Remember doing “back to school” shopping for school supplies? Fresh new notebooks, pencils waiting to be sharpened for the first time, a pristine pink eraser, maybe some stickers—everything so tidy and promising.
I get the same feeling when I buy new makeup. And although I don’t reserve the experience for early September, it still feels the perfect time to pick up a few cosmetics staples.
Kiko Cosmetics releases a limited edition collection every season, and this fall’s line is my favorite so far. It’s called Neo Noir, and it’s a generous range of reasonably priced color cosmetics designed for eyes, lips, face, and nails. The packaging is black and silvertone, with sculptural ripples and “gathers.”
I selected three products (after extensive browsing): Sparkling Trail Eyeshadow, Design Flower Enriched Highlighter, and Enigma Lipstick.
Here are the three items together in some early-autumn sunlight. The Sparkling Trail Eyeshadow in Shade 2 (Sculptural Bronze) shows up well here. It’s an eye shadow pencil with a smooth, almost gel-like texture and very fine shimmer.
I’ve been rubbing the Sculptural Bronze pencil onto my fingertip and using my finger as an applicator, patting and spreading the shadow onto my eyelid. I like wearing it on the outer half of my lid, over an ivory or champagne cream shadow.
Sculptural Bronze applies as a sheer medium brown with shimmer, and it’s decently buildable if you want more concentrated color.
Kiko’s limited edition lipsticks have impressed me before, and Enigma Lipstick is a high quality item that would cost twice as much if it were being sold by a brand like Lancôme. I chose Shade 6 (Seduction Rose), a warm rose color with a creme finish.
I hope Kiko will repeat this formula: it feels creamy and it gives full coverage, it stays put and it has above-average lasting power. And this shade is really versatile—sort of neutral, sort of feminine, very modern.
The third item I picked out is Design Flower Enriched Highlighter. It’s a powder highlight duo in a mirrored compact, designed to be applied with a brush. I’ve been using my Ecotools blush brush to apply the lighter shade to my temples and the tops of my cheeks. It gives a subtle matte highlight without any sparkle; no wacky Instagram “strobing” here.
Since I have a light skintone, I can use the deeper shade as a bronzer, applied with a big fluffy brush to both sides of my face in a “3” shape. Again, it’s a quiet way to add a little color and depth without any wannabe Kardashian-kontouring.
And, if you’re curious, my receipt for these three items totaled just under $40 before tax. Much less than I used to spend on my back-to-school makeup indulgences in years past, and yet the quality is surprisingly good for this price point. Do check out this collection if you have the chance!
Product source: I purchased these products at my local Kiko Cosmetics boutique
Images: all product photos by TC