Applying body makeup is the oldest Hollywood trick in the book. Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John has said he uses a spray-on formula from AllEven London to get the singer’s signature glowy stage look, while Chrissy Teigen recently posted a hilarious Instagram of foundation being applied to her legs (“When I was young, makeup was just for the face,” she joked). So, when Kim Kardashian—one of the most photographed women in the world—announced she was launching a $45 body foundation in seven shades, we weren’t surprised. But, we were skeptical.
Kardashian promised a transfer-resistant formula and demonstrated just how transformative the product was on none other than her grandmother, MJ. That video, along with others demonstrating the foundation on psoriasis and multiple skin tones, was enough to convince the ELLE.com team we needed to try it out ourselves.
Does it rub off on clothing? Does it feel sticky? How long does it last? What’s removal like? Allow five of our editors who tried it to answer all your burning questions, ahead.
Kristina Rodulfo, ELLE.com Senior Beauty Editor
“I didn’t want to be a believer in KKW’s body foundation (‘Great, here’s another thing I have to be self-conscious about,’ I thought), but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I tried it on a hot Saturday when I knew I’d be out all day and wore the teeniest denim shorts to show off my legs. I applied the silky formula using the large KKW brush applicator, but any other dense Kabuki makeup brush would work just as well—I don’t advise using your hands for this, because the formula is very difficult to remove (more on that later). I squeezed way too much product on the first leg and, seeing that it is really full-coverage and required ample blending to look natural, I decided to start with less on my second leg and gradually build up. I instantly marveled at how it looked like I was wearing pantyhose, with that airbrush-perfect finish (and no annoying spandex necessary). Note: you do need to spread it all the way to your toes if you are wearing open-toe shoes like I was, otherwise your skin tone may look mismatched.
I don’t have anything I want cover-up, per se—I like my legs the way they are—but, I do have some tiny scars from reckless shaving, dropping hot tea on my knees, and bruises from clumsiness that I was curious to see covered-up. I added in the luminizer—basically a liquid higlighter—and that, friends, is when I was sold. I am known to add highlighter everywhere—shoulders, clavicles, shins—so this isn’t anything new. But, I did love how the light hit my legs to make them look toned and ready for a Nair campaign. After posting a preview on Instagram Stories, I got several DMs complimenting my stems. To say I was feeling myself is an understatement. I didn’t walk, but strutted down the street.
Now, for the moment of truth: Does it transfer? Barely. You have to let it set. I hugged my boyfriend shortly after applying it, when it was fresh, and a thumb-sized smudge got on the bottom of his shorts. However, after walking 15 city blocks and sweating in the park as we picnicked, the makeup did not transfer one bit. I momentarily forgot I was wearing it and bent over to hug my legs in my white button-down shirt, and nothing came off. My boyfriend rubbed his hand on my leg to do another test and none of the color got on his hands—but some of the shimmer did. I got home around midnight and after twelve hours of wear, the foundation stay put. It required three rounds of scrubbing with a loofah to get the product all off (tired as I was, I was not about to sleep in white sheets with makeup on my legs).
You definitely feel like you’re wearing makeup—similar to the way you do when you wear full-coverage foundation on your face. You also feel hyper-aware of everything your legs touch, even if nothing transfers. I wouldn’t wear it day-to-day (who has the time?) but, for a special occassion or a night out I would definitely bust the KKW foundation out again.”
Alyssa Bailey, ELLE.com News and Strategy Editor
“Admittedly, I am not even a liquid foundation girl, so when I heard about Kim’s body makeup, I was like, this will be great for some people but not really something I’d use daily…or maybe even ever. Did my legs look better with it on? Sure, I guess. Did they look terrible without it? No. I’m a 28-year-old jogger with pretty toned legs who applies sunscreen religiously. There’s some veins, there’s some bruises here and there, but there’s not much to cover up. The KKW body cream just evens the color of my skin. It’s like air brushing your legs…but a photo app can do the same thing for Instagram, and it’d be a lot less messy.
Application is pretty smooth and easy, but I was careful about it and used a nice brush to blend it in. It’s like putting a leg lotion on or a really smooth liquid foundation. When I rub my legs together, I can definitely feel it on my skin, like an almost-waxy layer. The top half of my legs, which I didn’t put the cream on because they were covered by my skirt, feel velvety smooth by contrast, which is a much nicer feeling. The shimmer pigments didn’t do much on me, but it may be because I’m pretty pale to begin with.
