Makeup By Kim Porter


How I Learned How to Make Argan Oil at Assaisse Ouzeka Women’s Cooperative in Essaouira

When I booked my trip to Morocco, I immediately began doing research to book excursions. One of the places that was at the top of my list to visit was Essaouira. Why was it Essaouira? Because that’s where the magic grows. If you don’t know what magic I’m talking about, it’s the Argan tree where we get the infamous argan oil or as some may call it, Moroccan oil.

7 Benefits of Argan Oil or Moroccan Oil:

  1. Skin moisturizer- great for hydrating and softening skin
  2. Hair conditioner- softer and silkier hair
  3. Anti-aging properties- to slow down the process of visible aging lines
  4. Acne Treatment- helps treat and prevent acne
  5. Treatment for feet, hands, and nails- softens and conditions feet, hands, and cuticles.
  6. Prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
  7. Lip moisturizer- great to prevent chapped lips

You can find argan oil pretty much anywhere in Morocco, but I wanted to visit one of the women’s cooperative to learn about the different types of oils. On our way to the coast of Essaouira, and after we stopped to see the goats in the tree we made our way to Assaisse Ouzeka (Argane Tichka) women’s cooperative.

Before we get to Assaisse Ouzeka I have to tell you about the goats in the argan trees. I’ve heard about these particular goats and I’ve seen pictures online, but it was a site to see in person. People kept asking me why the goats were in the tree and it is to eat the argan fruit. When goats eat the argan fruit and passes through them, people would collect the feces of the poop to get the argan fruit seed to make argan oil.



Yes you read that correctly….people would take goat poop to get the seed to make argan oil. Although that is not as common of a practice today, at Assaisse Ouzeka, I learned more about argan oil, its uses and how it is made.

Upon entering we saw three women hard at work. It was like an assembly line for creating the different argan products. Here are the steps:

1. Remove the seed from the ripe fruit


2. Break seed to get the kernel. The kernel is then roasted and then cooled.




3. Grind the cooled kernel using a hand mill.



4. The product from the hand mill creates a paste and the oil is extracted from the paste.


This is the same process for the cosmetic oil, but skip the roasting step. The roasting helps bring out the nutty flavor in the argan cooking oil.

This was extremely hard work. After a few churns my arm was killing me!
This was extremely hard work. After a few churns my arm was killing me!

We all know that argan oil and products with argan oil is extremely expensive. I must say after seeing how hard those women work it is worth every penny. This oil is not manufactured in some large factory. You only see a group of women working with their bare hands to help produce a product that we love.

At the cooperative we got test all types of argan products. We had argan oil honey, argan nut butter, and pure argan oil with bread. We also tested cosmetic products like face creams, scented argan oil, and argan masks. They guides were extremely helpful (of course they wanted us to buy things) and knowledgeable about the production and benefits of the products.

There was a plethora of products and options. I purchased cosmetic argan oil, lavender scent cosmetic argan oil, night cream with argan oil for wrinkles (you have to prevent them before they show up), and an argan oil clay mask.


Visiting Assaisse Ouzeka was definitely one of the highlights from my trip. If you are ever in Morocco, visit Essaouira and Assaisse Ouzeka. You won’t be disappointed.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Panic on Brown Skin



I’m a fan of NARS, especially their beautiful blushers. I was happy to have been able to get my hands on their Spring 2015 release of the Dual-Intensity Blush in Panic.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Panic Collage

NARS’ description of the Dual-Intensity Blush:

Featuring NARS’ exclusive Translucent Prismatic Technology, the newly- imagined formula allows for multi-dimensional effects with a uniquely weightless, luxurious texture. Six modern shade pairings curated by Francois Nars offer a universal spectrum of hues that works across all skintones. Sweeps on dry for a bold flush or wet for a translucent wash of color. Dry pigments impart a natural glow that warms the complexion and fuses weightlessly. Dampen NARS’ exclusive Wet/Dry Blush Brush before application for a watercolor effect—dab over the apples of the cheeks and swirl in a circular motion to paint on a subtle tint.

NARS DUal-Intensity Blush Panic Packaging

The NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Panic is a beautiful blush compact housing two shades of blush: (r) bright pink and (l) golden coral.

I like applying the NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in ‘Panic’ with my NARS All Day Luminous Foundation (review) as a base. I first apply the left side (golden coral shade) blended lightly towards my temples, close to my hairline. Following that, I gently swirl the bright pink shade on the right on the apples of my cheeks.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Wet/Dry

Applied dry, the Dual-Intensity Blush ‘Panic’ blends smoothly with ease. I love the beautiful, healthy glow with a flush of color that it provides. These days I prefer a more natural look, and this is exactly what the dry application of Panic provides. However, applying the Dual-Intensity Blush when wet intensifies the pigments and shimmer in the blush, which I do not prefer for myself. The application when wet can also be a bit splotchy. It takes work, and I know that when I’m doing my makeup, I have no time for more work.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Panic Makeup by Kim Smith

Overall, I’m a fan of the NARS Dual-Intensity Blush ‘Panic’. It looks amazing on my brown skin, especially when applied dry. During the winter when my skin can look dull, a quick swirl of this blush brightens it right back up!


The NARS Dual-Intensity Blush retails for $45, and is available in five additional shades: Adoration, Craving, Fervor, Frenzy, and Jubilation.

Have you tried any of the NARS Dual-Intensity Blushers? If so, which, if any, are your favorites?


