Much to many people's excitement, Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian launched their eponymous beauty line, Kardashian Beauty, a couple of years ago. Now I wouldn't necessarily call myself a fan, but I do, well, keep up with the Kardashians — specifically the Kardashian's makeup looks. I was mostly curious about this line, however, because they're known for having a professional makeup team on speed dial. So maybe they don't always do their own makeup, but even though the Kardashian sisters aren't known for their personal makeup artistry, they are known for displaying others' artistry. And while I am interested in the quality of these products, because of their fame (or is it infamy?), the bigger question seems to be: Can I look like the Kardashians by using the beauty products they've plastered their name on?
To test this out, I worked with lip, cheek, and eye-color products from the line to see if I could recreate what I consider to be the signature makeup looks of each of Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and even Kendall and Kylie. Where I felt I needed to, I supplemented the Kardashian products with my own. (For example, I had to use my own foundation for every look.) And when evaluating the line, I first looked to see if the quality of each product would hold up to my expectations of how it should perform. I then looked to see if I felt I could adequately accomplish each girl's look with the products at my disposal. Here's what I found.
All of the Kardashian Beauty products can be found at Ulta stores or online at ulta.com.
Being the oldest and a mother of three, Kourtney doesn't seem to care as much as some of the others (cough, Kim, cough) about having layers on layers of makeup on all the time. One of my favorite looks that Kourtney frequents is the natural eye and red-orange lip. Could the Kardashian Beauty range help me copy it?
I started this look by applying my own full-coverage foundation, and lightly bronzing around the edges of my face. I then used the Fill Me In Brow Pencil in Define ($9) to fill in my brows. I found this pencil a little too soft and creamy, but it did blend in nicely. To set my brows, I used the Eye Brow Tamer in Brow Wow ($10). The brush did not seem to deposit the product too evenly, and I had to be careful to not get the product on my face.
For the eyes, I used the Touch Tones Gradient Eyeshadow Palette in Mirage ($10), which is a set of gold-toned, neutral shades. These shadows had decent pigmentation, but I found them somewhat chalky and so preferred applying them with my fingers. I patted gold and taupe shadows on my lid and in my crease, smudged a dark brown along my upper and lower lash-lines, and topped it off with my own mascara on the top and bottom lashes. And because of Kourtney's seemingly more laid-back attitude when it comes to makeup, I skipped false lashes.
Kardashian Beauty Touch Tones Gradient Eyeshadow Palette in Mirage
For the final touches, I then swept the Ombre Cheek Color in Tender ($10) across my cheeks. Although not very pigmented, this blush adds a soft flush of color and a beautiful highlighting effect (and is probably my favorite product from the Kollection, if you will). Finally, I topped off the look with a bright, red-orange lipstick.
When it comes to the eldest Kardashian, I have to say the Kardashian Beauty line did an OK job with helping me recreate her look. If the line is looking for new product ideas for fall, I would like to suggest her lip color.
If one of the sisters goes glam, it's Kim. So obviously, I had to see if the products could help me achieve her signature smokey eye, contoured face, and nude lip.
Again, I started off this look with my own full-coverage foundation and added concealer to make sure my skin looked as flawless as I could manage. I also used the Fill Me In Brow Pencil and Eye Brow Tamer to fill and set my brows. For a super blown-out smoky eye, I again used the Touch Tones Gradient Eyeshadow Palette in Mirage, but chose darker taupes and browns. Unfortunately though, the darker tones all kind of blended together, and make it seem as though I am only wearing one color instead of the three I actually am. To finish off the eyes, I had to use my own black eyeliner, which I applied to my upper and lower lash-lines along with my waterline. And I also used my own mascara and false lashes.
For the cheeks, I used my own contour powder, swept on the Ombre Cheek Color, and really loaded on the Intimate Spotlight in Burnish ($10) as my highlight. This highlighter is pretty awesome. If you're familiar with ColourPop eyeshadows and blushes, it has that same spongey, cream-to-powder texture and formulation. The glow is buildable, and the product itself is simply fun to use.
From left: Au Natural Lip Set lipstick in In The Flesh, Lip Plumping Shimmer Gloss in Boosted Beige, Intimate Spotlight in Burnish
For lips, the Au Natural Lip Set in In The Flesh ($15) screamed "Kim." However, instead of using the gloss that comes in the set, I topped off the pinky-nude lipstick with the Lip Plumping Shimmer Gloss in Boosted Beige Nude ($10). I found the lipstick to be creamy and opaque, and the gloss to be not too sticky.
