If anyone knows the power of a good reveal, it's Kim Kardashian West. Who could forget her scantily clad Paper Magazine cover that turned #breaktheinternet into a trending hashtag for days, the wedding portrait that was once the most-liked photo on Instagram, or the Taylor Swift saga that culminated in that explosive KUWTK episode? And this past week, she did it again, low-key announcing the launch of KKW Beauty, her first-ever solo cosmetics collection.
As it often does, word spread like wildfire: The reality-star-turned-business-mogul would officially be dropping a line of cream contouring-and-highlighting kits. (A fitting move, given that she's largely responsible for bringing the face-sculpting technique to the masses.) Just one question remained: What took so long?
The answer, which she shared exclusively with Refinery29, is humbler than you might expect. "I've been wanting to launch my own beauty line for the longest time, but when you don't really know about makeup — all you know is you love makeup — you depend on other people for their opinions and approval on formulas," she says, referring to Khroma Beauty, her past cosmetics venture with sisters Kourtney and Khloe. "Now I've been in the makeup game, at least getting mine done, for a decade, and you learn exactly what you want. I made it really clear that I wanted more control."
But that doesn't mean she going at it completely alone. Kardashian West's glam squad runs deep — and she's relying on respected pros, like longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, for advice.
"I'll FaceTime him in the middle of the night from the factory and be like, 'What do you think of this shade? Is this tan a little too dark or too light?'" she laughs. "Him and I have the same exact eye so I really value his opinion." But, how did it come to be that KKW — she of the 50-step contouring class — created a multi-purpose, dual-ended product intended for people too busy for a full face of makeup? Turns out, like many things in the star's life, everything shifted dramatically in the past year.
"About a year ago is when [my beauty routine] changed. I'll look back at photos and be like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe I had that much makeup on, or that much under-eye powder and concealer,'" Kardashian West says. "We definitely went for it, and that was so fun at the time, but my look has evolved. I wanted a fresher, dewier look and I really didn't have time."
Not that beauty and self care have taken a backseat completely, of course: "I wanted to feel alive," Kardashian West says. "I always need a tan face. When my face is warmed up, I feel more myself."
The star, who now takes "five minutes to get ready before leaving the house," wanted the same ease-of-use with her impending collection of Crème Contour & Highlight Kits — which are selling at $48 a pop on the brand's website starting tomorrow at 12 p.m. EST. "[Cream is great] when you're busy and hardly have time, or you are a mom and are running around," she says. "But powder is where I started, so you'll definitely be seeing that too."
Now, if you think husband Kanye West will be asking for personal beauty advice for his own cosmetics line, Donda — not so fast. "That [rumor is] actually not true," KKW tells us. "You never know though. [Laughs.] Maybe he'll see my process and love it..."
Damn if she doesn't know the value of a good cliffhanger.