There’s always a buzz around Kourtney Kardashian, but lately it’s literal. The world’s most famous big sister has just confessed her love for bee venom ("It doesn’t hurt!") and its restorative skin care properties. Gwyneth and Victoria Beckham have, too, but only Kourtney is backing a brand along with the bees: Manuka Doctor Honey.
The label, which has apiaries across New Zealand, injects its products with bee byproducts that freshen skin.
We sat with the 36-year-old mega star in a pristine hotel suite, drinking tea spiked with-what else?-Manuka Doctor Honey and wondering what her tabloid-stalked life is really like.
The surprising thing is, she kind of told us.
Where do you find out about new beauty treatments like Manuka Doctor? Your sisters? Your makeup team?
I found out about it from our [Keeping Up With the Kardashians] production crew! They would eat spoonfuls of manuka honey between takes. If one person felt like they were getting sick, they’d all pull out jars and start eating it. And you know-when you feel like you’re getting sick, if someone tells you, "Oh, this helps," you’ll try anything.
Especially if it’s plant based.
Yeah, after I had my son, I started getting much more into natural remedies and homeopathic solutions to health. So I started taking this honey, and I loved it. I felt it really worked in my system, so I started researching it, and discovering other uses, like skin care. And anything I can find that’s natural that actually works, I will invest in it.
But one of the ingredients in Manuka Doctor is bee venom. Are you not afraid of bees?
No, I am! Although thankfully, I’m not allergic. But you know who’s not? Kim. When Kim was little, she used to hold bees and play with them. Finally, she got stung and she stopped. But they were like her friends.
"Selfie makeup" is a thing. What about "selfie skin care"?
You know, being in the public eye means you’re always photographed. In my case, we’re always filming, which means we always have makeup on. That makes your skin worse, which means you need more makeup…it’s a circle. And we all learned pretty quickly that you have to take better care of your skin before and after your makeup goes on, so that when the cameras are off your skin still looks good.
When are the cameras off?
Oh, a lot! I love to chill! On the weekends I’m at home with no cameras. We hang around the house, relax, play outside-I mean, we’re busy, but it’s normal downtime with little kids.
Makeup at the gym: yes or no?
I am not into makeup when I work out.
But you post so many photos during your workouts!
I swear, in those photos I do not put makeup on. Even if my skin is bad that day, I’ll just stay far enough from the camera that it blurs it out. It’s worth it, rather than put makeup on while I’m exercising, which is so, so bad for your complexion. Kim and Khloé don’t wear any, either. We’re adults and we know better. It’s a huge no.
What about during SoulCycle or a group exercise class?
Put on glasses when you’re walking in. Glasses and a hat. Anything is better than makeup!
Can I ask you about your daughter, Penelope?
I feel like she’s gunning for Harper Beckham status with her outfits. Does she have a color palette, like North?
Oh, clothing wise? No, Penelope doesn’t really do that. I lean towards certain clothes in general when picking things out for her. And I try to steer her in a good direction, but I try to let Penelope have as much freedom as possible when picking her clothes. I mean, if the shoes are totally wrong for the rest of the outfit, I’ll tell her, "That doesn’t match; what if we pick a different pair?" But I think picking out her clothes makes her feel more independent, and for me, fashion was always a way to express myself, even when I was very small. I think it’s important to let your kids be who they are, and that includes clothes. I like to give her choices as much as possible.
You’re from a family of independent, enterprising women. So I assume Penelope will be a smart and strong adult, too.
How do you teach her that beauty isn’t just about makeup and clothes when a big part of your job is being photographed?
Well, Penelope sees me getting makeup and hair done all the time. She plays in my closet all the time, and tries on my clothes. But I don’t think that counteracts being smart, or a great leader, or anything like that. My sisters and I watched our mom get dressed all the time. We always played with her makeup. We always tried on her clothes and shoes. And so Penelope does too, because it’s part of how kids play. The scary thing is when she tries to put makeup on.
The opposite. The scary thing is, she does the best job. She blends foundation perfectly. She’s three.
How do you handle it when she gets into your beauty products?
I try to tell her, "That’s not good for your skin. Your skin is so beautiful anyway! You don’t need that. Let’s wipe it off together so everyone can see you." But I don’t want to offend her, and I don’t want her to feel like she’s done anything wrong by exploring, you know? So I’m trying to teach her the balance, like, "Makeup is a part of fashion. It’s a part of expressing yourself." But it’s such a fine line, because getting the right message across, about being beautiful inside and being a caring person, that is so important. But I don’t think that means you can’t experience fashion and beauty. And I hope I can show her that balance.
It was hard to do research for this story, because on Google, there are literally millions of news stories that mention you. A lot of them seem pretty farfetched. What’s the dumbest rumor you’ve read about yourself lately?
Hmmm…. The first thing my mind goes to is, there was some random rumor floating around that Kim lit a skunk on fire.
I know. It’s absurd. It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. Obviously Kim does not set living things on fire! And anything I’ve heard about myself, it just pales in comparison to that. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard.