Makeup By Kim Porter


Emerald Green Smoky Eye using Black|Up Cosmetics

Emerald Green Smoky Eye Black|Up Cosmetics



Lately, I’ve been playing in a lot of makeup – creating fun looks.  Just take a look at my Instagram feed as proof.  Most of the products I’ve been loving these days are from Black|Up Cosmetics. I’ve mentioned them here previously when I reviewed their beautiful orange matte lipstick.  This time around, I’m going to show you the Black|Up Cosmetics products I used to create this Emerald Green Smoky Eye.


I’m an eye shadow first girl, which means prior to applying my foundation I apply my eye shadow.  Applying my eye shadow first prevent me from having to redo or touch-up my under eye products like concealer and powder, which can get annoying.

To create this Emerald Green Smoky Eye, I used three shades from the Black|Up Cosmetics Eye shadow Palette in PAL03.  This palette features five eye shadows in four different textures: matte, satin, metallic, and sparkling.

BlackUp Cosmetics Harmonie 3 PAL 03

First, using a blending brush, I applied the dark brown matte shade to my crease.

Second, I applied the emerald green eye shadow to my lid, and blended it up to the crease.

Lastly, I used the camel-colored matte eye shadow to blend out the emerald green and dark brown eye shadows.

Now that my eye shadow has been applied, I can now focus on my skin!

To cover up my dark circles and any blemishes I have, I used the pigment packed Black|Up Cosmetics Concealer Magic Quad in CR02, which worked well at hiding.

BlackUp Cosmetics Contour Stick

After that, I used the new Black|Up Cosmetics Contouring Stick in shade 03.  The lighter shade makes for the perfect all-over foundation for my complexion, while the darker shade adds a slightly warm contour.

The Black|Up Cosmetics Complexion Enhancer adds a beautiful glow.  I added it to my high points, like my cheekbones, and cupids bow. You can also mix it in with their CC Cream or liquid foundation, and even use it solo.

I then added some blush to the apples of my cheeks, and then I blotted out the shine in my t-zone using the Black|Up Cosmetics Two-way cake.

BlackUp Cosmetics Blush 10

To complete the look, since I couldn’t decide on which Black|Up Cosmetics lipstick to use because I loved both of the matte lipsticks I received, I chose to use both: RGE38 and RGE32.

BlackUp Cosmetics Matte Lipsticks 38M 32M

For my Valentine’s Day date night, help me decide which lip color I should wear, RGE38 or RGE32.

Beauty Deal!

Black| Up is offering our readers 20% off their products from 2/12 until 2/28 using the code: LOVE15


Gabriel Cosmetics’ Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner {Review +Swatches}

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner


Winged eyeliner doesn’t come easy to most people, especially if you don’t have the right tools.  Wouldn’t it be perfect if there was an eyeliner that allowed you to create the perfect winged liner or cat eye? Well, lately, I’ve been using the Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner by Gabriel Cosmetics, and I’m happy to report that it’s probably the most user-friendly liquid eyeliner I’ve used.

Liquid Eyeliner

I know people, especially those new to makeup, tend to stay away from liquid eyeliners because they fear having uneven lines, raccoon eyes or worse.  The Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner has a fine calligraphy applicator, making applying this liquid eyeliner easy, and mess-free.

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner swatches
Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner swatches

I like that the Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner is both waterproof and smudge proof.  The applicator tip is soft, and applies the liquid eyeliner effortlessly.  It Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner dries quickly, too, which means I didn’t have to worry about my perfect winged eyeliner messing up.

I was provided the Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in two shades: ‘Storm’ which is a beautiful midnight blue, and ‘Amethyst’, which is in my favorite color, purple.  I’ve swatched both shades on my hand so you can see how well pigmented these liquid eyeliners are.

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner Look

And of course, I have on ‘Amethyst’, demonstrating how smooth, and clean are the lines made with the Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliners.

After seeing the results of using the Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eye Liners, what do you think?

Please share your liquid eyeliner mishaps in the comments.

