Mario Dedivanovic Tells Us Exclusive Details About His KKW Beauty x Mario Collection

"When something just works, it's hard to explain."

Updated 11/30/19

If you’re a beauty fan in any capacity, you’ve probably caught wind on social media about Kim Kardashian West’s forthcoming makeup collection, KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse, created as a collaboration between her (the muse) and her long-time makeup artist and dear friend, Mario Dedivanovic (the artist). The duo has teased the highly anticipated collection—their second to date—on Instagram for about a week now, revealing that it will entail an eyeshadow palette (with 12 shades), matte lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner and blush. 

To get the inside scoop on the famed duo’s second collection, we talked to Mario (aka @makeupbymario) ahead of this Friday’s launch date. Here, he dishes on how him and Kim chose and named each shade, why and how he wanted to honor his friend and muse (they’ve been working together for more than a decade), and how to use some of the products in multiple different ways. 

kkw Mario bundle
KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse Complete Collection $95
Shop

On Kim as his muse… 

"When it comes to breaking it down, it just had to be the most authentic collection of key products, key shades… It’s quite hard to actually explain this. The shades are quintessential Kim and Mario—there are different ways you can use them to create different types of looks. You can mix the shades to either lighten and soften, or to make [them] more warm. For me, my benchmark was this had to be a deserted island collection. Like, if we had to go on a deserted island, and we could only bring a few things, this would have to be the core items that we need.”

kkw x Mario

On the "desert-island" shadow he teased on Instagram…

"It’s always hard to pick just one. But the one, the very one, that is my favorite is called Glam King, and it’s a very warm, medium-tone brown that I would use as a shade in and of itself, and also to contour and bronze her. I would use it as an eyeliner and I would use it as an eyeshadow. So, it’s one of those shades I can do so much with because it’s a perfect brown."

On the shade names…

artist and muse eyeshadow palett
KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse Eyeshadow Palette $45
Shop

"I really didn’t overthink any of that stuff, but I wanted it to be [about] who we are when we’re working together. So, the shade names are things I’ve said to her, or things she’s said to me, while we’re working. One of the shades is called “So Many Paparazzi” because every time we take a break and I come back, I just say to her, ‘you’ve got so many paparazzi,’ just to warn her that there’s a lot of cameras outside. There are things like “I Need More Light,” because I’m always saying I need more light. There’s “Mario’s Muse,” which is that red copper shade. “I’m Inspired,” because whenever I see her face with no makeup on, I get inspired. And then there are the lip shades, which are “He’s a Mixer,” because I mix everything, and I actually mixed the lip shade on the spot in the lab. I quickly blended it and gave it to them. When Kim and I first met, in our first Youtube video that we shot years and year ago, she says, “he’s a mixer,” and it’s always kind of stuck with me. There’s a gloss that’s called “Proud of You,” because it’s something I always say to her whenever she’s accomplished something."

I’m extremely loyal to her, and I’m protective of her. When something just works, it’s hard to explain.

On the evolution of his work relationship with Kim… 

"It’s all fun. I feel like we were kids, you know, we were young, and she was so new in her career. Her show had just started, and I had seven years of experience as a makeup artist in New York City, you know paying my dues and running around assisting all kinds of jobs. When we met it was such a pure and innocent connection. She loved the makeup so much, and I loved that she loved the makeup. It’s evolved, and I think it works in that I understand her really well. I think we both have a calmness as we’re working, and she has done so much for me and my career. Those images that she would post, it was just out of pure excitement about the glam. She felt like she wanted to share that with her followers on her blog at the time—this was before social media—and those are the images that really changed my life. I’m very aware of that, and I’ve never forgotten that, and I think she feels that as well. So, I’m extremely loyal to her, and I’m protective of her. When something just works, it’s hard to explain."

On the blush…

KKW x Mario blush
KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse Very Graceful Blush $18
Shop

"The blush is a peach shade. It looks vibrant in the package, but it goes on very sheer. We’ve had moments where we’ve gone very heavy with blush, and then we’ve had moments when we did barely any. Right now, we’re back to doing blush, but we’re sort of at an in-between. We used to do a blush that was very shimmery, and now we’re going with more matte. So, I created the perfect shade that anyone can use, to just tap lightly and get a little blush on the cheek. But then, if you put it on one more time, it adds that pop of color. I also like to use it on the eyelids, in the crease, just to kind of make everything monochromatic and balanced. It works beautifully on deeper skin tones."

On the matte lipstick…

he's a mixer
KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse He's a Mixer Matte Lipstick $18
Shop

"For me, the lipstick is this color I always use. I have a lip palette, and I mix different shades, but it always [comes out to be] sort of that same shade. It's the shade I use in the center of the lip, and I blend it to the outer corners of the lip. You could use it just to soften or lighten any other lip shade, and also to mute very pink or red lips. This color is the perfect mixing shade for me."

On the lip liner…

beauty icon lip liner
KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse Beauty Icon Lip Liner $12
Shop

"The liner is a deeper shade. It’s more brown, it’s warm, and if you apply it gently, and kind of rub the lips to get the gloss into it, it mutes itself and becomes more natural. I love products that are multi-use—and so the lip liner color in the collection can be used on the eyes as well. I like to use it on the inner rim of the eyes to add some smoke, and because it creates a monochromatic look and a balance between the lip and the eye. It ends up looking super rich and melts into the skin."

On the lip gloss…

proud of you gloss
KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse Proud of You Gloss $18
Shop

"This lip gloss is very different from the first collection, in that around that time we were doing very, very sheer gloss. Recently (and also many years ago), we did more pink glosses. So, this one has more coverage and it’s such a beautiful, muted peachy-beige without too much orange or much white in it. It works on all skin tones, depending on how much you apply. The way I apply it on Kim, again, is in the center [of the lips] and I blend it out towards the edges. And also, when I do a glossy eyelid, I like to use that this for the eyes as well."

KKW Beauty x Mario: The Artist & Muse collection launches this Friday, November 22, on KKWBeauty.com

Related Stories