Rant & Rave: Kat Von D

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Kat Von D

I feel like the brand has a good position in the marketplace, so they have strong offerings across categories, even though not everything is a winner and they do make some real misses. I like that it is a more creative brand, and they seem to try to make enough for everyone, too, even with LE launches.

— Christine


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Sarah Avatar

Nothing. I don’t like most of the formulas and the packaging and image of it seems so female Ed Hardy-esque. Even if this line made the best of everything, I don’t think I would ever spend any amount of money of it.

alice20c Avatar

I love that they really understand neutral and cool undertones and make a wide variety of colors that work for them. And they understand how to make an aesthetic around them. Many brands seem like the aesthetic and products are overwhelmingly warm with minimal perfunctory cools. It one of the reason that KVD quality problems hit me harder than other brands.

Badgerpaws Avatar

They actually make a concealer and foundation pale enough for my paper white self.

However, the non-matte eyeshadows irritate my eyes to no end.

Badgerpaws Avatar

Rave:: They actually make a concealer and foundation pale enough for my paper white self. The shade and Light eye palette is still one of my faves!

Rant:: However, the non-matte eyeshadows irritate my eyes to no end. The foundations lean very pink on me. I wish their eyeliners weren’t so shiny– I want a matte tattoo liner!

Kira Avatar

I adore that the brand is very creative and innovative though, even if the quality is not always there. The aesthetic is not really my taste, though I’m into alt fashion and punk generally, I kind of agree with Sarah above that the packaging is often a bit Ed Hardy-esque. The Innerstellar palette had pretty packaging and concept though! And I am very tempted by the Shade + Light Eye Contour and the Holographic Palettes. A favorite makeup artist of mine has almost entirely used up the Shade + Light Eye Contour palette, but I haven’t bought it because it got a temptalia B+ (so I’m sure I’d be much happier buying higher quality dupes).

I also just really like Kat Von D — she is a charismatic bad-ass chica who represents LA and is an incredible tattoo artist. I think she’s a positive role model — a saavy business woman who is funny, strong, and graceful. Most other mainstream brands are kind of faceless to me, so I think Kat Von D goes a long way in terms of goodwill.

MoMerrell Avatar

Eh KVD is 50/50 for me. Her lipsticks are far too drying for my lips and the newest formula of the liquid lipsticks are not a fav HOWEVER I still wear them because they are a true matte finish and so bold and opaque. I actually really hate her lipstick tube designs, it’s so gawdy and clunky.

I have not work her shadows – wait that’s a lie – I found a quad at TJ Maxx last year, rarely use it because the colors are not great on my skin but I’ve used it and it was ok.

I just got her Lock-it concealer and it’s pretty nice. I’ll def give the foundation a try.

Her personality is a bit BLEH to me but thankfully I’m not buying the product based off of her personality LOL.

Nancy T Avatar

Up until a short while back, I had a very negative view of Kat Von D herself and had therefore not tried her products as a matter of conscience and principle. But then when I wanted to find an equitable dupe of MAC. Jealousy Wakes, I went against my own ban and bought Iggy Crushed Metal e/s. I felt guilty as heck, but loved the quality. When Kat came out against Jeffree Starr’s racist and misogynistic bullying, I then believed her, that allegations of her purportedly being a racist or bigot were very likely false. So I then went ahead and bought more from her line: MetalMatte Palette, Mother Studded Kiss lipstick, Alchemist quad. Products that I love! However, I will say, the brand had also had some not so hot stuff, too. (Serpentina, anyone?) Not a fan of the liquid lipstick either.

Ashleigh Avatar

The KVD eyeshadow formula is so powdery pigmented, I think the looks end up being beautiful but I find them a pain to work with when they end up all over my face!
I love her new concealer, definitely my favorite concealer I’ve tried at Sephora/Ulta.
I appreciate the brand trying to stay on trend but some of the launches seem rushed to me with subpar quality, especially the holographic palette and those blushes from last year.

I thought her publicized drama with Jeffree Star was immature on both accounts. I watched both videos and came out with a lower opinion of them both…

Linda Avatar

I don’t have enough going on with KVD to have a real opinion about her products. I have the Shade & Light eye palette, which I think is quite nice quality overall. I work-horsed it to death for a while and got bored with it. I have liked her Tattoo Liners, but the last two I got dried up super quick. Maybe old inventory from Sephora, who knows? I’ll likely not repurchase.

