Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadow–Single Shadows that Offer Sheer to Intense Color Payoff

Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadow in shades 202 and 209Even though I love eyeshadow, I’ve never been one to collect single eyeshadows. I prefer palettes, eyeshadow sticks, and liquid eyeshadows. That’s changed a bit now with my recent discovery of Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadow. When I first discovered the brand, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on Kiko products. One product that was mentioned over and over are their Water Eyeshadows which have been popular for years.

What is Water Eyeshadow? You might be wondering, like I was at first, if these are cream eyeshadows. The name and appearance of these eyeshadows definitely make you wonder. While they look a lot like cream eyeshadows, these are powder eyeshadows. That doesn’t mean they aren’t special in their own way, however. Keep reading to find out why these cute singles are now staples in my collection!

Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadow product claims directly from KikoCosmetics.com

Revolutionary eyeshadow with instant colour release and dual wet and dry use. Mixture of groundbreaking spherical powders for an outstanding colour effect bringing together extreme coverage, pure luminosity, and long-lasting colour. Soft, creamy texture for colour with remarkable purity. Easy to blend and offers immediate release of perfectly even colour. Enriched with moisturizing, smoothing ingredients, Water Eyeshadow remains light and comfortable.

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Other product details

  • Price: $12.99
  • Net weight: 0.11 oz. | 3 g
  • Made in Italy
  • Cruelty-free
  • Shelf life: 18 months
  • Currently available in 19 shades (I believe some others may simply be out of stock, but they aren’t listed on KikoCosmetics.com)
  • Special ingredients that add moisture:
    • Glycerin
    • Squalane
  • Where to buy: KikoCosmetics.com or Amazon.com (please note that many shades are not available on Amazon, and each shade is listed separately)
    • Kiko Milano ships internationally, but there are unique websites for each country. When you visit KikoCosmetics.com, make sure the correct country is listed next to “My Country” at the bottom of the page. If it’s incorrect, click on the country name and it will bring up the full list of countries for you to select the correct option.
    • Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
  • Overall rating: 9.0/10
    • Shade range/inclusivity: 8/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 8/10
    • Pigmentation: 10/10
    • Staying power: 10/10
    • Price: 9/10

Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.

Shade range/inclusivity

Kiko made it difficult to judge the Water Eyeshadow shade range since some shades aren’t currently showing up online. It’s unclear whether those shades have been discontinued or if they are simply out of stock at the moment. Here are the 19 shades that are available now:

  • 200 Champagne
  • 201 Rosy Taupe
  • 202 Golden Mauve
  • 203 Burgundy
  • 204 Plum
  • 206 Pearly Coffee
  • 208 Light Gold
  • 209 Olive Green
  • 212 Smerald Green (this may be a typo, but the shade does not look like “emerald green” to me)
  • 213 Dark Slate Green
  • 226 Moonstone
  • 227 Light Taupe
  • 228 Taupe
  • 229 Pearly Gray
  • 231 Black
  • 232 Silver
  • 233 Gold
  • 234 Copper
  • 235 Bronze

Some of these shade names are a bit misleading in my opinion. To see side-by-side arm swatches, click the link to Kiko’s website above. These swatches were very helpful when selecting shades. 

I ended up getting shades 202 Golden Mauve and 209 Olive Green. The Olive Green shade is exactly what I expected, but Golden Mauve appears more taupe in person than it does in photos. Since a lot of cool-toned shades pull purple on my skin, Golden Mauve does look mauve/purple once I apply it. You can see both shades applied to my fair skin (with neutral undertone) in these photos. My blending isn’t the greatest, but hopefully these photos will give you an idea of what these eyeshadows look like once applied.

Looking at the shade range as a whole, I think Kiko provides a good variety of options. There are some shades missing as I mentioned before, so if those shades are brought back, I think this range will be quite well-rounded. As it currently stands, there are some shades missing, such as pinks. 

Even with these shades being a bit limited right now, I think there’s still something for everyone in this range. There is a wide variety of colors and undertones. I think some shades may be suited better to darker or lighter skin tones, but I think most people could make most of these shades work. I’m very pleased with the overall inclusivity of these eyeshadows.

Before I move on to the next section, I’d like to also mention that all of the Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadows have a shimmer finish. They don’t contain glitter, but there is a subtle shimmer that catches the light beautifully. Since the shimmer is more subtle, and not so metallic, these shades can be used however you’d like. I even saw that some reviewers use certain shades as highlighters!

Packaging/ease of application

All of the Water Eyeshadows are packaged in black plastic compacts. They are travel-friendly because they snap securely closed and contain small mirrors. I won’t personally use the mirrors in these as I prefer a larger mirror, but some may find these mirrors helpful when applying eyeshadow on-the-go. 

While this packaging is well-made and looks nice, I wish there was color somewhere on the outside to differentiate shades. Every compact looks identical, so you must open them to see the shades. The shade numbers are shown on the back labels, but most of us won’t remember the number of each shade, so this is mildly annoying.

