Kim Kardashian has come a long way over her time in the spotlight. In celebration of the reality TV and business mogul, we decided to take a look back on her life in makeup. After all, Kardashian has one of the most recognizable makeup aesthetics in the world. As far as the mainstream beauty consumer is concerned, she basically put contouring on the map, but a sculpted complexion and smoky eye weren't always her signature.
Do a little digging, and you'll find that even though Kardashian definitely loved makeup from a young age, it took some time (and a legendary partnership with makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic) for her to nail down her look and earn her place as a makeup icon.
Want to see the reality star and entrepreneur's evolution? Keep scrolling to find 16 memorable Kim Kardashian makeup looks—from the '90s to today.
Is it weird that one of our favorite Kim Kardashian beauty vibes is this seventh-grade '90s brownish-red lip? She really started her makeup career with a bang.
As early as eighth grade, Kardashian was already living that nude-lip lifestyle. This is a true-to-form Kim K. take on Drew Barrymore's makeup—bold brows and brownish-nude lipstick.
This family photo was taken when Kardashian was 19 years old in 1999—a.k.a. peak skinny-brow-and-lip-liner era.
Ah, 2006. Heavy doses of self-tanner, blush, smoky eyeshadow, and lip gloss defined Kim during this era.
By 2007, we saw a slightly more toned-down look, but with hyper-arched brows and more spider-like lashes. Dark eyes and nude lips are definitely already solidified as Kardashian's signature at this point. The same year, Kim started working with her now-longtime makeup artist and business partner, Mario Dedivanovic.
Here, at her first fragrance launch in 2009, we have evidence of Kardashian's trademark contouring. We also hit a phase when the star was majorly into lash extensions.
Even when Kardashian whips out a special-occasion red lip, her aesthetic is still consistent. It's always matte, contoured skin and either a bold eye or a bold lip, never both. This 2008 look is lovely: a subtly bronze eye, a creamy red lip, and natural feathered brows.
We saw Kardashian starting to play with unique eye shadow at the 2009 Maxim Hot 100 celebration. This greenish-gold cut crease is a sign of more colorful eye makeup to come.
One of history's most internet-breaking makeup pics is undoubtedly this iconic contouring during-and-after shot Kardashian posted on Twitter in 2010. Of course, contouring was nothing new to the world of makeup artistry. Still, beauty consumers were so shaken by this image that it launched a new generation of contour, highlight, and baking products.
By 2012, with the help of Instagram's increasing usage, the whole internet had come to recognize Kardashian's go-to makeup look: cream contour, pale lip, and a sultry smoky eye complete with voluminous falsies.
During both of Kardashian's pregnancies, she seemed to lean toward bold lips instead of her signature smoky eyes, at least on red carpets. This berry-lipped look from the 2013 Met Gala is incredibly glowy, feminine, and pretty.
Another bold lip from pregnancy number two in 2015, this rich plum color harkens back to Kim's seventh-grade look.
The launch of Kardashian's makeup line, KKW, in 2017 officially made her contoured look as iconic as her sister Kylie Jenner's lips or Paris Hilton's tagline, "That's hot." The star's user-friendly contour and highlight kits brought the technique that Mario had been using on her for years to the masses. While she's currently reworking her beauty and fragrance lines, the success of KKW makes us excited for whatever comes next.
The 1980s makeup revival of the late 2010s made its mark on Kardashian, too. In spring 2018, the internet flipped over the release of a new KKW eye shadow, a cobalt blue called Libra, which was part of a 10-pan palette in collaboration with Mario.
No matter what, Kardashian will always return to her classic aesthetic—sculpted and bronzed skin, smoked-out eye makeup, and a plump nude lip. This look was created with the KKW Classic Collection in summer 2018.
A modern beauty icon herself, Kardashian decided to channel one of the classics when she wore Marilyn Monroe's dress to the 2022 Met Gala. While she may have gone platinum for the event, the star stuck to her makeup roots with a radiant, effortlessly contoured look that reminds us all why she's become so influential.