Autumn is officially here. In makeup land anyway. It seems like every year the new collections debut earlier and earlier, soon we’ll be having the Autumn in June. Which you know, won’t suck because I tend to prefer the Fall offerings anyway cause the colour schemes are generally the ones that I prefer cause I’m a boring bitch.
This new collection is once again a collab with Ross Lovegrove of the Summer Collection swoon worthy packaging, although this time around I wasn’t as giddy over the packaging as I was last time. It’s still pretty, but it’s not ooohhhh! pretty. The caps of the bottles and the compacts all sport the same ruched look that is supposed to be reminiscent of stage curtains when they’re closed. Personally, I don’t see that but the packaging does have an old timey, retro feel to it. From the website:
Well-defined corners. Fluid, geometric shapes. A noir atmosphere in which white contrasts with black.
A dark velvet curtain opens to reveal a curvy, statuesque beauty. She is the star of Neo Noir, the latest KIKO MILANO limited-edition collection. The make-up is defined and intense. Bold graphic looks are juxtaposed with sophisticated smoky eyes. The skin looks fresh and revitalized, suffused with a deep, pleasurable feeling.The collection’s packaging is the work of the futuristic designer Ross Lovegrove. The silhouettes evoke modern, sensual extravagance. The details recall an opulent stage curtain that opens, revealing KIKONESS at centre stage: the essence of elegance, sensuality, femininity, breeziness and ease.
The collection is the usual suspects of blush, bronzer, lipsticks, eye shadows, tools etc., but also this collection included a new foundation, a sculpt and strobe palette and an odd serum/primer combo thing that I’m still struggling to parse, and for once gals in the states have got the exact same things that the UK set gets. Pictures below.
Like I said the package is…interesting. The blushes and highlighter compacts, even though mirrored being about half the size of the bronzer.
Let’s start off with the easy stuff yeah? The collection has three two toned blushes, something of a recurring theme with the brand. Alluring Rose a peachy rose, Provocative Pink a baby pink and Sinuous Coral a combination of a coral on top and a mauve plum on bottom. There is also one highlighter that’s a combination of a champagne gold, with a peachy gold bit at the bottom. As for the bronzers, there are two shades available Geometric Honey and Couture Sienna, I’ve pretty much learned my lesson about the sienna colours from Kiko so this time I opted for Geometric Honey.
I’m not sure how I feel about the design of the powders, I’m not really here for it, but that’s really neither here nor there if the products perform well. The selling point of this collection beyond the packaging and design is the infusion of petals, specifically Jasmine which lends it the most divine scent. It may not be everyone’s thing, but because I adore Jasmine, this is the one time I didn’t mind fragrance in my cosmetics. It fades rather quickly in any case so I don’t think it would be a problem.
Vintage Kiko, the powders are all very subtle. The blush builds rather well and I find my self using the bottom mauve portion as a base, them swirling the two colours together to finish off. The highlighter may be a bit too subtle in my estimation. It takes a lot of build up to get the lighter champagne shade to show up, and it doesn’t have much of a sheen. The darker peachy gold colour needs less building and has more luminosity, but it still needs to be built a bit. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Kiko has a suitable bronzer shade for me unless it’s in one of the other ranges that have more selection. Sienna is too dark and red/warm, and Honey turned out to be too light to use as a bronzer, but it makes a decent finishing powder. I only use the darker side, because honestly? I stumped as to what to do with the lighter peachy portion. I suppose if you’re too fair for the shade the lighter portion can help with that? Swatches below of blush, highlighter and bronzer.
The Divine Tone Radiant Face Serum come in two shades. 01 for Fair to Medium tones and 02 for Medium to Dark tones. It’s something of a pearlescent liquid in the bottle, but once applied to the face it just leaves a tint bit of a glow. It comes in clear glass bottle with pump. For $25 you get 40ml (1.35oz), which is a pretty decent amount.
According to Kiko, this is a multitasking item being a serum, moisturiser and of all things a primer. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a standalone primer, but as I don’t particularly care for makeup beyond my epidermis, I used a light hand to apply another primer over top first to create a barrier. The colour is a good match since it does add a tiny bit of colour to the skin, it sort of just melts into my skin and even with the glow it doesn’t exacerbate textural issues. Theoretically, you should be able to wear this and powder, merely based on what my skin looked like after I applied it, even and smooth.
The Skin Modernist 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer is the star if the show (yeah, we’re gonna stick with the theatre theme), it will cost you $26 for 25ml which if you were paying attention in maths class is less than an ounce ( I wasn’t, Google is my friend), so for practically the same price it’s smaller than the serum. There are eight shades, with only one dark shade. It’s actually quite comical to see the jump from the first seven light tiles to the one dark on the site. It’s a thick cream foundation that comes in a frosted glass bottle with of all things an extra large doe foot wand.
Ok, so here’s the problem with that entire set up. The foundation? Is a thick cream better served with either a pump or a squeeze bottle. Hell, a doe foot wand that’s flexible could have probably fixed most of the issues. As it stands, you will absolutely not be able to use most of this foundation up, unless you resort to knocking the bottle against something to get the product out if you really like it. And here we come to the second problem. Do I really like it? I’m having something of a love hate relationship with this foundation. I like the coverage, it is full on coverage from start to finish, you will not be able to sheer this out. It’s full coverage. Really reallllly full coverage. And that’s ok, because sometimes I need and even want that. The one and only dark shade is a very good fit for me in Warm Beige 150, the undertones are good and it applies very well, blends perfectly as it doesn’t dry instantly, leaving a satiny finish. It even functions passably well as an under eye concealer, though it does crease a bit, and you don’t need spot concealing with it. Swatches below.
So it sounds perfect right? Hmmm, ok…here’s the thing, it’s one of those full coverage foundations that makes me look unnatural and doll-like. That wouldn’t be so much of an issue though, if not for the fact that it oxidises yellow as hell and…white?? I didn’t even know that was possible unless something has a large amount of sunscreen in it, and based on the ingredients list, Titanium Dioxide is one of the last ingredients and it said may have, sooooo…The worst part is that I can’t even fix it, nothing works. Usually I can fix anything with my Inglot loose powder, but not this, it just stays looking very white. It’s the weirdest thing, I’ll put it on and it will look absolutely perfect. Then 30 seconds later, it’s literally look like I’m wearing a mask, especially if I turn to the side, you can see the line where it meets my neck. I dunno ya’ll.
I was due I suppose, I’ve pretty much liked everything else that I got, but keeping it real? I’m not in the least impressed with this collection, neither aesthetically nor performance wise, it’s just ok. I’m gonna keep trying to work with the foundation though to see if it improves, somehow…