Kim Kardashian West’s Makeup Artist Mario Dedivanovic Finally Gets the Limelight at Awards Show

Every successful person has others who have helped them along the way. Kim Kardashian is no exception. She owes some of her success to the industry connections her father made. Her mother, Kris Jenner, definitely helped her immensely. And then, there’s Mario Dedivanovic.

Dedivanovic is technically her makeup artist, although the truth is he is so much more than that. Last month Kardashian presented Dedivanovic with the Artistic Achievement Award at the 2019 American Influencer Awards (AIA) ceremony.

It was a special night for both Dedivanovic and Kardashian. Plus, fans got to learn so much more about their relationship, and about Dedivanovic himself.

Kim Kardashian and Mario Dedivanovic have a special relationship

Kim Kardashian and Mario Dedivanovic attend KKWxMario Dinner.
Kim Kardashian and Mario Dedivanovic | Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

The speech Kardashian gave while presenting the award shed a lot of light on how she feels about her longtime makeup artist. She and Dedivanovic have been working together for over a decade.

Kardashian describes their relationship as like brother and sister. She said: “We’ve worked together for 11 years. 11 years of fights—you guys, we fight like you don’t even understand. We fight like brother and sister.”

But magic happens when she’s with Dedivanovic. According to Kardashian, he is part of the reason that she is who she is today. Not only has he done her makeup for years, but he is also an integral part of her business.

“And also, really helped with my KKW Beauty brand,” she said. “I call him. I FaceTime him at 3:00 a.m. testing formulas or showing shades, and he is always there no matter what. And I love him.”

The award is a big deal for Mario Dedivanovic

Not only is it a big deal to Dedivanovic, but it’s also apparently something he’s dreamed of his entire life. He describes how he had always “manifested” the moment he would win a big award.

Dedivanovic has been in the makeup industry for 19 years, so in a lot of ways his whole life was about building up to the moment when he would be on the limelight. He says: “I’ve always envisioned myself on a stage with this light around me that felt so pure, like joy and happiness.”

Mario Dedivanovic’s speech was moving

Despite the fact that Dedivanovic had always dreamed of being honored with an award like the one he received at the AIA, he describes mixed emotions leading up to the event. He wasn’t feeling the joy and happiness he had imagined. Once he let go of other’s perceptions of him, the light started to come back.

“I don’t care as much about what I look like and what I wear and what I own. I don’t feel a need to be validated anymore,” he said. “I’m starting to see my true value and purpose in life and it isn’t about social media, likes, subscribers, fame, fortune and accolades and all of those surface things.”

Dedivanovic has struggled a lot over the years with people’s opinions of him. He is of Albanian descent, and homosexuality is not accepted in that culture.

During his speech, he asks the people of Albania to put an end to homophobia. He says as a child he felt so ashamed of his identity that he considered suicide. He knows other children feel the same way.

Dedivanovic hopes the people of Albania can become more accepting of homosexuality. He owns land there, in the town where his father was born. Unfortunately, he doesn’t yet feel comfortable going there to visit or build a home.

He says he was too “traumatized” to be himself when he was younger, but he’s finally able to feel at home in his own skin. 

“Right now, I stand here for the first time in my life, a proud 37-year-old gay man,” the talented makeup artist said.