Kim Kardashian West and daughter North West Are Biggest Beautycon Draw

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Kim Kardashian brought daughter North West to see her discussion with Beautycon founder Moj Mahdara, right

The KKW Beauty boss talks business, cultural appropriation, her recent prison visit and more.

Kim Kardashian West received a roaring rock star welcome as she walked onstage at Beautycon Festival L.A. on Sunday (in a va-va-voom vintage Dolce & Gabbana LBD worn over her signature black bike shorts) and asked the audience to scream while she Snapchatted. Over 22,000 beauty influencers and fans showed up for the sold-out weekend festival at the L.A. Convention Center, where the longest line by far snaked out from sister Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics booth (Kardashian West’s brand KKW Beauty has yet to participate). In the crowd was five-year-old North West, in a black dress with feathery trim and a top knot that mimicked her mom’s hairstyle.

“I brought my daughter North, who loves makeup,” says Kardashian West. “She’s so shy right now, but she’s never seen me do anything like this. She has no idea what I do, so this is exciting for me today!” Asked whether she might offer products in the future that appeal to men, the KKW Beauty guru said that she would love to do a male campaign and that she had explained to her daughter that Beautycon is “for boys who love makeup too.”

Chatting with Beautycon founder Moj Mahdara about the success of her KKW Beauty debut, cream contour that sold to the tune of $14 million in the first couple hours, Kardashian West says that she was initially “banking on powder contour doing better” and had planned that as the launch until a production snafu left her with the cream version ready first — ultimately, a more popular product. “That’s what’s so amazing about having your own brand; you can change the formulas or colors as you go,” she says. “I was in licensing deals before and you just don’t have the same control or make the same kind of money.”

Next up, she reveals, is a new summery KKW Classic Palette with brown and bronze shades, plus four new lip products and lip liners, coming soon online and at her KKW Beauty pop-up shop, open through July 27 at Westfield Century City.

Asked her thoughts on cultural inspiration versus appropriation when it comes to beauty trends, the 37-year-old addressed the backlash she’s had for repeatedly wearing Fulani braids, referring to them as “Bo Derek braids” in January: “I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel around the world and see so many different cultures that have so many different trends, and I show images to my children,” she says. “The last time I wore braids, my daughter helped me pick out a look. If you don’t communicate where you got the inspiration, and I’ve done that in the past, then people might not understand it. But I think as long as it comes from a place of love and you’re inspired, it’s OK.”

While her kids are too young to be on social media, Kardashian West confesses that she speaks with a psychologist at the Child Mind Institute in New York “to see what the proper protocol and rules should be when the time comes.” One tip for parents is to not use the phone during family meals “because you’re showing your kids that this phone call or work is more important than they are.” She's all for digital detox during vacation and restricted usage: “Growing up, we always had rules and hours with our home phone, so there should [also] be with cellphones. You should never sleep by your phone. Maybe the phones are in the kitchen, so the kids have breakfast with the family and then they get their phones. At 10 o’clock at night, or whatever your curfew phone time is, they put the phones down.” 

As for her political activism since helping Alice Johnson gain clemency, Kardashian West mentions her July 6 trip to the California Institution for Women to visit other female prisoners with life sentences. “I heard what life is really like inside and some things have to change, so if I can use my power to help, that’s what I want to spend my time doing,” she says. “Sometimes just listening to someone’s story means everything to them or retweeting a story so other people are aware. That’s how I found Alice. And I don’t want to stop. We’ve been talking to the White House and I think some other good things are coming soon.”

On the definition of beauty: “I know it’s cliche [to say] that beauty comes from within, but you can have all the makeup in the world and, if you are not a good person, you are not beautiful!”

Ending with a rapid-fire round, Mahdara gets the beauty super entrepreneur to confess that she personally prefers lipstick to lip gloss, if she could only carry one product with her it would be concealer, her cheat-day meal is ice cream (chocolate chip cookie dough or cookies and cream) and that her all-time fave Kanye album, even while Ye is "so new and fresh," has gotta be (gasp) 808s.