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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tutorial: Minimal Peach Makeup for Spring

Okay, Polar Vortex pt. 3 is underway, but I know in my chilly heart of hearts that spring is on the horizon. Even if it is still months away, I'm prepared with a makeup look that's paired down and spring-ed up with the light, bright shades of the season. See what I use in my minimal spring makeup tutorial!

Products Used:

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette
Madison Street Beauty Eye Shadows in Cherry Blossom, Nude Shimmer, and Cotton
Physicians Formula Kajal Liner
Sleek Makeup Full Fat Lash Mascara
Benefit Cha Cha Tint
em Cosmetics Lip Balm in Creamsicle

Do you have your spring makeup at the ready?

By Bailey B


Preview & Swatches: BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural

There's something new on the horizon for BA STAR makeup: 2 NEW Eye Shadow Palettes! Promising high pigment and long-lasting wear, there will be two color combos: Natural and Smoky. The Natural palette (the one I'm using in this post) contains champagne, copper, chocolate brown, purple, and yellow shadows - all of which are shimmery. On the other end of the spectrum, the Smoky palette contains frosted blues, grays, and blacks. The launch date hasn't been announced yet, but both will retail for $8.75.

You might remember my love with the primer I'm also featuring in this post when I initially tried BA STAR's Chocolate Star Dust pigment. The love affair continues with these shadows! Worn over my everyday primers, like Painterly Paint Pot or Kryolan's Eye Shadow Primer, I created a natural-looking daytime eye. With the BA STAR primer, there is some time to work with it while it's still tacky, allowing you to pack on the shadow for maximum pigment. You can check out each of the looks I created below. 

All of the shadows apply smoothly. My personal favorite is the champagne shade with its intense highlight - perfect for the inner corner, brow bone, or a wash of color all over the lid. The neutrals balance the brights, making it a great palette for every day wear. But the brights provide a way to punch up your look for a night out. Overall, it's a nice little palette for the pigmented shimmer-lover in all of us. 

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural | Natural Look

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural | Dramatic Look

BA STAR Eye Shadow Palette in Natural | Dramatic Look

By Bailey B

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Monday, February 24, 2014

My Beauty Graveyard

Empties videos are a great way to create a conversation about products that tend to blend in to the background of my every day life. While I'm experimenting with the latest hottness to hit shelves, my everyday products, like shampoo and concealer, tend to lose the spotlight. It's only when I run out of them and they end up in my Beauty Graveyard that I really take a minute to stop and ask myself, "But will I repurchase it?" While most of us have this conversation in the privacy of our bathroom, I'm saving my "dead" products up, and sharing them with the world! Join me, if you dare, on a walk through my Beauty Graveyard.

Empties Mentioned: 

What products have you used up lately?

By Bailey B

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review & Demo: ELF Moisturizing Foundation Stick & HD Lifting Concealer

Moisturizing Foundation Stick:

  • Applies smoothly
  • Blends out evenly
  • Provides full coverage with satin finish
  • Doesn't get patchy throughout the day
  • Affordable at $6
  • Develops minimal shine
  • Narrow shade range

HD Lifting Concealer:

  • Conceals discoloration with medium-heavy coverage
  • Emollient Consistency that avoids caking
  • Affordable at $3
  • Only 3 shades available - mine is the lightest
  • Does't last all day unless set
  • Depending on your shade match, you may need additional highlighting
Check out the before and after images below! You can purchase ELF's Moisturizing Foundation Stick ($6) and HD Lifting Concealer ($3) from eyeslipsface.com. 

See more pictures after the jump!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Review & Swatches: Wet n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stains in A Stiff Pink, Lady and the Vamp, and Pinky Promise

Wet n Wild has joined the ranks of chubby lip pencils with their Spring 2014 Megaslicks Balm Stain launch. Labeled simply as "moisturizing lip color", there is no promise of any certain pigmentation or lasting power - I had to put them to the test! 

While there are 6 shades within the line so far, I could only find 3:

A Stiff Pink: Bright bubblegum pink
Lady and the Vamp: Deep wine-stained berry
Pinky Promise: A light pink-leaning nude

All of them have a balmy finish, and all of them shocked me with their pigmentation and longevity. A Stiff Pink - my favorite shade in the bunch - lasted through morning coffee and a snack, only to start wearing away in the center of my lips after lunch! Luckily the packaging allows for easy reapplication. Speaking of, the packaging for these pencils are some of the only from the drugstore I've used that have a cap that securely snaps on. I've had caps fall off of some of my jumbo lip pencils in my purse, and it's not fun to clean up - and sometimes you can't! With these, you know exactly when your pencil is closed, ensuring it won't pop open on the go and ruin your favorite purse. 

The only think I didn't notice with these lip color is a moisturizing quality. While they didn't dry my lips out like some stains can, I don't think I would call them "moisturizing lip color". That could also be my dry winter lips talking, but is something I wanted to note nonetheless!

