To celebrate the release of Kim Kardashian's glorious selfie book, Selfish, I decided to Kardashify myself and live like the reality star for an entire week, trying everything from her diet to her elaborate makeup routine. In a four-part series, exploring her fashion, beauty, body, and life, I'm sharing what it's like to be my best self—a.k.a. try to keep up with Kim Kardashian. Part two: Getting hair and makeup like Kim Kardashian.
Here is what I learned about Kim Kardashian after trying her beauty routine for a week: Kim Kardashian doesn't sweat. She also doesn't bend down, wear clothes that require being pulled over your head, or type. Anything. I learned this the hard way:
HAIR: For my Kim Debut, wearing the fantastic ALC crop top and high slit dream skirt, I decided to do it right, and had hair and makeup come to my apartment. (Fance!) My Glamsquad team arrived early Monday morning to get to work. (Literally, Glamsquad: it's an app available for people in New York, L.A., Miami, and the Hamptons, who want to get a blowout, makeup, or their nails done in their bathrobes, sitting in their houses, living their lives. Talk about #blessed.) The hairstylist tackled my wet hair, blowing it straight, adding product to give it hold and to create that slicked down look, and pinning it all in place so it could set. She then doused me in hairspray, so, like Kim, I could be Madame Tussauds-level perfect in every picture.
While my hair was being 'did, I was also getting my makeup done—which is great! So much multi-tasking while all I had to do was sit there. Except, all I could do was sit there, because while I tried to answer emails on my Blackberry like Kim iPhone like normal people, it's really hard to do that when your eyes are being artfully shadowed. I mean, you can't even take a selfie. So, instead of doing work, I took the time to zen out—and talk to my stylists about a procedure that will zap your cellulite (TELL ME MORE) and other important things.
When I got to the office, my coworkers were shocked. "Your hair," was the most common reaction, since my go-to styling trick is flipping my head upside down to blow dry it, then—just kidding, that's all I do. "Sally, you look very fierce today," one colleague said. "Your hair is usually, you know, just doing its thing. This is great." "She's Kim," ELLE.com editor Leah Chernikoff answered for me. Eff yeah, I am, I thought.
On my second day, I decided to embrace this Kimtastic and very unSally look and go full slicked-back. Using an Oribe styling gel and a lot of Frederic Fekkai hairspray, I went full Elvis on my head. Or Zac Efron. In either case, I looked like I belonged in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video, and sweet mother of Yeezus, I looked good. But! I also discovered that Kim Kardashian never lowers her head more than 45 degrees. Ever. She must have a full team of dedicated benders at her beck and call (or house-elves, because, truly, I think Kim might be magic). I know this because every time I bent down—to put on shoes, grab my bag, search for the water bottle cap that rolled under my bed—my hair de-helmeted. The perfect, hairsprayed sculpture shifted with each maneuver, forcing me to remold, respray, and repray as I left for work, slightly high on Fekkai.
By the time I met a friend for dinner that night, my 'do was more frazzled than fierce since I didn't have a team to touch me up and was scared piling on more products would affect my brain. But, my friend was impressed. "Sal, I like this," she said. "Very chic." I never thought I could pull off such an edgy and, well, "done" look but it gave me a very Top Model feel. A few weeks back ELLE.com's features editor, Justine Harman, asked if I'd ever tried an Elettra Wiedemann-type cut and style and I laughed. I'm no Elettra Wiedemann, but, Internet friends—I might be a slicked-back convert.
My second Kimscovery came on day three when I went for a run—something Kim says she does every morning at 6am—and sweat. A lot. This would be fine, but Mrs. West only washes her hair once every five days: "For my hair, I don't wash it every day. We start out with a blowout on day one, then we go into a messier vibe the next day, and then we flat iron it and do a really sleek look on day three since that requires a little oil in the hair. Day four could be a slicked-back ponytail, and on the fifth day is when you wash it. That's a little excessive, maybe," she told Into the Gloss earlier this year. When I came back from my run with hair that was not simply shining with a little oil, but damp with salty, sweaty grease, I had to wash it. To be fair, I employed the wrong strategy when it came to styling: I'd already effed it up by starting my week off with my sleek looks, but after this run there was no way I couldn't wash it. So… I showered. And made an emergency trip to Bumble and Bumble.
