With her eponymous makeup line and a penchant for perpetual risk-taking, Kim Kardashian continues to rewrite the rules of her very own beauty manual, which, over the years, has gained her a cult following.
It all began with dexterous contouring, fluttery lashes, and perfectly curled tresses. Then, not long after her former husband Kanye West came onto the scene, her aesthetic radically transformed. Spray tans were traded in for signature nude lips and voluminous hair was replaced with vintage-inspired beauty. Together, the couple introduced a new formula for beauty that challenged every single inch of the modern beauty landscape.
Decoding Kardashian’s beauty is no easy task, so we enlisted the help of Dubai-based makeup artists Lujain Qaffas and Sabika Al-Rashed to run us through some of her most iconic looks.
Kim Kardashian at the 2018 Met Gala
Lujain Qaffas (@lujainqaffas) suggests:
1. The first step is to make sure your skin is cleaned and prepped before you apply any makeup. Don’t forget to moisturize.
2. Apply a full-coverage matte foundation with whatever you prefer, either a brush or makeup sponge.
3. Apply a heavy-duty setting powder, like Huda Beauty Easy Bake, and let it sit.
4. For eyes, use a mix of deep brown and black eyeshadows from the Urban Decay Smokey Eyeshadow palette and blend together on lids.
5. Wipe away excess setting powder.
6. Apply a matte orange-toned bronzer and sweep in an upward motion against the cheekbones.
7. For a subtle glow, apply a pearlescent highlighter on cheekbones, the forehead, and the tip of the nose.
8. Apply a taupe lip liner like Makeup Forever Liner in Anywhere Caffeine, with a nude matte lipstick on top.
9. End the look by lining the top and bottom of your eyes with a waterproof kohl black eyeliner and a few coats of your favorite mascara.
Kim Kardashian West at the 57th Grammys
For this look, Qaffas says:
1. If you have dry skin, moisturizing is a must. Moisturize your lips too.
2. Apply a primer using your fingers and work the product into your skin, focusing mainly on the T-zone.
3. Apply a medium-coverage dewy foundation. You can use your fingers or a brush for more coverage.
4. Use a setting powder and focus on the T-zone.
5. Next, apply a light sweep of bronzer on the cheeks, forehead, and jaw and add a pop of pastel pink blush on top.
6. To prep the eyes, apply an oil-free primer to the whole lid. This will help keep your eyeshadow in place for longer.
7. A neutral amber shade eyeshadow with an ultra-matte finish is essential for this look. One of my favorites is Raw Sienna from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette.
8. Then, apply a glittery gold shimmer eyeshadow on the center of the lids, using a fluffy crease brush.
9. Keep your brows looking as natural as possible and opt of a lightly tinted brow gel.
10. Finish with a sweep of chalky nude liquid lipstick and mascara on both top and bottom lashes.
Kim Kardashian West at the 2018 CFDA Awards
For this look, Qaffas suggests:
1. If you don’t have an eyelid primer, use a little bit of liquid concealer and setting powder to prep lids.
2. Apply the Saturn and Parallel tones from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism palette to the eyes, making sure to blend outwards.
3. If your skin type is quite dry, use a liquid foundation and mix a few drops of beauty oil into it.
4. Use your fingers to apply your foundation if you prefer soft coverage and a brush if you prefer a heavier effect.
5. Next, use a concealer on top, applying under eyes, along the bridge of the nose, and on the forehead and chin.
6. Don’t forget to set these areas with a matte finish powder. Compact powders are best for this.
7. Dust the apples of your cheeks with a peachy cream-based blush. You can use your finger to blend this into the skin.
8. If you feel the look is too matte, spritz a setting spray like Mac Fix Plus over the whole face.
9. To finalize the look, curl the lashes using a lash curler and coat using a thick-bristled mascara wand. A favorite trick of mine is to apply loose powder inbetween every coat as it really thickens up the lashes.
Kim Kardashian West at the 2016 Met Gala
Kuwaiti-born makeup artist Sabika Al-Rashed (@sebybeaute) decodes this infamous Met Gala look, for which the star bleached her eyebrows a honey blonde.
1. Apply a radiance-enhancing primer all over the face.
2. Using a blending brush, use only the brown and bronze shades from the Dior Backstage Eye Palette in 003 Amber Neutrals.
3. Choose a long-lasting, HD foundation like Dior Backstage Airflash. Shake the can well and apply in circular motions using a buffing brush. Layer as needed until you achieve the desired coverage.
4. Line your waterline with a waterproof eyeliner in a shimmery bronze shade.
5. Next, take a metallic silver shade and line only the inner corner of your eye.
6. Add a few coats of black mascara and finish up with Pat Mcgrath’s MattTrance Lipstick in Omi.
Kim Kardashian West for KKW Beauty
For this intense look, Al-Rashed suggests:
1. Begin by applying Illamasqua Matte Veil primer all over the face.
2. Then apply concealer to your eyelids and under eyes.
4. For the eye look, it’s best to stick to these four shades: Perdita, Hessa, Desdemona, and Elphaba. Start by applying Hessa over the whole lid, followed by Perdita applied in the crease. Add these colors to the lower lash line too.
5. Under the brows, apply a mix of Desdemona and Elphaba and blend well using a fluffy crease brush.
6. Apply mascara and feathery false lashes.
7. Next, apply primer and foundation, blending in an outwards motion.
8. Use a matte brown lip and contour the lip line. Add a bare nude lipstick by lightly tapping it onto the lips.
9. Finish off by sculpting your cheekbones and jawline with Illamsqua’s face powder duo.