While some are finding these in new release displays, I found mine along with the permanent products in their end cap display at CVS, so check both places. They retail for $2.99 ($1.99 if you can find them with $1.00 off coupons attached), and I think they are totally worth it if you like the look of these pigmented balm stains. They are easy matches for the rest of the drugstore chubby pencils on the market now, and about a fraction of the price. If only they would release more shades!

Have you seen these balm stains around yet?

See more pictures after the jump!

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Miss "What Not to Wear"? This should help you out...


Odds are good that if you're a "What Not to Wear" lover, and a reader of this blog, one of your favorite parts of the show was the makeover segment. Once the shopping breakthrough was over, makeover recipients would sit in Carmindy's chair to get schooled in the art of flattering makeup. Without fail, she could make a minimal number of products produce "wow" results, showing us it's less about the number of products you use, and more about playing off (and often realizing) the beautiful features you already have. Well, your Carmindy withdrawal ends ends now! Or at least on February 26th with the launch of her HSN-exclusive makeup line: Carmindy & Co.!

Given her role on the show, it's no surprise the line focuses on enhancing natural beauty. Check out some of the products and bundles you can expect to see from the line below!

Will you be picking up any items from Carmindy's line? Was "What Not to Wear" your treadmill jam too?

Carmindy & Co. 5 Minute Face Kit

Carmindy & Co. Game Changer Foundation

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review & Swatches: Physicians Formula Ooh La La Sexy Eyes Trio

Physicians Formula Ooh La La Sexy Eyes Trio


  • Liquid in felt tip liner flows easily, and the felt is relatively soft. 
  • Kajal liner provides ample time to work with before drying down. 
  • Eyeliner pencil applies opaque, precise, long-latsing line. 
  • Each liner serves a different purpose every black eyeliner-lover can get behind. 
  • Affordable ($13) for three full size liners. 


  • The liquid liner doesn't last all day.
What have you tried from the new Sexy Booster Collection?

Physicians Formula Ooh La La Sexy Eyes Trio

Physicians Formula Ooh La La Sexy Eyes Trio

Physicians Formula Ooh La La Sexy Eyes Trio

Physicians Formula Ooh La La Sexy Eyes Trio

Liquid Liner | Kajal Liner | Eyeliner Pencil

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

1 Million Views Giveaway!

We've hit a huge milestone here on Making Up the Midwest, and I want to celebrate with YOU! As a big thank you for your continued readership and support as I continue to pour my beauty-obsessed heart out to you on a regular basis, I want to give away one of my favorite palettes: em Cosmetics Beach Life Palette! Click the link to check out swatches, and use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! Good luck and, again, a HUGE thank you!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ELF Haul Tutorial

A few of you asked to see a tutorial for the look I was wearing in my recent ELF haul video. Conveniently, I created it using quite a few products from the haul! While I was impressed with some products, like the foundation and concealer, some products had some shortcomings. Quick tip: when using the Lusterous Eyeshadows, don't apply them without a base, and try to avoid your crease. I LOVE the molten metal/metallic effect they create, but their mousse texture leads them to crease easily - especially when worn without an eyeshadow base. In the future, I'll use them as a pop of shimmer on the center of the lid, or the inner corner - they lasted beautifully there!

Products Used: 

ELF Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils in French Lace & Feeling Lucky
Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadows in Confetti, Toast, & Party
Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Liquid Liner (review coming soon!)
Sleek Full, Fat Lash Mascara
Moisturizing Foundation Stick in Neutral
HD Lifting Concealer in Fair
Baked Bronzer in Maui
NYX Blush in Bourgeois Pig
Moisturizing Lipstick in Wink Pink
Ex-tra Lipgloss in Marc


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Monday, February 17, 2014

Makeup Wars: Favorite Beauty DIY - Makeup Brush Holders

Welcome to this week's Makeup Wars! This week, we are sharing our favorite beauty DIY's. Mine has less to do with makeup, and more to do with the tools used to accomplish the look. You guessed it: DIY brush holders! And not just any brush holders. I'm being particularly lazy crafty and sharing my 3 favorite ways to use tape and upcycled candle jars to make the most of your countertop organization. Let's get started! First, I'll show you how I clean my candle jars and take them...

Clean Your Container:

  1. Stick a "dead" candle in the freezer overnight so wax hardens and is easier to remove.
  2. Using a knife, pry the wax left at the bottom of the jar up and out. Any leftover can be used can be re-melted over a candle warmer so you get the most out of your fragrance. 
  3. Scrape away any large chunks of wax outside the base with the knife as well.
  4. Using hot water, rinse thin layers of residual wax and soot off the candle. I show using a saturated paper towel, but swirling hot, soapy water in the jar is the best method of residue removal. It will also help remove any adhesive leftover from the label.

