I was really happy with the quality of products and given the price, you really can’t go wrong.  The brand is quite affordable and offers an absolutely massive range of colours and options for people, no matter their age.  The prices make it easy to try out multiple products right away unlike some high end brands that add up so quickly.  Now all I wish is that I’d grabbed a lip product to test drive too…and honestly, some of everything would be nice!  So, I can definitely say that I would buy KIKO products again if I’m ever back in Europe.  Hopefully someday they will expand their on-line store and make shipping to North America possible!

So, for all my North American readers, keep your eyes peeled for KIKO Make Up Milano on your next trip overseas and for my European readers, I’m really curious if any of you are fans of KIKO Cosmetics and if there are any “must-have’s” people should know about?!?

Thanks for reading!






29 responses

  1. I searched Kiko in Paris, found on the internet an address, but when I got there, no store! I lost my kiko’s nail polishes. 😦

    January 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    • Oh no! They must have moved since then I guess. Just means you have to go back to Europe – oh darn! ❤

      January 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    • I hadn’t even heard of them before bumping into their store. Where did you hear of them Samira?

      January 14, 2013 at 8:08 pm

  2. Their eye liners are mostly great, i have one from the same line right now. Im not a big fan of Kiko’s eyeshadows, but only because they are just way to shimmery for my taste.
    The metallic polishes are the best in my opinion (but only because im not a fan of pastels).

    January 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    • YAY – someone with KIKO experience! Thanks for commenting Luchessa!

      I’m really happy with the shadows I got, but yes, they are super shimmery and with the colours I picked up, only wearable for evening really.

      I’ve seen some people post about their shadows sticks and rave about them. Makes me wish I’d grabbed one. I just tend to shy away from them, because whenever I try them from some unknown brand, it always ends up badly with a lot of creasing. Oh well – something to go back for!

      I was blown away by how many polishes they had for a make up store. Really impressive range of colours. I do wish I’d grabbed a different lacquer though, not a big fan of this one.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      • Oh yes i know the feeling. You always try to be careful if you dont really know a brand.
        We have a few stores of Kiko in the city (maybe 4 or 5). The huge range of colours and the affordable prices is quite a nice thing. When it comes to buying their products I’m not sure if their online shop ships to other continents. (Maybe you have better luck on ebay or amazon?)
        The variaty of nail polishes is really big, but i will say that i only like the metallics in darker shades, as the light ones all tend to look like the one you picked.

        The Long Lasting Stick Eye Shadows are soft and blendable, but i have to say the do crease after 3-4 hours. So my favorites are def the old fashioned smoky eyes pencils.
        If i go shopping there sometime soon, i will do a haul post, especially for you 😉

        January 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

        • Hehe Luchessa, that would be so awesome! Then I can look on in envy!

          Thank you for the additional information about this line, I really appreciate it. 🙂 The more info the better for people thinking about checking them out.

          January 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        • Thats true. 🙂

          January 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      • I remembered our conversation here and mentioned you in my Review: KIKO – Smoky eyes pencil 01 Foggy http://wp.me/p2HPl2-lN 😀

        March 10, 2013 at 8:10 am

  3. Whoaa somebody went to KIKO! I love your picks. The quad is so insanely pigmented and the liners compliment your eye color nicely!

    January 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

    • Yes Sunny, I only wish I’d picked up more product! I was really happy with the quality of the eyeshadow. I could’ve easily grabbed another quad, they are a great size for travelling.

      Do they have KIKO stores in Belgium? Have you ever tried any of their product before?

      January 15, 2013 at 7:42 am

      • Nope we don’t! I think you can find it in some European countries, but Belgium is really pretty small so we still have to wait our turn!

        January 15, 2013 at 9:10 am

        • Sunny – with Belgium being so tiny, that means it is even easier to travel to the other countries in the EU!! Always a bright side. 😉

          Europe is so beautiful and there is so much to see. I can’t imagine living over there, I’d never be at home! hehe

          January 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    • Sunny, i hope you still like Kiko (have you already tried any of their products?) 😉 Take a look on my Review: KIKO – Smoky eyes pencil 01 Foggy http://wp.me/p2HPl2-lN

      March 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

  4. I am so jealous!!! jealous of your trip, your fabulous kiko haul, lol everything!! I have a similar OPI color to that cant think of the name right now, but mine takes like 5+ coats to be somewhat opaque, its more of a shimmer topper than anything… the other make up you got is stunning!! love it

    January 15, 2013 at 9:02 am

    • Hehe, thank you Amanda! We did have a really nice time on our trip, but no we are back at work and back to reality. What an adjustment that has been!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one on the planet who has a nail polish like this one. *sigh* I agree though about it being a nice topper. I think it would look really pretty over top of some polishes, but I will NEVER use it on its own again.

      Thanks for commenting hunn!

      January 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm

  5. tribalfaerie

    Love the green nail varnish. I have it too. Kiko is one of my favorite brands.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    • I wasn’t expecting the nail lacquer to be so sheer, so I’m definitely going to have to change my plans for this one. 😛

      I was really pleasantly surprised with the brand as a whole though, you just never know what to expect when trying out a brand you’ve never heard anything about. But, this one didn’t disappoint, it only left me wanting more.

      January 15, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      • tribalfaerie

        Definitely. And the prices for the quality are unbeatable. I really love them and I am so disappointed that it will be a bear to get where I live now. Not that I can complain, because I enjoyed it thoroughly while I was abroad. Hope you enjoy the other products that you get from there. ❤

        January 16, 2013 at 12:09 am

        • Well it seems like they are really growing. Perhaps in a few years they will be shipping to more places. One can hope!

          January 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

        • tribalfaerie

          Hope so. I think they would do well in international markets. ❤

          January 16, 2013 at 11:54 am

        • I agree 100%. And it looks like they’ve been expanding quite rapidly over the past 5-6 years, so it probably isn’t even a pipe dream. I wouldn’t be surprised if they break into Canada/US in the next 5 years. I’ll have my fingers crossed anyway. 🙂

          January 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

        • tribalfaerie

          You and I both. I will continue to review them and give them their own special vid if they do so in the future. ❤

          January 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

  6. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award! http://propersweetie.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/liebster-award/

    January 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm

  7. Love this European makeup haul! Glad you’re back safely home. If I ever get back to
    Europe, I’ll have to check it out. It was easier to travel before I had children. Now getting 4 tickets is so much more expensive. Next time I’m there, I expect the girls will be old enough to be asking for their own make up. 🙂

    January 17, 2013 at 5:57 am

    • Thanks Rebecca, we had a nice time! And yes, that is very true! That is partially the reason we wanted to do a big trip like this one, before we start having children. Once your costs start doubling, it would be nearly impossible…or at the very least, much more difficult.

      But, the great thing about KIKO, is because their line of make up is so affordable your girls can pick stuff out too without breaking the bank!

      January 17, 2013 at 6:57 am

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