By Alison Boshoff
With an insouciance so typical of the young, Kylie Jenner's latest Instagram post says: "Thank you @Forbes."
The American business magazine, which produces the famous Forbes List wealth indexes, has named her the youngest self-made billionaire it has ever listed.
But Kylie was barely able to sound thrilled. Bored might be a better description - though you have to remember that Kylie Jenner is still only 21.
She's been in the public eye since she was 10 and the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, whose eponymous reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, launched in 2007.
And we've watched her grow from sulky, unremarkable schoolgirl overshadowed by her showy elder sisters and pushy manager mum, to the acknowledged superstar of the superlatively tacky and globally famous family.
It was some leapfrog: her half-sister Kim is said to be worth $517 million, while sister Kendall is the highest-paid supermodel in the world.
Such is her clout, that she is the most followed person on the Snapchat app and has 128.5 million followers on Instagram, where a single sponsored post by her is said to cost a cool US$1 million.
Kylie's staggering fortune has been founded on a cosmetic empire. Her first pop-up store had fans queueing around the block overnight when it opened in Los Angeles in 2016.
Now, she has a $18.4 million mansion stuffed with Warhols, so many handbags they require their own walk-in wardrobe and dining chairs in pink leather chosen to match her own lipstick shades.
But fame and fortune have come at a cost. She's been longing to leave the family's reality show for years, but remains trapped in her gilded cage - although she has sworn that this will be her last season.
Then there was the shock of her father Bruce undergoing gender reassignment surgery, and reinventing himself as the glamorous Caitlyn.
Little wonder that, in 2015, Kylie said: "I dream about being normal."
Her considerable cosmetic work speaks volumes about her self-confidence, too: with every feature apparently modified, pumped up or perfected, she is barely recognisable from the awkward little girl who first appeared on TV.
So how did the precocious Miss Jenner make a billion? And, more important, has it been worth it?
PUSHY PARENTS AND A PUBLIC CHILDHOOD
The Kardashian story begins with the matriarch, Kris Jenner. She had four children from her marriage to the late lawyer Robert Kardashian and two more with Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner.
In 2007, Kris decided that she had had enough of trying to get Bruce's motivational speaking business to keep her in Manolos and set up a meeting with US TV producer/presenter Ryan Seacrest, where they talked about a reality show.
Kim was already notorious thanks to the release the previous year of a sex tape with her then boyfriend, the singer Ray J.From the start, Kris was the manager of all six of the children - and remains so.
The show was a huge hit and nothing was off-limits. Viewers saw Kris get stoned on marijuana-laced Gummy bears with her 81-year-old mother, Kim get Botox on screen and Kourtney give birth.
Deals were done to plug diet pills, liqueurs, tooth-whitening, watches, shoes, nail polish, jewellery, credit cards and laser hair removal.
At first, Kendall and Kylie played no part in the smash and grab, though they were seen on screen. But in 2014, when Kendall was 18 and Kylie 16, mum Kris decided they were ripe for marketing. The plan was - given sister Kim's saturation of the mainstream market - to aim them squarely at the Instagram generation.
They promoted OPI nail polish, Gillette Venus razors, a sci-fi novel and a cheap clothing range. Kylie stopped going to school at 15 and was tutored at home, as the film schedule impacted on her studies.
Then came an almighty bombshell when Bruce announced in 2015 that he was a trans woman, and later underwent gender reassignment surgery.
A source said Kylie 'struggled' with his decision and wanted out: "She had no interest in being a part of the series any more. The entire experience with Bruce made her realise it was time to leave.
"Bruce felt he'd waited long enough to open up and transform the way he wanted, but Kylie wasn't ready and felt blindsided.
"People forget she's still just a kid. Sure, she's rich and famous and living the life, but . . . she gets terrible mood swings and there are lots of times when she feels like hiding from the cameras.
"She now wants to concentrate on her baby and make-up line. However, this will involve defying the formidable Kris, who worked hard to keep the gravy train on track.
COSMETICS SELL OUT IN A MINUTE
Kylie was already a huge Instagram and Snapchap presence when she launched Kylie Cosmetics in 2016, with a massive teenage audience.
It was a runaway success: the company generated an estimated US$360 million in sales last year.