One other thing about this product’s design that some may not like, is that the eyeshadow itself has a raised design. It’s very pretty, pressed to look like rippling water. Unfortunately, since these eyeshadows aren’t pressed flat like most are and there isn’t a way to remove the pans from the compacts, they can’t be removed to go into a customizable palette. A lot of people like to collect single eyeshadows for this reason, but these will not work for that purpose.

As for the formula of these eyeshadows, I must say they are some of the most user-friendly eyeshadows I’ve ever used, for a couple of reasons: the texture is smooth and blendable, and there is no fallout. Let me repeat that…there is no fallout! As someone that has no professional makeup training and applies face makeup before eye makeup, eyeshadow fallout drives me crazy. I deal with it as best I can with a lot of eyeshadows, but it’s never an issue with this Water Eyeshadow formula!

Kiko states that these eyeshadows can be used wet or dry. I’m not one to often use water or setting sprays in my eyeshadow application, but I’ve tried it a couple of times with these. The addition of moisture is supposed to make the color pop more, but honestly I don’t notice much of a difference (if any) when adding that step. Other shades may perform a little differently when wet, but I think this is mostly a personal preference thing.

Kiko advises that these shadows should be applied with a sponge blender or synthetic brush. I don’t have any sponge blenders, but that’s OK because I really like to use my fingers to apply these eyeshadows to my eyelids. I then use a brush (usually my Profusion Pointed Crease Eyeshadow brush) to work the color into my crease. That’s how I create one-shadow looks using these, but they can alternatively be used in conjunction with any other kind of eyeshadows.

Pigmentation

In the first section of my review, I said most people could make most of the Water Eyeshadow shades work. That’s largely because these eyeshadows can be applied lightly for a sheer wash of color or they can be built up for intense bold color. For sheer application, I recommend using only a brush. You get much more intense color payoff when applying with fingertips.

I really appreciate the level of pigmentation these eyeshadows have. Working with my two shades, I’ve noticed that they don’t seem very pigmented at first, but it really doesn’t take much effort to intensify the color. 

Since these are single eyeshadows instead of palettes, there isn’t anything else to say about their pigmentation. Regardless of skin tone, I think most people would be very happy with these eyeshadows’ pigmentation.

Staying power

Most powder eyeshadows have great staying power, and these Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadows are no exception! I apply them over my Milani Eyeshadow Primer since I have oily eyelids. I use that primer every time I wear eyeshadow, so I can’t say how well these eyeshadows wear throughout the day on their own. However, applied with that eye primer, I never experience any creasing, smudging, or fading. I also don’t see any fallout as the day goes on, like I have with some other shimmer eyeshadows.

These eyeshadows are reliable options for all-day wear! Those with normal to dry eyelids probably wouldn’t even need to use eyeshadow primer. I’ll continue to use it since my eyelids do get oily so quickly.

Price

I have purchased very few single eyeshadows through the years. Since many of the palettes I’ve purchased are $25.00 or under, I feel like single eyeshadows should be very inexpensive. Unfortunately, I’ve found that isn’t usually the case!

Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadows are priced at $12.99 each. That seems expensive to me since I’m not used to purchasing single eyeshadows. However, looking at various brands of single eyeshadows, I see that some are $20.00+! Others are much less expensive, like Colourpop singles that are $4.50 each. I looked a bit closer at those, and it turns out they have half the amount of product per pan compared to Kiko’s Water Eyeshadows. 

I like Colourpop eyeshadows a lot, but not as well as these from Kiko. Since these Water Eyeshadows are very high quality and include a good amount of product, I think they’re a good value. They walk the line between drugstore and high-end on price, but they’re worth it!

I’d recommend buying the Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadows in a shade or shades that you’ll wear often, to make sure you get your money’s worth.


I’m so glad I listened to the recommendations of others that have more experience with Kiko, and picked up these Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadows! I couldn’t be happier with the formula or the shades I chose. There are many other shades that look stunning, so I may try more in the future.

Looking back at Kiko’s product claims, I think it’s kind of funny how many gimmicky terms they used like “revolutionary” and “groundbreaking.” Don’t get me wrong, I think these eyeshadows are outstanding. With that being said, I don’t believe they’re revolutionary or groundbreaking. They don’t feel all that different from other powder eyeshadow formulas I’ve used. Ignoring those “fluff” terms Kiko used, I do agree with their claims. 

These eyeshadows have just the right amount of pigmentation for good color payoff, they can be used wet or dry, there is a luminous shimmer in all shades, and it is a long-wearing formula. The Kiko Water Eyeshadows are also easy to blend and feel lightweight. I do hope that they add back the shades that were removed from the website, or create some new shades for a little bit better variety. 

I would truly recommend these eyeshadows to anyone that enjoys working with powder eyeshadows. The formula is very easy to use, so they’re perfect for all skill levels. Also, many of the shades work very well for one-and-done eye looks that will get you out the door quickly!

This has been another long review, so I appreciate you reading to the end. Have you ever tried the Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadows? If not, which shade(s) would you choose? Please let me know in the comments!

Lauren

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