The Italian Haul

You know that famous phrase – “when in Italy, shop as the Italians do”? Ok,  maybe that’s not exactly how it goes, but it definitely applied to my holiday this year (in case you didn’t know, I went on holiday – surely I’ve mentioned it?). This haul is a bit late, but there’s just so much stuff to go through, and I wanted to give everything a try first.

While going abroad is (mainly) about relaxing, exploring somewhere new and experiencing a new culture, shopping is always a big part of it. Faced with only a carry-on suitcase this time around, I had to keep clothes shopping to a bare minimum (sadly) – luckily, makeup and skincare don’t take up much space at all!

The city we stayed in (Treviso, lovely place) had no shortage of beauty store and pharmacies – including a Kiko/KIKO and a Sephora – praise! Below are all the makeup bits I picked up in Italy this year – I ended up using most of the skincare I bought while I was out there, and I’m saving the two Kiehl’s products for a separate review. All of this stuff is drugstore – I looked at the more high-end makeup, but the prices ended up working out at a worse value than they would in the UK.

KIKO Milano

While not exclusive to Italy (we actually have a store in my hometown), KIKO originated from the wonderful land of pizza and gelato, so it felt only right to haul pretty much the entire store. KIKO is probably the brand that I own the most makeup from – their products are always so interesting and innovative, with endless wacky collections and stunning formulas. There’s always some kind of sale or offer on at KIKO, so I ended up picking a variety of stuff.

Magnetic Eyeshadow in 01 Over The Taupe – £12.90

How cool is this? Not only is the packaging super-chic and expensive looking, but the shadow in the pan/jar/pot/whatever is all wavy! This is a total dupe for a product that MAC released earlier this year, where the pigment is loose and magnetic, and held in place by a magnet within the pot. I picked up the first shade in the range – a cool taupe-brown, which always looks flattering on my skin tone. The formula was a little tricky to work with, being a loose powder, but it was pigmented and blendable (the magic words) once I did get it on my lids. I think that going forwards, I need to use a primer or glitter glue with this, as it had creased up a storm by lunchtime. Still cute though.

Mini Blush – something like 2 Euros?

This is from one of KIKO’s Capsule Collections – Mini Divas. Unfortunately, the collection isn’t available anymore (super sad times). It was really cute though, as evidenced by this itty-bitty blusher I picked up in the sale, in a classic pink shade.

Mini Nail Polish – about 1 Euro?


Another tiny thing from the Mini Divas collection – this shimmery mauve-purple nail polish looks absolutely stunning on the nails, and layers really nicely over other polishes. I want 500 of these.

Water Eyeshadow in 200 Champagne – £8.90

I have several of these already, and they are freaking gorgeous. Not only do they look incredible in the pan, but the texture is buttery with a stunning, opaque metallic finish. This shade (Champagne) is amazing to just throw all over the lids and lower lash line for an instantly beautiful look.

Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 05 Rosy Brown – £6.90

Something else that I have a whole load of – these incredible stick eyeshadows. I sadly broke my original one of these (05 is the best shade), and accidentally smeared it all over my floorboards, so repurchasing was a must.

Lip Topper?


I genuinely have no idea what this is – it was in the sale, so I don’t think it’s available anymore. I was really drawn to the separated texture – you have to shake it before application, and it goes on as a really thin layer of pink-gold shimmer, which then dries down. I wouldn’t wear this alone, but it adds some cool dimension to a flat, matte lip. Also, the applicator is super weird – it’s not a doe-foot but rather a solid plastic tip that rotates/rolls across the lips.

Less Is Better Cream Blush

Another sale gem from a past collection – I actually have an eyeshadow palette and a liquid lipstick from this range, which is gear towards neutral and nude tones. The packaging for this blush is so extra – a huge frosted glass pot, with an equally huge lid. The blush itself is really pretty, but kinda hard to get out of the pot.


Aside from KIKO, I picked up a few other drugstore-priced things at random shops – this clothing store called OVS had a big Essence stand, as well as loads of cheap skincare and masks.Like with the high-end makeup, a lot of brands that are also available in the UK were more expensive over in Italy, so I tried to choose things that I wouldn’t be able to get back home.

Essence My Must Haves Eyeshadow in 10 apricotta and 08 peach party! – £1.50 each


These single shadows are amazing quality for the price – they’re designed to snap into Essence’s empty palettes, such as the one I received in my August Glossybox (details here). I heard a few people rave about the shade 10 apricotta as a highlighter but haven’t been able to find it anywhere in the UK. As luck would have it, the Essence counter at the local OVS stocked a few of these, so I grabbed apricotta and peach party! – a deeper peachy shade.

Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara in 01 Blondy Brows: £2.50


I’m a sucker for a good brow gel – either tinted or clear. This one is perhaps a little too light for my brow shade, but adds some coverage to my brows without looking clumpy or crispy (and it was super cheap – win!).

Essence Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof in 03 urban jungle – £2.29


Something else I’d heard a bunch of hype about – these delicious, creamy eye pencils. They’re twist-up (which I prefer, since you don’t have to sharpen them) and really buttery – you can smudge them about, but once they set, that’s it. No budging. I picked up this pretty emerald shade as well as a brown (which was totally hiding when I took these photos).

Shaka Eye Kajal in Chocolate Brown – about 3 Euros

I wasn’t at all familiar with this brand, but they had loads of products stocked in OVS. This caught my eye, as it’s a twist-up kajal product with a stick-eyeshadow texture. All over the lid, this doesn’t have amazing staying power, but it’s a good deep brown shade to darken the crease or the lash line.

PUPA Vamp! Sparkling Eyeshadow in 001 – about 12 Euros?

Another random pick – I saw this and instantly decided that I needed it. It’s essentially a pressed glitter shade that packs a serious sparkly punch, in a pale gold shade. I really loved the packaging of this one – it feels substantial, and has a neat little mirror inside it. Even the sponge applicator is cute (but still useless).

I really love trying out makeup and skincare abroad, and shopping around for new brands and stores – I’m still wishing that Sephora would come to the UK, because I really like their own-brand skincare and makeup. Keep an eye out for a review of the stuff I picked up at Kiehl’s, and head over to my Instagram (@indiekateleft) for more beauty bits and holiday pics.

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