That said…I have been thinking a LOT about my reaction to the cult of personality in makeup. I have worked in high-level corporate marketing for decades, and I fall for it coming and going. Just two weeks ago I got into a swoon about CT’s Colour Chameleon eye sticks. I watched her tutorials, I fell for the “goes with your eye color” messaging, and I like the seeming poetry of line. Had to have them. They were just god awful, and I sent them back.

If you strip away KVDs hipster alt messaging, I find nothing really edgy about the line except the packaging and KVD herself. Remove the packaging and lay out the colors, and it reads the same and many, many other lines now and in the past (even distant past).

Just rambling here, and not picking on KVD (taking on Jeffree Starr is props to her in my book). But all these lines speak to us in ways that go beyond what they actually offer. They’re emotional, they’re aspirational. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just something I’m trying to be more aware of and come back to being more critical about in my personal life. 🙂

Susan Avatar

I never bought any of her products, and since her 2015 rant about meat-eaters I never will. That from someone so into taxidermy. What a posturer and a fake.

Mariella Avatar

I really like the few things I have from KvD (2 palettes and something else – oh yeah – the Lock It powder and a lippie or two) but as a few others have said, that whole “tattoos everywhere” image didn’t appeal to me and I had a very different image of the brand before trying the Monarch palette. Now I choose quite selectively (the markup here vs in the US is painful) but still, the whole image of the products does not appeal to me aesthetically at all. Not very elegant.

Iron Maiden Avatar

I can’t say that her products appeal to me at all–they’re mostly a bit too trendy, and I agree with other posters about the packaging/image issues they mentioned. I have the matte lipstick in Cathedral and love the color, but find it lip-crackingly dry and the packaging ridiculously bulky. However, I received a deluxe sample of Lolita liquid lipstick and quite like it, so I may buy more of those.

Asche Avatar

I’m really into tattoos, so I have generally liked KVD for that reason, although I will admit that sometimes what she says and does can be very off-putting.

I’m mostly a fan of the brand (and I like the packaging/image), but lately I’ve found a lot of the new releases really unappealing. Serpentina? Not for me. MatteMetal? No, I just don’t really like the colours. The Too Faced collab? Awful. Even the Pastel Goth palette isn’t appealing to me. I’m never going to use those shades.

I’ve found the quality of the products generally good, and I am glad to see such a wide variety of shades (be it eyeshadow, concealer, or foundation), but lately everything seems to be extremely colourful. That can be good in a world full of warm-toned and neutral shades, but it just isn’t for me.

Sk Avatar

I personally really like their aesthetic and consistent quality, theme, etc. Their liquid lipstick was the most comfortable, budgeproof formula I’ve tried. But I stopped buying anything from them after I found out about how she named one of her lipsticks celebut*rd…I know it was renamed, but her response on twitter and the mere fact that she did that in the first place was enough for me to turn away from the brand forever. That’s an issue that personally affected me and in such poor taste. Shame because the quality of makeup are, like I said, consistent and reliable.

HeavyMetalJess Avatar

Pro: She gets alternative culture and fills in the gaps that most makeup companies don’t address. The formula of her liquid lipsticks and eyeshadows are great.

Con: For an alternative brand, I’m not the biggest fan of her liquid liner – which should be her star product. A lot of her eyeshadow palettes contain dupes of her own colors, which is disappointing. Her packaging is too bulky and I wish I could get single pans instead since her brand focuses so much on being environmentally friendly.

Samantha Kruger Avatar

meh. idk. Im biased cuz I hate matte products. Her products are ALL matte and then she makes a hydrating primer thats water based? Idk. her brand doesnt seem cohesive. I havent really LOVED anything ive tried.

Karina Avatar

KVD used to have blushes and bronzers. I think the brand went through some growing pains and problems with the formulas. The most recent blushes KVD had were duos and they weren’t of the best quality (Christine reviewed several of them and they were disappointing). However the blushes ( http://www.katvondbeauty.com/complexion/blush/everlasting-blush/1450246.html ) and bronzers ( http://www.katvondbeauty.com/complexion/bronzer/everlasting-bronzer/20002.html ) she had before the duos were pretty decent and I was upset when they were all discontinued – I think it was because of a change in the packaging. They are probably still on the site to get rid of excess stock. I was glad I got a mini of Bellisima before Sephora got rid of all of them.

