Who doesn’t love lipsticks? They can be so much more than just makeup, they can help express your mood, individuality and bring an outfit together. They can even pick you up in a moment of sadness or stress. These cute little makeup items can be so much more and they can also be moisturising and nourishing to our lip skin that we somehow completely forget that it needs nourishing too.
I’ve been on a mission to find the best lipsticks that are not just moisturising and look good but are also nourishing for the skin. I’ve previously wrote about the amazing Clinique Pop lipsticks and although they are a great choice, they are not the cheapest.
If you missed that post check out:
In this post I wanted to investigate whether the very affordable Kiko SMART Fusion lipsticks are worth your time and money. Let’s find out.
The lipsticks come in matte black cardboard outer packaging that is simply designed and although it doesn’t look particularly interesting, it brings the product together and makes it appear more expensive than it is.
The lipsticks themselves come in a half matte half shiny plastic black case which looks simple but elegant and again more expensive than the product actually is. Sadly though, there is something that gives away its price and that’s the fact that the screw up/down mechanism, to move the lipstick bullet, is very loose which means that it can move on its own sometimes. This results in the lipstick bullets sometimes touching the cap which damages them at the top. In fact, 50% of all Kiko SMART Fusion lipsticks I bought had a damaged tip so make sure to check them before purchase.
This problem will not go away with using the lipstick, because the lipstick bullet could still be tall enough to touch the lid (until you reach about the last 1/3 of the lipstick). However, it’s also not a major problem, it doesn’t take away from how well the lipstick works, it’s just a visual nuisance and a little lipstick wastage.
Texture and Finish
The Kiko SMART Fusion lipsticks have a texture and finish somewhere between a lip balm and a lipstick, in my head they are almost a separate product that lies between the two. They are moisturising and feel like a lip balm but they also add enough colour to look more like a lipstick. However, the colour is a little (not completely) sheer so they do not look as solid coloured as traditional lipsticks.
This makes them look a little lighter and more natural on the lips however, it also means that you cannot really use them for heavy duty situations like overdrawing your lips as they will be more obvious than normal. However, that’s not to say you could not use them like that, you’d just need to overdraw with a darker lip liner and the difference would be covered.
Overall, their finish is shiny and creamy and they feel moisturising and lightweight.
The Kiko SMART Fusion lipstick range contains 36 colours. It’s a good lipstick range which contains browns, pinks, oranges, purples and reds.
The colours are named by numbers starting from 401 – 436. They also have word colour names or descriptions but strangely those only appear on Kiko’s website and not on the products themselves.
Here’s 6 of my favourite colours:
As I mentioned above, the colours are a little sheer and somewhere between a lip balm and a lipstick. However, you can build them a little with 2-3 layers BUT the final colour will depend a lot more on what your lip colour is to begin with than with normal solid colour lipsticks. The slight transparency will make the colour vary so if possible, try them on your lips and not on your hand.
Smell and Taste?
These lipsticks have a different scent depending on which shade you have but overall it is a very subtle sweet crayon type of smell. The smell is pleasant and very faint, and you will most likely not smell it at all.
I’ve added a taste category here too, but please don’t eat your lipsticks. The category is here simply because practically whether you want to or not, it’s not uncommon to lick your lips or somehow taste the lipstick off your lips while you eat or drink something. These lipsticks don’t taste of anything.
Moisturising lipsticks don’t tend to last very long because of their easy to slide and transfer, shiny texture. Even more so, sheer lipsticks don’t last long either because the colour they offer is not as solid, thick and strong.
For all the above reasons, the Kiko SMART Fusion lipsticks have a relatively low survival rate, they come off more than other lipsticks when eating or drinking and depending on how you eat and which shade you have on, you might end up with almost bear lips.
So, if you are out on a business meeting or date, these are not going to give you the best look possible but they are great for everyday use and situations when you can easily re-apply as needed.
Aw yes, let’s talk about the price because these lipsticks are just C-H-E-A-P.
One 3g (0.1Oz) Kiko SMART Fusion lipstick retails for £3.99 BUT you can also find them on sale for £2.79.
For their ingredient list, function and presentation you really won’t get anything cheaper than this. These lipsticks are as cheap as it gets while still retaining good function. They are cheap and they work.
