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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review, Swatches, & Look: Studio Gear Holiday Palette



The holidays can be a great time to experiment with fun glitters and bold lips, but sometimes nothing gets the job done for a holiday look like a classic grey smoky eye. The Studio Gear Holiday Palette keeps the classics in mind with a mix of silver and charcoal, with a shimmery champagne tossed in the mix to keep things interesting. Complete with 4 eyeshadows and a blush, this palette contains a shimmery white (Frost), a shimmery silver (Platinum), a shimmery light champagne (Glimmer), and a deep gray (Coal), along with a shimmery bold peach blush (Snowy Glow). 

At first swipe, the shadows are firm and a tad bit gritty, but allow you to pick up enough product for good pigmentation. Despite not feeling super butter initially, they apply smoothly and evenly to the lid and blend with each other well. While there aren't any matte shadows in the palette - something I always want for maximum versatility - the shimmers aren't too overwhelming and there definitely aren't any huge chunks of glitter. In fact, unless I'm under a spotlight, I found that most of the shadows took on a lovely satin finish when I wore them throughout the day. The blush is fantastically pigmented and applies evenly - it's a surprisingly great warm complement to the cooler shades in the palette. Used as the instructions provided suggest, this palette creates a lovely classic look for the holidays - or any day! Check out the look I created in the picture tutorial below. 

Overall, Studio Gear's Holiday Palette is a great, simple way to pull together a look that's guaranteed to stun. It's currently on sale for $25 (from $40), but you can use code SGHOLIDAY to receive an additional 10% off!

Do you have a holiday makeup look picked out?







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Friday, November 29, 2013

Review & Swatches: Almay Shadow Softies

Almay Shadow Softies in Cashmere, Midnight Blue, and Moss





PROS:

  • Smooth
  • Blendable
  • Applies evenly
  • Lasts all day with minimal smudging or creasing - I tend to have moderately oily eye lids, so this was great news!
  • Affordable ($4.50)

CONS:

  • Not buildable
  • Sheer out when applied


Almay Shadow Softie in Cashmere

Almay Shadow Softie in Cashmere

Almay Shadow Softie in Moss

Almay Shadow Softie in Moss

Almay Shadow Softie in Midnight Blue

Almay Shadow Softie in Midnight Blue

Almay Shadow Softies in Cashmere, Midnight Blue, and Moss
Before - 8AM
After - 8 PM


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2013 Deals & Steals



So far these are all of the deals and steals that have hit my inbox and my recommendations and reviews (if I have them) - please feel free to share any you come across in the comment section below!

TARTE: Get 25% off with code TURKEY

BH COSMETICS: Get up to 70% off 120 palettes and check out the fantastic bundles - available today only! I've already purchased the Special Occasion Palette and 6 Pan Concealer Palette!

TEMPTU: Receive 25% off your purchase with code FAMILY!

TOO FACED: 50% off sale items with code BF2013. Get a mystery grab bag for $25 on Cyber Monday!

EM COSMETICS: Spend $30, get $10 off. Spend $50, take $20 off. Spend $100, take $50 off!
I recommend (reviews):
EVE PEARL: Enter code TGBP1113 to save 40% - 65% off select items starting today!

JANE COSMETICS: Save 30% off site-wide & FREE shipping with orders $20+
BIOELEMENTS: Starting Black Friday through 12/2, receive FREE shipping + get 3 FREE super-sized samples with every order. On Cyber Monday, snag a Dry Brush Body Smoothing System for $59 - savings for 1 day only!

BUTTER LONDON: Save 20% off site-wide on Cyber Monday with code CYBER13

SIGMA BEAUTY: 20% off select items
I recommend:
ELF COSMETICS: Use code BLKFRI for BOGO 50% off + a FREE $10 gift card with orders $30+!


STILA COSMETICS: 
  • Get 5 full-size smudge sticks with code FREESET  on a $50 purchase.
  • Get a full size lip glaze trio with code THANKS
  • Get a free brush set and pouch with code BLACKFRIDAY
Online warehouse sale where you can get up to 80% off starting Dec. 2nd. 