Deep Steep Argan Oil Sugar Plum Body Products Review


During one of my many visits to Marshalls I came across a new-to-me bath and body care brand, Deep Steep. At the time, I was on the hunt for a new hand cream to keep at work, and one for my purse, and came across the Deep Steep Argan Oil Sugar Plum Hand Cream. After falling in-love with the scent, texture and moisturizing capabilities hand cream, I immediately returned to stock up on the other Deep Steep products. Below is my review of my purchases.

What is Deep Steep?

Deep Steep products are 100% conceived, formulated, produced, packaged and sold by a family business on Johns Island, South Carolina just outside Charleston. They tout their argan oil products as the most luxurious of what they produce.

Infused with organic extracts and oil, our Argan Oil body butters, lotions, sugar scrubs and hand washes have extra antioxidants that help skin feel smooth and moisturized. Our lush ingredients and seductive scents are fit for a queen.

My thoughts:

The Deep Steep Argan Oil Sugar Plum line is amazing! I love the scent. It’s fruity without being too loud or sweet, and leaves a nice hint of fragrance on the skin. I love stepping out of the shower after using the body wash, and being able to still smell remnants of it in the air.

The Deep Steep Argan Oil Sugar Plum body wash isn’t stripping, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. Although it doesn’t have a thick lather, I find that it does its job at cleaning my skin. The body lotion, when applied, absorbs into my skin quickly, isn’t greasy, and provides the hydration my skin needs for the day. During the winter months my skin needs all the hydration it can get. I can’t walk around looking like ‘Ashy Larry’.

Deep Steep sugar plum body lotion

The Deep Steep Argan Oil Sugar Plum hand cream works in the same way. It absorbs quickly, has an amazing fruity scent, and keeps my hands and cuticles soft and moisturized. Because I keep a tube on my desk at work, my coworkers use it, and love it as well. I like the hand cream so much that I even went back to Marshall’s to pick up another tube, but in the Snowflake scent.

Deep Steep Argan OIl Snowflake Handcream

The Deep Steep Argan Oil Snowflake hand cream has a light lemon scent, reminiscent of the Philosophy Lemon Custard hand cream. It’s a nice cream for those who dislike too much fragrance in their hand creams.

The packaging of the Deep Steep Sugar Plum Argan oil products is cute and simple. Since I purchased this around the holiday season, the packaging featured falling snowflakes on a purple background. Both the hand lotion and body lotion were in a squeeze tube, which makes it easier to get out the product even when it’s down to the last drop.

Overall, I love the Deep Steep Argan Oil bath and body products that I purchased. I can’t wait to try some more of their other products.

Deep Steep sugar plum body lotion

Deep Steep products are non-GMO, gluten, phthalate, paraben, and chemical preservative-free, Deep Steep Argan Oil Bath and Body products generally retail for $8-$14. I picked up mine from Marshalls for $4-$6.99.

Get Social with Deep Steep: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Have you tried the Deep Steep brand?

Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel {Giveaway}



My skin has been so on-point lately, and I have to thank the Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel. You probably remember me mentioning it from a recent post: Travel-Friendly Skincare for Warm and Humid Climates. If not, I’m going to get into a bit more detail here, and one lucky reader will be able to win one! So keep reading.

The Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel is an unscented, dense, bouncy gel-formula that helps diminish breakouts, roughness, dryness and the look of visible pores.

  • Exclusive PhytoTarget Complex enhances skin’s natural moisture factors*, to help build skin’s resistance to external stressors.
  • Salicylic Acid helps reduce acne and allows skin to heal.
  • Leaves skin looking supple and feeling smooth.

Travel-Friendly Skincare for Warm and Humid Climates

The cold weather here in NYC can lead to dryer skin. Just by adding a bit of the Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel to my routine has helped increase the moisture and suppleness of my skin. My skin, I’ve noticed, is baby soft. At times I catch myself, just touching my face – I know that’s bad, but I can’t help it – because my skin is just that soft and smooth! Although I don’t suffer from acne much, I do have an occasional hormonal breakout during ‘that time of the month’, I’ve found that adding the IBUKI Multi Solution Gel to my morning and evening routines have helped lessen the breakouts.

Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel

In my previous post, I mentioned not using the Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel under my makeup. Since then, I’ve been able to experiment with it a bit more. I use it under my tinted moisturizer or foundation during the day, and in the evenings I apply the IBUKI Multi Solution Gel. The gel doesn’t pill or doesn’t interfere with makeup application; however, I didn’t notice any difference in the amount of oil reduced due to me applying the IBUKI Multi Solution Gel prior to applying my tinted moisturizer/foundation.

Shiseido IBUKI Mutli Solution Gel Facts

My experience with the Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel was positive. If you have acne prone skin that’s dry, and needs help in achieving smoothness, then this may be the product for you. I know that I can’t wait to get my hands on other products from the Shiseido IBUKI line.

You can pick up a 30ml package of the Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel for $38.

Shiseido IBUKI Multi Solution Gel Giveaway

IBUKI Multi Solution Gel Giveaway

Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 0.5%: Acne treatment.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Sd Alcohol 40-B, Dimethicone, Peg/Ppg-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Peg-240/Hdi Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Glycyl Glycine, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Silica, Trehalose, Sodium Chloride, Gellan Gum, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Serine, Polyquaternium-51, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Sodium Citrate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Bht, Peg-30 Soy Sterol, Trisodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Yellow 5, Blue 1.