About ZuZu Luxe: ZuZu Luxe was conceived and developed by Gabriel DeSantino, CEO and founder of GabrielCosmetics, INC. ZuZu Luxe’s products are made from 100% certified gluten-free and vegan ingredients. Theirskincare, Gabriel Organics, is NPA certified and provides a wide range of skin health products and benefits to fit individual skin needs. Their cosmetics are free of synthetic chemicals and include both bold and classic color palettesand a variety of essentials including brushes, cosmetic wipes, and nail polish.

My Skin, but Better: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in ‘Martinique’

Disclosure: All opinions are my own and are honest. Product purchased with my own money. Affiliate links.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Review

When the weather is hot, and the humidity is high, I keep my makeup to the minimum.  That means, no heavy foundation.  How do I get around that? I use a light foundation like MAC Face & Body mixed with some SPF or a tinted moisturizer.  Over the last few months, since purchasing NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Martinique, I’ve been using it almost daily. While attending The Makeup Show New York 2014, I stopped by the NARS booth to see what they had, swatch products, and of course shop!  The one thing I picked up was the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, and I only paid $32 (retail $42).  You’re probably thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot, Kim!”  Hmm, but I think it was money well spent, especially due to the compliments I receive when wearing it.

What is NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer?

The NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer helps dehydrated skin with its infusion of “..lush, naturally derived ingredients.”  According to NARS, this tinted moisturizer “…has been proven to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation for a clearer and brighter complexion in as little as four weeks. Oil-free and luxurious, it obscures the appearance of lines, wrinkles, pores, and other imperfections while SPF 30 adds a translucent veil of protection.”

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Swatches

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is available in 11 shades in varying undertones like neutral pink, neutral yellow, peach, red, golden olive etc. I picked up Martinique, which is described as medium dark with warm, red undertones.  When swatched against my skin (remember ladies, swatch on your jawline or your neck), Martinique was the perfect summer shade for me, while Seychelles is perfect for winter.  You know, your skin color changes from light to dark depending on the season; therefore, it’s important for your makeup shades to change, too.

The NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, for me, applies well with a fluffy foundation brush. I found that when I used my fingers, the application was a little streaky, and less natural-looking. After I apply it, I apply my Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder shade #7, and spray with Skindinavia’s The Finishing Spray for Oily Skin.

The SPF30 property of the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is a plus because you have sun protection for up to 2 hours post application and sun exposure, which means you’d have to re-apply it throughout the day if you are depending on it for that purpose.  Plus, I’ve noticed, that if I didn’t use primer prior to, or powder prior to application (sometimes I do because I get oily) I’m blotting or using blot powder 2-3 hours in.  Unlike other products I’ve used, I don’t end up looking like a grease bucket, it’s more like a glow or dewy effect. This doesn’t mean that the coverage doesn’t last throughout the day because it does.  Plus, a little goes a long way; I only use a pea sized amount to cover my face.

There is a slight, lemony, herbal scent to the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer; however, it dissipates quickly.  Trust me, when I say it’s light, I mean, it’s like a barely there scent.

Why do I like NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer?

– It has broad spectrum SPF30

– It makes my skin look and feel better.  My skin, but better.

– It gives my skin a natural glow.  I’ve been asked if I’m expecting because of the glow I have.

– It’s lightweight & doesn’t feel heavy.

– It’s oil-free & non-comedogenic.

– Paraben, phthalate, and sulfate-free

What I don’t like about NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer?

-It has the tendency, without proper skin prep, to become oily, that is if you have oily skin.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is a product I will purchase again.  In fact, once fall/winter hits, I’m picking up Seychelles.  This tinted moisturizer is great for someone willing to splurge on a lightweight moisturizer with SPF30, that provides good coverage, and makes your skin look radiantly amazing.  I know $42 is a lot to commit to for a product you’re just trying out, so try picking up a sample at your local Sephora. Found at the following retailers: NARS,, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Ave, Sephora.

