Yes, fellow Scots, Kiko Cosmetics has finally landed in not-so-sunny Glasgow and let me tell you it has been worth the wait. Unlike the London store (Oxford Street or thereabouts I believe) the Glasgow store is an utter pleasure to visit - the staff couldn't be more welcoming or helpful if they tried, the atmosphere is great and of course it is packed with all the Kiko must-have items and some new collections too. If you are local, then I urge you to visit; which is exactly what I did and in the process spent £70 without as much as blinking. If you are looking for a little inspiration let me share what I have recently purchased, and a few primarily thoughts too.
Kiko City Filter Sunscreen SPF50 Primer £12.90 - link
To know me, is to know that I take SPF very seriously - some may say it is an obsession - and as a result I do find myself gravitating towards facial products that offer a little sun protection. If ever there was a product made for me, it would be Kiko City Filter Sunscreen SPF50 Primer - the lightweight, non-greasy primer helps prolong make-up wear, all the while offering protection from UV rays. Thus far (and I have only tried this twice), I do rather like this, it is all but weightless and does a fairly good job of locking make-up in place; my only real gripe is that I can't find definitive proof of Kiko City Filter Sunscreen SPF50 Primer UV rating - I can't vouch if it protects against UVA and UVB rays but will do a little more digging around. Kiko do however clearly state on their webpage that this is not to be used in place of a standalone facial SPF.
Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in shades 700, 702 and 712 £2.50 each - link
I seldom purchase expensive lip liners as I don't find that the quality really improves the more you spend; as a matter of a fact, if anything, I have been more disappointed with expensive lip pencils than any budget find. At just £2.50 each - and with past experiences of Kiko lip products beyond impressing me - I couldn't not try out a few of the Kiko Smart Lip Pencils and man am I glad I did.
Admittedly the Kiko Smart Lip Pencils may not look like much due to their fairly basic packaging but nestling under the silver cap is a creamy, glide-on, long-wearing and beautifully pigmented formulation, that truly is a joy to wear. I purchased the shades 700 (light sienna) - a rosy, mid-toned nude, 702 (coral) - slightly more orange toned than pink and 712 (rose mauve) - a dusky pink come nude that is very similar to MAC Whirl Lip Liner. The only real issue I can think worth mentioning is that due to the softer than average texture, the Kiko Smart Lip Pencils are a little tricky to sharpen; to remedy this, you can of course pop your liners in the freezer for a few minutes before attempting to sharpen.
Kiko Gossamer Emotion Creamy Lipstick in shade 103 £10.90 - link
Like an absolute idiot, I purchased two of the exact same shade of lipstick - to be fair it was an accident, I wanted to purchase shade 104 along with shade 103 and somehow managed to leave the store with two of 103. I wish I could tell you that this is the first time I have done something like this but I'd only be lying. Hey at least I now have an excuse to go back to Kiko, silver linings and all that.
I'm not sure how you would define Kiko in terms of market placement, I see it as a middle ground brand that offers great products at mostly affordable prices? I do think £10.90 is fairly expensive for a lipstick but when they are as beautiful in presentation and formula as the Kiko Gossamer Emotion Creamy Lipsticks, it's difficult to resist. I mean would you just look at that the super chic packaging - eat your heart out MAC.
So yes, I am now the proud owner of not one but two Kiko Gossamer Emotion Creamy Lipstick in the shade 103 Powder Pink. If you are a fan of MAC Angel and/or light, creamy but slightly dusky pink nudes, this is the lipstick shade you have been waiting for. Not only will Kiko Powder Pink grant the illusion of naturally plumper and fuller lips but it is beyond comfortable to wear too. As this is a super soft and altogether creamy lipstick, I do recommend teaming this formulation up with a lip liner to prevent any smudging or bleeding, but otherwise it is not one to be missed.
Kiko Colour Sphere Eyeshadow £5.90 in shades 02 and 03 -link
Are you a fan of MAC's MSF powders or baked highlighters in general? If so, stop what you are doing and purchase one or two (or maybe a few) of the Kiko Colour Sphere Eyeshadows. Yes they are intended for use on the eyes but truthfully they are some of, if not the best highlighters I currently have on rotation.
If you are a fan of a subtle sheen-come-glow, I recommend the pink based Kiko Colour Sphere Eyeshadow in the shade 02 Rosy Almond. This somewhat pale oyster pink based hue brightens the skin without the need for large glitter particles, nor does it draw attention to imperfections (enlarged pores I'm looking at you). As a side note swatches do this shade next to no justice. For those, like myself who enjoy a more impactful and altogether noticeable highlight, look no further than Kiko Colour Sphere Eyeshadow in shade 03 Gold Beige Special FX. This muted golden beige shade applies seamlessly, offering a bright flash of gold that has an almost foiled effect, and again without an abundance of glitter. Fellow highlighter fans, you need this.
Kiko Water Eyeshadow in shade 201 £8.90 - link.
For those new to Kiko Cosmetics and looking for a fail-safe starting point, may I usher you towards one of Kiko's best selling and ever raved about products - Kiko Water Eyeshadows. Not only can you use this gel based eyeshadow dry or wet but depending on the shade it can double up as a liquid eyeliner and/or a highlighter too - genius. In the above swatch photos I have applied it both dry and wet so you can see the difference of intensity.
Being such an iconic Kiko product the shades I pop in-store to purchase (200 Champagne and 208 Light Gold) were out of stock, I did however find a beautiful pink-come-lilac shade in Kiko Water Eyeshadow in 201 Rosy Taupe. This muted lilac if you really enhances blue and green eyes and is a great change of pace from your typically brown toned neutrals.
If limited edition cosmetic collections are more your calling, you can read all about the new Kiko Cosmetics Limited Edition Trend Collection here.