July 2012 Favorites and We've Come Full Circle

Yesterday I posted my favorites video and realized that the Making Up the Midwest has come full circle. This time last year I had just started making videos where I appear in front of a camera. While I'd been posting picture slide shows of products I had reviewed and swatched on the blog, it wasn't until one of my friends (thank you, Jessica!) asked for a tutorial that I mustered up the courage to get in front of the camera. I'm pretty glad that I did. Not only do I think it enriched the blog in being able to show and demonstrate products, but I've made some great friends, and had the opportunity to chat with, and get to know, so many MUMW readers and viewers along the way! 

It's funny, and almost cringe-worthy, to see how far I've come in making videos. It's hard to believe, but not long after my first July favorites I was on the move to my school apartment and made videos in front of a propped up pillow. A pillow, people. Things could only go up from there. Needless to say, it's certainly been a wild ride and I want to thank each and every one of you who have joined me for it! Here's to another year.
Now:

Then:

Review and Tutorial: Jemma Kidd Backstage Kit


Review & Swatchfest: Lime Crime Palette D'Antoinette




Lime Crime fever first hit me when I tried their Carousel Gloss in Candy Apple. As a bold, high quality gloss, I figured it could only mean good things for the rest of the products they offer. At the time, Palette D'Antoinette was the newest addition to their eyeshadow family and the perfect addition to anyone's makeup collection if they dig matte pastels. As a palette inspired by the iconic Queen of France, it's described as having five pastel hues "reminiscent of royal confectionary delights". While I would say there are only four pastels in this palette, I tend to agree that it looks good enough to eat. 

To start, each shade in this palette would be a unique addition to many people's collections. I will admit to having an extensive makeup collection, but I can safely say that nowhere in it could I find shadows remotely similar to these. While this may look like a palette for the brave at heart, even subtle-shadow wearers will find it easy to incorporate any of these shades into a look because they can be worn subtly and sheer or built up to make a serious statement. Royal Flush is a matte baby pink, Absinthe-Minded is a matte pastel lime, Macarooned is an matte creamsicle shade, Ribbonesque  is a matte pastel purple that leans periwinkle, and Mercurious is a silver with a metallic finish. 

The piéce de résistance is the quality of the shadows. All of the shades are buttery and smooth and, despite being matte, don't come off as chalky in the least. They are superbly blendable and don't take a ton of packing-on to get rich color payoff. While the wear time wasn't particularly impressive when worn alone, over a primer they last all day. What's more is that to get five shadows for $35 is an absolute steal compared to what other brands of similar quality are charging these days for a single shadow. 

Those looking for quality matte shadows in fun, unique colors will love this palette. The price makes it almost irresistible and if you order from Bloom.com, like I did, you get 10% back on your purchase (and sometimes more if they are having a special). Otherwise, they are available via the Lime Crime website. 

Royal Flush
Absinthe-Minded
Macarooned
Ribbonesque

Mercurious






BBC Weekly Roundup: Urban Decay, Illamasqua, and Zoya Oh My!



NYX on Hautelook this Monday (7/30)!


It's been a while since I've done an Hautelook update so I thought I would share the NYX sale that's happening this Monday! Over the course of this blog, I've tried quite a few of their products so I typically like to group all of them together on one post for quick and easy perusing. So, here it is: reviews and swatches of almost every NYX product in my collection.

NYX Butt 'naked' Eyes Palette review & tutorial



NYX Spring Fling Palette
NYX Lip Pencils in Coral, Pinky, Purple Rain, and Bloom
NYX Mega Shine Lip Glosses in Sponge Cake, Juicy Red, and Candy Shop
NYX Xtream Lip Cream in Natural and Candy Land
NYX Collection Noir Liquid Black Liner
NYX Lip Liners in Sand Pink, Beige, Peekaboo Neutral, and Nude Pink
NYX Pin-Up Tease Mascara
NYX Xtream Lip Cream in Dolly Girl
NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Palette
NYX Cream Shadow in Aqua
NYX Roll On Simmer in Light Blue

Happy Shopping!

Review & Swatchfest: Magic Tink Tint in Happy Thoughts Pink



Tinkerbell fans lookout! Pixi has created a collection, called PixiGlow, to help you capture the same fresh-faced glow as the famous fairy. Of the few product I have from the line, the Magic Tink Tint stood out as a great product because it not only takes on the crayon form I love in a lip product, but it's very moisturizing and packs the same pH surprise as Pixi's Tinted Brilliance Balm.

Despite having a pink tinge, Happy Thoughts Pink applies as a clear balm and then reacts to the pH of your lips, and ambient moisture, to assume a custom shade of pink. On my lips, it turns a shade of baby, bubblegum pink that, luckily, is flattering with the summer bronze I have going on. It applies very smoothly and has a pleasantly refreshing mint taste. I was also happy to find that it's more moisturizing than the Tinted Brilliance Balms but still stained my lips for upwards of four hours.