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Flawless Makeup for the Holidays + WIN a TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup Kit




Airbrush makeup initially peaked my interest during my first trip to the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS). I sat in on a demo where everything from airbrush for weddings to special effects was discussed and, after immediate intimidation, I made my way back to the booths with the liquid or powder products I know and love. Unlike conventional blush and eyeshadow where there isn't just a learning curve when it comes to knowing how to use it. There's also knowing how many drops of products to use each application, how to clean the airbrush, and knowing which products will clog it and which won't (among other things). 

Well, airbrush newbies rejoice! Complications like those mentioned above are nonexistent with the TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup System. Rather than relying on wells to drop product into, the makeup comes in interchangeable AIRpods - that you get the quality and results of a professional airbrush system without guesswork and cleanup. Just pop the pod filled with the product you want to use in and, once you're done, remove it and move on to the next one. Although TEMPTU makeup has been a go-to for stars like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Scarlett Johansson (among many - those are just a few of my BFF wannabes), a kit like this makes it easy to wear airbrush makeup for more than just televised red carpet events. Check out my holiday tutorial below to see how I use TEMPTU spray makeup to get an easy, polished, party-ready look!

Another fantastic thing about TEMPTU's airbrush makeup kits are that the products multi-task. If you've followed Making Up the Midwest for any length of time, you will probably know that I adore a great multi-tasker, and these are the ultimate. Their blush and highlighter are safe to use not only on the cheeks, but on the eyes and lips as well! Going sans tights? Give your legs an airbrushed glow with the bronzer and highlighter! Cover blemishes and other trouble areas with full coverage foundation that blends seamlessly into a lighter coverage in areas where you want your natural beauty to shine through. Another bonus: no matter how many products you use, TEMPTU system make beauty hygiene easy with no brushes or hands to clean before and after application.  

Thinking airbrush is something you would like to try? Airbrush makeup kits start at just $148 and TEMPTU has given Making Up the Midwest readers an exclusive discount! Use code J3GHQX4O to receive 20% off your entire TEMPTU makeup purchase! The Signature Starter Kit contains an airbrush, foundation, blush, and highlighter (which I now know are WAY more than just blush and highlighter) for $199 and would make a great holiday gift!

Keep up with TEMPTU on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Femme Couture Monster Lash Mascara Primer


Femme Couture Monster Lash Mascara Primer


PROS:

  • No white cast
  • Doesn't clump lashes
  • Curls lashes
  • Doesn't effect wear time of mascara
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Doesn't add lash fullness
  • Adds minimal length
VERDICT: For $8.99, Femme Couture's Monster Lash Mascara Primer isn't a bad mascara primer to try if you are looking for added curl to your lashes. Just don't expect tons of added thickness to your lashes. 

Femme Couture Monster Lash Mascara Primer 
Before

Before

Primed with L'Oréal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara on top

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Makeup Wars: Holiday Wishlist

 photo makeup-wars.jpg


Happy Hunger Games Makeup Wars! While you were out seeing the latest installment in the Hunger Games series, we have been making our wishlists and checking them twice - just in time for the holidays! I talk a lot about products I'm loving or leaving, but I rarely share what's on my lust-list. Check out what made this year's list, see what other bloggers are after, and let me know what's on your list in the comments below!

1. H&M Black/Leather Imitation Super Stretch Leggings - I really have no explanation for these. I've seen them everywhere, and despite "leather imitation" and "strength leggings" appearing in the same phrase, they look polished and sleek worn with boots or booties and a billowy top. There are definitely some you can splurge on out there, but these are just over $7 on sale - perfect for an experimental piece of clothing that I might not normally think to buy during my annual shop to stock up on staples like v-necks and socks. Yes, my fashion palette is a snooze-fest.

2. Smashbox Master Class Palette - With 28 eyeshadows, 4 cream eyeliners, 3 blushes, 3 bronzers, and 2 highlighters, this palette has it all with Smashbox quality. Need I say more?

