Few people in the world could bring me to Times Square on a Saturday in the middle of a balmy New York summer. Very high up on this shortlist is professionally beautiful woman Kim Kardashian West — and the man tasked with making her professionally beautiful, makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic (or, as he's known in the social media realm, @makeupbymario). As I sat down in my coveted seat at Dedivanovic's The Master Class with Kim Kardashian on Saturday, I was greeted by my seat-mate who had flown all the way from Savannah, Georgia, to meet Kardashian. Or as she called her, "Ms. Kim." She easily beats me on who has the better accent and would (narrowly) best me, a Kardashian scholar, in a Kim K. trivia contest. The event was not for the half-hearted.
I, along with 1200 other attendees, settled in for full day of makeup learning. (And I do mean a full day: I arrived just after 10:00 a.m. and was there through 5:30 p.m.) Most of fellow attendees had shelled out between $499.99 and $1,499.99 to be there — but I, as a member of the press, was #blessed to gain access for free. You can see me, front row, in Mario's video from the stage.
When the attendees arrived in the theater, we each received a notebook and pen, both inscribed in silver with "The Master Class" on the front. They, like Kim herself, are fancy and perfect. They also come in handy, because the second Mario and Kim begin their presentation, you find yourself wanting to gather every pearl of wisdom the duo drops.
As they began to speak, I opened to the first fresh page of my notebook. And then I wrote. A lot. I switched to shorthand at one point, fearing I'd miss something crucial, as Kardashian gabbed about North, the secret to her long eyelashes and how to earn Mario's affections on Instagram. When it was all said and done, I had filled 19 pages with obsessive notes. Here, a selection of the best tips, tricks and anecdotes — my hand is still cramping, but at least you'll learn how to replicate Mario's famous "sandbag" technique. You can thank me later.
But before we get there, let me just say: Yes, I met Kim. Yes, she gave me a hug. And yes, it's true what you've read about her insanely soft skin.
Now on to the specifics.
The key to Kardashian-level konfidence?
Brows. Kim says that in just one brow session with Anastasia Soare, the brow whisperer and founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, changed her whole look and gave her newfound confidence.
Replicate Mario's famous "Sandbag Technique."
This is the makeup artist's trick for setting makeup so it lasts all day. First, he applies loose powder over foundation or concealer, focusing specifically on the undereye area. The combination works like a sandbag, preventing eyeliner from running and keeping the line clean.
Everything starts and ends with the eyes.
Mario recommends starting with your eyes, moving on to the rest of the face and then going back to the eyes when you're finished. This way, you can change the intensity of your eyes to balance the rest of your look.
For makeup artists who want to build a portfolio...
Mario's advice is do something "pretty." Don't go for the avant-garde or editorial look, he cautions, because at the end of the day, people don't want to look like Natalie Portman in 'Black Swan'. They just want to look like the best version of themselves.
Triple — or even quadruple — layer your eyeliner.
Mario applies so many layers of eye liner and detests a messy line. Attention to detail is important, people.
The perfect nude lipstick doesn't exist. (Sorry, Kylie.)
Mario doesn't use just one shade to create the famous Kim K. Nude Lip. He mixes somewhere between three and 10 (!) shades to achieve perfection. So channel your inner mixologist, and start crafting your perfect shade.
How to get Mario's attention on Instagram.
Do something different. Everything looks very similar on the 'Gram these days, so he loves seeing any makeup looks that feel fresh and new.
North West can contour better than you (probably).
Kim didn't go into nearly enough detail for yours truly, but she did note that North's favorite makeup technique is contouring — like mother like daughter.
For a Kim Kardashian-type dewiness, there's really one product you need.
The secret to Kim's glow is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, according to Mario. The texture, similar to Vaseline, is blam-like; it lends a perfect shimmer that's ideal for red carpets. Mario calls it the "expensive glow."
L'Oréal makes Mario's go-to drugstore mascara.
He used the brand's Voluminous Original Mascara on Kim. And while we're on the subject of lashes, he also notes that 3/4 lashes give a "more natural" look. Mario recommends Battington Lashes in Demi 3D silk.
The Kardashian-approved eyelash curler comes from Japan.
Before applying her lashes, Kim used the Preo/Prima Curl Up Japanese Eyelash Curler.
Of course, Kim uses KKW Beauty.
Shocking! Mario used the new KKW Powder Contour and Highlight Kits. Kim admits that she's not a pro at swatches, but would probably add a "yet" to the end of that sentence.
Kim's flawless skin calls for a flawless foundation.
Mario uses Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation, a medium-to-full-coverage oil-free liquid formula with a matte finish. (Dedivanovic is a spokesperson for the brand.)
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Homepage photo: @makeupmymario/Instagram