10 things I learned from Kim K.'s Makeup Artist, Mario Dedivanovic.

4 min read.

One thing that's tried and true about Kim and the rest of the Kardashian clan is, their glam game is strong. Mario and I both started our careers in makeup at Sephora and when he rose to stardom that was something so inspirational for me, knowing we both fell in love with glam at the same place. You guy knows I am such a Sephora girl at heart! So, I flew to NYC for his 4-hour makeup masterclass and am so happy I did. The tips & tricks I learned from his class helped elevate my artistry skills & I still use them today.

**I will be teaching a 1 + 1 class on the steps listed below, if you are interested in a zoom or in-person class on how to elevate your makeup skills and personalize it just for you click here.

Mario is all about subtle glamour, he loves creating feminine looks and specializes in celebrity red-carpet makeup and special events. He is also most commonly known for showcasing his highlighting and contouring tricks on Kim.

How is this different from an everyday makeup application?

  • Takes triple the time. Extra skin prep/more makeup

  • Fine-tuned and personalized to clients' features and skin.

  • Has to photograph great = attention to detail/outfit and lighting.

Top things I learned from Mario Dedivanovic:

  1. Always starts with brows. He first starts by brushing brows upwards then uses a brow pencil 2 shades lighter than brows and begins defining/filling in any areas that need filling. He then goes in with a darker powder (color more true to your natural colored brow) and stated for red carpet glam he will sometimes set the brows in place with Elmer's glue OR hairspray. Swears by the Elmers glue technique and says it lasts way into the night. He was sure to keep the beginning of the models' brows lighter and finish' by brushing the brows again which he felt kept the brows softer/feminine.

  2. Never uses primer on any part of the face, Prefers emollient moisturizers.

  3. Begins face prep with Kiels face moisturizer. Also mentioned he liked Nivea as well. My best friend has been using Nivea for YEARS, I personally haven't tried it. I wouldn't recommend it for long-time use as it could clog pores.

  4. For foundation, he used a cream with a wet Beauty Blender. (He only uses the blender wet.) He applied the foundation to the skin with a brush and then went in with the blender. He brings foundation down to the chest and also applies foundation on the ears.

  5. Uses Laura Mercier's powder puff (this puff stays in his hand pretty much the whole session) to set certain areas of the face- not all over.

  6. Applies concealer where needed and is heavy-handed when applying to under-eye area. On Kim, he uses Nars radiant creamy concealer in ginger and honey. (he kept calling out the products he used on her or people kept asking) He will use excess concealer from the blender on the eyelids to prep for shadow, Then sets with powder OR he will use a cream shadow and then set.

  7. He sets the concealer by 'sandbagging' (more on this later) the under-eye area with Laura Mercier's loose powder using his beauty blender, allow to sit a while, and then will dust off excess with a brush.

  8. He layers eyeliners like nothing I have ever seen. He probably used 3-4 eyeliners while up on stage. A black, a brown, a liquid, and the wing was gel. He says he likes to create depth this way.

  9. Only uses individual lashes on Kim and prefers to work with them versus strips.

  10. For lips, he mixed 3 lipsticks and a gloss. If he's going for a nude, when working with Kim; he will top it off with light peach just in the middle to brighten.


He taught us his famous 'sandbagging technique' (pic below) which is similar to 'baking' but takes it up a notch. Just like sandbagging during a flood to create a barrier, sandbagging keeps the makeup in place and also from bleeding. He will apply Laura Merceirs powder very thick, with his wet blender right up close to under the eye so the bottom eyeliner doesn't budge. He will then let sit while he works on something else, and then come back, remove excess, and will go in and repeat that step if it isn't bright enough.

In my opinion, Mario highlights more than he contours. He likes to work with cream contours. On his model, he used Tom Ford's cream contour shade & illuminate duo.

When it comes to highlighting and contouring; our face shapes & preferences determine the placement of the product. Not everyone needs contour. The objection is to create a balance & to shadow what we want to recede, bringing to light what we want to accentuate. This will look different for everyone. In this photo, he is showing Kim's highlights under the eye and also just below her lips, both of these placements will create a brighter, lifted fuller effect. Because of his sandbagging technique, It will also keep Kims bottom liner from bleeding.

“My aesthetic is about subtle transformations. When I work with a client, I won’t change her into a different person. She has to look like herself. When she looks in the mirror, she feels one hundred percent herself — just the most beautiful version.” — Mario Dedivanovic

Thank you for reading and as always thank you for the love, referrals, likes, comments & supporting my small business! If you know of someone that would be interested in a 1 + 1 class, send them this way.

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