I Tried Kim Kardashian's Body Highlighting Methods, and Now I'm Exhausted

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

No one was surprised that Kim Kardashian West's first KKW Beauty product was a contour/highlighting stick, soon followed by a powder kit. It was a given. While she definitely didn't invent the age-old technique, you can credit her for bringing it to the masses, and she claims to pretty much contour and highlight, well, everything. While her cheekbone contour and highlight is what truly kicked off the trend, inspiring thousands of brands to create easy-to-use palettes and YouTubers to debut quick and painless tutorials, Kim Kardashian treats the rest of her bod to this sculpting combo.

It's not by speculation, either. She's taken to her app several times to explain how she uses her new kits to contour and highlight different parts of her body, including her shins, her Cupid's bow, and even, her shoulder blades, if you can believe it. Since I am still a mediocre contourer (not a word, but we're going with it), I decided to take Kim K.W. up on her highlighting how-tows. I'm also addicting to highlighting my face (I want to glow!), so it fit.

"Just like body contouring, body highlighting can define features and achieves an all-over glow," she wrote on her app. "Mario often uses my KKW Beauty powder and crème highlighters to accentuate different parts of my face and body. It gives skin a natural, glowing look, especially on camera."

She proceeded to list a few parts, along with the benefits of treating them to a little highlight. Here's the lowdown on my attempts at following her clear instructions. I didn't snag a kit in time, so I substituted in some of my favorite cream and powder highlighters.

The Cupid's Bow

I already highlight this area every single day. Kardashian suggests taking a small brush and lightly dusting the highlighter above the top lip, but I'd rather use a cream formula—something like RMS Beauty's Living Luminizer ($38; sephora.com)—and dab it right above my lip with my ring finger. Piece of cake, and it really does make your lips pop.


OK, I would normally never do this, but for the sake of journalistic integrity, I had to in order to fulfill Kardashian's routine. I wear white dresses often, so it's generally a bad idea for me to highlight my legs, but she said it would give me more muscle definition. Win? I think so. The celebrity suggests using a large, fluffy brush to work the formula all the way down the leg, but avoiding the knee region. First I tried with Urban Decay's Naked Illuminated Powder for Face and Body ($32; sephora.com) and didn't see a difference at all. My legs just looked sparkly. Then, I tried with a cream highlighting stick and I truly did see more definition in my muscles—made my calves look divine!

Shoulder Blades

"To give the illusion of a more defined back, apply highlighter in a circular motion on the shoulder blades," Kardashian stated on her app. I don't have a Mario on speed dial, so this was borderline impossible. I tried to look over my shoulder in the mirror, but I ended up just drawing weird lines on my back with a highlighter stick. Next.

VIDEO: Kim Kardashian West's Best Beauty Moments


Kardashian suggests brushing highlighter down the center of the thighs for a "slimming effect," starting at the top of the hip and ending right above the knee. Again, this was not a powder job. I enlisted the help of the new ASOS Chubby Highlighter Sticks and then blended it out slightly with my fingers. It was....alright? Not special, if I'm being honest. I don't really think it slimmed down my legs, but I'm also OK with that.

Overall, I'd say that some of Kardashian's suggestions worked, but for the most part, after a full face of makeup and then going through my limbs, I was just kind of exhausted. Anyone have any extra face wipes? My white bedspread is not going to like this routine at all.

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