Grey Pearl Dupe? Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick no. 25
Oh, my never ending obsession with cream eyeshadow sticks - I don't even know myself what I'm looking for anymore, because I've sure already found more than enough stellar formulas. But somehow I felt compelled to get a Kiko Milano Long Lasting Stick 8 Hour No Transfer Eyeshadow ($12 for 1.64g/ 0.05 oz) in the shade number 25, one of the most popular products from the brand. At the time of purchase at the Kiko store in Queens, my thinking was that 25 seemed very similar to one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow crayons, the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Grey Pearl, reviewed here, but at less than half the price. So... is it all that similar?
Shade-wise, no. Formula-wise, it comes pretty close. Starting with the packaging, the Laura Mercier and Kiko twist-up pencils are nearly identical; the plastic on the Kiko's stick is more of a matte finish and feels maybe a touch less expensive, but that's about it. The texture of the Kiko's cream eyeshadow is very smooth and creamy, although compared to Laura Mercier's Grey Pearl, it seems a bit thicker, but just as easy to blend out. The level of pigmentation and staying power on my oily lids (both pencils are waterproof) are about the same. Mind you, not all Laura Mercier's Caviar Sticks share the same texture; for example, the shade Sugar Frost is more glittery and less opaque than my Grey Pearl - also, from what I remember swatching at the Kiko store, there was some textural variation between these Long Lasting Sticks as well.
As for the shade, it turns out that no. 25 and Grey Pearl are actually quite a bit different; which is a good thing for me personally, because I'm a bit tired of purchasing the same shades over and over again. No. 25 is a more matte/ subtle satin finish than Grey Pearl, which almost has a slight duochrome shift of silvery grey over a light taupe base. In my close-up photo of Kiko's no. 25, you can see that this shade isn't pure matte either, but on the eyes, you can barely see any shimmer.
L-R: Kiko Long Lasting Stick no. 25, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Grey Pearl.
Kiko's no. 25 is actually much more a true grey shade than Laura Mercier's Grey Pearl, and it's also significantly lighter in depth. In practice, when worn on the eyes, Kiko's eyeshadow pretty much matches my fair skintone. I wasn't expecting that result at all when I purchased this shade, but I'm not mad at it - I have a lot of veins and sometimes redness on my eyelids, and a staple neutralizing base is always welcome in my stash. In the photo below, I'm wearing no. 25 on the lid, blended out with Rouge Bunny Rouge Sweet Dust Seriema in the crease, and the light blue shade from Shiseido's Static trio in the inner corners of my eyes. While the undertone of no. 25 is more cool and suits these cooler eyeshadow looks well, I think it should work with lots of neutral eyeshadows in my collection as well.
I'd definitely recommend you to check out these Kiko Eyeshadow Sticks when you get the chance; although I have noticed that Kiko's retail prices in USD are slightly higher than the equivalent in Euros or pounds. I may look into these again when I travel to Italy later this year; after all, when in Rome...
Have you tried any make-up from Kiko Milano? What are your favorite products?