If you know me, then it's no secret that I love KIKO! I don't exactly remember when I first came across this brand (it's been that long) but I've been very impressed with them ever since. Whether it's their amazing packaging...let's just take a moment here...or their innovative ideas; sticky tape on their nail polish stands so that you can actually swatch polishes before you buy, pure genius!!! KIKO certainly knows what they're doing, and at budget prices. Honestly what's not to love!
So back in Autumn, they released their Rebel Romantic Collection, if you haven't got your hands on it yet then now is the time, "sale" people "sale" (not that their prices aren't ridiculously cheap to begin with). I personally picked up: 1 lip pencil, 4 shades of lipstick, 1 blush and 1 mirror (because the packaging of this Collection is all in rose gold and I just couldn't resist okay!). Let us begin;
Intensely Lavish Lip Pencil - 01 Peony
This is a beautiful pinky dark nude lip pencil with a hint of very sparse micro-glitter; barely noticeable and doesn't show up on camera, but definitely there. It's a beautiful everyday colour that you could wear on its own if it wasn't for the rather drying formula (the lipsticks are much better - see "Description" below). If you were to just opt for the pencil, then wear a balm or gloss over it because otherwise it's just too drying.
Described on the KIKO site as a "long-lasting lip pencil" with a "high-coverage texture". And "Its no-transfer and long-lasting formula improves the hold of the lipstick." While I would agree that it is long-lasting and non-transferring, it's quite unpleasant on the lips. I would describe it as quite "heavy", you can certainly feel it once it's on your lips, a bit "à la Mac Retro Matte" but I know some people look for that in a pencil. Mac pencils have a very similar formula and those certainly fly off the shelves.
But for me, I personally look for a pencil to be creamy and long-lasting such as the N°7 Precision Lips Pencil I have in Nude (plus it's twist-up, so no sharpening requirements), KIKO's lip pencil unfortunately doesn't measure up formula wise, but I certainly prefer the Peony colour over the N°7 Nude one, so it really depends on personal preference here.
Intensely Lavish Lipstick and Lip Pencil - 01 Peony
The lipstick definitely adds a bit more red to the dark pinky nude colour of the pencil (see the lipstick on its own below) but while I was hoping it would also add more moisture, it didn't. And while I thought the pencil was "heavy" on the lips, the lipstick just made it even more cumbersome. It's such a shame because I really love both the colour of the pencil on its own and the combo with the lipstick. But this is a combo you do have to be prepared for "à la Mac Retro Matte", that is to say to have nicely exfoliated hydrated lips before applying and expect dehydration galore by removal time.
But now let's talk about the lipsticks on their own, because that's a much happier story, but first swatches:
Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 01 Peony
This is a gorgeous colour, slightly redder and lighter than its "matching pencil", but still a very beautiful everyday pinky nude.
Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 04 Mild Sangria
I would describe this colour as a very warm toned cherry pink with a smidgen of brown to it.
Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 05 Heavy Cherry
This colour is a true blue toned cherry pink, not too bright and in your face, a very complementary classic pink colour.
Intensely Lavish Lipstick - 06 Melodious Wine
If you mixed Mild Sangria and the Heavy Cherry lipsticks and made them a bit darker you would get Melodious Wine. A gorgeous dark pinky red brown with a very slight blue undertone, exactly like a bottle of red wine (wait, those are technically green...like red wine then).
Let's first talk about the amazing packaging these lipsticks come in. All rose gold with sleek minimalist labelling and a magnetic seal, you could spend all day just opening and closing your lipstick, it's that satisfying (...and hypnotic). The magnetic seal is also strong enough that the lid doesn't come loose in your handbag. I think we've all experienced that "moment" with flimsy packaging; RIP lipsticks and, in worst case scenarios, handbags too. Honestly, if I ever came out with a makeup line (let's dream big here people!) I would undeniably want KIKO manufacturers to be on my case. With the packaging alone you can hardly believe the £6.90 price tag, let alone their amazing formula.
