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Behind the Velvet Rope: Can we talk Kardashians?

August 14th 2013 / Nadine Baggott


The Kardashians are launching their beauty brand in to the UK, but should the discerning Get-The-Glossy Posse buy into it? Nadine Baggott finds out

Now I should be honest and upfront here, in a sort of hashtag-advert way about paid-for tweets: I watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. While I am not on the payroll of the Kardashian Klan, I do have a very big soft spot for them. I am fascinated by Kim’s transformation over the years from Paris Hilton’s BFF to global beauty and fashion icon, from the rumours of her nose job to her facial IPL hair removal. I can’t help but admire Mom-A-Ger Kris and the ruthless way that she has leveraged her attractive family to make millions around the world. And I, of course, favour outspoken and funny Khloe and her irreverent potty mouth.

But I like to think I do all of this in a post modern, journalistic way; which means that I do not buy into Kardashian merch. I would no sooner buy a Kim Kardashian branded fragrance than I would a Katie Price one – but then they developed a beauty brand and, on a trip to Miami last year, I found myself pawing over the products, fascinated.


So when I had the opportunity to chat to Khloe I jumped at it. I had previously interviewed Kim and found her, just as she is on TV, stunningly beautiful, jaw-droppingly curvaceous but a little, ahem, vacant. Khloe however I found smart, engaging and knowledgeable. It’s obvious when she told me ‘As beauty junkies we would get frustrated that when we went to the beauty department we would have to pay $80 for a foundation which is really paying for the name,’ that she is talking about her over 8million Twitter followers and fans, and not her multi-millionaire sisters. ‘And while a lot of those names are phenomenal, you do know that a lot of that make-up is the same thing?’ she added, deftly exposing what we in the beauty business have known for years, that a handful of factories around the world manufacture for most of the big brands. ‘So we wanted to put our name to all of our most glamorous, fabulous, must-have make-up loves but then tweak them to be perfect and at an affordable price. So that everyone could enjoy them.’ See what I mean? She is irreverent but engaging.


So each of the three sisters set about reworking beauty favourites in their own image. ‘We wanted everything to be easy and beautiful and to help make every woman feel beautiful in their own skin. Each one of us had our own thing and mine was mascara. I am not so much into the individual false lashes but I never leave the house without mascara as my lashes are quite light; I even wear it to the gym. So getting the perfect mascara was my baby. Then Kourtney was keen to get matching lips and nails and lots of brands don’t offer that. She also wanted the perfect bronzing powder; a really wearable colour to give skin an instant lift. And Kim, she definitely perfected the lashes and liner.’

The resulting range has been selling like hotcakes – or should that be cronuts? – in the US for the past two years under the name Khroma Beauty, until a much smaller brand took them to court over the name. And so Kardashian Beauty it now is – and quite rightly so; enough with the KK nonsense. That said, the remaining Khroma Beauty stock is now available at FeelUnique.com and contains the exact same product, just in the original packaging. It is also - knowing the obsessive, compulsive adoration that the sisters engender among their fan base - all set to become collectors’ items.


Would I buy it? Yes and no. I don’t want my lips to smell or taste of honey and vanilla – but then I have to remind myself that I am closer in age to Kris than Khloe, so, despite my propensity for sky high heels, a monochromatic clothes palette and lots of lashes and liner, I’m not exactly their target market. That said many of the products are worth getting. The highlighter pots are silky smooth and come in three very wearable, neutral shades, the mascaras are cleverly thought through, and the eyelash/shadow palettes are brilliant, containing two shadows, a dark shader and lighter highlighter, teamed with a va-va-voom lash to get the signature Kim smokey eye.

No doubt there has been some influence here from the incredibly talented make-up artists who regularly work with the family including Kristofer Buckle, Joyce Bonelli, Rob Scheppy and Mario Dedivanovic who, between them, also work with Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, but also the more understated Andrea Riseborough and Jessica Chastain. The truth is that these sisters do wear a lot of make-up, spend a lot of time with professional MUA’s and therefore know their stuff.


My top product picks:

Intimate Spotlight £10.95 available in 3 shades.

Heavy Gaze Kim’s Lashes £10.95.

Cabana Bronze £13.50

Stroke of Midnight Mascara £11.95

Kardashian Beauty is available exclusively through Feel Unique.

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