For $16, you get more product than higher end brands like Tarte offer in their LipSurgence line (.1 Fl. oz. versus .08 Fl. oz. at $24) and the quality is the same. The only downside is the limited shade range. In the PixiGlow line, Happy Thoughts Pink is the only shade, whereas the Tinted Brilliance Balm line offers a wide variety of shades. The only difference I noted was that the Tinted Brilliance Balms were more pigmented and less moisturizing. At $16, both are worth checking out next time you are at Target.







 





Review & Swatchfest: NYX Spring Fling Palette

NYX Spring Fling Palette
NYX Spring Fling Palette is a new release and offers up ten colorful shadows, two blush shades, a black and white shadow, and two lip glosses for $18. At first glance this palette has everything you need to create anything from a nice, neutral eye to a look fit for Carnival. Housed in two-tiered packaging, the shadows are kept under a flip-up top with a nice mirror and the rest is in a drawer just beneath them. Considering the amount of product this palette contains, the packaging is compact and feel very sturdy. 

Unfortunately, the shadows in this palette don't live up to the quality NYX single eyeshadows typically have. Almost all of the shade were chalky and took a few swipes to build up the pigmentation seen in the swatches below. When the color was finally there, the shadows were powdery. If you are just looking for a soft hint of color on the eyes, these will be fine for you, but those looking for bold pastels (or even bold neutrals) will want to pass. 

My favorite product in this palette was the blush because not only do you get two shades - a bright, candy pink and a pink-leaning peach shade, but they are very pigmented and apply smoothly. The matte black and white powders (that I'm assuming are shadows) also sit in the drawer, but have the same quality as the other shadows in the palette - chalky and patchy. And, lastly, the palette includes two lip glosses that are housed two narrow pans. One gloss is sheer and the other looks like a hot pink in the pan, but appears more sheer when swatched and worn. The quality of both of these is good - they aren't sticky and they feel great on my lips - but the narrow packaging makes it impossible to get more than a small lip brush in them. I would have liked to see two rectangular pans, similar to the shadow pans above them. 

I have to say that I'm happy with the look I was able to create, but it took a lot of work to get even the soft pigmentation you see in the photo of my eye at the bottom of this post. The blush and lip gloss are lovely, but the tricky packaging with the lip gloss made it harder to apply and it took a lot of layering to achieve the color seen below. Overall, I would say to avoid this palette and purchase the colors and products that appeal to you individually. 






















FTC: I received this product as a prize from a NYX Face Awards twitter contest however all thought and opinions are my own.


Caboodles Hits the Big 200K With a Giveaway to Match!


Caboodles is getting dangerously close to hitting 200K followers on Facebook and they are going to celebrate with a monumental giveaway with 25 winners! Once they reach the big 2-0-0, a giveaway tab will appear at the top of their page and you can learn more about how to win. Now that the "how" is covered, let's talk about the winnings.

What you can win (pictured below):

  • Classic On-the-Go-Girl case in fuchsia pearl
  • Caboodles t-shirt
  • Caboodles beach tote in pink
  • Caboodles flashdrive
  • Ooh La La petite train case
  • Curve Appeal wristlet
  • Bitsy Bag evening bag
  • Ready to Go Valet makeup bag






Just when you thought that was as good as it could get, they have partnered with Ardell, China Glaze, Tan Towel, and Senna Cosmetics to provide you with a load of beauty goodies to stuff your Caboodle! So go pop over to their Facebook page and like to help unlock the giveaway!

Review & Swatchfest: Skinn Waterproof Eye & Lip Pencils in Cleopatra Black, Egyptian Clay, Royal Indigo, Sultry Slate, and Venus


Dimitri James' makeup line, Skinn, is the product of a makeup artist turned makeup creator and his line of Waterproof Eye and Lip Pencils showcases this perfectly. Promising no fillers or excess packaging Skinn puts all the focus on the product and, for better or worse, it shows! Keep reading to find out what this line of pencils is all about, what I might change, and why you have to try them.

As their name indicates, these waterproof pencils are both for the eyes and lips so, right off the bat, you get a miltitasker. With a range of ten shades, there are plenty of colors and textures to create endless eye and lip looks. But, as any good beauty consumer will know, it's not just about what the products can do, but how good they get the job done. These pencils are not only waterproof, as they claim to be, but creamy, pigmented, and easily blendable. On the eyes, they last 9 hours without a primer and I was shocked to find that, on my lips, they lasted 6 hours when worn alone! While balms and glosses will reduce the wear time to 4 or 5 hours, they can be a little drying if your lips aren't already soft and supple, so it might be worth sacrificing wear time for moisture.

In terms of color selection, there is everything you could want for an eye look and more, but the wearable lip shades are limited to three colors and fall into a more narrow shade and texture spectrum. To see the lip shades, check out my other post! Cleopatra Black is a matte black, Egyptian Clay is a matte, deep brown, Royal Indigo  is a matte deep blue-black, Sultry Slate is a matte medium-dark grey, and  Venus is a golden bronze. All of the shades are rich, highly pigmented, and only take a swipe or two to achieve the swatches shown below. One thing I notice with the darker shades is that the colored end cap is less indicative of the color inside and, while it's not a deal breaker, is a little annoying.

The only qualm I have with these is the packaging. As I mentioned before, in reading through the Skinn website, I found that part of their company concept involves minimal packaging. Unfortunately, it shows with these pencils. Overall, I love the idea of it all. The narrow pencil is perfect for both eye and lip lining and shading and I love a twist-up and thus no-sharpen kind of setup. But, besides feeling kind of flimsy, the packaging doesn't lay flush with the product at the opening so it's easy for the pencil to wiggle around while applying. I've also had a few of these break at the base which I suspect is from this wiggling action because they don't feel brittle by any means. These are very affordable pencils at $15 for .04 oz. of product and amazing quality (whereas similar products cost the same for a fraction of the product), so I wouldn't mind paying a buck or two for better packaging.

Overall, these get a big thumbs up from me, despite the cheap-feeling packaging. They apply smoothly, stay on for ages, and give you a lot of room for creativity. You can purchase these from the Skinn website.

Cleopatra Black




Royal Indigo

Royal Indigo

Sultry Slate

Sultry Slate

Venus

Venus


From the left: Venus, Egyptian Clay, Cleopatra Black, Sultry Slate, and Royal Indigo
FTC: The product mentioned in this post are press samples, however all thought and opinions are my own and honest.

Review & Swatches: Skinn Waterproof Eye & Lip Pencils in Prose, Golden Plum, Moonlit, Plum Dandy, and Whisper



Dimitri James' makeup line, Skinn, is the product of a makeup artist turned makeup creator and his line of Waterproof Eye and Lip Pencils showcases this perfectly. Promising no fillers or excess packaging Skinn puts all the focus on the product and, for better or worse, it shows! Keep reading to find out what this line of pencils is all about, what I might change, and why you have to try them.

As their name indicates, these waterproof pencils are both for the eyes and lips so, right off the bat, you get a miltitasker. With a range of ten shades, there are plenty of colors and textures to create endless eye and lip looks. But, as any good beauty consumer will know, it's not just about what the products can do, but how good they get the job done. These pencils are not only waterproof, as they claim to be, but creamy, pigmented, and easily blendable. On the eyes, they last 9 hours without a primer and I was shocked to find that, on my lips, they lasted 6 hours when worn alone! While balms and glosses will reduce the wear time to 4 or 5 hours, they can be a little drying if your lips aren't already soft and supple, so it might be worth sacrificing wear time for moisture.

In terms of color selection, there is everything you could want for an eye look and more, but the wearable lip shades are limited to three colors and fall into a more narrow shade and texture spectrum. Prose is a matte dusty rose, Plum Dandy is a matte medium berry shade, and Whisper is a brick red with orange undertones. The eye shades I included in this batch are Moonlit, a shimmery champagne highlighter with peach undertones, and Golden Plum, a deep purple with subtle silver sparkle. All of the shades are rich, highly pigmented, and only take a swipe or two to achieve the swatches shown below.

The only qualm I have with these is the packaging. As I mentioned before, in reading through the Skinn website, I found that part of their company concept involves minimal packaging. Unfortunately, it shows with these pencils. Overall, I love the idea of it all. The narrow pencil is perfect for both eye and lip application and I love a twist-up and thus no-sharpen kind of setup. But, besides feeling kind of flimsy, the packaging doesn't lay flush with the product at the opening so it's easy for the pencil to wiggle around while applying. I've also had a few of these break at the base which I suspect is from this wiggling action because they don't feel brittle by any means. These are very affordable pencils at $15 for .04 oz. of product and amazing quality (whereas similar products cost the same for a fraction of the product), so I wouldn't mind paying a buck or two for better packaging.

Overall, these get a big thumbs up from me, despite the cheap-feeling packaging. They apply smoothly, stay on for ages, and give you a lot of room for creativity. You can purchase these from the Skinn website.

Prose 

Prose

Golden Plum

Golden Plum

Moonlit 
Moonlit


Plum Dandy


Plum Dandy

Whisper

Whisper


From the left: Plum Dandy, Golden Plum, Whisper, Moonlit, and Prose
FTC: Products mentioned are press samples, however all thoughts and opinions are honest and original.



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