I had a mini splurge on Milan brand Kiko yesterday (on a busman’s holiday…what do I do on a rare day off? Go and buy makeup.

Kiko is super-affordable, the stores are sleek and amazing yet the prices are Superdrug (almost) and they have a lot of new launches out this season.

So, 6 products here (the two nail polishes come as a set) – verdict? 4 x yes’s, one maybe and one “huh?”



My two top picks from this stash are the nail duo and fabulous -that shape! – hydrating lipgloss. The Hourglass/Marc Jacobs reminiscent style lip gloss is just gorgeous and the gloss texture itself doesn’t disappoint. It slicks on evenly, it’s super-shiny neutral in taste, hydrating and stays on for a while and is completely non-sticky. (It contains a few oils for the moisturising factor). 3D is right, lips look a little fuller almost and the shine is the light equivalent to surround sound (remember when that was a “thing”?)

This gloss looks fantastic as a topcoat over a dusky/spicy rose or mauve-beige lipstick (like MAC’s Twig) and this one is shade no. 20


Such a cool design to slick on your lips halfway through dinner in Milan…and if you’ve had bad luck with glosses that dry out your lips, have a look at this one.


Next up: the gel effect nail duo, you’ve got one colour polish twinned with a clear topcoat. My shade is called Sand and the twin-set is £7.90, again chubby yet sleek and very modern glam. One coat of colour was perfect and it’s very quick drying. This is a five free polish (although five is now seven and more in the natural beauty world!) These would be fab mini gifts for parties and they come in 15 different shades.


Not my swatches…these are the Eyeshadow Sticks mentioned below…I wanted to credit the blogger but can’t remember whose swatch pic this is so if you’re reading this, please let me know!



Moving along now on to the Bright Lift Serum Intense Radiance which costs £21.90 (Kiko, you and your 90p’s!)

I bought this because it’s completely sheer, with mica particles in it which reflect light, not for the “anti-ageing” effect of marine collagen in it as I have so much great skincare and quite honestly although Kiko’s skincare range seems to be doing well, there aren’t enough energetic/phytoactives in the formulas for me, but it’s great added to some tinted moisturiser or foundation to ramp up a product that covers but lacks luminosity. (Shiseido’s BB Cream which comes in Light, Medium and Dark is really lightweight and delivers a flawless finish but the weakness for me of that product is lack of luminosity/illuminating ingredients – it’s good though!)

But I am a luminosity addict and not everyone will need that.


What’s next? Ah the Pure Clean Eyes & Lips which is (you guessed it) £6.90 – dual-phase with a hint of almond oil,  it was just brilliant at sweeping off waterproof mascara..everything. But I am super-sensitive to eye makeup removers and this had a slight sting so I would not buy it again.


…and it’s a no from me, un certain rouge a levres that will not be making a return appearance any time soon.  Maybe it’s just me but…


Now we have the wild card! Kiko’s new longlasting Enigma lipstick packaging was designed by Ross Lovegrove who created the stunning Wanderlust collection this summer in gold, reptilian-embossed packaging – rose gold, even more of a “swoon”!


But (clearing throat) Enigma did nothing for me. It looks and feels old fashioned and the lipstick tastes (and smells) so strong it makes me feel nauseaous. It’s so bad I want to test it on four or five friends as I have such a strong reaction to it I wonder if it’s just me?  It made me feel sick when it was on, I wiped it off immediately. Kiko do not accept returns on used products (understandable but this will be interesting, I just cannot use this product). I am practically allergic to it. So what now Kiko customer service? It cost £11 and yes 90p.

But hey, you can’t end on a low note, can you?


So, it’s a 9 out of a possible 10 for the gorgeous, glide on shimmery, slightly sparkly eyeshadow stick. I’m curious to see how long this lasts as I use Kiko’s fab retractable chestnut shade eye pencil which has the shortest pencil in it in the history of mankind. They do loads of shades of this Eyeshadow Stick, from sparkling gem blues to greens and coppers. I love this product and eyeshadow sticks are so great when you’re on the go.

Price? £6.90. (Kiko’s lucky number is clearly 90).

So there you go.

4 loves, one “not really”, and one never again. This is why I started The Beauty Shortlist back in 2009, to help you avoid the OKs and no-no-no’s! Makeup mistakes can be expensive, luckily Kiko is super affordable and almost everything I’ve ever used, I’ve loved (except for that lipstick).

What’s been your best ever Kiko discovery? I’m nominating the gel effect nail duo and that fantastically good new 3D Hydra lipgloss.  




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