The 36-year-old Keeping Up with the Kardashians star came under fire recently after appearing in a series of ads for her new KKW Beauty line rocking a particularly dark skin tone.
Twitter quickly called out the mother of two, claiming her she was darkening her skin and appropriating black culture to sell beauty products.
“I love Kim but that’s def blackface in the form of makeup,” wrote one user. “She is no where near that dark.”
But according to Kardashian West, the images were never meant to appear as if she was in blackface.
So why did she look that way? Apparently, it was a combination of using a harsh photo contrast and the star being “really tan.”
“I would obviously never want to offend anyone,” Kardashian West told The New York Times in an interview published Monday. “I used an amazing photographer and a team of people. I was really tan when we shot the images, and it might be that the contrast was off. But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it.”
“Of course, I have the utmost respect for why people might feel the way they did,” she added.
Since the complaints, adjustments have been made to the images. “We made the necessary changes to that photo and the rest of the photos,” Kardashian West explained. “We saw the problem, and we adapted and changed right away. Definitely I have learned from it.”
KKW Beauty is set to launch on Wednesday and is projected to be a big hit, selling exclusively on KKWBeauty.com. According to Women’s Wear Daily, industry insiders expect all 300,000 units of her $48 Creme Contour & Highlight Kit to sell out in less than five minutes — making Kardashian West $14.4 million.
Those sorts of numbers are the same that make Kardashian West’s sister Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics line such a booming success.
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In her chat with the Times, Kardashian West admitted she “learned so much” about the business from sister Kylie and mom Kris Jenner. In fact, KKW Beauty will use the same manufacturer as Kylie Cosmetics — but will operate as two entirely separate productions.
“I’m working with the same manufacturer,” West said. “I’ve had a relationship with them for a while actually. But the lines, they’re totally separate. We don’t really talk to each other about what we’re doing and what our formulas are.”
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And while she’s just starting small, Kardashian West intends the makeup line — her first original beauty product line — to become a full-blown entity, with several products already in the pipeline.
“When we get to my concealers, I’ll have anti-aging formulas,” she said. “That’s really important to me — and, of course, the quality. In the beginning, this line will really be about all the correcting and perfecting tricks I’ve learned. There’s the cream contour. There will also be powder contour and undereye concealer. I’ve always had dark undereye circles from being Armenian. These are the things I feel like I’ve really perfected.”