Kim Kardashian West has been dropping hints about her KKW Beauty Concealer Kits since the second she launched her very first product. “I’m definitely going to do a lot of skin,” she told Allure back in June 2017 for the debut of her makeup line, noting that she was working on undereye concealer kits but without specifying any sort of launch date. Well, a launch date is finally confirmed, and in anticipation of the three-piece, dark circle-hiding, skin-brightening sets, I hopped on the phone with Kim K to learn all about them.
There’s a reason it took nearly eight-plus months for KKW Beauty to release the undereye concealer kits. While Kim knew from the get-go that she wanted a three-step concealing system, the products themselves took patience and time to develop. “More important than reaching a launch date was getting the perfect formulas,” says Kardashian West of the creamy, liquid concealer that comes in a tube nearly identical to the ones that house her Ultralight Beam Glosses (just with a nude cap instead of pink) and two powders, one for baking and one for brightening. “Not only did I want to make sure there were some ingredients to treat the signs of aging like ceramides and marine collagen, but I also wanted a blendable product that you could really build to achieve that lighter undereye effect without the concealer creasing.” As for the two powders in the kit, it was key that they should be extremely finely-milled. “The texture of the powders was really important to me,” she says.
One of the products that didn’t make it past the chemist’s lab was a dryer concealer formula (think something similar to Laura Mercier’s classic Secret Camouflage), an item that Kim is still interested in launching in the future. “I initially had both [a liquid and a solid] concealer because there are certain days where I need heavier coverage and I use both types of concealer and there are days when I just use one or the other.” But the solid just wasn’t up to par with Kim’s high beauty standards. “I wasn’t happy with the formula, so I still want to work on it and maybe at some point release it.”
The other reason Kardashian West didn’t release a dry concealer? It would have just been too much for most consumers. “Four steps [to concealing undereye circles] would be harder,” says Kim, who looked to her own makeup routine when developing the contents of the KWW Beauty Concealer Kits, which contain the aforementioned Liquid Concealers (available in 16 shades), Baking Powder (available in four shades), and Brightening Powder (available in four shades). “I felt like the three-step process was really strong and it’s what Mario and I have really perfected for all these years,” she says of the concealing, baking, and brightening process that her and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic go through each time he does her makeup (if you need a refresher on baking, check out this quick step-by-step). “That’s been our routine, so I really wanted to stick with that and have people understand that it’s an easy three steps. Adding a dry concealer and a fourth step would be really confusing.”
And yes, for the average makeup-wearing human, even three steps to smoother, brighter-looking undereyes seems complicated; but it was Kim’s ultimate goal with these Concealer Kits to show the world her technique isn’t nearly as complicated as one might think. While working on the launch, Kardashian West kept in mind “the girl who’s not a beauty blogger or an influencer or a makeup artist, and who doesn’t get her makeup done — like a lot of my friends,” she says. “They legitimately don’t know that you have to bake it, blend it, brighten, so I just wanted to make it really easy and show people how I really do my makeup.”
The simple, straightforward names of each product in the kit is a testament to that notion. First, you conceal wit the Liquid Concealer, then you bake with the translucent, loose Baking Powder, which comes in Pastel Pink, Pale Yellow, and Bronze, and then you brighten with shimmer-flecked, pressed Brightening Powder, available in Vanilla, Pastel Pink, Pale Yellow, and Peach. And it’s that last step and product that may be the most exciting aspect of this launch. “The brightening powder has been mine and Mario’s secret weapon for so long,” Kim divulges. “I’ll dip my brush in the brightening powder and kind of use it to brush off the baking powder, and then I’ll go back and use it right on the darker spots of my undereyes and let it sit there.”
While the two powders each come in four color-correcting shades, I wondered if Kardashian West’s decision to create 24 concealer shades was based on fan feedback from her initial launch, which left some buyers wanting for a large color range. “I’m always listening, and I always want to know what the fans want for sure,” Kim says. “We kind of kept it in the same range as our Contour Sticks — so having a light category, medium, dark and deep dark and then having four shades for each so making sure that there’s a wide variety. For each category, we have two cool options and two warm options, so I feel like there will be something for everyone.”
To determine the different undertones for each category, Kardashian West and her team tested the concealer on many, many different people. “Once we get the formula right, then we go to shades,” Kim says of the process. “From there, I see everything that’s out there and then we start testing it on a bunch of different people, which includes models and everyday people. We try them on so many different skin tones, take pictures, and see what people are liking and do so many focus groups.” The pictures, in addition to in-person testing, is an important part of the process, allowing members of the product development team to test the shades in different states and report back to Kim. “Pictures also help so you can see what the formula looks like with and without flash,” she adds. “I like to see it all just to see how it really wears.”
Per usual, Kim also tested the products on her family, including her mom and M.J., her grandmother, who both appear alongside Kardashian West in the ad campaign. Now we know why Kris Jenner was walking around with blonde hair all those weeks ago — all three women are platinum in the photographs, Kim’s is her own as we now know, while the other two women wore wigs. “I wanted something different and for them to be seen in a way that they really haven’t been seen before,” Kim says. “My grandma’s never worn a blonde wig before. I thought she looked so good. We had the best time on set and it was such a good memory for us.”
But besides just making memories, the inclusion of Kris and M.J. was a strategic move by Kardashian West, and an important for the overall message of the product. “I wanted to show it’s not always about these young, perfect models that are going to look good no matter what,” Kim says. “We really had to make sure that the concealer worked on different skin types and ages as well, so it was important to show that in the campaign.” In addition to the photos featuring the Kardashian-Jenner clan, there are also images featuring models of all skin tones and ages, including girls in their 20s and women in their 70s.
And for all of you still apprehensive about jumping on the three-step concealing bandwagon, listen up — if Kim’s 83-year-old grandmother can figure out how to do it, so can you. “I love testing things on my grandma,” Kim laughs, who used the matriarchs in her family as guinea pigs for the launch. “I mean, she’s really smart and savvy, but she doesn’t wear a whole lot of makeup. So if she can figure out and if she likes it, then I’m happy.
The KKW Beauty Concealer Kits will be available starting March 23rd on KKWBeauty.com. You can purchase them in Bundles ($80, shown above), which includes all three products plus two dual-ended brushes, or you can purchase each product on its own ($18 each, including the brushes).
More celebrities doing things in the beauty industry:
- Padma Lakshmi’s New M.A.C. Collection Has a Red Lipstick for Every Skin Tone
- Rihanna Announces New Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Line of Lipsticks
- Drew Barrymore Releases Line of Perfectly Pink and Pretty Hair Tools
Watch as Kim’s long-time makeup artist talks us through his favorite looks they’ve done over the years: