It’s one of the hottest and most anticipated launches of the year, with queues around the block of people waiting to get their hands on the much coveted liquid lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes; hoorah, because Kat Von D has finally launched on UK shores. If you’ve not heard of this makeup brand, then where have you been? The self-named brand is the brainchild of tattoo artist and reality star Kat, who was approached by Sephora because of her striking look and unique makeup application techniques; fast forward eight years and it’s one of their best selling brands. I’ve been buying bits and pieces from Sephora stores in the States over the last couple of years, as it’s one of the most recommended brands I’ve ever come across; my journey started with a liquid lipstick and felt-tip eyeliner, but on my last trip to NYC I came back with everything from khaki eyeshadow and concealer brushes, to liners and bases. The quality is outstanding, the packaging striking and the colour spectrum vast: this is a brand that’s been needed on our shores for a long time. But if you’re new to Kat Von D, have money burning a hole in your pocket or simply don’t know where to start, I’ve picked some of my personal highlights for you to try before anything else.
EVERLASTING LIQUID LIPSTICK (£16.00)
This was the lipstick that may have started it all – the trend, the craze, the love for all things Kat Von D. The beautifully creamy texture glides over lips to deposit some of the strongest pigments I’ve ever seen, leaving lips enriched with a beautiful colour that lasts for an age. You may anticipate this to be more of a stain than a lipstick, but it’s actually more of a matte version of your fave gloss; although the claim is that it’s ‘everlasting’ and stays put for 24hrs, it does budge if you don’t apply it properly and inevitably it wears off throughout the day. My top tips are to buff your lips before hand to ensure a super smooth surface (it can cling to dry skin,) apply a light layer and wait thirty seconds before applying the next – this gives the formula enough time to dry thoroughly, keeping it in place for longer. It’s a great one as we transition to Autumn and want a heavier look on our lips.
TATTOO LIQUID LINER (£16.00)
One of the products I’ve been recommended more than anything else over the last six years of this blog, this is said to be the pinnacle of eye liners. It’s definitely good, creating a very pigmented and even line across the lid, but the downside is that it does tend to dry out quickly so you need to look after it. Even taking these photos the nib dried out so I had to wet it before using it again. That being said, it’s a corker of a liner if you don’t like yours to be able to move – great if you’re prone to watery eyes or during hayfever season. If you’re already a pro with a liquid liner then you’ll love this.
SHADE & LIGHT CONTOUR PALETTE (£36.00)
Contouring may be ‘over’ as a trend, but that doesn’t mean a great bit of light and shade can’t help a girl out. This beautiful palette features three contouring shades and three tones that can be used to add light to the skin; they work beautifully with the corresponding ‘Light & Shade Face Brush‘ which is super soft and easy to use, depositing just the right amount of product on skin. The three colours can be used on different skin tones, for a stronger or more subtle look, or even during different seasons: don’t think it’s a waste and that you’ll only be using a third of the palette. Even after I gave up the contouring malarkey for good, this little palette has got me reinvested in the technique as it subtly helps to blend away puffiness and enhance my natural bone structure.
STUDDED KISS LIPSTICK (£16.00)
Not only are the Kat Von D lipsticks beautifully packaged in a luxurious black studded case, but the embossed bullet inside is creamy and pigmented – leaving lips coated in colour without feeling dry or uncomfortable. I adore the nude shades (Lolita is a favourite of many, myself included) but the reds are somewhat iconic (even if they do have controversial names like ‘Underage Red’.) They perform brilliantly and exceed the payoff of some brands £10.00 more expensive, so it’s well worth picking up a shade or two if you’re not quite brave enough to dip into her other more ‘professional’ products. If you give them a chance, these may be your new fave lippies.
SHADE & LIGHT QUAD EYESHADOW PALETTE (£21.00)
I picked one of these up in NYC because I developed a thing for khaki, but all of the different shade combinations are worth investigating. Matte in tone and highly pigmented, the easily glide over lids and work beautifully when buffed to create the look of your choosing. I like the fact there’s one pan bigger than the others, as we always use one shade more, and the packaging is incredibly robust – mine made it back on a flight without as much as a crumble, while other products simply fell to pieces.
Kat Von D isn’t a groundbreaking brand, but the textures are beautiful and the formulas really do work. In a market where everything tends to be either super high fashion, timelessly elegant or twee, the black gothic packaging (which Kat designs herself) is a refreshing addition and one that appeals to more than those with a thing for coffins and tattoos. When I heard Kat Von D was launching in the UK I was incredibly excited not only for consumers, but for the industry too – proving that the UK is more than ready for something different and a little bit of edge. Thankfully the prices aren’t too much different from the US either, with the dollar price pretty much being translated into the pound equivalent (rather than just changing the monetary sign in front of the cost like many other brands.) I can’t wait to see how KVD flourishes on UK stores and for all the new products that will inevitably follow in the coming months and years.
You’ve been warned – this may be your new obsession.
Kat Von D Makeup is available exclusively in Debenhams and online via their website.