By Ajai Nicole; top image Kim Damio of Portland Black Lipstick Company
Hi there bbs. In this issue of Chi Chi, I’ve decided to twist things up and do a little interview with a DIY beauty great.
A couple months back, I dug out my old black lipsticks and I realized that only one of them was staying true to its original pigment and didn’t have a greenish undertone. Who had managed to make a long-lasting opaque black that was still as creamy as a lip balm? It turned out to be Portland Black Lipstick Company, whose founder Kim Damio makes her unusually colored products with all natural ingredients.
This line is perfect for you earthy goth babes. I mean come on, Kim’s motto is “all-natural makeup for that unnatural look”! A lot of other bloggers have compared PBLC to Lime Crime because the two companies’ colors tend to be similar. But if you ask me, Kim’s much smaller operation takes the cake. When I was up in Portland for a DJ gig a few months ago, I had a chance to sit down with Kim to find out how she came to have such an amazing indie makeup brand.
Turns out, she started making perfume and oils back in the ’90s. At the time, she was on the hunt for a black lipstick that with all-natural ingredients and when she couldn’t find one, she decided to make the hue herself. Like she said in our chat, “if you can’t find it, you can always make it.” She started making more products and sharing them with friends, and from there her little company started to grow. What I admire about Kim is that she’s still a one-woman operation — all her products are made out of her own little apartment!
Many thanks to Kim for taking the time to sit and chat with me about her company, and the other side of makeup that I didn’t really know much about.
AHDM4U :: Why do your lipsticks come in Chapstick form rather then in the bullet shape that’s industry standard?
KIM DAMIO :: It’s easier, cheaper and faster for me, due to being on my own for right now.
AHDM4U :: Do you have any new products you’re working on?
KD :: Yes, I’m working on a true red. It’s taking time ’cause reds are hard to make and create, especially when you’re doing it the natural way.
AHDM4U :: What product sells the most?
KD :: Black lipstick sells online the most and my copper and reds sell in boutiques more.
AHDM4U :: Do you like applying makeup?
KD :: I’m more fascinated and obsessed with formulating make up then applying it. I’ll leave that to the artist. (giggles)
AHDM4U :: Who is your beauty icon?
KD :: Annie Turnbo Malone.
(NOTE FROM CHI CHI :: You guys, if you haven’t heard of Annie Turnbo Malone here’s a little quick history on her. Annie was the US’ first African American female millionaire — she made $14 million in assets in 1920 from her beauty and cosmetic enterprise Poro Beauty Products which started in St. Louis and moved to Chicago. Way before Oprah! There some history for you!)
Darlings I’ll leave you with my two fave PBLC products. FYI, all the lipsticks in Kim’s line can also be used as facepaint since they’re all-natural. Plus, they have a minty smell from her secret ingredient: peppermint.
Def try out the lipstick in Kim’s original Black — you’re not gonna find a better and more true color on the market! // GET IT
Also Lux Et Voluptas — a pinkish-gold sheer lipstick that looks good on any skin tone, if you ask me. Perfect color for this coming summer too! // GET IT