“To dye oneself with paints in order to have a rosier or a paler complexion,” wrote Saint Augustine in the fourth century, “is a lying counterfeit.”
The theologian, who hailed from what is now Algeria, had an immense influence on Western Christianity, particularly Catholicism—though whether or not this dictum has had a direct impact on the dress codes of religious schools is debatable. Still, many a Catholic high school girl has lived by a strict no-makeup edict—including, if you can believe it, Kim Kardashian West.
It’s hard to imagine a teenage KKW and her perfectly contoured visage trooping off each day to the all-girls Catholic Marymount High School in Los Angeles with a completely bare face. “I was pretty simple,” Kardashian West says of what she calls her “typical preppy schoolgirl” look of the time. Though not herself a member of the faith, “I stuck to the rules,” she says, “except for my really short skirt—I was always getting into trouble for that. I was, like, full-on Clueless.”
A school portrait from that time captures her au naturel, with foundation-free skin, long-lashed doe-y eyes, and plucked eyebrows (it was the nineties, after all)—and this was before photo retouching and filters, mind you. Weekends, though, were a different story. “I was obsessed,” Kardashian West says. “When I was fourteen, I was into black eyeliner, and my lip was, like, chocolate brown with a burgundy tone.” A girlfriend’s father had founded a makeup company, and she piled on the brand’s eye shadows in turquoise, bright green, and electric blue—and then topped it all off with a headband that matched whatever shade she had on her eyelids.
Her father, Robert Kardashian, noticed, and for Christmas one year gifted Kim lessons at the Joe Blasco makeup school in Hollywood. “He said, ‘If you girls are going to wear makeup, I don’t want you to look crazy,’ ” Kardashian West says.