The makeup behind the makeup.
A Weekly Conversation: Entry 3
By Contributor Gordy Bravo
Viewers are finally treated to a look into the lipstick empire that has and continues to make Kylie millions of dollars. So much so, that she was named the youngest person on the 2017 Forbes list of “100 Highest Paid Celebrities”. Kylie landed at No. 59 for earning $41 million, beating out celebrities like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and even, yes, Rihanna. The lipstick mogul is only 12 spots behind older sister, Kim Kardashian, and it’s only a matter of time and a few more lipstick colors until Kylie steals the crown to be momager Kris Jenner’s highest paid child.
This episode’s focal point surrounds Kylie becoming a CEO and well, being about her money. Though, she’s a part of the Kardashian/Jenner dynasty, so it comes as no surprise to many that Kylie is about her coins. Cha-ching, cha-ching!
Since the airing of the third episode, it was reported that Kylie Cosmetics has sold approximately $420 million worth of products since the company has made its debut back in November 2015. In a short 18 months, Kylie has raked in record setting numbers and according to Fortune Magazine, the company is on track to make its first billion by 2022.
If the numbers are consistent with the brands growth, by the time Kylie is 25 years old she will be only one of four people 25 years or younger to become a billionaire. More importantly, that would make her one of the only Kardashian/Jenner members to become a billionaire; making her net worth more than Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, combined. Who needs a power couple when you can do it yourself, right? *drops mic.
This week we see Kylie starting from the initial launch of Kylie Cosmetics to the makeup kingdom it has become today. Kylie details how she has been obsessed with lipstick since the age of 15. Nonchalantly, she mentions how she would buy lipliner to overdraw her lips but she could never find a lipstick that would match the lipliner.
She clearly had a need and sought out to fill it.
Naturally, the audience expected her to move onto the lip filler scandal but any mention of fake lips did not surface this week. Indeed, she missed a key talking point that helped to build her brand, one that doesn’t mesh very well with the shows only shot at authenticity. It was a bit of a disappointed for those looking to understand her more, especially for us.
With small batch quantities and social media at the front of her advertising, the brand launch started with over 24,000 hits on the new site, where she immediately sold out the products in a matter of minutes.
For many, it may be a little mind boggling that what seems to be such a young and naïve teen on the surface is also the head of her own multimillion dollar company. However, with Kylie being her own CEO and a momager watching her every move, the company setup seemed to have an eagerly bright outlook from the very start. Kylie ensures people that she is present when choosing what color or innovative items to come out with next. Even she and BFF Jordyn go to the manufacturer to personally test the lip-kits, where they make a short note that there are no animal testing done within the company.
However, if you want your products to be original then you also better be ready to be copied, because that too, was an issue discussed in the episode.
Though Kylie lip-kits can only be purchased on kyliecosmetics.com, somebody had knocked-off the brand and started to sell the fakes to the public. Surely, it’s a dangerous game for all involved, but what makes this product slick is some scammers concocted their own formulas - sometimes including glue, concrete, and other toxins to pass it off as a Kylie Cosmetic products.
Indeed, another sticky predicament she finds herself in.
Kylie is the biggest representation of her brand so she is often very vocal on social media about these scammers and warns fans to never buy products from any website except her own to ensure safety, and of course, maintain a healthy business profit.
The young and determined CEO takes it as far as going to the garment district of Los Angeles to investigate the fake products. Jordyn, being her right-hand woman, braves the crowds of paparazzi and fans to gather a few of the fake items for a closer look. The genuine disgust on Kylie’s face when she sees the product in person shows just how invested she is into her brand, even to the point where she fears for her fans safety. However, momager reassures her cash cow that they will report them to the authorities and she will have her attorneys take care of the matter. Don’t mess with mama's money, honey!
Not only must Kylie protect her uber successful brand, she must also protect herself with the circle she keeps. Kylie is absolutely no fool when it comes to those who are working for her and who are distinctly apart of her inner circle. She states that she has learned from the mistakes of her sisters and will not let a sour apple ruin her royal court. The queen of the castle must have all the right pieces to keep the money flowing; entailing her assistant, hair stylist and makeup artist, and all the other people that help her create the character Kylie.
But Kylie is not afraid to become an ice queen, as they say, if she must.
Seen in this episode, Kylie understands that time is money and you don’t make her wait when she has shit to do. Makeup artist Ariel had Kylie waiting a bit too long (15 minutes to be exact) for makeup touches on set of the Keeping up with the Kardashians 10 Year Anniversary Special. As we see Ariel goofing off, Kylie asks “Where the fuck is he? What could he possibly be doing?” Jordyn admits that Ariel is a great makeup artist but he needs Kylie more than Kylie needs him; there’s thousands of makeup artists that would die to work for Kylie anytime, anywhere.
Next on the agenda was getting rid of any stragglers that don’t belong to the main circle, even including her entourages significant others. Hair stylist, Tokyo was not immune to this rule as his boyfriend was asked to no longer hang around when it’s glam time for Kylie. Basically, if you are not assisting Kylie in making her millions, then she needs you to kindly, GTFO out of her way.
Truly, a different side of Kylie was shown in this week’s episode; there’s a news boss in town.
On the outside looking in, some would think that her company operates like a traditional Fortune 500 and some might even assume Kylie was just fortunate enough to slap her name on products for the sake of some money. And sure, she has the foundation and all the initial funding to help gain the notability of her makeup brand, but something hidden, underneath her faux lips and real kits is a woman with some notable drive and passion.
This is all she’s ever wanted to do and it’s finally happening for her.
The businesswoman side to Kylie is one we rarely ever see and Kylie Cosmetics is clearly her baby. Maybe the responsibility that comes with it all will force her to mature faster than anyone is expecting her to. But let us not forget, the woman holding the reigns was only 19 years old at the time it started to expand and is not (to our surprise) that she is still paying zero dollars out of pocket for advertisements and endorsements. Arguably so, this show could also help increase the brands reputation and sales, if done correctly.
At the root of her businesses success, is her widely viewed social media platforms where she has the ability to directly market to her following. While other makeup brands are spending millions on millions on advertisements every year, her initial promoting at no cost started off and continues to thrive at little to no cost, beating out huge competitive companies that have been in the industry for decades.
Kylie has earned more than her right to be named one of the most influential makeup entrepreneurs of 2017, because she’s undoubtedly an industry powerhouse. Clearly, Kylie is becoming a force to be reckon with, as her persona is what makes her marketable.
In a life where she recognizes her split persona, will she be able to remain on the boss hype after she steps away from the persona she helped to create? And some may rightfully disagree, but nevertheless, Kylie seems to be headed down the right business track; so long as she continues to develop, nurture and showcase the real Kylie at every turn; even if means having those uncomfortable conversations; such as building an empire focused upon her fake lips.
All Screenshots Courtesy of E!
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE. His primary goal as a Fashion Creative, is to document fashion history in the streetwear and art sector.
From the lens of an abstract visual content producer, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University; where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column for The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University – And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early – Bringing him to four design oriented degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art of the few, to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for just over a decade, from commercial retail visual management to corporate level ghost writing and consulting. Now, in this exact moment, T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent urban California lifestyle based fashion movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.