There, Mischa G. spent an hour putting a lot of effort into giving me the most effortless-looking, gorgeous, I-woke-up-like-this blowout. Except it wasn't just a blowout: it required a curling iron, product, and then more product. But she broke down how to get the ultimate undone done hair: On second-day hair, apply Bumble and Bumble prêt-à-powder to the roots for oil absorption and volume. Next spray BB thickening dry spun finish from roots to the mid lengths of the hair and shake through with your hands. Wrap large sections of the hair around a 1 1/2 inch iron, leaving the ends out and straight. Spray a small amount of BB city swept through the end of the hair to give it a piecey and lived-in feel. Et voilà! A dramatic deep side part and a tuck behind the the hair finishes the look.
When I left Bumble and Bumble, I jumped into a cab, rolled up my windows, and asked the cab driver to—despite the heat—roll his up too, please, because the WIND and my new HAIIIIIR. Also, sweat is just fat crying, so we should embrace it, amirite? (JK, Kim doesn't sweat, remember?) Anyway, after my unfortunate no-shampoo fail, I was determined to make this blowout last. I certainly couldn't avoid showers altogether, but the HAIIIIR. What Would Kim Do?
Enlist one of her designer friends for help. A few days before, I had seen an old schoolmate of mine promoting her Kickstarter for the Style Saver, a shower cap on steroids that is designed to preserve a blowout through a shower better than the crummy, defective kinds you find in hotels. Immediately I had my second assistant contact her (or I sent her a Facebook message that started, "Hi LT! This is weird, but….."—whichever one works for you). She got back to me explaining that right now it was just a prototype (hence the Kickstarter), so she only had samples at the moment. Perfect. Exclusive. She sent it. I wore it. My perfect Bumble blowout lived on for two more glorious good hair days.
I also didn't go on such long, sweaty runs the following days, because really, who needs that?
Makeup: A rule of the universe is if you leave the house without makeup—because you only have to run two blocks to get a bikini wax that you're already running late for and really, who are you trying to impress, the bikini waxer? Because she's about to see things, so it'sfine—you WILL run into you ex-boyfriend's best friend. And you will, in a moment of panic, awkwardly shout his name on the street and make the mistake of removing your sunglasses to talk to him. It's just a fact. Kim doesn't have the luxury of ignoring the universe, because we are all her ex boyfriend's best friends, and we're just waiting to see those makeup-free, messy ponytail paparazzi pics. So she really always has to wear makeup—which is why it's lucky she knows how to do it herself.
After having Glamsquad create my gorgeous, bronzed, dare I say flawless face, I decided to tackle my own makeup looks. While Kim is an expert—she's teaching her own master class with artist Mario Dedivanovic in July with tickets ranging from $499-$999 a pop—I'm like the apprentice's sad apprentice when it comes to doing my face. I use my fingers. I don't really know how to blend. I love eyeliner a little too much. But, for a big night out with friends (ahem, dinner at a Mexican restaurant), I decided to DO IT UP. So… I followed the steps Mario Dedivanovic did to create the gorgeous nude look Kim wore to the Met Gala, using the exact Marc Jacobs Beauty products he worked with.
So at 8:15 p.m., dressed in my unKimmiest of PJs, I laid out the gorgeous Marc Jacobs potions and shimmers and sparkle crayons on my bathroom noncounter and got to work. Guess how long it to me to recreate the look? Guess. GUESS! It took me 55 minutes. Fifty. Five. To be fair, I documented the whole thing with selfies, which took up a good chunk of time (anything for the perfect selfie, dolls!), but I also was determined to do Mario's look justice (ish). And though it wasn't quite Kim-level, I was happy with it. My friends, whom I was nearly 40 minutes late to meet for dinner, were not so happy, surprisingly, but they were impressed. You can see all the steps (and my selfies YAAAASS) here:
The other Kim face I was determined to try was her signature contour look. Using her go-to contour kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills (pronounced Anastaaasia, not Anastasia like "Mr. Grey will see you now," for future reference) and ELLE.com Senior Beauty Editor Julie Schott's gif tutorial, I hollowed the shit out of my cheeks. Or at least I tried my very best to. I also filmed it for you, because, like Kim, I'm very open and love to share and am not embarrassed at all about being on camera:
I was, again, pretty pleased with the fruits—or in this case, razor sharp cheekbones—of my labors. "They don't look that contoured," ELLE.com Fashion Editor Danielle Prescod said later that day, examining my killer cheeks in the office. "THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S BLENDED," I explained to her, calmly. Blending is important.
