We put the foundation to the test after it made waves on social media.
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Anything Kim Kardashian launches creates a buzz, but before the beauty and fashion mogul introduced the KKW Beauty Body Collection, many people hadn’t heard of body foundation, period. In a now-viral Instagram post, we saw Kardashian applying the foundation to her grandmother’s arms to cover discoloration from veins, as well as a post of the star using the product to conceal psoriasis on her legs in an oddly satisfying video. “I bruise easily and have veins and this has been my secret for over a decade,” Kardashian wrote alongside the video and photos of her legs. “I’ve learned to live with and not be insecure of my psoriasis, but for days when I want to just cover it up, I use this body makeup.”
Kardashian let her secret out when launching the four products—Skin Perfecting Body Foundation, Skin Perfecting Body Shimmer, Loose Shimmer Powder for Face & Body, and the Body Brush for applying it all. Ever curious about proving (or debunking) product claims, we decided to put it to the test to see what exactly it does for us non-celebrities who spend more time in the office than in front of cameras.
KKW Beauty defines the foundation, which comes in six shades, as a water-resistant, creamy formula that blurs imperfections with light diffusing spheres, enhances skin tone, and provides a satin finish with silky powders that keep the skin from feeling sticky or heavy. For $35, you get four ounces and the site claims a “small amount” on clean, dry skin will even out the skin and cover imperfections. The company instructs users to blend using long strokes with a brush or your hand, use sparingly around elbows and knees, wait for the product to dry before getting dressed, and finally, set the foundation with translucent powder if you want to minimize the makeup from rubbing off on clothing. To remove the foundation, you use a makeup cleansing wipe or soap and water.
I’m Jessica, the lifestyle writer at Reviewed, and I test health and beauty products. I consider myself a beauty junkie, as I’m always watching YouTube videos, reading articles, and following along with Instagram accounts related to beauty. I’ve followed Kim Kardashian for years, so when Meghan Kavanaugh, the managing editor of core content at Reviewed and my co-tester, mentioned her plan to buy KKW Beauty’s Skin Perfecting Body Foundation on launch day, I had to involve myself in the process. We ordered the foundation and brush duo in the shade “fair” for me and “light” for Meghan. I was curious about how well it would conceal the spider veins on my legs, while Meghan hoped the product would cover a scar on her leg and another on her wrist. We both shaved our legs before testing to eliminate any obstacles for the foundation and because I have dry skin, I exfoliated and moisturized.
The product isn’t marketed as a solution for covering tattoos, but out of curiosity, we also asked Reviewed’s e-commerce editor, Samantha Gordon, to try the foundation over her tattoos, some of which are black ink and others colored ink.
Meghan and I each applied the foundation to our lower legs from the knee down, filming the results, and then applied translucent powder (per Kim’s recommendation) to one leg to note the differences in how it looked and its staying power.
The application was the most enjoyable portion of the testing process. The silky soft brush was easy to maneuver and didn’t leave behind any streaks, and the foundation glided across and blended evenly into the skin. As promised, a little bit goes a long way because the product spreads out to cover a larger amount of surface area, but Meghan and I each used multiple drops of the foundation to test the coverage of the foundation from the knee down.
The foundation wasn’t a perfect shade match for either of us: It was a bit darker than our skin tones and had yellow undertones. Beyond the color, I noticed that I could still see my freckles and some green-hued veins through the product as I blended it using the Body Brush. At first, I was disappointed, thinking there was no point to wearing the foundation, but looking at one leg wearing the foundation and the other bare, the contrast was striking. My makeup-covered leg look airbrushed with this product, but still natural because it keeps my freckles intact.
Meghan has similarly mixed feelings: “I was let down by its coverage of skin imperfections. After ogling video after video of the foundation covering psoriasis and dark veins, I was expecting to have finally found an answer to covering some scars and veins on my own legs and arms that have always made me feel self-conscious.” She does, however, think the product is nice as a lightweight concealer and an inadvertent self-tanner. “It felt like an even coat of bronzer that I would love to rock on my next night out.”
Given these results, we figured the foundation would likely fail the tattoo test, but for completism, we had Samantha try it. She applied the foundation first with her hands, lightly tapping it into her skin using her fingers to keep the coverage as full as possible. When it became clear that it wasn’t covering much, she blended using the brush to speed up the process. Samantha, who has no interest in actually concealing her tattoos, says she likes the product because it evened out her skin tone without erasing her body art. If she were to use the product, she’d intentionally apply a lighter amount of it, just enough to “airbrush” the skin tone rather than looking like she tried and failed to conceal her ink.
Meghan and I both applied the foundation at 10:30 a.m. and wore it for 10 hours. We also applied KKW Beauty’s Baking Powder in the shade Bake 1 Translucent on one leg each to see the difference in wear time and finish. Both of us agree the powder kept the foundation from feeling tacky, but the product wore off in the same amount of hours on both legs. My legs still looked airbrushed at a glance by the end of the day, but I could see where some patches of skin were bare, likely from the friction of me crossing my legs. I tested the foundation a second time on my own and in a couple “swatches” on my skin, where I knew my dress would rub against. The good news: Neither transferred onto my dress much at all. As the powder didn’t make a difference in setting it, you could skip this step (and expense), unless you think you’ll be sweating so the product won’t dry down or if you want the extra insurance of powder.
The product claims to be water-resistant and we can confirm this. Samantha attempted to remove the foundation using only water and a paper towel and it held fast.
I went straight for my normal makeup remover, which is a cotton pad doused in Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. This got off the bulk of the product, but I exfoliated in the shower for good measure.
Meghan’s experience was more trying: “This stuff really stays on. I used about five Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes per leg and still had to shower to get off the remaining makeup. I count that as a plus—you can feel confident this won’t wear off throughout the day.”
Meghan’s verdict: “I’m not a makeup person by any means, but if this product displayed the scar coverage I was anticipating, I would’ve bought the entire stock. Application was easy—even fun—with the wide, soft brush and even color. But without being able to cover scars, I just don’t think I’d personally invest the time and money applying the makeup with any regularity. A wedding? Absolutely. But a regular summer day, or even a weekend party? I’d rather make peace with my scarring and veins than worry about makeup staining my clothes.”
My verdict: Like Meghan, I think this product is great for a special occasion. We’ve likely all purchased a new outfit or gotten our hair and makeup done for an event, but applying body makeup is less mainstream. If you want to give your body an airbrushed effect for photos, this could be a great option. It’s easy to apply, wears comfortably, and lasts hours (depending on activity). I enjoyed the product, but I am not planning to purchase it for myself, as I, like Meghan, would rather embrace my imperfections in favor of skipping an extra step.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.