The lipsticks are described on the KIKO site as having a formula which "contains orchid extract, corn oil and gotu kola," and a texture which "transforms into a liquid that coats the lips in an intense and ultra-shiny colour." While all my photos do indeed show off this said lipstick sheen (as I had just applied the swatches before taking the photos) it dries down slightly more matte, but all the while staying rather moisturising. And unlike the preceding pencil, you can barely feel them on the lips. Plus for all my "perfumed products" hating peeps out there, there is no smell or flavour to these lipsticks. Personally I really don't mind either way, but I know "perfumed" and "flavoured" is bothersome for some, so worth mentioning.
The lipsticks come in the standard pointy lipstick shape (not sure how else to describe the shape to be honest, other than the highly descriptive "pointy"), so super easy to apply straight from the bullet. I also found that if you rub/blend the lipstick in with your ring finger once you've applied it from the bullet, you get the "real" finish much sooner and it stays on your lips for a tad longer.
Lovely wear from these lipsticks, as they are more on the moisturising end of the spectrum they do wear-off a lot quicker than a true matte. I'd say 3-4 hours (and after eating of course) before needing re-application. But they wear-off beautifully evenly too, leaving you with a "stained" quality to your lips that is very pretty.
Simple babywipe or makeup wipe will do :)
Gorgeously packaged and formulated lipsticks with no smell or flavour to them. "Barely there" feeling whilst being moisturising and slightly matte. My only criticism would be the colour range...although beautiful, they are all from a very similar colour category (dark fuschia/magenta pinks) with only minor alterations between shades.
Also KIKO seem to have an issue with names on their products. Numbers will always appear on packaging but the names sometimes will (the blush from this Collection has both name and number), sometimes won't (lipsticks and pencils). Their nail polishes are also never named on the packaging even though they do in fact have names (according to their website, where again both names and numbers always appear there). But I can hardly blame the Rebel Romantic Collection for this incongruity that is found across the brand.
Rebel Bouncy Blush - 04 Passion Red Wine
This is the darkest and brightest blusher from the Collection. As you may know from my previous blush post I'm really not afraid of some colour on my cheeks, I admit I may sometimes go a bit overboard (but I love the doll effect okay). Hence why this bright reddy pink colour intrigued me the most.
Described on their site as a "blush with a new sensory aspect and a satin matte finish. A lightweight powder combines with a new consistency that's extra soft, supple and highly blendable for a unique product."
I've certainly never come across a blush with quite this consistency before, that's for sure! It's like a finely milled powdery cream. I know that doesn't sound the most appealing but I don't know how else to described the texture. It feels like a "hard" cream in the compact, not as "petroleum jelly-ish" as most cream blushers are, but I wouldn't apply it with my fingers like a cream (because the pigmentation doesn't apply evenly without a fair amount of rubbing, hence displacing foundation). Definitely has to be applied with a brush like a powder, and it has more of a "satin matte" finish like a powder, not the dewiness of a cream. So powdery cream it is!
Although I did have very minor patchiness, overall the blush applied like a dream! The colour wasn't too intense either, I tapped my brush into the product as I normally would with one of my Clinique Cheek Pop blushes and the pigmentation was there. I can see how you can quickly have too much on your cheeks especially with this colour, so if you're scared just dab your brush off a bit on the back of your hand and you should be fine. Certainly worth trying, simply for the unusual but excellent formula.
So there you have it, my pics from KIKO's Rebel Romantic Collection. Do try and get your hands on a couple of lipsticks if you can, especially now that KIKO has recently opened quite a few stores across the UK (no longer just a London store) including a great one in Bluewater. No excuses, go! I dare you not to fall in love with them just like I did :P
Have you picked up anything from the KIKO Rebel Romantic Collection? If so what, and what did you think of it? Would love to know :)
Have there been or currently are any KIKO Collections that must be checked out?
Who does your favourite lipstick packaging (don't worry about budget for this question)?
Has a new KIKO store recently opened near you? What do you think?