The Glitz Holder:

For the glitz holder, you will need a clean jar and glittery tape - mine is from Michaels, and from the brand DCWV (found near the scrapbooking aisle). This is also a great mess-free alternative to the glitter holder tutorials out there that use Mod Podge.
  1. Wrap the tape around the bottom of the jar, cutting the strip so that the end meets the beginning and no glass is showing. 
  2. Peel the backing away as you are applying to the holder so any excess tap doesn't get stuck and need to be removed, weakening the adhesive's lasting power. 
  3. You could leave it at that, with a simple strip of glitz at the bottom. But I was born and raised (for the most part) in Texas, where you go big or go home. If you're with me, move on to step 4. 
  4. Repeat steps 1 & 2 with adjacent strips until you reach the end of your jar. 
  5. Fill-er-up with brushes!

The Simple Holder: 

For this holder, I used Washi tape (again, scrapbooking aisle of Michaels), and beads that you can find in the silk flower section. I recommend using smaller beads for a more secure fit, but I could only find the larger beads - both work!

  1. Apply the more narrow Washi tape to the top of the jar.
  2. Apply the thicker tape to the circumference of the bottom of the jar.
  3. You can leave it at that - a sleek yet minimal makeup brush holder. But, again, Texan here. I went big. 
  4. Pour deco beads into the jar to secure brushes and add pizzaz and keep brushes upright. 

The Striped Holder:

All this holder requires is Expressions by Scotch tape - purchased at Michaels... Despite the opaque appearance, it's actually relatively sheer and feels similar (and is just as delicate) as regular scotch tape. 
  1. Choose one of the given shades and apply to the base of your holder. Make sure to smooth down the tape as you apply as air bubbles have a tendency to form and are noticeable. 
  2. Apply a contrasting shade to place adjacent to the tape applied in step 1. Repeat step 1 & 2 until you reach the top of the container. 
  3. Done! 

What do you keep your makeup brushes in?


Sunday, February 16, 2014

ELF Haul & Swatches

Products Mentioned:

Ex-tra Lip Glosses in Marc, Michael, and Brian
Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick in French Lace & Feeling Lucky
Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadows in Confetti, Toast, & Party
Moisturizing Foundation Stick in Natural
HD Lifting Concealer in Fair
Lip Stain in Red Carpet
Moisturizing Lipsticks in Velvet Rope & Wink Pink
Long-lasting lipliners in Natural Blush & Spice

P.S. Mr. MUMW makes a (very) brief cameo in the video - did you catch it?!

Have you hauled anything from ELF lately? What are you loving from the brand?


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Saturday, February 15, 2014

February Ipsy Unbagging, Reviews, & Demo

Sign up for Ipsy!

Discount Codes:

25% off Popbeauty.com with code PoppingPout
FREE polish & Remover with purchase of 2 polishes from Zoya.com: IPSYZP4
25% off MallyBeauty.com with code IPSY
20% off CityColorBeauty.com with code 14IPSY20
25% off JCatBeauty.com with code eyeluvjcat



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top 5 in Under 5: Lip Dupes

Meet the Matches:

The Spend: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight

The Splurge: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked2
The Spend: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight

The Spend: Prestige Cosmetics Lipliner in Poppy

The Splurge: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in 69
The Spend: Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Glossy Stain in Red

The Spend: Cherimoya Creamy Lipstick in Cabernet: Their website is under construction



Monday, February 10, 2014

A Valentine's Day Manicure to Outlast Your Date

You know the saying. "A kiss is just a kiss...but diamonds are forever." Well, diamonds might not be in the cards for many of us this V-Day, but a manicure that outlasts your date at the very least can be! Longtime readers will know that I'm a fan of long-lasting manicures and nail art - although I'm not always top-notch when left to free-hand myself. Luckily, with a little help from some affordable nail finds, adding some stamina and romance to a standard mani is within reach!

What you'll need:   

Those without an at-home gel manicure kit can sub in similar shades you already have, but the Sally Hansen pens are a MUST for those as inept at nail art as I am. Drawing on yourself has never been easier with these, and they're only $5.99 a piece!

What to do:

  1. Prep the nails with the Max Adhesion Sanitizer that comes with the kit.
  2. Apply structure base coat
  3. Cure for 45 seconds under the LED lamp
  4. Apply a different polish shade to each nail
  5. Cure for 45 seconds under the LED lamp
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for more opacity
  7. Draw small white hearts on the index finger, small red hearts on the pink finger, and a large broken heart on the thumb
  8. Apply Brilliance coat
  9. Cure for 45 seconds under the LED lamp
  10. Swipe nails with cotton pad saturated with Purify Pre & Post Cleanser
  11. Apply Revitalize Cuticle Oil to the skin directly around the nail
  12. Done!
It's that easy! The key is letting the nail art pens dry adequately before applying the brilliance coat. It shouldn't take long, but it's essential to keep your hearts from smudging under the Brilliance coat. 

