KKW Beauty Is Expanding Its Shade Range — "I Want To Be Inclusive To Everyone"

Photo: Stefanie Keenan/WireImage/Getty Images
It's hard to imagine Kim Kardashian West without her signature contoured makeup look and eponymous beauty line. But years before the launch of KKW Beauty, Kardashian West was just a young reality star figuring things out — and booking jobs without her now carefully curated and loyal glam squad. On one of those shoots, she met Mario Dedivanovic, a former Sephora employee and up-and-coming makeup artist in Hollywood. The two clicked and, despite many people urging Dedivanovic to ditch Kardashian West for the sake of his career, he stuck by her side.
Now, Mario travels the world with Kardashian West as her personal makeup artist and advisor to her successful beauty line. The two recently collaborated for an official KKW Beauty X Mario collection (launching April 5) and celebrated with friends and family at an exclusive dinner at Jean-George Beverly Hills at the Waldorf Astoria on Saturday night. Kardashian West got teary-eyed during her speech, saying the collection was "10 years in the making" with one of her dearest friends. Speaking to the crowd — which included Laverne Cox, Gigi Gorgeous, and Kris Jenner — Kardashian West shared that it was Dedivanovic who taught her "everything" there is to know about makeup.
We sat down with Kardashian West and Dedivanovic before the dinner to chat about the inspiration for the collection, the controversy surrounding the shade range, and where they hope to take the line next.
R29: When you two broke the news of the collection, Mario shared the story of how his agents told him not to work with you, that it would be a "career ruiner." Kim, how did that make you feel?
Kim Kardashian West: "I really do believe people are entitled to their own opinions. It doesn't really offend me. I just feel like it must be funny now. I had someone like that in my life, too — a publicist who asked me what I wanted for my life and in my career. I remember, we were sitting in this little conference room and there were these Cosmopolitan magazines, and Megan Fox was on the cover. I was like, 'That. I just want to be on the cover of Cosmo.' She was like, 'Oh, honey, that will never happen for you. Let's have realistic goals.' I thought that was realistic... It's just funny. I don't mind people who have that mindset. I just like to prove them wrong. If anything, it drives me."

The day I met @makeupbymario #2008

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

R29: The names of the shadows clearly hold special meaning to you both — including the shades "Armenian" and "Albanian." How does your heritage, for each of you, impact the way you approach beauty?
KKW: "We both feel like our heritage holds such a deep meaning to [us]. We talk about it all the time."
Mario Dedivanovic: "I'm always on the phone with my mom speaking Albanian in front of Kim, and I always talk to her about Albanian culture. I think with Kim, when it comes to glam, Kim always wants to look ethnic."
KKW: "Mario came with me to Armenia. We just talk about our culture all the time. We thought it was a perfect fit to name shadows after who we are."
R29: In the past 10 years, is there a beauty look you regret?
KKW: "I think any look where [the] undereye is super whited out... We're like, okay, we can tone it down."
MD: "Or sometimes a lash is a little too long."
R29: Mario, what's Kim's funniest quirk that most people don't know about?
MD: "She's actually really hysterical! I don't think people know that. She actually pranked me today with this snake video..."
KKW: "I was crying laughing. I was like, 'Don't make me cry off this blue eye!'"
R29: Kim, now that you're a mom of three, how do you find time for self care? What specifically do you do just for you?
KKW: "I do think it's important to take time for self care. I have narrowed things down. Usually I would get my nails done separately, my hair done separately. Now, [I do it all at once.] I do everything at really weird times. I'll work out at 6 a.m., my kids get up at 7:15, so I'll be home before they [wake up]. Facials, I'll do in the middle of the night... I do my spray tans at midnight. I do everything super late, get a few hours of sleep, and start my day. It's pretty hectic. I don't get as much sleep, but it is important to pamper myself."
R29: Do you ever coordinate your beauty looks with your family — like the pink hair with Kanye?
KKW: "He had done the pink hair, but I was out of town. We had literally just missed each other with the pink hair thing... I wish we were both blonde at the same time. Were we? I don't even know. I don't think so. We should coordinate that."
R29: How do you feel about your line being compared to Kylie's? How does Kylie feel?
KKW: "We're definitely in this together. We communicate about everything. But we have completely separate development teams, completely separate formulas, our shadows are totally different, our lipsticks are totally different, and we don't share that with each other. It's just like a regular business — you wouldn't typically share that information. We're always there to give each other advice if we need it, but I think we respect each other's business and what we do, and ultimately our lines are very different."
R29: Many people felt KKW Beauty's concealer shade range wasn't inclusive enough. What would you like to say to that?
KKW: "I think my brand is always evolving. We did so much research, and the majority of makeup companies have, I think, six concealer shades. Mario definitely tested them with a variety of skin tones. Because it is concealer, you use shades lighter than your skin tone. I thought that 16 shades was a really good range to start. I think compared to all the other brands— I think the top 10 brands have six — I thought [16] was pretty inclusive and that we had a good range. However, I do hear people when I see that there is something that they want. Our concealers did really well, so we are working on expanding our shade range. I definitely want there to be something for everyone. I love paying attention. I want to be inclusive for everyone."
Read These Stories Next:
Related Video:

More from Makeup

R29 Original Series