The cult-favorite products from Kat Von D ’s eponymous beauty brand are uniformly amazing, but her budge-proof liquid lipsticks and holographic eyeshadow palettes aren’t the only reason she’s built up a loyal fanbase that’s millions strong. The tattoo artist-turned-makeup entrepreneur has also established a cult of personality of sorts, as an outspoken, opinionated, often brutally honest figure that would rather see herself entrenched in controversy than sacrifice her ideals — even if it means alienating some of her followers.
Last month, makeup artist Gypsy Freeman beat out thousands of other contestants in an Instagram competition sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty. As the winner of the Saint + Sinner Contest, Freeman and a guest were to be flown out for an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to attend a party celebrating the relaunch of the brand’s Saint and Sinner perfumes, as well as a $500 gift card to Sephora.
But you wouldn’t know this now, because Kat Von D Beauty has wiped all evidence of the contest, including any information about Freeman’s win, from its social-media feeds and website. After the brand announced the results, other fans flocked to Freeman’s Instagram and pointed out that she’d posted the Trump for President logo on Election Day back in November.
Von D, who’s slammed Trump’s stances on various issues in the past, did not take kindly to this discovery — and, according to screenshots Freeman shared with the Kansas City Star, Von D contacted Freeman in a direct message to tell her that she was no longer invited to join her for the launch party in L.A. “I just wanted you to know that I chose your entry because of the talent that came with the images you created,” Von D wrote, before going on to say that she had drawn a “personal line in the sand” between herself and anyone who supports “that man.”
“My launch party [and my brand] celebrates many things that Trump is against,” Von D continued. “In a world where most people are afraid to stand up for what’s right, I refuse to. And this is something I am extremely open and vocal about … It’s hard to hear someone be open and vocal about the opposite — especially when it comes to a president who is openly racist, misogynist, and denies climate change.”
The exchange between the two was reasonably polite on both ends, but Von D made it clear that disinviting Freeman from the event was her final decision. A cached version of the now-deleted contest website says that any legal United States resident 18 or older would be eligible to enter, so Von D’s choice to veto Freeman’s win was purely personal.
Freeman told the Wichita Eagle that she found it “really unfortunate” that Von D should bring politics into the contest. “I didn’t erase (the Trump post) either,” she said. “Part of the great thing about this country is having freedom of speech … It’s definitely bigotry — it’s everything that they’re calling us, they’re doing. It’s a huge case of hypocrisy.” Neither Kat Von D Beauty or Von D herself have spoken up about the drama so far, and we’ve reached out to the brand for comment.