Across the road from my fourth floor Oxford Street office stands KIKO Milano – an Italian cosmetics brand founded in 1997. Their mission as stated on their website is to ‘allow all women to treat themselves to the most innovative cosmetics without having to sacrifice their budget’ – sounds like music to a make-up addict’s ears.

There’s nothing better than walking out of a store armed with all your make-up essentials and knowing that you won’t have to resort to water and the complimentary office fruit to get you through to the next pay day.

On this particular visit, face masks and concealer was high on the agenda – despite shelling out a fortune previously on MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer, which I found did nothing but make my skin look like rust with it’s random reddish hue.

Unlike the MAC concession in Selfridges, staff at KIKO are not only friendly and approachable, but know their products, which is essential in winning over a customer’s trust and having you feel at ease knowing that your make-up woes are in good hands.

So… on to the all important purchases…

KIKO Skin Evolution Concealer

With make-up so heavily priced nowadays, you wonder what you’re going to get for a concealer priced at £5.50. I’ll tell you what you get – coverage that doesn’t make your under eyes and blemishes look rusty red. A little goes a long way with this travel-friendly miracle. Usually I’m not a huge fan of concealers and foundation – most of the time I simply apply powder and I’m on my way. The concealer itself is quite light and for someone who is seriously picky when it comes to her under eyes, I’m more than happy with the finished result when I apply my powder on top. Beware though, it is so tempting to over-apply. As with most concealers, resist the temptation as this will lead to it creasing. I’ve only used this concealer during summer however, so it will be interesting to see how it fares during seasonal changes. Best blended with your finger, the search has been a long and financially painful one to find a concealer that truly suits my skin complexion. Though nothing will ever be absolutely perfect, this is as close to perfection as I think I’m going to come in my quest to find a concealer that truly compliments me.

I’ve found that my skin tone is best suited to shade number 05 – Linen Beige, but there are another seven shades to choose from.

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KIKO Purifying Mask

The only face mask I’ve used religiously is by Liz Earle and it’s done a good job every time, so finding an alternative has been a real challenge. But again, taking cost into account, there has to be a more affordable alternative for those who don’t want to break the bank when it comes to building their ultimate skin care regime. KIKO’s Purifying Mask was recommended based on my skin concerns – breakouts, blemishes and my skin type which is combination.

Massaging a thick layer on to my skin after cleansing, leave for approximately 10 – 15 minutes and then remove with loads of warm water or a damp sponge. My skin was definitely brighter and felt fresher. The aim of this face mask is to remove dead skin cells, give skin a long lasting matte look without drying it out completely and reducing those pesky blemishes. Only consistent long-term use will prove whether or not blemishes are significantly reduced, but based on my first use I would definitely continue using this product. Priced at an incredibly affordable £5.90, it is paraben-free and non-comedogenic.

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It is worth noting that KIKO offers a range of masks tailored for specific concerns so getting a consultation in store is highly recommended.

The Verdict

Overall, I love this brand. It’s a fresh change from the common MAC product reviews you see all over the internet. But with boycotts taking place because of political conflict, and consumers becoming savvier and conscious about where they spend their money, I’m happy to whip out my card for a brand that seeks to indulge make-up lovers without having them break the bank.