The products are said to be surprisingly good, too: Kylie's 'lipkits' - which start at a pricey $58, and go up to $232 for the entire range of lipgloss - are high quality, and quickly got a reputation for not bleeding.
The reviews spurred sales, and led to her branching out: a collection of blushers and bronzers costs an astonishing $600. The brand uses social media and countdowns to sell limited editions. Her fans get to know about new products via tutorials on her Snapchat and pictures on her Instagram.
Then the products are released for sale on her website, in limited numbers. The entire line usually sells out in less than a minute.
The sales strategy is known as 'the drop' and is used by other celebrities, but Kylie's huge social media clout has rocket-powered the strategy.
Digital executive Avery Booker explains that the buyers are "excited not just by a product's rarity, but also by what credibility owning that product can give them within their social media communities, as well as its possible resale value".
Her influence, known as "the Kylie Effect" is such that last month she wiped $1.9 billion off the value of Snapchat after saying she didn't like the redesigned app and had stopped using it.
The Kylie Effect briefly boosted pomegranate sales in the UK by 69 per cent after she said she ate three packets of seeds a day.
A video of her puppy in a Fendi tote bag led to 12,000 stores selling out, and she caused a US-wide shortage of MAC lip-liner after mentioning it in a post.
The new Forbes cover profile points out that the size of Kylie's company is tiny, resulting in vast profits. She has almost no marketing costs, as everything is done via social media, and virtually no overheads as she only has 12 employees, of whom just seven are full-time.
The company's operations and production needs are mostly outsourced to specialist firms, reducing the bills even further.
EVEN MORE BLING THAN SIR ELTON
When she was 18, Kylie bought her first home - a $18.4 million Californian mansion.
She had the interior designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard - who also looks after Sir Elton John. It is wildly OTT.
The dining room has a gold leaf ceiling, and one dressing room has platinum paper.
There is a wardrobe for workout clothes, one for shoes and one for bags. Another has humidity-controlled museum-grade VIP storage for her most important designer pieces.
She has a large collection of modern art including installations by Tracey Emin and paintings by Damien Hirst.
The pride of her 400-bag collection is a Hermes Kelly design made from albino crocodile skin, worth around $480,000. She is crazy about cars and has a red Ferrari LaFerrari while for Christmas she gave herself an ice-blue Rolls-Royce Wraith.
She also has a black Rolls-Royce Wraith, a white Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Mercedes-Maybach, a Land Rover, a Range Rover and a Ferrari Italia.
A FEW NIPS AND TUCKS, PERHAPS?
Kylie is unrecognisable compared with herself as a young teenager - the jawline, nose and lips look different, and her figure is also transformed leading to speculation that she has had breast and buttock implants.
In an interview last month with Paper magazine she said: "People think that I fully went under the knife and completely reconstructed my face, which is completely false.
"I'm terrified! I would never. They don't understand what good hair and make-up and, like, fillers, can really do. It's fillers. I'm not denying that."
She got fillers aged 16 after a boyfriend commented on how thin her lips were.
"From then on, I just felt like I saw guys staring at my lips. I felt like no one wanted to kiss me."
She said: "I haven't done anything except my lips, but nobody seems to believe that, so I don't really care."
She told another interviewer: "Truth is, as I've gotten older, I've gained 15lb and my body has changed. I've definitely filled out."
THE BABY WHO BECAME A BRAND
Kylie kept her pregnancy secret, announcing the news only after baby Stormi was born on February 1, 2018. Within a month, Kylie released a Storm make-up collection.
She also applied to trademark her name, Stormi Webster (Webster is the real surname of Stormi's father, rapper Travis Scott) and also Stormiworld.
Kylie put her baby in a $2081 Fendi pushchair and $970 Gucci baby carrier and reportedly spent over $97,000 on designer clothes before Stormi was born.
WILL THERE BE A HAPPY ENDING?
So far, the signs are not so good. Earlier this month, rumours started to fly that Travis had cheated on her and that the romance was over.
Travis issued a "strong" denial of allegations of cheating and deleted his Instagram account, it seems as a way of proving his love for Kylie.
But, as her entire life has been played out in a real-life drama, there are sure to be more - painful and public - episodes ahead.