CeeBee Avatar

The brand just doesn’t interest me at all – I got two free Studded Kiss lipsticks from Sephora recently and while the colours are nice enough and they last well enough on, they REEK of sickly sweet vanilla and dried my lips out really badly. (like, way worse that CP Ultra Mattes…) 🙁

The eyeshadows seem to be either hit or miss, which to me is not indicative of good quality overall.

So, pretty much “meh” in general, I guess

Erin Avatar

I love the range of colors in the products. They are one of the only brand that makes a ton of neutral undertoned stuff. I like the vibe of the goth/punk side but it’s not so youthful or campy I’d feel like a kid.

My only rant is sometimes the quality is WAY WAY OFF, which is so odd, because i’d say 50% of their offerings are in the A/B range of ratings. Then they bring out something and it’s like, holy shit this is some of the worst quality I’ve ever seen!?!?! It makes no sense since they know how to make a fine product!

Rachel R. Avatar

RAVE: I think this is a unique brand in a lot of respects, and I find myself liking it more and more. I love that there are foundations and concealers for pale skin, plus a variety of undertones. The Lock-It formula is great for oily skin. The Metal Matte palette is sublime. I’ve liked all the KVD eye palettes I’ve bought, aside from Star Studded (it was returned). The liquid lipsticks have one of the better formulas out there. I’m overall a fan of the Studded Kiss lipsticks, as well. I love that the brand offers lots of unconventional colors. The product packaging is always gorgeous, and the color names are cool. I like how Kat is very hands-on with her products, and she really seems to care about makeup.

RANT: The blush duos that came out last year were terrible, which even more of a shame because the line is seriously lacking in cheek colors. I wasn’t happy with the Star Studded (blizzard-level fallout), Mi Vida Loca (poor purples and blues), and Serpentina (awful mattes) palettes. Popular items seem to be constantly sold out, and it’s frustrating. Kat herself can sometimes be off-putting (her nasty comments about meat-eaters, dating Jesse James, feuds with other celebrities).

Rachel Avatar

I love so many of their products! The original Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette, Mi Vida Loca Remix, and definitely the new holographic powders.
But… my studded kiss lipstick caps always come off in my purse, and many of the dark shades are patchy. The liquid lipsticks are not my favorite but also not my least favorite.

kjh Avatar

Kvd has a dedicated website now, too, but didn’t always…that is, have physical product on it. But in the states, S is the main, formerly only, outlet. No other stores have it, and there are no dedicated KVD brick and mortar stores, TMK. I think you down unders didn’t get a raw deal on kvd distribution. Plus, Kendo (Sephora’s development and mfging arm…there has been a change in their business structure,) does make the kvd, mj, etc. …so it’s not surprising not to find Kendo brands through other retail establishments. And you guys get Zoeva! US Sephora does not. But, in general, Aussies do suffer on availability and price for lots in the m/u world.

Roxi Avatar

Rave: They’re different and catch the eye. I kind of like the general aesthetics of the packaging, they’re not classy or anything but marketing wise they’re unique enough. Way better than Too Faced in packaging imo.
Their liquid lipsticks are one of the only LLs that i actually reach for as they don’t leave stains on cups whatsoever.
I’ve heard that their shade and light eyeshadows and contour palettes have a good formula.
Rant: KVD herself. Too much drama, with JS, with her pushing vegan life with an extreme approach, being racist herself, demon worshiping, deliberately being outrageous with product names etc. It’s not that I am on the opposite of her views all the time, but it’s just so annoying and I don’t really see how people can be attracted to this person and thus her brand. I feel like a lot of niche makeup brands definitely can succeed without a strong person stepping way in front of their line, as their face. Sure it worked for Bobbi Brown or Charlotte Tilbury, but hey we all know you’re not that kind of brands. I don’t know who’s the owner of Urban Decay, Too Faced, Tarte, Becca or Lorac (besides that her name is Carol). Period. Now I’m hesitating to ever pick up any KVD products because of all the horrible associations.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Ive tried a few KVD products and like them very much, especiially the mattemetal eye shadow pallete. Some of her colors are to extreme for me, my age group, but seem of good quality. I wanted to try her lippy palettevat Christmas time but it was always sold out.