Although still not the easiest to recreate, the Kardashian Beauty line did better provide for Kim's look. I would have liked to see a contour powder, but the lip colors, eyeshadows, and illuminator really help bring a classic "Kim look" to life.
I love Khloe's seemingly unconventional glam look compared to her sisters. So I wanted to go for a colored eye and darker lip.
Surprise, surprise, I started with a full-coverage foundation, and filled in my brows with the Fill Me In Brow Pencil and Eye Brow Tamer. For the eyes, I used the Touch Tones Gradient Eyeshadow Palette in Echo. This palette features purple tones, and the bright, pinky-purple glitter was perfect packed all over the lid. For a little contrast, I smudged a darker blue-violet under my lower lash-line before applying mascara and false lashes.
Touch Tones Gradient Eyeshadow Palette in Echo
The cheeks are a toned-down version of what I did for Kim's look. That is, I contoured with my own powder, applied the Ombre Cheek Color, and tapped on some of the Intimate Spotlight. And because no one does a vampy lip like Khloe, I picked a deep ruby hue for my lipstick. I truly appreciate the variety of colors available in the eyeshadow palettes.
The most stylishly laid-back, Kendall's (almost) no-makeup makeup look was actually the easiest to replicate using the Kardashian Beauty product — and she's not even involved in the line!
To suit Kendall's more casual style, I used a lighter-coverage foundation. And because her brows are fabulous, I made sure to really sculpt mine using the Fill Me In Brow Pencil and Eye Brow Tamer. I then used the Intimate Spotlight as a dual-purpose product, because it seemed like something Kendall might do. So I tapped it on my cheekbones as an illuminator, and then tapped a little more on my eyelids as a shadow. And I must say, it does make a beautiful eyeshadow.
From left: Fill Me In Brow Pencil in Define, Deeply Felt Precision Eyeliner, Honey Stick Lipgloss in Wild Flower
I then lined my upper lash-line with the Deeply Felt Precision Eyeliner ($10), slightly flicking it out at the ends. I was pretty impressed with this liquid eyeliner. It has a brush tip as opposed to a felt tip, and I was able to achieve an even, thin line with it. I added my own bronze-toned blush because I thought this look needed a little more sun-kissed color. And the look was completed with a touch of mascara (but no falsies), and a swipe of Honey Stick Lipgloss in Wild Flower ($9). This gloss was comfortable — not too sticky. But I found the applicator did not hold as much product as I'm accustomed to, causing me to have to dip back in a few times to grab enough product to coat my lips.
Although the Kardashian Beauty line helps achieve Kim's look, I found Kendall's look the easiest to replicate not only because of how few of my own products I had to supplement with, but also because the majority of the products in the line are relatively neutral and Kendall's look is relatively natural.
Ah, Kylie Jenner. The youngest of the sisters, she, like Kim, has a signature style. Hers is based on lashes and full lips, so let's see how the line held up to her look.
I started this look with a medium-coverage foundation, and by filling in my brows with the Fill Me In Brow Pencil and Eye Brow Tamer. For the eyes, I turned back to the Touch Tones Gradient Eyeshadow Palette in Mirage for a golden-bronze look. The Deeply Felt Precision Eyeliner gave me a thicker line with a longer flick than what I drew for Kendall's look. Thick coats of my own mascara and falsies completed the eyes.
From left: Au Natural Lip Set lipliner in In The Flesh, Ombre Cheek Color in Tender
For the cheeks, I tapped on the Intimate Spotlight illuminator and swept a bronze-toned blush both on and into the hollows of my cheeks. And for the infamous lips, I used the lipliner from the Au Natural Lip Set in In The Flesh to over-line and fill in my lips.
Although Kylie also did not have a hand in the production of the Kardashian Beauty line, her look was one of the easier ones to capture using the products. However, I am surprised at the lack of lipliners (there are only three; one comes in each of the Au Natural Lip Sets) in the collection considering all of the girls probably use liners in their makeup routines.
The Kardashian Beauty line is a relatively small one. For each product they do have, there are only a few color variations (if any at all). And overall, the colors are extremely neutral. Yes, I felt that I could, for the most part, copy a "Kim" or "Kendall" look with this line, but I did need to substitute some of my own products in. Since the name is definitely a huge draw, I would love to see more products that are easily associated with the Kardashian fam, like contour powder options, individual lip liner options, more lip color options, and more false-lash options. At least they seem to have nailed it with their hair products.
Images: Miki Hayes