Khloe Kardashian & Malika Haqq On Their New BECCA Line, Inclusivity In The Beauty Industry, & The Secret To Their Friendship
If there are two things Khloe Kardashian and Malika Haqq know to be true in this ever-changing world of Instagram trends and 90-day fiancés, it's that highlighter is always a good idea and that their friendship can withstand anything. It's these two truths that made Kardashian and Haqq the perfect twosome to collaborate with BECCA Cosmetics on the BFF Collection, a seven piece limited-edition set that encompasses all the things that the famous friends love when it comes to makeup.
Although Kardashian and Haqq have been friends since they were teenagers, this is surprisingly the first time they have ever worked together to create a makeup collection. But they tell me that their tight bond, along with a shared love of looking glamorous and glowy, helped make the process as easy and fun as swiping highlighter to their cheekbones.
Kardashian and Haqq recently celebrated the launch of the #BECCABFFs Collection with a fabulous party in Los Angeles (complete with a Good American "Best Friends" denim jacket bar and a BECCA lipstick engraving station) where their closest friends were in attendance, including their other BFFs, sisters Kim Kardashian and Khadijah Haqq McCray. Before the festivities started, the two sat down with me to talk about what it was like working together to create this collection, the importance of inclusivity in the beauty and fashion industry, and the secret to their enduring friendship.
Sara Tan: Congratulations, you guys! I feel like this collab was a long time coming.
Khloe Kardashian: It was! Years and years.
ST: So, tell me about the collaboration and what it was like working together and creating products together. Were there disagreements? Was it harder than you guys thought?
Malika Haqq: This is the first thing Khloe and I have done together as far as a makeup collab, and it's probably the best thing simply because we agree that this is something we both love. We love makeup, we love getting ready together, we love picking tones and shades and all of those things. And honestly, our process together was really, really good. There wasn't really anything to disagree on; it was more about empowering each other to pick things that you love, go for what's really true to you, and how we vibe with each other. We like a lot of the same things, so it made this collaboration that much easier.
KK: I think with Malika and I, we're not people that come from a place of ego. We know our strengths and our weaknesses — who is stronger at what — and that's a blessing of a real friendship. We're not competitive with one another. We encourage one another. We want each other to shine and be as successful as we want to be. I think that we trust that in one another. So I know if she's giving me some piece of advice, I know that it's coming from a good place and not some place of sabotage, which I think with a lot of collaborations, it's hard to trust that. And I think having so many years under our belt, it was so seamless because we're just not competitive.
ST: What was the hardest part about creating a makeup collection?
MH: For me, slimming it down to a combination of things that are just for this collaboration. BECCA is such an amazing line and is known for so many amazing things; we could've gone overboard.
KK: I'm a very definitive person. I know what I want, and BECCA was so easy to work with. Every meeting, they were like, 'Oh, OK! No? Yup! Good.' I would say the hardest part was naming and trademarking those names. I was like, Everything is taken?! OK. It takes so long and when you have a scheme of what you want everything to be and one doesn't work, you're like, well, that f*cks it all up! It's great, everything worked out so well. Everything works out for a reason and for me, that was the most frustrating part — naming.
MH: You come up with great names, though!
ST: You both wanted to create products that you loved, but you also wanted to make sure that all of your fans and customers could wear the products as well, so you made sure to create products that could work with all skin tones and complexions. Was it hard to find universal shades?
KK: I'm only one shade, obviously, unless I do a couple spray tans.
MH: And I'm only one shade as well. But our whole collection is about how you glow, so there's something in our collection for everyone to glow. You just find that piece in the collection that works for you. So that's what I think our whole motivation was.
KK: The blessing about this collection being a buildable cosmetic formulation, and what is genius about it, is it doesn't ever come off too heavy. You can always add more, and more, and more — and when you are trying to appeal to a vast variety of complexions, you need that. If it was something super thick or something super stark, that's really hard to take away. When it's something that's really buildable and you can layer, that makes it more appealing to so many different complexions.
That's something that we really trusted BECCA's team with, and they helped us with that. Because, of course, it's nerve-wracking — when you say you are giving something for so many different shades, you want to actually be able to provide that. We were afraid, but we tested it on our friends and our family and it worked out.
ST: For BECCA — and you guys, too — the mindset has always been about being inclusive and celebrating diversity. Why do you feel like it's taken so long for other brands in the beauty industry to do the same?
MH: I feel like people have to be willing to take risks. Those that are willing to step forward and take risks can create things that are universal.
KK: I think it's sad to say, but what I've learned with my denim line Good American [is that] it's not so black and white. It's a financial aspect. And that's the sad world of it all. Financially, it costs a lot more money to make a bunch of different shades, doesn't it? But if I say, oh, here's two options for light and darker skin... not everyone is just light or dark. [I learned with] Good American, the reason why a lot of people don't do plus size, if you will, is because you have to have a whole different fabrication, a whole different fabric maker, and different yardage — it's a whole thing. But that's so sad.
The reason why Malika and I wanted to go with BECCA so badly is because [inclusivity] is not a trend for them. This is something that's been a part of their branding since the day they were created — it has always been about appealing to a vast variety of complexions. I don't want to just be a part of something that's just a trend that will diminish in a couple years, do you know what I mean? I love that this is just who they are and that's something that we both believe in.
ST: What is your favorite product from the entire collection, if you had to pick one?
KK: I love it all obviously, but... that is hard...
MH: I have to go with the palette.
KK: The palette is everything you need, for sure. But I love the Glow Letters because I love to glow and they're cute and they're fun and [it] really works on anyone and you can use it in a multitude of things.
ST: How would you advise someone to use the Glow Letters?
KK: OK, well I could literally crush this up and roll around in it and I'm fine. Like, I can put highlighter anywhere. So sometimes people have to take the brush away from me — Hrush is probably dying over there — because I do. I've been known to go highlighter crazy. Clavicle, it elongates your legs — don't give it to me on a vacation, I'll put it everywhere — but definitely cheekbones and I do a little swipe here <points to nose> to make my nose look a little longer.
MH: And I use it beautifully as an eyeshadow. It's worked out really, really nice.
ST: You guys have been friends for so long. What's the secret to having a strong, long-lasting friendship?
MH: I think it's the honesty. If you can't be truly honest with someone, it doesn't matter if the honesty is tough. You have to be able to get through those things and talk to each other about things and remember what your heart is for one another, because then you can get through anything.
KK: I think it's the open lines of communication. It's obviously not fun all the time. We've had awkward moments and we've had not fun discussions. But even if I do something and Malika's not, let's just say, proud of what I did, she'll say, "I think what you did was stupid, but I'm still here for you and I'm going to support you and still be your friend." And that's what friendships are. It's like your sister, even if you're upset with what she did, you're not going to leave your sister.
MH: Yes, you just don't ever leave each other. You don't have to agree all the time. Just don't ever leave each other.
KK: I think in this day and age, everything is so disposable. It's like, on to the next. We can't pay attention. But real relationships, you have to nurture them. No throwaways over here.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.