Pepperidge Farm really ruined “Milano” for me. Whether it's a department store handbag line or men’s clothing label—if something is called “Milano” it’s a great tipoff to assume that it’s not sexy, luxurious, and Italian, but rather dry, crumbly, and lacking in chocolate filling. Then Alexis suggested I check out Kiko Milano, a cosmetics company creeping its way into suburban malls along the East Coast with a goal of upsetting the pro-but-also-mass beauty market with their huge and affordable range of products. I Googled and lo and behold they’re actually Italian! But alas, they don't ship to the States.
By some quirk of fate I ended up in a mall in New Jersey the following weekend—the very same mall in New Jersey that houses one of the few immaculate little Kiko Milano US retail stores. It was clean, organized, fully stocked, and the prices were suspiciously cheap, making the quality of the makeup itself all the more impressive.
Each SKU had around a dozen shades—around 50 for eyeshadows and lipsticks—and the formulas and applicators were as, if not more, innovative than the latest and greatest from the big boy brands. There was a place for every tester and every tester was in its place, and I ran out of skin on my arm drawing swatches. That’s when the cat-eyed chamberlain of this suburban mall oasis swooped in with a cotton pad soaked in Kiko Milano remover. “In case you need more room,” she winked.
I ended up spending $150 on Kiko that day—from $4 lip liners to $14 wet/dry eyeshadows. But The One Thing that I have to shine light on as a standout, are the Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows. Twelve dollars, “8 Hour No-Transfer Performance.” They glide on smoothly with excellent pigment deposit and stay creamy and blendable until eventually setting to complete no-budgeness. I’ve seen a lot of makeup in my day and am genuinely taken with this sexy, luxurious, and actually Italian product.