While I was in Europe recently, I had the chance to visit a Kiko store for the first time. I had been searching for a new mascara at the time and was excited to see that Kiko offers an almost overwhelming number of them. They were also a flat €7 each, so they’re on the affordable side of things. I bought two, and the Ultra Tech mascara is the first one I decided to break open.
The Ultra Tech wand is a long plastic-bristled one. It’s mostly covered in short bristles but has one strip of longer bristles that line up like a comb.
First off, this is officially described as a “sculpted volume mascara [for] longer and defined lashes, with a flexible elastomer brush.” When browsing Kiko’s mascara selection, I felt like this one seemed like a nice basic or all-rounder. The brush is long but isn’t overly fat, and the bristles actually kind of remind me of Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara, which is a really nice one (review here).
Ultra Tech has a deep, inky black formula that started out pretty wet when I first opened the tube. I noticed two cons right off the bat, which is that the wand gets mascara on my eyelid when I get it right into the base of my lashes, and that the formula itself is not all that easy to wipe off of skin! Furthermore, it takes a while to dry on the lashes, and so if you touch or swipe your lashes right after applying, they’ll kind of stick together in one clump. So, my first application involved some frustration and cursing before I finally left the house feeling pretty good about how it looked.
The thing is, I could tell immediately that it made my lashes look amazing. Amazing! If I had written a review in those first 1-2 weeks of using the mascara, it would have been glowing. Frustrations aside, it gave dramatic length and volume with that super dark color, and it stayed put all day. I played around with how to use the two different kinds of bristles on the wand and don’t really have any specific recommendations on technique, I think the wand just sort of works without me having to think too hard about it.
After those first 2 weeks passed and the formula dried out a little, things changed a bit, though. I’ve reached a point where it’s starting to droop on me over the course of a day, and it actually has started to smudge on me, as well. It’s a real bummer and really changes my overall impression of the mascara. I’ve had it open for a month and I’m starting to feel like giving up on it, so these days that 7€ is starting to seem like less of a steal.
I think it comes across just fine in the photo, which was taken right after application. I think you can still see that length and volume, as well as the level of separation that the wand provides. The trouble is that I’ll lose the curl over the next few hours and by the end of the day you won’t be able to see that length anymore. I may have some raccoon-eye action happening, too.
I’ll add that I don’t like the wand for applying product to the bottom lashes, it just ends up being way too heavy of an application. And to this day, I continue to lift my eyelid when applying so that I don’t get the mascara on my skin. It does come off pretty easily with a basic makeup remover, so that’s nice.
I mostly think of Kiko as a European brand, but they do have a few locations in the US – it looks like there are a handful of stores in the New York and Connecticut area, as well as one in Miami. European bloggers and YouTubers speak very highly of them and their products tend to be on the affordable side, so I’d love to check out other products when I can.