These lipsticks are great for dry lips as they never dry out or feel heavy. They feel quite moisturising at the beginning without feeling sticky and although the moisturising feeling fades a little throughout use, it never fully goes away and the lips do not feel dirty or dry.
To find out how hydrating and nourishing they really are check out the Ingredients section below.
Practicality of use – user experience
Like any lipstick bullet, these are very easy to use and apply on the lips. These lipsticks feel very soothing and moisturising, especially to dry lips, and the colours look gorgeous.
The slight sheerness to them also gives a slightly lighter and more natural overall look as they make the lip appear a little lighter. There are many nude colours in the range as well that will give you a nice no makeup-makeup look.
The most annoying practical thing about them is the moving screwing bullet mechanism which can lead to damaging the lipstick bullet, see Packaging section above.
The brand doesn’t specify a specific skin type for this lipstick range, it’s very rare for brands to do so for lipsticks anyways! Nevertheless, I’d say that these lipsticks are appropriate for all and are absolutely great for dry lips too.
There are also no skin type specific ingredients. However, never use cosmetics on broken or irritated skin.
The Kiko SMART Fusion lipsticks last for 18M and are made in Italy.
Here’s what the brand says about them:
Rich and nourishing lipstick.
The creamy, enveloping texture leaves the lips feeling wonderful and incredibly soft for a long time.
The lipstick glides on easily and the colour is revealed immediately.
Available in 36 striking colours. Medium to full coverage.
Luminous finish. The lips are full, soft and sensual as well as precisely outlined.
Apply the lipstick directly to the lips, starting from the center and moving outward to the corners of the mouth.
New practical, compact tube in black with ergonomic grip and the KK logo embossed on the top of the cap. The lipstick can be carried around with you all day long for lips that never step out of the spotlight.”
Each lipstick has slightly different ingredients, especially due to the different pigments contained. Nevertheless, most of the ingredients are the same so the analysis below can be considered general.
In general, a Kiko SMART Fusion lipstick contains 16 ingredients of which 7 are positives that will offer you some kind of skincare benefit (some more than others), 2 potential negatives and 3 irritants (colour pigments were not included in this assessment as they are different for each lipstick colour).
These lipsticks are overall very basic formulation-wise. Additionally, they don’t really have a noticeable skincare value but they are not really meant to, especially given their price tag.
To keep this article short, I am only listing the skin nourishing or skin positive/negative ingredients and ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of these products’ ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher. Can enhance the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients. Can act as a cleanser too and provide a lightweight non-greasy barrier of lubrication.
- Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline – Skin conditioner, good for dry skin.
- Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (aka Argan oil) – Mixture of compounds including Vitamin E and fatty acids. Essential for healthy skin. Skin conditioner.
- Ethyl Vanillin – A fragrance and anti-oxidant.
- Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil – A skin conditioner and anti-oxidant that gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance.
- Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract – Skin conditioner.
- Tocopheryl Acetate – A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Polyethylene – Although most polyethylene molecules might be too big to enter the skin, they will easily enter our body when found in lipsticks by simple ingestion. This molecule is a potential carcinogen at moderate doses but more studies are needed to confirm or dispute these claims.
- Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate – Potentially persistent and bioaccumulative in wildlife.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough, I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
The following compounds present in the Kiko SMART Fusion lipsticks have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Polyethylene, Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline, Tocopheryl Acetate.
Full list of ingredients:
POLYBUTENE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, POLYETHYLENE, CERA MICROCRISTALLINA (MICROCRYSTALLINE WAX/CIRE MICROCRISTALLINE), MICA, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, STEARALKONIUM HECTORITE, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL, ETHYL VANILLIN, CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS SEED OIL (CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS (SAFFLOWER) SEED OIL), LITCHI CHINENSIS FRUIT EXTRACT, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-t-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE, CALCIUM ALUMINUM BOROSILICATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, TIN OXIDE. +/- (MAY CONTAIN): CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77491 – CI 77492 – CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 15850 (RED 6, RED 7 LAKE), CI 15985 (YELLOW 6 LAKE), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 42090 (BLUE 1 LAKE), CI 45410 (RED 28 LAKE).
These might not be the best lipsticks out there, especially for dry lips the Clinique pop are still top, but they are great for their price tag. It doesn’t get cheaper and as functional as this.
If you are on a budget, want to expand your lipstick collection, or are looking for lighter and more casual lipsticks then these are an option.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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