Right before our very eyes—from reality TV to TikTok—this omnipresent family reshaped the industry.
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“I put on makeup today. That’s a first step.” The year is 2009, and Kim Kardashian, impish in an oversized T-shirt and full lashes, is off to a modest start in an early episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kris Jenner scolds her daughter (classic reality TV) for missing a meeting about her debut perfume. Kardashian’s quip about makeup is mock serious: contouring as minor achievement. In today’s light—given Coty’s $200 million investment in KKW Beauty’s cosmetics and fragrance empire, with skin care due next year—it reads as prophecy.
“Famous for being famous” was the early descriptor for the ur-influencer family, whose lives have unfolded across every available platform. (As KUWTK wraps its 14-year run this spring, a multiyear Hulu deal spells more ahead.) But that fails to register how successfully they’ve managed to oversee their own ubiquity, reigning over a slate of namesake ventures as boss, hype machine, and face. Kylie Jenner’s first Lip Kit, in 2015, sold out in a minute; four years later, Coty—a 117-year-old company whose portfolio includes CoverGirl and Gucci Beauty—dropped $600 million for a 51 percent stake in her line. As Coty CEO Sue Nabi said in November at a WWD summit, “Kim and Kylie…bring to us an audience that only brands such as Nike or Starbucks do have—300 million or 400 million people listening to you, following you, trusting you.” With both sisters trademarking their children’s names for possible beauty lines—ditto Kris—the dynasty will be long and bright.
The Other K-Beauty: A Primer
Age: 23. Beauty beat: In 2015, her amped-up lips fueled a Lip Kit craze; Kylie Cosmetics arrived the next year, followed by Kylie Skin. Coty has a majority stake. Dustup: After its 2018 cover story crowned her a near-billionaire, Forbes questioned the numbers.
Age: 40. Beauty beat: Her first scent arrived in 2009. In 2017, KKW Beauty launched with contour and highlight sticks. Perfume followed; the bottle for KKW Body replicates her torso. With Coty on board, skin care is due in 2022. To watch: What will become of the W?
Age: 25. Beauty beat: One of the highest-paid models, Jenner was briefly an Estée Lauder face. In 2019, her teeth-whitening pen debuted with Moon. To watch: Her name is trademarked across beauty categories.
Age: 42. Beauty beat: In 2018, she and Kylie teamed up on a Kylie Cosmetics collection. The next year, Kardashian created her wellness platform Poosh (after her daughter Penelope’s nickname), with a variety of cross-branded product collabs.
Age: 36. Beauty beat: She and her older sisters created short-lived makeup (2012) and hair (2015) brands. She joined collagen line Dose & Co in 2020. Ipsy’s Glam Bag x Khloé beauty box just landed.
Age: 65. Beauty beat: In 2015, she helped Kylie launch her makeup line; Jenner rose to CEO in 2020. Safely, a line of household cleaning products cofounded with Chrissy Teigen, debuted this spring. To watch: In February, she trademarked her own name for beauty—“momager” to mogul?