Monica Avatar

I have the Monarch palette and a mini studded kiss lipstick from a Sephora lip set. If I lived in the US, I’m sure I would have bought the latest Metal Matte, more lipsticks, contour palettes, etc. I am drawn to almost everything she releases. I love the brand’s packaging style and I like the quality of the palette I currently have.

Astrild Avatar

Rave: I love the aesthetics of their products, so edgy and gothic, and the wide range of colors . It’s very different and avantgarde.

Rave: Their products tend to be a liitle bit heavy in coverage and so colorful that it’s hard to find enough options for a natural-makeup kind of girl.

Karina Avatar

Rave: the liquid lipsticks and Tattoo Liner in Trooper are my favorites. I also don’t mind the packaging as much as everyone else seems to…but that’s probably because I’m a little spooky, wear all black 95% of the time, and love the font choice on the packaging 😀 And some of the product names make me seriously happy…who else was going to come up with colors to match my favorite obscure horror and band references, like Plan 9 (terrible 1950s b-movie referenced in the Tim Burton movie Ed Wood), Vampira (preceded Elvira), Nosferatu (I think that’s now renamed Nas Fur Atoo for some reason. Did she get sued due to licensing of that name?), Mother (it’s a Danzig song!), Plath, Bauhau5 (band and German art movement), Susperia (though the film is Suspiria)…

Rant: I thought the tiff with Jeffree Star was super middle school, pubescent nonsense, and after I watched those two painful stabbing videos I sided with Kat and now I don’t follow, watch, or purchase anything Jeffree Star releases, regardless of how good it might be. I follow Kat on Facebook and Instagram and while she does post about veganism it’s never really annoyed me to the point where I felt like I needed to write off her entire brand. Yes, she is passionate about not eating meat or animal products and wearing fur. I can get on board with the no fur, and I used to be a vegetarian, so yeah, I GET IT, but simply put humans have evolved with canine teeth for a reason…LOL, I will get off my soapbox now 🙂

kjh Avatar

Thanks to the readers who said cool-friendly. Maybe I’ll go do some half-faces for concealer and foundation. Arm/hand swatches were always too yellow. I find kvd to be comprehensive. The lls need major prebalming, but the colors/finish are nice. The e/s are decent, easy blenders with a wide variety of shades. But when kvd goofs, like with the dual blushes, it can be an epic fail. Wonder if they are redoing those, because clearly the line needs some. My soft spot for kvd is Monarch bec it was the only neutral/brown based palette that worked and didn’t go muddy on me. I try to divorce any cult of personality and published comments from thoughts about the makeup.

Woodstockschulz Avatar

I can’t comment too extensively on KVD because the only thing I have tried are the eyeliners but I really like the Tatoo liner I the dark brown colour. It’s the best one I’ve tried and much easier to use, I find, than pencil ones.

brittany Avatar

I bought a few things from Kat last year. I have the Innersteller and Contour palette, Lock-it powder, and the Lightening Liners. She makes great palettes even though they are quite large, and the goth packaging doesn’t bother me. Her packaging is very firm and not a flimsy piece of cardboard. I’m sadly not impressed with her liquid lipstick shade range. Her makeup works and free of harsh ingredients.

Lea Avatar

No rant or rave, but also no interest. Given her artist background, I can respect her knowledge of color theory in putting things together, but that’s as far as it goes. Plenty of lines have a grasp on color theory and the aesthetic isn’t so cheap and gimmicky.

Justine Avatar

Rant: The brand can be hit or miss, especially with different lipstick shades of the same formula. For example from the Studded Kiss lipstick range, I love Lovecraft and Archangel, but many of the darker shades (like Homegirl) are so dry and patchy. I don’t care for her mascara and we all remember how badly formulated the blushes were before being quickly discontinued. I’m a fan of her powder foundation and concealing creme, but unfortunately, the lock-it foundation is too heavy and breaks me out horribly.

Rave: I typically love the creativity of KVD’s line, especially the packaging. Not all of the eyeshadow palettes are universal hits, but I absolutely loved the Shade and Light Eye Palette, Metal Matte, and Alchemist palettes! KVDs liquid liners and liquid lipsticks are solid, and I adore the texture and longevity of the new concealer. In fact, the shade range for her foundations and concealers are awesome, especially considering how hard it normally is for me to find porcelain shades of foundation. I don’t own many contouring products, but her Shade and Light contour palette is my favorite to use on all skin tones. Overall, if it’s a win, I really adore her products.

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