No Thanks, Kim K. Black Women are not an Afterthought or a Prop.
If you know anything about the wonders of contouring, then you're probably very familiar with the Kontour Kween herself, Kim Kardashian West. Not only is she a prime example of well executed and glamorous contouring, she's got step-by step tutorials on her Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat for those of us who need a little helping hand.
When KKW Beauty released its Crème Contour and Highlight Kit last summer, beauty lovers were excited to have another Kim K approved tool in their makeup arsenal. Well, not all beauty lovers. Women of color, specifically those with darker skin, who were excited, quickly found themselves disappointed because of the kits' limited shade range. When KKW Beauty expanded their line to include darker shades for their second launch, it felt like an afterthought. Even with the darker shades, many people pointed out that the “Deep Dark” color option was pictured on a model that was still on the lighter side of the darker skin spectrum.
The lack of thought put into inclusivity seems like Kim did not (and does not) have the interests of her darker-skinned consumers in mind or the capacity to cater to them. It has been almost a year since these kits were born and there have not been any new additions to the shade range.
Releasing a line of concealers with 16 shade options was the perfectly opportunity for KKW Beauty to right its past wrongs. But of the four darker shades, there wasn't a lot range between them and consumers were still not pleased. KKW Beauty was quick to emphasize this "wider" shade selection in their marketing campaigns, but people were quick to point out that darker models in their campaigns is not enough. The brand has to actually make colors that can match women of color and not just use them as props.
Kim’s lead makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, took to YouTube to advocate for the line's inclusivity by making a video for the KKW Beauty channel testing out shade #16 on a dark skinned model (aka the same model they used in all of their promos). But in the video, the color doesn’t quite seem to match the model, there are jumps in the editing that could allow for unseen fixes, and the model looks exactly the same before and after the application (the girl is gorgeous though, so that’s a win for her). It doesn’t even look like Dedivanovic is applying any product during the bake and brighten steps. It is also important to note that this video is the first on the KKW Beauty channel to feature a black model.
We all know that if the comment section on the video wasn't disabled that the Kontour Kween would be dragged across the internet with criticisms about the lack of inclusivity in the brand's products and the use of Black women as props. Until Kim can get her shades in order (if she ever does at all), there are tons of other brands for women of color to look to like Fenty Beauty, Mac, and Make up Forever for their color inclusive make up needs.