Want more at-home gel nail art tutorials? Check out a prom-inspired glitzy gradient!

What will be on your nails this Valentine's Day?

What You'll Need


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review & Swatches: Rimmel Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tint in Apricot Glow

Rimmel Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tint in Apricot Glow


  • Very soft, natural pigment
  • Easily layered
  • Affordable ($2.99)


  • Can disturb some foundations
  • Not buildable to intense pigmentation

Rimmel's Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tint could be great for those that prefer a very natural flush and want to experiment with cream cheek products without worrying about overdoing it. On the other hand, the subtle pigmentation might mean it doesn't show up on mid to deep skin tones. Still, at $2.99 it's a affordable mistake to make!

Have you seen Rimmel's Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tints in US drugstores yet?

See more pictures after the jump!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Question of the Week: Vol. 1

On the Making Up the Midwest Facebook page, I wanted to know all about the new products you've been trying and loving, and a surprising number you said the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade! So, today's question of the week is:

In related news, on the drugstore concealer video in my Top 5 in Under 5 series, someone requested a roundup of brow products. Unfortunately, I don't have enough in my arsenal to pick 5 that are must-haves so a little help in the comments below would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review, Swatches, & Comparison: NYX Butt "Naked" Turn the Other Cheek Palette

NYX Butt "Naked" Turn the Other Cheek Palette


  • Wide array of shades
  • Wide array of textures
  • Neutral palette that doesn't get too warm or cool
  • Large mirror
  • 4 great quality blushes with mixture of tones and finishes
  • 3 smooth highlighters
  • Affordable ($25)


  • 1-2 shadows are slightly chalky
  • 2 highlight shades are similar


The Butt "Naked" Turn the Other Cheek Palette is distinct from the original with the warmer shadows and brighter blushes it contains. Aside from 2 similar face highlighters that differ in quality between the two, you could have both and not duplicate eye shadows or blushes. That's not to say you need them both! Butt "Naked" original is very cool and would flatter those that have cooler undertones. Turn the Other Cheek contains warmer shades that will flatter a wider array of skin tones, with only a few shadows that fall on the "very warm" or "very cool" side of the spectrum. Both retail for $25 - an affordable addition to any neutral-lover's collection.

Have you tried either Butt "Naked" Palettes?

See more pictures after the jump!

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review & Swatches: Sleek MakeUp Blush By 3 in Sweet Cheeks

The only thing better than one bold blush? Three! And Sleek MakeUp's Blush By 3 Palettes are dishing them up. Perfect for those enthused about the Pantone's color of the year, the Sweet Cheeks trio contains two powder blushes - a bright satin rose and light satin orchid - and a cream blush in a mid-tone mulberry. Both powder shades are very smooth without kicking up a lot of excess powder, and ultra pigmented - although layerable for those that prefer a light dusting of color. The cream blush packs a pigment punch as well, but applies very smoothly without disturbing any base underneath, and dries down to a powder texture. Together, the shades complement each other and, as long as you wait for the cream blush to dry first, you can mix and match them all in one look. 

Initially I was surprised to see a mix of textures within the palette given that the website doesn't specify the fact. At first I was hesitant about whether or not excess powder might fall into the cream, making a mixed-up mess of everything. In reality, there isn't hardly any fallout with the powders so the three should stay separate so long as you use a smaller brush to apply the cream shade. 

Given the amount of product you receive and how well each of the three blushes performs, I think this blush is worth every penny of the $14.99 it goes for on the Sleek website!

Have you tried Sleek blushes? Which trios are your favorite?
See more pictures after the jump!

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Review & Swatches: Rimmel ScandalEyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner

Rimmel ScandalEyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner


  • Applies smoothly and evenly
  • Steady stream of product through felt tip
  • Felt tip shape allows for easy creation of both thick and thin lines
  • Texture of felt is smooth and non-irritating
  • Affordable at $5.99


  • Not waterproof - stayed all day on the lids, but smudged away with watery eyes
If you love winged or graphic liner, but haven't found the right tool for you yet, Rimmel's ScandalEyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner is definitely worth a try! The angled felt tip makes both thick and thin lines a breeze to apply without tugging at or irritating lids, as some scratchy felt tips can. Unfortunately, the one downside was how it stood the test of tears. Without fail, my eyes water first thing in the morning on my walk to the train, and any wing I had drawn before was gone by the time I got to work. Still, it definitely stood the test of time on my lids and provides a beautiful velvet finish worth trying if you don't have to worry about watery eyes. 

Are you looking for the perfect tool for winged liner? Would you try Rimmel's Thick & Thin Liner?

Rimmel ScandalEyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner

Rimmel ScandalEyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner | Tapered Tip

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