 Have you tried the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer? What do you think?

Disclosure: All opinions are my own and are honest. Product purchased with my own money. Affiliate links.

Bronzers for Brown Skinned Women

Bronzers for brown Skinned women
Bronzers are perfect for a minimalist makeup look, especially when the weather heats up because who wants to wear foundation in the sweltering heat?

First, I want to point out what a bronzer is and its purpose.

Bronzer’s are either powder, gel, liquid or cream products that are used to give the impression of a bronzed/golden color of a suntan.   Powder bronzers are most effective for individuals with oily skin, whereas, liquids and creams are best for people with dry skin.  Bronzer is usually applied to the face on the chin, cheeks, center of the nose, cheek bones, and if you’re wearing a low-cut shirt add bronzer to your décolletage to enhance it.

There are very few companies that have bronzers specifically for women of color who have darker skintones.  Iman Cosmetics, Milani,  Black Opal, and now Shea Moisture are brands for women of color that carry bronzers for women like us.  Some high-end brands like Bobbi Brown and Guerlain have bronzers for brown skinned women, too!

Iman Sheer Finish Bronzing Powders:

“Capture the brilliant glow of the sun with naturally shimmering sheer powders that bring a touched by the tropics to every complexion.”

Available in three color selections: Afterglow, clay (medium-dark complexion) & sand (medium-light complexion).


Black Opal Color Fusion Mosaic:

“Highlight the natural beauty of your skin with this multi-toned mosaic bronzing powder. Formulated with Vitamins that work to condition and protect your skin as well as oil blotters to help control shine, this ultra-fine, jet milled powder also ensures smooth application and long lasting streak-free color. For all skin types.”

Available in five different shades: 1. Bronzer, 2. Shimmer Bronzer, 3. Pressed Powder, 4. Raspberry Bronzer Blush, 5. Golden Bronzer



Covergirl Queen Natural Hue Bronzer


Affordable drugstore brand bronzer that was made especially for us brown girls.  Makeup Artist Sam Fine recommends this bronzer.

Available in three shades:  Light Bronze, Brown Bronze, Ebony Bronze

Guerlain Terracota Bronzer 


This is a splurge, at $52.  If you like Covergirl Queen’s Natural Hue Bronzer in Ebony, you will probably like this one, and it has less shimmer, and is more wearable for people suffering with oily skin.  Shades 05 and 07 work best for my skin tone; however, darker complexions can get away with 08. I’ll post swatches of this soon.

Available in seven shades:  00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07,08

NYX Matte Bronzer

(see my swatches and review here)

Deep Tan would be perfect for darker complexions, and at $9.00 it is a great price.

Available in five shades: Light, Deep, Medium, Dark Tan, Deep Tan

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder :


This soft matte, silky-smooth bronzer instantly gives skin the look of a natural tan.

Available in six shades: Golden Light, Medium, Natural, Rich Cocoa, Dark, Deep


NARS Casino Bronzer:

This has become a favorite of mine.  It is the darkest shade of bronzer offered by NARS, and is the top selling bronzer, next to the famed Laguna Bronzer.  It has shimmer.  It is great to use as a blush or as a shadow.

Personally, I use the following:

1. MAC Format blush

2. MAC Raizin Blush

3. MAC Sweet As Cocoa Blush

4. MAC Weekend Bronzer

5. NARS Casino Bronzer

6. MAC Minieralize Skinfinish Deep Dark

7.  NYX Matte Bronzer



1. Oily skin should avoid bronzers with loads of shimmer.

2.  Apply a little powder before the bronzer to prevent streaking.

3. Choose a bronzer two shades deeper than your complexion (too light and it’ll appear ashy; too dark and it’ll look muddy).

4. Mix Liquid bronzers like Inglot’s Liquid Illuminators with body oil/baby oil to create a bronzing oil for your body.

5.  Mix your liquid bronzer with a tinted moisturizer to get an all-over face golden glow.

Do you currently use a bronzer? If so, which?

If not, why?