For her skincare routine, Kim uses L.A. dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer's line of products which include a cleanser, polish, and moisturizer—and which I've actually used before (CeLeBriTy) and still use his sunscreen. So for this, I decided to stick to the makeup and, after my wonderous Glamsquad experience on Monday, I did my own beauty looks for the rest of the week. Studying Kim's selfies (so much to learn!) I tried to imitate some of the tamer looks she sports during the day—adding a little eyeshadow in a purple tone, or her go-to Anastasia Beverly Hills gloss in Undressed and always foundation—something I never wear. "You look so pretty, who did your makeup?" someone asked me at work. "Oh. Me!" I told her, surprised. "You look so pretty—I mean you're always pretty, but your skin looks great." "Foundation!" I said wisely.
And foundation is stupendous—but it's also really freaking messy. Which leads me to: Kim Kardashian Does Not Wear Clothes That Require Head-First Application. This I learned while trying on a dress—something the reality star and professional appearance maker must do 10 kimjillion times a day—whilst wearing my new, transformative foundation. The second I took it off, it was like a five-year-old had finger-painted the collar (or I was trying on anything at any Zara, anywhere). "Oh my God, I'm so sorry," I told Danielle, the human I was borrowing this dress from, horrified that I'd ruined it. "It's fine. We'll send it to the cleaners," she said matter-of-factly. "Oh," I said, nervously eyeing the remaining items I was supposed to put my head into. Does Kim have her own, in-house dry cleaner? Does she simply step into everything she puts on? (LOL, no.) Do the House Elves do it? This still remains a mystery.
Nails: You know when you just need a good pick-me-up, so you treat yo'self to a manicure? Well, Kim always has a pristine mani, so if I was going to get on Kim's level, I needed to upgrade—so I went for press-ons. Kim went for long, rounded tips to show off her custom "North West" rings, so I too, went for long, rounded tips to show off my, er, hands. Naomi who, after an hour of fitting, gluing, painting, and spraying, gave me the longest, most glorious set of fingernails that made my hands look like a lady's. "My what long fingers you have my dear," I said, to myself, sitting at my desk as I took a handsie (handfie? A lame photo of my hand, whatever). But after the suitable period of immobile admiration ended, I realized: I couldn't really type at a normal pace. Let's forget the click, click, click every time my finger nail hit a key, I simply couldn't hit the buttons as fast, since I was used to hitting each letter with the flesh of my fingers, which my nails now impeded. And forget about texting. I sat, palming my phone for an awkwardly long time, cursing autocorrect. One of my coworkers, who will remain anonymous, did however thoroughly enjoy the head-scratchies the nails provided. I only kept the nails for a day (I was also terrified I'd maul myself in my sleep, but, rejoice, I survived!) and was relieved to have my texting fingers back, but I did miss my long lady nails.
So...what was the takeaway? Kim is patient—and dedicated to looking her best. Sure, it sounds like #celebrityproblems to complain about spending an hour in hair and makeup (hello! you have someone there whose job it is to make you look freaking phenomenal), but it's not an easy, throw on some products process. Plus the touch-ups: By 1 pm, my coworkers could have been checking their own makeup using my forehead it was so shinetastically reflective. On the other hand, the area around my lips was cakey (this is why Kim never smiles, people! Genius.) and showing my "fine lines." If I'd had an "appearance" that afternoon I'd have had to redo my makeup entirely...and then again for evening. It's a lot—especially considering Kim is on camera 24/7.
I also discovered her skin is resilient: After a week of wearing a full face of foundation, I noticed a (deep breath) zit in one of my selfies (mirrors are sooo over). My virgin skin wasn't used to so much product, even though I was dutifully removing all my makeup each night, which I don't normally do.
So, worth it? Well, frankly I'm too lazy to give myself a full face of makeup every day—and even though I loved how I looked, I was a little self-conscious looking so done-up. But...why? I think one of my biggest takeaways is that hey, it's not so bad to look like you put some effort into your beauty routine. While my hair normally just does "its thing" and my makeup is usually minimal, looking like I tried—and with it, getting an extra boost of confidence (you guys, I'm trying so hard not to call it Konfidence, but...)—is a positive thing. It's not everything—sorry ex-boyfriend's best friend, I'm still not going to put on makeup before my next bikini wax, but it will be just great to see you anyway—but being proud of how you look is always something to celebrate.
So I'm going to start wearing foundation. And I'm going to look damn good doing it.