Top 5 | Best Products from KIKO (2021)

As of today, my most viewed post is a review of Kiko’s Sunshine Tuscan Blushes. I guess I understand why, since Kiko is one of those brands that has a huge line and frequently comes out with limited edition collections, yet there aren’t that many reviews out there.

They also have really good sales and are known for some high end dupes. But they tend to discontinue a lot of their core products, and I have tried more than one dud. So here are my recommendations for Kiko permanent collection products if you want to try the brand, (or just want to enlarge your collection and are checking what else to get to reach the free shipping value, like I usually do. Can’t be having those makeup drawers with any extra room, right?).

I’ll also have some suggestions of what to look out for in limited edition collections.

Water Eyeshadow (shades 200 Champagne, 208 Light Gold, 218 Grapefruit)

From left to right: 208 Light Gold, 200 Champagne, 218 Grapefruit

I seriously hope they never discontinue these eyeshadows. I have more but these are my top three shades. 208 Light Gold is the infamous MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt dupe (see below the comparison). Shade 200 Champagne is probably my favourite: it’s a light champagne taupe shade, highly metallic and reflective, and it almost looks wet on the eyelid. 218 Grapefruit is a tangerine/coral shade with a gold reflex that’s great as an eyeshadow but works wonderfully as a blush too. If you are remembering that Sephora had something similar from their house brand, you’re right, they did that when tangerine was the Pantone colour of the year (in 2012… damn I’m old) – but the Kiko eyeshadow actually came out first.

MAC Whisper of Gilt and KIKO eyeshadow 208: are they really dupes?

Ok, so the reason the comparing swatches of these two are tiny is because, if you’ve read the haul post from when I got the MAC highlighter, you know this is the first (and only) makeup product I ever got it to keep and not to use. The embossing is just too damn special. For science, and the sake of this post, I did a miniscule swatch of MAC’s Whisper of Gilt, being very careful not to ruin any part of the pan. From what I can tell in person, Whisper of Gilt is ever so slightly peachier than the KIKO eyeshadow. 208 has a bit more yellow in it, but it’s truly hard to notice a difference in shade. When it comes to texture, MAC’s highlighter looks a bit smoother on the tiny hand swatch I did, but that’s to be expected since it’s a powder gelée formula.

I was also curious about the Estée Lauder Heat Wave highlighter, which is the other closest highlighter I have to these shades, but that one is a lot more golden, and a bit darker.

Lasting Precision Automatic Eyeliner And Khôl (shade 09 Mint)

I’ve been using Kiko eyeliners for years, from different lines/collections, and some are good and most are just ok. This one is great though. It’s a rare colour to find, but lasts unbelievably well on the waterline. Like, ’till you decide to take it off. It just stays there, being mint. It’s the longest lasting pencil on the waterline that I currently own – it’s even better than the Marc Jacobs highliner in Blacquer, which stood undefeated for years until I tried the Kiko liner.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I currently have 46 pencil eyeliners (that’s not hyperbole, it’s the actual number) I would be getting a lot more shades from this line.

Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick (shade 46 Multicolour Mauve)

Ugh, the swatch does NOT make it justice. This is a duochrome shade that shift from mauve to green.

Kiko’s Long Lasting Shadow Sticks have been around for a while and they’re some of their best known hits. They’re a dupe for high end shadow sticks (like Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks or Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick). The best performing Kiko shadow stick I’ve tried is the shade 05 Rosy Brown, which is a beautiful purple-y mauve, but that’s not the one I’m featuring here. Although in performance this is not one of the top shades, because it does crease after 7 hours (Rosy Brown stays put until you remove it), this colour is so unique I thought it deserved a shout out. It’s a complex duochrome that goes from mauve to green. A rarity in this type of products.

Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara

One of my all time favorites. I used up mine and like an idiot decided to throw it away before I remembered to photograph it or keep it for an upcoming empties post, so this is a promotional picture. The waterproof version is equally good, in my opinion. It’s truly volumizing, without being too clumpy.

Mini Lipsticks (shades 02 Mauve, 03 Rosy Hibiscus)

From left to right: 03 Rosy Hibiscus, 02 Mauve

I got this in a Christmas set but was so happy when I saw them individually for sale in Kiko’s website. And on sale they are 1,80 each, so cheap! I have shades Mauve, a dark brownish rose, and Rosy Hibiscus, a pinky coral. Both are matte, opaque and pretty long lasting. They’re a painless way to try Kiko’s lipstick formula, because they’re so inexpensive, and sure it’s only 1.5g of product, but when was the last time you finished a pinky coral lipstick? Yeah, me neither. They’re the perfect size for a clutch or a small purse.

Be on the look out for:

Limited editions: get the Baked Blushes

Kiko knows how to bake.

I’ve tried their baked eyeshadows, baked bronzers, baked highlighters – but the baked blushes bring home the cake.

They’re the cherry on top.

Are you still here after those bad baking puns? I’m sorry. I’ll be short and sweet. (Somebody stop me, it’s a disease).

Left: blush in shade 03 Panarea Mauve from the Sicilian Notes Collection. Right: blush in shade 02 Dreaming Coral from the Magical Holiday collection.

Anyway, Kiko baked blushes are easy to blend and have that soft sheen that’s typical with these formulas – and they’re easy to get on sale, so more value for money. I recommend.

Lipstick shade Amaranth

The lipstick I have is from the old “Smart” line which was discontinued, but it’s a well known dupe for MAC’s Rebel lipstick. Although this specific one no longer exists, I still see the same shade Amaranth in other ranges, like in the Smart Fusion line that came to replace this one, or the Unlimited Stylo line, or even in the mini lipsticks line I just talked about. It’s a beautiful shade, highly recommended.

8 thoughts on “Top 5 | Best Products from KIKO (2021)

  1. I´ve used some Kiko products before, mainly lip glosses and nail polishes. Prices are great but I haven´t been lucky with performance. I never tried the Water Eyeshadows though. I´m definitely checking these next time a vist a Kiko shop. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried their nail polishes too – cheap, but nothing to write home about. I’m also not of fan of their base products (primer, foundation, concealer). Eye stuff is truly where they shine, IMO 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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