Of all the dreamlike circumstances under which to meet Kim Kardashian West, the day before her first-ever KKW Beauty pop-up, hosted at the billion-dollar Westfield mall in Century City, California, around the corner from a Tesla store and a Lululemon, might be the most surreal of all. Today I have an interview with the 37-year-old to discuss the products that have brought us all here: KKW Beauty and Fragrance. Ever since launching last summer (exactly one year ago today, in fact), Kardashian West's eponymous brand—which offers products from cream contour kits and concealers to lip glosses and eye shadows, all encased in her signature matte nude packaging—has been storming our social media feeds and selling out at record speeds.
When the brand first debuted on digital shelves, it sold out within three hours, netting the brand an estimated $14.4 million.
But consumers haven't been able to shop for KKW's products in real life until now: This is thanks to a month-long Los Angeles pop-up shop in the mall's sunny atrium, where amid latte-hued walls and human-size art installations of lip glosses and eye shadow pans, guests can get their hands on the whole KKW line, including sold-out goods. It is in this dreamy space where I meet Kim, currently swathed in a cream-colored bandage dress and shiny black waves down to her hip bones. For 11 hazy minutes, I ask Kim to spill all the KKW Beauty brand secrets even its most die-hard fans wouldn't know, like how to use the products in secret ways, how to save money shopping online, and who she's planning to collaborate with next.
Curious? Keep scrolling to read what went down.
1. Many products are secretly multiuse
By nature, you have to label your products, but because the KKW line was created specifically to be easy enough for Kim to use herself—"I'm not a makeup artist," she assures me—they can basically all be used for more than they're marketed for. "I could literally do a full monochromatic look with just my contour sticks," says Kim, nodding to her "Kim Does Her Own Makeup" video tutorial, which you no doubt saw if you were on YouTube at all in the summer of 2017, where she uses her Creme Contour and Highlight Kit ($48) to do her entire face of makeup from concealer to eye shadow.
Second to contouring, Kim's favorite use for her creme contour stick is as a lip liner to create the perfect nude-brown lip, she says. In the reverse, her creamy (just-restocked) lip liners—which come in light nude, medium warm nude, and deep brown nude—also make great eye pencils: "If it's an emergency," says Kim, "I've done that before."
2. The Ultralight Beams Duo was created to serve a totally different purpose
The KKW Beauty products are so versatile, in fact, that sometimes consumers interpret them as something completely different than what Kim and her team initially planned. Take her Ultralight Beams Duos, a two-in-one product containing a lip gloss and a loose highlighting powder. "It's funny," Kim tells me, "when people got my Ultralight Beams, because it came in a duo set, they assumed you put the lip gloss on and then the powder over it to make it really bright, but that's not really what we were intending to use it for." When Kim created the duos, she imagined that people would use the lip gloss on their lips and the shimmery powder everywhere else—the two were supposed to coordinate but ultimately serve as separate products, not two parts of the same one.
"But seeing everyone on social media putting the highlighter on top of the gloss to have it be extra glowy made me go, Okay, yeah, that’s totally what I intended. So I just went with it," she says. (Cat's out of the bag now!)
3. Stay tuned for more free shipping days—they're coming
The price of shipping is a bit of a pain point when it comes to shopping KKW Beauty (it costs about $9 to ship anywhere in the U.S.). Kim knows this, so she's working on creating more free shipping days. "If you're on our mailing list, we definitely send out all those free shipping flyers and you'll get them first," she says. Not to mention, in honor of the brand's one-year anniversary, there's free shipping all day today (so if you're thinking of buying, act fast).
4. If Kim could only keep one product from the whole line, it'd be this…
Kim is obviously attached to all the two dozen products in her line, but she's also not shy about playing favorites. When asked to name her three holy-grail KKW Beauty products, there is no hesitation: "Concealer—that's a must (I have dark circles). The cream contour sticks. And highlighter. My highlighter palette I'm obsessed with. I think you can wear no makeup, just highlighter, and look like you're glowing."
5. A Kim/Kourtney/Khloé collab is probably around the corner
There are few members of Kim's already tight inner circle that she trusts more than her longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic—in fact, the entire KKW Beauty line was inspired by Kim's interpretations of the types of looks he's created on her. Recently, Kim collaborated with Dedivanovic on the line to produce a cream lipstick, a gloss, and a 10-shade eye shadow palette (including the iconic metallic blue shade, Libra). "I think it would be really fun to continue collabing with Mario because we just get each other and can start fun trends like the blue eye shadow," Kim says.
But she has other collaboration partners in mind. "I also think it would be really fun to do a collab with Kourtney and Khloé together," she adds, "because we had our Kardashian Beauty line, and it'd be fun to come full circle."
6. Though if Kim could collab with anyone, it'd be this music icon
It's hard to imagine the most famous woman in the world gushing over another celebrity, but when asked who she'd like to collaborate with on a beauty collection if there were no limitations, Kim goes breathless as she talks about her number one icon: "Cher. I am just so inspired by all her makeup looks," she says, her eyes lighting up. "I saw her in Vegas a month ago and was just staring at the screen at the zoom-ins of her eye shadow. She had this rose-gold glitter eye shadow. It was everything.
Oh my god, I'm gonna call Cher after this."
Want more Kardashian beauty secrets? Next, shop Kim's favorite skincare products.