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.
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.
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.
The Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette I decided on was the one called Hyperreal Green Wood (no shocker there!).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
It is a nice rich plum shade in a waterproof formula that starts out blendable and then sets into place.
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.
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.
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.
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!
BE WHAT YOU WANT
I ventured into an Inglot in Montreal with Samira a couple of weeks ago and decided it was certainly time to pop my cherry. Inglot, a 25 year old cosmetic company from Poland has only 4 stores in Canada (all in Quebec) and only 9 locations in the USA (find a store near you), so Inglot is not a brand that you will run into often – depending on your locale. When I ventured into one of the 3 Montreal stores, the sales associate immediately started to tell me a little bit about the brand…comparing their products to that of MAC Cosmetics and Makeup Forever. The mission: to produce high quality products at fair and reasonable prices, using only the best possible ingredients and raw materials from the most reputable suppliers.
Their “Freedom System” of palettes is what she said they are most famous for. The combinations were endless and I knew I was in trouble. There are 15 different shapes and styles of palettes. You can have only “face” palettes” or only “eye” palettes if you want, but there are also combination palettes where you can have 2 eyeshadows, a blush and a face powder all together. How amazing is that?!? Everything is customizable! When you are in the store, they let you walk around with a big magnet, so you can just pull out whatever you like and stick it on your magnet so you can see everything together and keep track of what you are interested in. Genius.
So let’s take a peek at what I got! I took a lot of pictures, so please hang in there!
First, let’s take a closer look at the AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow I purchased in shade 70.
Their range of pigments is massive. I’ve linked to the US online store so you can see all of the colours available. Tell me – what competitor offers this many options??? You get 2g of product for $14US. I believe I paid $19CAD in store in Montreal. This colour is stunning. I was sold before I even swatched it in store, all it took was seeing it sitting on the table. Just look at this swatch of AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow in #70 in natural light.
For palettes, after much deliberation I opted for the 10 eyeshadow palette. Because of their instore promotion, I got 10 colours of my choice and the palette for $79.00 + tax. That works out to $7.90/eyeshadow with a free palette! For comparisons sake – eyeshadow pans at MAC are $14.00CAD/each and that isn’t even taking into account that you have to buy the palette and you get less product….
Each palette has small magnets in all four corners of the lid as well as the palette itself. So it easily pulls into place when you are closing up your palette. You can also stack palettes and use only one lid on top.
Both swatches were taken in natural light with no flash.
What I love:
- The amount of each product in each pan is enormous. From what I’ve noticed, not all pans are the same – it seems to vary depending on the texture of the shade. My matte shadows are each 2.3g and my others vary from 2.5g up to 3.5g.
- Their Freedom system of palettes is amazing and is to my knowledge the most flexible and customizable option available to beauty addicts and makeup artists alike. I love how with the magnets on each corner, you can actually stack all of your palettes together and simply put a lid on the top one. I’m excited to grow my Inglot collection!
- Their products actually GO ON SALE! I’m so used to MAC Cosmetics where in Canada you will never see a sale – EVER. (Residents in the United States luck out with the Cosmetic Clearance Centres available where all of the limited edition left over products go to die and be sold at discount – I WISH.) But I was thrilled when I started building my palette and the sales associate was running off numbers and then used the phrase “except, it will be even cheaper right now because we have a promotion on these palettes.” *Angels sing* I couldn’t believe it, a promotion!
- Rainbow eyeshadows! They have a line of rainbow eyeshadow pans that actually have 3 shades of the same colour in one palette pan. http://inglotcosmetics.com/rainbow.eye.shadow/products/657/793
- Their collection is all encompassing. They cover everything from eyes, lips, face, brushes, accessories and even a new nail lacquer line which is described as “breathable Nail Enamel ensuring better health care for nails whilst enhancing their beauty.” It is one of the many things on my “next time” list.
- Their selection of pigments was huge compared to MAC cosmetics. They had a much larger range of colours (it would be comparable to the collection available at MAC pro stores, but I think even then MAC would fall short, Inglot just has soooo many.)
What I hate:
- The shadows aren’t named, only numbered. I like being able to use a name when talking eyeshadow colours, rather than “I used number 207 through my crease…” But that might just me being used to a certain way. I guess I figure I am more likely to remember the name of something rather than a catalogue of numbers. (Makeup Forever products are the same way – numbered.)
- There isn’t an easy lip to be able to get your product out of the pans and move them around if you like. You need to use something like the blade of an exacto knife to pop out each shadow from the palette. Not a huge deal, but slightly inconvenient if you are in a hurry.
- Unlike at MAC, they don’t offer samples of their loose pigmented eyeshadows. You can try them all in store, but if you want to check it out with your makeup from home, you will have to buy it.
- Unfortunately, their online shop doesn’t allow for shipment to Canada. They have full sites for which you can purchase product in the US, Australia, UK, Netherlands, South Africa and Finland. I will unfortunately have to wait until my next visit to Montreal.
For the rest of my look, I used the following:
Skin – Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation in shade 118 topped with Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus by MAC
Lashes – Ardell’s Demi Wispies False Lashes and Too Faced lashGASM mascara on my bottom lashes
Liner – Maybelline Master Precise Felt Tip Liquid Liner in Black on my lids and Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC on my waterline.
Lips – Clinique’s Longlast Lipstick in Heather Moon
Cheeks – Margin blush by MAC
Brows – Mystery Eyeshadow by MAC to fill in my brows
With natural light:
The verdict: The shadows were long lasting and didn’t crease or budge after several hours of wear. For the price, I see this brand has incredible value and a giant range of shades. I will be visiting Inglot upon my next visit to Montreal for sure in order to try out some of their other raved about products.
I hope you found this post useful. Do you own any Inglot products already? If so, what are your favourites??
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled the next time you are near an Inglot – or maybe on your next vacation. You won’t regret it!
Thanks for reading!