Greetings from the wrong side of a vault door, fellow rogues!
Diamonds are funny things. In a way, this rather unassuming allotrope of carbon wouldn’t even warrant a passing notice (except for industrial applications), if it weren’t for someone taking the trouble to chip little bits of it off until it sparkled perfectly. You probably won’t be surprised that many adventure postings concern fabulous jewels (usually at the bottom of trap-and-orc-filled dungeons), and that quite a large number of these are some sort of ‘diamond’ (probably cursed).
When you’ve fought your way through enough drow-infested catacombs, only to find that the fabulous diamond idol you’re looking for is indeed horribly cursed, you can get a bit sick of the sparkle, to be honest. Fortunately for a rogue’s appreciation of shiny things (which no true rogue should be without, I think), KIKO Cosmetics Milano have the perfect remedy.
KIKO Makeup Milano is an Italian cosmetics brand that is available (as far as I can tell) throughout Europe and in the UK. My first experience with them was in the city of Naples, where I spotted a brightly lit, black and purple storefront through the driving rain. The store looked very swish, but the promotion in the window was trumpeting mascaras for 3 Euro – I had to know more.
Having glided through the dripping shadows and entered the store, I was plunged into a whirlpool of colour and sparkle. The selection seems to vary by store (I could not find any lipstick other than the ones in the recent limited edition collection, for example, although the website lists many more), but there was an almost overwhelming array of eyeshadows, eyeliners, foundations, concealers and skincare products. If you’re looking for an affordable way to try individual, bright/unconventiaonl colours, KIKO might be your best bet.
My quest only yielded a modest haul (an eyshadow and two eyeliners), but the prices were very reasonable, and sales seem to be common. By the standards of Middle Earth prices, it’s hard to get over the immediate assumption that KIKO stuff is rubbish, just because it’s so cheap. Happily, I can report that this is not the case! To get back to the topic at hand…
The glitter eyeliner from KIKO comes in two flavours – multicoloured and silver. I went with the multicoloured one, partly because it was on sale, but mostly because I wanted something versatile. When you’re a master or disguise and deception, you need to be flexible in your cosmetic skills! This transparent gel eyeliner is chock full of tiny iridescent/transparent glitter particles that catch the light very effectively without changing the colour of whatever’s below it. The gel formula also dries quite quickly, and doesn’t dissolve any other liner underneath it (I’ve used it over both UD 24/7 liners and Lancome’s felt-tip liquid black liner).
The little brush is quite effective, and the collar inside the bottle prevents the shaft of the brush from getting gummed up and wasting the product, but allows plenty of glitter to come out on the brush. I find I only need one stroke to get the glitter effect, two if I’m feeling like something particularly flashy. Your mileage may vary, depending on how opaque and thick you like your glitter anyway. There is no strange smell (so the minotaurs are out of luck) and I don’t find this formulation irritating at all – even when some of the glitter (at the end of a long night) turns up in my eye goo, I’m not aware of having felt it at all (so, probably not cursed).
I find that the brush affords a good combination of thick and thin lines, helped by the fact that the glitter is small enough to want to do both as well. The lasting power is excellent – it’s always still there at the end of the night’s raiding – any shifting is usually due to a failing of the layer underneath it. I don’t find that it ends up down on my face or up on my browbone.
The verdict: This iridescent eyeliner is well worth a look, with effective sparkle, easy application, lastability and versatility. The price won’t offend your gold purse, and although the shade selection in this particular eyeliner is severely limited, KIKO has an exhausting range of colour and glitter to sample across almost every other kind of cosmetic. I’ll be reviewing the other items I’ve tried from KIKO soon!
The practicalities: KIKO Makeup Milano glitter eyeliners cost EUR/ GBP 6.90 each for 4.5 mL g/0.15 fl. oz. KIKO products may be acquired from KIKO stores and online at www.kikocosmetics.com. I got my eyeliners on sale for about half price, but they appear to be permanent items. If you live in New Zealand, you might be able to get KIKO things from the UK website using YouShop UK (I haven’t tried yet!)
Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!
I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided!