10 minutes with Kat Von D: Why she loves Instagram and hates the Kardashians

A photo posted by Kat Von D (@thekatvond) on

Kat Von D is brutally honest. Seriously. A lot of celebrities say that about themselves before launching into totally contrived interview answers (which then launches us into despair, basically). She is definitely not one of those celebs.

We met up with the tattoo and makeup artist for the launch of her Fall 2016 line, Lock-It Complexion (which features  a truly amazing concealer to end all concealers, brushes, and a translucent powder, out in July at Sephora and sephora.com, as well as 13 new shades of the extremely popular, full-coverage Lock-It foundation, out in October.

Read our interview below to see what we mean by “brutally honest” and grab a jacket because it’s about to get cold in all that shade.

Instagram makeup artists vs. IRL makeup artists
“I think Instagram has really changed everything; not just my brand, but also the makeup world in general. Now there’s two different types of influencers—there’s the professional makeup artists that are working everyday on photo shoots or runway or editorial stuff, and then there’s ones that are creating really amazing and inspiring looks like lip art and things like that for Instagram that may not necessarily be practical for everyday wear. So I think there’s components or elements of both types of artist that are really, truly important and vital to creativity. I’m down for all of it.”

You are what you eat
“As far as skincare goes, I’m from the school of ‘you are what you eat.’ I always promote a vegan lifestyle, not just because it’s great for our environment and for humanity, but because if you cut out dairy for example, there’s scientific proof that it can actually help your complexion. So if you’re eating things like dairy that can cause rosacea or even acne problems and stuff like that, it doesn’t matter what creams you put on your face because it’s still going to be an internal problem. I noticed more differences when I cut out dairy than when I quit smoking.”

Beauty heroes
“I look up to people not necessarily based on what they look like. For example, Edith Piaf is somebody I think is a beauty hero even though she was definitely considered to not be beautiful. It was just her charisma and stage presence, and to me, that really defines beauty. My heroes are probably not going to be what most people would consider heroes.”

If you only had 30 seconds to get ready…
“I can do a lot in 30 seconds. With Tattoo Liner I can do eyeliner, eyebrow, and, if I want to get creative, a lip look too.”

Last great concert
“It’s been a while. I mean, fuck, have there been good bands coming out? It’s been a while. I mean, I remember epic concerts I’ve been to, like I saw Massive Attack opening for Sigur Rós and that was so moving. This was back before I was sober and I was like, ‘I gotta get some drugs and fucking get high before the show,’ and I couldn’t get any and I remember sitting there like gripping the seats, and I needed absolutely no drugs, that’s how powerful this music was. It was fucking epic.”

Any makeup looks you’re not into?
“I’m not opposed to any makeup look. I just don’t like things that aren’t genuine. There are these certain ideals that I’m just super [against]. It’s cool if people want to put a bunch of shit in their lips and get face lifts, but that kind of stuff where you’re changing yourself to fit the ideals of society or other women or ads, and that’s a really big turn off to me. That’s probably why I’m super anti-Kardashians and shit. It’s cool, I think those girls are beautiful in their own right, but I think what they represent and the message they [portray] to people is really so awful.

Selling a lifestyle, whether it’s a brand or an Instagram post, which teaches not just girls, but people, that your value is defined by what you look like is the most appalling thing that I could think of, especially as a woman. I’m not saying that everyone should embrace wrinkles like I am, but I feel like there’s beauty in that and that shouldn’t be taking away from the ideals of what beauty is. Teaching people that money, status, fame, who you’re fucking and all that stuff is important, I think it’s awful. I don’t back that shit at all. When I look at a lot of their products and the things they put out into the world, I don’t see that quality that’s profound and speaks to my heart. I just see dollar signs.”

What do you think about people who say they brought contouring to the forefront of makeup trends?
“Fuck that. Maybe to the masses, and I get that. KISS weren’t the first to wear paint, but they get credit because they were the first to make it big and they were good at marketing. But contouring goes back to theatrical years prior to M.A.C being around. I definitely don’t credit [the Kardashians] for that. I also don’t want to make this about the Kardashians, because people like that thrive on other people talking about them, which I don’t want to contribute to.”