I think the transformation this product made on Kim’s grandmother was incredible. The transformation on me? It just felt kind of superfluous. Also, I tried a darker color of the foundation before settling on Fair, and getting it off was a saga. It took soap, water, and then several wipes of makeup remover to get all off. That wasn’t even a full two legs done either, so I know getting all this makeup off will be a bit of a time commitment before bed.
This is a great product for a special occasion (a wedding! etc.) if you have the desire to spend 15+ minutes taking the makeup off after. But for everyday, it just may not be worth all the cleanup effort unless it really gives you a confidence boost that justifies it. I’m also lucky in that my skin is in relatively good condition, so I don’t really feel like I need it and feel no more confident with it on than I did going out with my bare legs.”
Nerisha, ELLE.com Assistant Editor
“Kim Kardashian West hasn’t sold me on a lot of things, so when I heard she was coming out with body foundation I had questions. KKW Beauty Skin Perfecting Body Foundation claimed to be transfer-resistant and water resistant and nothing scares me more than messing up a perfectly curated outfit with makeup—that was not the case with this product. I applied the product like I would any body lotion, with my hands, and was pleasantly surprised at how thick the formula was. The lotion-like formula was extremely pigmented and did a good job of hiding my strawberry legs during the first application. I went in again to seal the deal and while it didn’t completely hide my dark spots, I was satisfied with how clear and bright my legs looked.
I slipped on a mid-length pink shift dress and headed on my subway commute. Between walking from my morning fresh juice spot to picking up my breakfast, the foundation stayed PUT—not a streak in sight. From there, I attended a happy hour and concert, completely forgetting I still had the product on. My night ended around 9:30 pm, so once I got home I checked my bright pink dress for evidence and found a small smudge of makeup at the hem of my dress. “I’m not mad at that,” I thought to myself.
The Skin Perfecting Body Shimmer held up as well. Small flecks of gold kept my legs shining, shining, shining all day long. The real work happened when it came time to wash off. The water turned brown after one wash, but the product was completely off and I could still see small gold particles shining on my leg. After doing a second and third wash, the product was gone and I was back to my strawberry legs. So, transfer-resistant? In the beginning, yes, and you might not want to wear a white outfit with this. Water-resistant? Oh, absolutely. The bright, full-coverage look it gave me was fun while it lasted but I would only really use the product for beach pics and super fancy occasions, using it on an everyday basis is just too much work for this lazy gal.”
Ariana, ELLE.com Social Media Editor
“I was a bit skeptical about KKW Body Foundation at first, especially since it’s summertime. It makes sense to have your legs and arms looking *100 emoji*, but also, what about sweat? I hate wearing makeup on my face in the summer, let alone on my entire body. I used a brush to apply the body foundation and it did get pretty messy. I had it on my hands, on the floor, on my phone, and even on my sneakers (pro-tip: make sure you’re NOT wearing shoes when you apply.)
The shimmer powder transfers, though the body foundation seemed to stay intact. It definitely feels like I’m wearing makeup on my legs. The formula is not exactly sticky, but there is a tackiness. It lasted the whole day—I would consider wearing it for special occasions, but NOT on the reg.
The shimmer pigments didn’t make a huge difference, but it did give my legs a subtle glimmer. I would’ve liked to have the foundation and shimmer combined. Less makeup and less time spent applying.”
Chloe Hall, ELLE.com Special Projects Editor & Producer
“I was excited when I first heard about KKW body makeup! The last time I tried a body makeup was Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs in high school, so I was ready to dip my toe back in the body foundation pool. At first glance, the product is exactly what you would expect: a foundation-type substance that goes on just like a lotion. I’ve already watched the tutorials the beauty mogul had posted so I knew exactly what I was doing. (Shout out MJ, the Kardashian matriarch, who sold me on the product!)
The formula goes on super easy and rubs in within seconds. I was shocked about how easy the application process is. Once applied, I would say it took about a second or two to oxidize, and then the color matched to my leg perfectly and it looked like I had suddenly grown two perfect doll legs. Bonus: It smells amazing! Like summer in a bottle.
I applied the gold and shimmer on top and began really feeling myself—134 leg selfies later kind of feeling myself. I wore the makeup for the rest of the day and didn’t have any issues with smudging or transferring. I could feel the makeup on my legs which is a weird sensation but nothing uncomfortable. I’m a huge fan of this product: for beach days, leg selfies, or fun, I’m definitely going to be using this product again. Thanks for the golden gams, KKW!”