Makeup By Kim Porter


Top 10 Favorite Winter Lipsticks

Top 10 Favorite Winter Lipsticks


Aside from my eyebrows, my lips are another thing that I can’t leave the house without dressing in one of my favorite lipsticks.  A nice lip color can make a drab face look fab in seconds.  This winter, I’ve been wearing a lot of vampy colors along with some fun shades like fuchsia, and brick red. Because who said winter lipsticks had to be dark? Being that I’m sort of a lipstick junkie, it was a bit hard to narrow down my list to 10 of my favorite winter lipsticks. Keep reading to see swatches of my Top 10 Favorite Winter Lipsticks.

1.  Black|Up Cosmetics 32M

I’ve been wearing the heck out of the Black|Up Cosmetics matte lip color in shade 32M! It’s a gorgeous raspberry shade that looks amazing against my complexion.  It’s a fun shade, and would make a great transitional shade from winter to spring.

2. LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint ‘Coy’

By now, it’s no surprise that I’m into purple shades, right? Yup! This LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint in ‘Coy’  is a beautiful violet.  It adds some fun color to these gloomy winter days we’ve been having in New York.  It makes me look forward to spring.

3.  Black|Up Cosmetics 38M

Yup, another Black|Up Cosmetics lipstick has made the cut for a favorite winter lipstick, and this one is described as a bluish mauve.  I love the way it looks on me. It’s flirty, and fun, and definitely takes my mind off of winter weather.

4.  MAC Cosmetics ‘Rebel’

‘Rebel’ by MAC, which has a satin finish gives you dark lipstick without going too dark.  If you’re into plum shades, this is perfect.

5.  MAC Cosmetics ‘Diva’

My winter lipstick stash must contain a red. Although there are times I whip out my ‘Ruby Woo’ or another red, I sometimes go for a darker, more intense burgundy like ‘Diva’.  Plus, there are days when I’m a total ‘Diva’ and wear it. LOL

6.  Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Lacquer ‘Bordeaux’

I love this Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Lacquer in ‘Bordeaux’.  I raved about it in my review of the December 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box (here).  It’s great for those that love both glosses and stains.  It lasts! The color is just beautiful.

7.  NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ‘Train Bleu’

NARS describes this shade of their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil as a “deep aubergine”.  Train Bleu is one of my go-to shades to create a long-lasting vampy look.

8.  Black|Up Cosmetics 2-in-1 Lip Crayon JUM11

This is another favorite winter lipstick shade for creating a vampy lip.  Although similar in shade to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, it’s not a full matte, the color is a bit deeper and more intense. It also applies like a dream!

9.  Black|Up Cosmetics Lip Lacquer VL07

The Black|Up Cosmetics Lip Lacquer in VL07 is a vibrant, deep purple. If you’re into high gloss, then this is for you. It looks good both alone and over a lipstick.

10.  MAC Cosmetics ‘Smoked Purple’

I told you I LOVE purple! ‘Smoked Purple’ has been a favorite of mine for YEARS! It’s the perfect, deep, eggplant matte lipstick. The color lasts all day, and applies evenly with ease.  And even though I’m wearing it during the winter, which is known for drying out the skin, my lips do not suffer wearing this.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Top 10 Favorite Winter Lipsticks. Did you notice a pattern? Most of them are matte, and some form of purple.

AJ Crimson Pro On The Go Tour 2015



Ever since seeing AJ Crimson on an episode of My Fair Wedding, I’ve been a fan.  After meeting AJ Crimson several times in person, I’ve become an even bigger fan.  He’s doing great things with his makeup artist career.  Have you tried anything from his makeup line? I’ve tried his foundations, lip products, and CC cream, and love all.  Now, AJ Crimson is going on tour sharing his makeup artistry skills with budding makeup artists like myself, as well as makeup enthusiasts through the AJ Crimson Pro on The Go Tour.

The AJ Crimson Pro on the go Tour will be featuring AJ himself and Eye Lash Guru to the stars, Ja’Maal Buster.