3. H&M Ankle Boots - As much as I love the leg-lengthening effects of heels, wearing them in the winter can mean taking your life in your hands once sidewalks ice over. Shooties - or the heel/boot/shoe combination - make it possible! Worn with jeans, tights, or even bare legged if you live in a more temperate climate, these are having a major moment in fashion and I'm loving this pair from H&M.

4. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Showstopper 7-Piece Holiday Set - The Eye-Con palettes from this newly launched, Sephora-exclusive brand have already reached cult status among beauty-lovers, but I can't bring myself to shell out the $59 for 7 shadows. For a few dollars more, this set gives you full size  shadows, lip gloss, eyeliner pen, mascara, and a travel size roller ball Honey Eau de Parfum. A great way to sample a luxury makeup brand!

5. butter LONDON Animal Instinct Get the Look - butter LONDON lovers rejoice! While they've come out with quite a few nail sets for the holidays, this Animal Instincts nail art set is my favorite. It includes a trio of polishes (normally $15 a piece), 2 nail art tools, and a how-to book. It's the ultimate luxury polish-lovers nail art kit!

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Naturally Pretty Matte Eye Look



Products Used:




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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review & Swatches: IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette


IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette



IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette contains 14 matte shadows and 1 transforming pearl shade. Although the pearl shade ultimately doesn't do much to transform the shadows, it's great as a pearlescent highlight shade to mix up the textures in the palette. Each shade performs well with a smooth, buttery consistency, and pigmented application. Another appealing factor of this palette is the diversity of shades - while none are super bold, the subtle greens, purples, and even a blue can add some interest to a natural matte eye look.

The one thing I don't love about this palette is the packaging. The faux suede exterior showed some wear after I traveled with it and the magnetic clasp, while secure, is inconveniently placed. Still, the product inside is stellar and anyone looking for an all-matte palette will want to check this out! The brush that comes in the QVC-exclusive set is one of my all-time favorites, and right now you can purchase the 2 for less than the palette alone retails for on the IT Cosmetics website!

Get the palette for $42 at ULTA

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

L-R: Sheer Joy, Soft Light, Love, Sunrise

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

L-R: Warmth, Soulful, Sunset, All heart

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

L-R: Mocha, Violet, Java, Iconic

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette

L-R: Midnight, Noir, Transforming Pearl

Sunrise, Violet, and Midnight with Transforming Pearl over top

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review & Swatches: LORAC Little Lace Palettes in Smolder and Ravish


LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

I'm not one to take my makeup to-go during the day, but I might have just found the palettes worth packing a bag for. While perusing Hautelook one day, I came across a LORAC event that only contained 2 palettes – Smolder and Ravish. With configurations like the GLOgetter palette, and the quality I've come to expect from LORAC products, but with a $12 price tag, I knew these were must-trys. Little did I know, these 10-pan impersonators were actually half the size of the original and perfect for throwing in your purse – or even a wristlette!

The Smolder palette is full of smoky grays and plums, along with two highlight shades – shimmery white and shimmery cream. Ravish is warmer overall with a spectrum of browns, an emerald green, and cream highlight shades. All but one of the shadows (a semi-matte deep brown in the Ravish palette) are shimmery, but they aren't so shimmery that they get muddy together when used as blending shades. All of the shadows live up to the LORAC standard I know and love. Although not as smooth and buttery as those in the Pro Palette, they are similar in consistency and pigmentation to those in the GLOgetter palette – although at least half the size.

The palettes are sleek and compact with optimally packed eyeshadows – no wasted space for sponge-tip applicators I instantly lose. When I first discovered how small each palette is, my main concern was being able to fit a full size brush in each pan. Luckily, they are just big enough to be functional, yet small enough to keep the whole compact, well, compact.

For $12, these are some great little palettes to have when traveling or even to take along to touch up during a long day or transition from day to night. To my knowledge, they are only available on Hautelook, but I've seen them on pretty frequently lately. Still snag them while you can because sales come and go within days and it's hard to tell when brands will reappear.

LORAC Little Lace Palette

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Smolder

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

LORAC Little Lace Palette in Ravish

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