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Kim Kardashian addressed accusations that she employed ‘blackface’ in a photo promoting her makeup line, saying that she ‘would obviously never want to offend anyone’ but that she nevertheless ‘learned from’ the experience.
USA TODAY

Kim Kardashian’s first makeup line, KKW Beauty, didn’t break the Internet when it launched Wednesday afternoon — but she did break the hearts of many fans unable to purchase their preferred shades of her Crème Contour & Highlight Kit before the product sold out. The new line ended the day a hit, despite a bumpy debut following allegations that Kardashian used blackface in ads for the line.

The first product, a contour/highlighting kit containing two cream sticks and a dual-ended brush/sponge blending tool, went on sale Wednesday at 12 ET / 9 PT on the makeup line’s website. Less than 20 minutes later, the “light” and “medium” shades of the kit were sold out, as Kardashian shared on Twitter.

A few hours later, the entire line, including the kit’s “dark” and “deep dark” shades were gone, too.

As Kardashian explained on Twitter, she uses the medium and dark kits to create her signature contoured look. “The dark kit is great for medium skintones when you want a darker contour, and you can mix and match shades,” she wrote. “The dark kit I use when I am super tan or I want a more dramatic contour.”

However, her tweets added to the confusion surrounding how Kardashian represents her skin tone. Earlier this week, Kardashian tweeted ads that made her skin look as if it was artificially darkened, with critics equating the photos to blackface.

In response, she told the New York Times that she was “really tan” during the shoot, and that her team greenlit the photos. “I would obviously never want to offend anyone. I used an amazing photographer and a team of people,” she said. “I was really tan when we shot the images, and it might be that the contrast was off. But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it.”

After Kardashian tweeted about using the “dark” kit, many buyers were left wondering what KKW shade, if any, matches their complexion. 


“Kim Kardashian just said she uses medium to dark from her new line,” one Twitter user commented. “She definitely didn’t make that line for POC.”


“What does Kim Kardashian know about dark and deep dark skin tones?? Stick to your own warped ‘nude’ skin tone,” another user wrote.

As potential buyers puzzled over whether the “dark” or “deep dark” kits would match their skin, Kardashian retweeted a fan account showing swatches from the two kits on someone with lighter skin, which may not fully answer darker-skinned users’ questions.

Contributing: Andrea Mandell