Seeing the diverse group of women interested in his products and artistry abilities, AJ Crimson decided to embark on a new adventure, and created the AJ Crimson on the go Tour.
“They wanted to be there to try the product. They may have seen it online or read the reviews, but because it’s not in every retail location, there are so many women that were just excited to get their hands on it. It was really great. To be able to educate the ladies who attended and provide them with a solution to their makeup needs was wonderful; so, I decided to go back on the road and added fifteen additional cities to the tour!”

Why you should learn from AJ Crimson?

Aside from working with celebrities, AJ Crimson has created a name for himself as an entrepreneur and makeup artist. He has been featured in fashion, beauty and music magazines worldwide including Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Essence and leading Japanese Entertainment magazines Blenda and Luire.  He has also had the opportunity to work alongside some of the best in the business including Pat McGrath for Paris Fashion Week and was delighted to have a hand in creating cutting edge beauty techniques under the masterful instruction and eyes of makeup impresarios Joann Gair and Mathu Anderson.

The 2015 AJ Crimson on the go Tour dates are as follows:

March 28-29       Los Angeles, CA                                                             
May 3-4               New York, NY                                                             
June 13-14           Dallas, TX                                                                                           
November 7-8   Chicago, IL
December 2       Cleveland, OH
December 3       Cincinnati, OH
December 5       St. Louis, MO
December 6       Memphis, TN
December 7       Birmingham, AL
December 9      New Orleans, LA
December 11     Houston, TX
December 12     Dallas, TX
To reserve seating at the AJ CRIMSON PRO On the Go Tour and see the full product line, visit

7 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund to Invest in and Improve Your Blog

TaxTaxBlog tips7 Ways to use your tax refund to invest in and improve your blog



It’s tax season, which means some of us are receiving tax refunds in the coming weeks. Before you go spending away on things you may not need like more makeup, after setting aside a portion of your refund, think about using some of it to invest in and improve your blog.

Using your income tax refund to invest in and improve your blog all depends on where you are currently in the stages of blogging. Is it a hobby or something you are hoping to turn into a business? Either way, I think that the more professional and clean your blog looks, along with great content are things that keep the readers coming.

Below are just a few suggestions on ways you can Use Your Tax Refund to Invest in and Improve Your Blog.

1.  Use Your Tax Refund to Invest in getting your Blog a Facelift

Of course, the content of your blog is important, but it’s the look and feel of your blog that draws in your readers. You want to make sure your site has a clean look, has text that’s easy to read, is easily navigable and searchable, and has social media buttons, a contact form, and options for readers to subscribe to your RSS Feed.  My advice is to use your tax refund to hire a professional designer, check Etsy for layouts, or use a theme (WordPress) from sites like BluChic.

2. Use Your Tax Refund to Invest in a New Camera and Lens

You have the content, but what about [great] images?  Clear, crisp images that help tell a story keep the readers interested and engaged.


I own an iPhone 6, which takes amazing photos, especially when the lighting is great! However, camera phones are not always the best option when using them to take photographs that will be on your blog.  If you rely solely on your camera phone for images, try bumping up to a digital camera with higher megapixels, or even a DSLR if that’s in your budget.  I use a Sony alpha 35; however, I’m about to upgrade to a Canon or Nikon.

The lens you decide to get depend on your photography needs.  If you’re taking portrait shots with smooth, blurred backgrounds, pick up a 50mm f/1.8 lens. For product shots, try a macro lens (50mm f2.8).

3. Use Your Tax Refund Invest in a Tripod & Remote

Now that you have your camera it is time to set yourself up with items that will help you use your camera to its fullest potential.

Dynex Tripod

I wasn’t lucky enough to have married a photographer, which is why I invested in a tripod and a remote.  Both allow me to take my own photos that aren’t shaky nor out of focus.  A tripod that allows you to tilt your camera is optimal.

4.  Use Your Tax Refund Invest in Lighting

No matter the camera you own, it’s the lighting that takes your photos to a whole other level – seriously.  If you invest in an expensive camera, you want to make the purchase worth it, and the built-in flash is not always the best option.  Also, some of us are not fortunate enough to live in areas where natural light is plentiful, which is why investing in or making your own light kit is a good idea. This way, you’re able to take awesome photos regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.

