Kim Kardashian‘s KKW Beauty brand is set to have some serious competition in the form of a new cosmetics collection being launched by the reality star’s longtime friend and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic.
The 36-year-old beauty pro, who has worked with Kim, 39, for years, and also counts Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Bosworth among his clientele, announced the launch of Makeup By Mario on Monday – 11 months after he teamed up with Kim on the launch of a KKW Beauty palette collaboration.
Mario’s new beauty brand also coincides with his 20th year working as a makeup artist, and the cosmetics guru revealed during an online launch event that he has been working on the collection for more than three years, having decided early on to manage almost every aspect of its creation personally.
Success: Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic is launching his own beauty brand on October 1
Collaborator: Mario, 36, has been working with Kim, 39, for years, and the two teamed up on a KKW Beauty palette last year – however this is the first time he has launched his own products
‘With Makeup By Mario, I’ve taken my signature techniques and transformed them into accessible pro products inspired by the ones I’ve loved and used throughout my career,’ the beauty pro explained in a statement.
Mario explained that he wanted to release a line of cosmetics that would make women’s beauty routines easier, noting that he used his decades of expertise to design products that were professional-grade quality, but simple to use, so that they can be purchased by anyone and everyone, no matter what their level of expertise.
‘My greatest hope is that this collection inspires play and experimentation — that each product enhances your artistry, elevates your application, and evolves your technique,’ he said.
The first range of products from the line, which will be released on October 1 – Mario’s 37th birthday – all focus on the eyes, because that is where the makeup artist always starts when he is putting together a look.
Having taught dozens of master classes over the years, during which he shares his most-used techniques with other industry experts, Mario wanted to infuse all of those trade secrets into his products.
For example, one of the offerings in the first release is a concealer palette for the eyes; Mario has long relied on concealer and translucent powder to prep the eyes, rather than using a primer, and that tip is brought to life in the Master Eye Prep & Set ($28).
Budding makeup artists will also have the chance to get creative with their looks courtesy of the Master Metals palette ($48), which features five metallic shadows – all of which are ‘inspired by Earth’s natural metals’.
Inspiration: Mario’s first product releases are all focused on the eyes, because that is where he starts whenever he puts together a beauty look
Natural: The beauty pro revealed that the shades in his collection were inspired by the colors of human organs and arteries, because he wanted them to be completely universal
Mix it up: The products are all based on the techniques that Mario has picked up over the years, and they are meant to encourage users to improve their own skills as they use them
Goal: ‘I’ve taken my signature techniques and transformed them into accessible pro products inspired by the ones I’ve loved and used throughout my career,’ he shared
The palette not only includes the shadows themselves but also a mixing tray and spatula that allows you to mix the different shades, and turn them into a bold liquid formula using an additional product – the Master Metals Manipulator ($14).
This liquid formula transforms the powders into ‘molten’ metals that can then be blended and applied either as a liner or a metallic shadow.
When it came to creating his eyeliners themselves, Mario says he was inspired by his own sister who has ‘struggled for years’ with perfecting her technique.
‘I wanted to create an eyeliner for my sister and the other women like her,’ he shared while showing off his Master Mattes Liquid Liner ($22) and his Master Pigment Pro Pencil ($22).
Mario’s personal fascination with nature also played a significant role in the creation of the products, particularly the eyeshadow palettes, which he revealed to WWD were inspired by the colors of ‘human flesh, arteries and organs’, shades that are essentially universal to all users.
‘I wanted a brand that is completely universal, especially in this first collection, [so] that all of my clients would be able to use it — and my followers,’ he explained.
‘I started to research and study the shades within the human body. We all have the same shades, no matter where you’re from, [and] surprisingly enough, we don’t have a lot of shades within our bodies.
‘Not to sound morbid, but basically to show that [the collection] is truly universal and comes from within us.’
Simple: Mario explained that he wanted to release cosmetics that will make women’s beauty routines easier
Betting on himself: The beauty pro did not want to accept outside funding, so he invested all of the money to start his brand himself
Gamble: ‘So if this doesn’t work out, I’m going to be back living with my parents!’ he joked
Celebrity favorite: Mario began his career as a sales assistant in Sephora back in 2000, when he was just 17, however he has gone on to build up an impressive roster of A-list clients
In addition to the Master Metals palette, there are two other eyeshadow offerings in the first Makeup By Mario collection – Master Mattes ($48) and Master Metallics ($48) – and Mario revealed that he chose to separate the matte shades and the metallic shades because that is how he has always been trained to organize his own kit, the same one that he has used on all of his A-list clients.
When it came to testing out his new products on his most famous clientele however, Mario was hesitant to reveal exactly what he was working, admitting during his online launch event that he is incredibly ‘secretive’ and didn’t immediately share details about his creations.
So while he did use his products on his clients, he confesses that they had no idea what those formulas were – nor were they aware that he had spent months on end perfecting them himself.
The launch of the brand is a triumph that has been years in the making for Mario; while he says he has been working on the product concepts since early 2017, he has been ‘dreaming’ about having his own brand stocked on the shelves of Sephora ever since 2000, when he first started working there at the age of 17.
And while he has teamed up with other beauty brands in the past, working on single-product collaborations with major labels like KKW Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills, when it came to launching his own line, Mario wanted to ensure he would be more than just the ‘face’ of the collection that was created in partnership with another big brand.
But while he has certainly achieved his goal with the launch of Makeup By Mario – which will be released online and in Sephora at the start of next month – it hasn’t come easy.
‘I have invested everything I have into this brand, because I didn’t want to use outside funding,’ he explained. ‘So if this doesn’t work out, I’m going to be back living with my parents!’