PBL LIghting_

I’m going to upgrade to the My Studio MS20 Tabletop Professional Tabletop Photo Studio Kit ($179/ and a Ring Light ($88/, but I currently own the PBL Studio photography Video Light Kit that I picked up from Amazon.

5.  Use Your Tax Refund Invest in an External Hard drive

Photos and videos tend to be large files. Trust me, they take up a lot of space, and if you’re storing them on your computer’s hard drive, don’t.  Use your tax refund to invest in an external hard drive.  The hard drive will allow you to backup all of your files to a safe place, and prevent overloading your computer’s internal hard drive, which can slow down your computer, and in some cases cause it to crash. Yup, I’m speaking from experience.

Lacie Rugged

6.  Use Your Tax Refund Invest in Props

I’m new to the world of props for photos, and I see how important they are. They add a bit of pizzazz to what would be an otherwise drab photo. Props aren’t even expensive. You can pick up items like artificial flowers, foam boars, vinyl backgrounds, etc. from Michael’s, a craft store, a dollar store or Etsy.

7.  Use Your Tax Refund Invest in Photo and Video Editing software

I think this is optional. There are plenty of free online photo editing tools out there like Picmonkey and Canva. I know because I’ve been using them for the last few months since FinalCutPro and Photoshop make my computer crash (yeah, I need a new computer).  Both of the online photo editing tools, along with GIMP (download) get the job done, and are free!

Non-bloggers, over on Beauty and the Bump, I share 5 Smart Things You Should Do with your Tax Refund.

 How do you plan on spending your tax refund? Will you use it towards improving something on your blog?


How to Clean your Makeup Brushes using Clean Brush Shampoo

How to clean your makeup brushes



Putting on makeup is fun.  Playing in different colors, textures, and using different mediums.  And then there’s the clean up.  I can’t be the only person who dreads cleaning my makeup brushes. but I know that clean makeup brushes and tools are essential to any makeup artist or enthusiast for many reasons, which is why I’ve created this pictorial teaching you How to Clean your Makeup Brushes using Clean Brush Shampoo (review) and alcohol.

Why you should learn how to clean your makeup brushes

Not cleaning your makeup brushes are doing your skin, makeup and brushes a huge disservice.  In order for your makeup brushes and tools to perform effectively, and apply your makeup flawlessly, they must be clean.  Dirty brushes can lead to muddy looking, or streaky makeup.  Dirty brushes can also lead to breakouts since they tend to harbor bacteria and dead skin cells.  Additionally, if you’re a makeup artist, not keeping your brushes clean, and doing so in between clients can contaminate all of your makeup. Brushes, like anything else are also an investment, especially if you’re a makeup artist, so think of keeping them clean as protecting your investment. Dirty brushes do tend to lead to a shorter life expectancy for you brushes.

How to clean your makeup brushes

Things you need to clean your makeup brushes

First, you need a few items in order to clean your makeup brushes so make sure you have the following setup before hand.

Brush shampoo

70% Alcohol


Paper Towel

How to clean your makeup brushes pictorial

Now, let’s get to how to clean your makeup brushes

1. Wet the brush with lukewarm water with the brush head facing down.

Remember:  Do not wet past the ferrule since continued saturation of the ferrule, overtime can cause the glue to weaken, thus leading to the brush head  detaching from the handle.

2. Since I used Clean Brush solid brush shampoo,  I also wet that, too.

3. Swirl the dirty brush around in the jar, and then on your hand for extra dirty brushes.

4.  Rinse brush under lukewarm water until the water runs clear.

5.  Gently squeeze out excess water.

6.  Lie flat on towel to dry.

Usually, after my brushes are dry, I wet a paper towel with 70% alcohol, and then wipe down the brush handles.  I think this is a crucial step for makeup artists.

How to clean your makeup brushes


I hope this pictorial has been helpful in helping you to learn how to clean your makeup brushes.

How often are you deep cleaning your brushes?