90s-Inspired Rusty Plum Venus Palette Dupe Look

You guys already know that 90s beauty is EVERYTHING to me. It’s probably because I was coming of age in that era, so that was my first exposure to caring at all about makeup and it’s always going to have a special place in my heart. As a result I’ve been kind of obsessed with the colors in Lime Crime’s Venus palette ($48). The palette was like something I would have put together myself, but I was a little concerned about the widespread allegations of unprofessional behavior and quality control from the company, plus I only really cared about half the shades since I already have several of them. Instead, I ended up just getting dupes of the shades I didn’t have and making my own version of the palette. That’s what my Makeup Geek order from a while back was all about. 🙂

The warm peach and brown tones in the palette were nice, but the berry shades are the real standouts for me (hello Makeup Geek Bitten!). It’s a shame it’s so hard to find good berry shades; a lot of people worry they’ll look sickly in them but (at least in my opinion) they look gorgeously dramatically and flatter every eye color so beautifully. They make brown eyes look complex and mysterious, green eyes super vibrant and intense and blue eyes pale and ethereal. Whay aren’t more people wearing these colors?

If you’d like to see my take, here’s my Venus palette-esque look using Cosmopolitan ($5.99), Bitten ($5.99) and Starry Eyed ($9.99) from Makeup Geek.

rosy brown 90s grunge inspired makeupmakeup geek bitten and cosmo berry look  makeup geek bitten and cosmo with LA splash latte confession

I also ordered LA Splash’s Lip Couture liquid lipstick in Latte Confession ($14), which is supposed to be a dupe for LC’s Riot Velvetine Lipstick, but for $6 less. Matte liquid lipsticks are everywhere these days, and this is a good option. It does have a tendency to show every crack in your lips, so pre-moisturizing with a nice balm is a good idea (this can be said for all liquid lipsticks). This formula is really opaque, applies well, doesn’t separate into lines and lasts forever and ever. Seriously, my makeup remover wipes won’t take this stuff off at all, the only way I could get it off was to apply petroleum jelly over it and wipe off after 30 seconds. Beyond the formulation, I am just obsessed with this color. It’s an amazing dusty brown-red shade that looks unbelievable. Loooove.

la splash latte confession swatch lime crime riot dupe makeup geek venus palette dupe

Basically I’m wearing all of my favorite makeup colors in this look, so I kind of had to post too many pictures. Hope you like my budget conscious 90s homage!

lime crime venus look

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Review

I recently purchased a Z Palette (still en route) and realized that in addition to the crazy depotting experiments that will be going into the palette, it would be the perfect time to buy some single shadows from Makeup Geek to put in it. I’ve read rave reviews about MUG eyeshadows and I really love their creator, Marlena, so I was also excited to support the brand. Of course the MUG shadows showed up before the palette itself, but that’s ok. I can still share some thoughts with y’all while I wait for a place to actually store these things.

makeup geek shipping
(It’s here! Yay!)

First of all, the shipping was (clearly) fast. I placed my order Wednesday night and it showed up on Friday. This might be the quickest I’ve ever received anything other than from Amazon, which is pretty amazing considering Makeup Geek is a small business and Amazon is a huge mega-corporation. You do pay for your shipping with MUG, however it was only $1.99 to ship my 5 eyeshadows, so I don’t feel bad about it at all. The box was extremely well packed to ensure nothing broke in transit, which I appreciate.

OK, so eyeshadows. I got one matte shade, one with light shimmer, one full shimmer, and two of the foiled shadows. In other words, I got the sampler platter of finishes.

As I alluded to with the Z palette comment, the shadows come in pans without any outer casing. This is very efficient and saves a lot of space, which I love, but also means that the shadows are floating around loose and unprotected until my palette gets in. As soon as I get my Z Palette (an empty magnetic palette where you can mix and match all of your favorite makeup to create your own ultimate makeup collection) I’ll show you how they fit. The shadows arrive to you in cute little art deco-inspired envelopes (gold accents for the foiled shadows and white for the regular line). The foiled shadows are $9.99 each and the regular line are $5.99 each. All totaled, this mini-haul cost me $39.94 for 5 shadows plus shipping and the shadows promise to be high-end quality. So far so good!

makeup geek eyeshadow packaging

Here are the individual shadow pans themselves and the website’s shade descriptions:

Flame Thrower ($9.99) “True brightened warm copper with a foiled finish.”
makeup geek flame thrower foiled eyeshadow

Starry Eyed ($9.99) “Light champagne beige with slight pink undertones and a foiled finish. Pinky-beige champagne.”
makeup geek starry eyed foiled eyeshadow

Cosmopolitan ($5.99) “Rose Gold with gold flecks and a shimmery finish.”
makeup geek cosmopolitan foiled eyeshadow
(FYI the ding in this shadow is my own fault- I scratched it when I was opening the pouch it came in. These shadows all arrived in perfect condition.)

Hipster ($5.99) “Dark sand and light taupe tan with slight shimmer.”
makeup geek hipster eyeshadow

Bitten ($5.99) “Matte deep maroon red”
makeup geek bitten eyeshadow

Swatch time!
L-R: Starry Eyed, Flame Thrower, Cosmopolitan, Hipster, Bitten.
makeup geek eyeshadow swatches starry eyed flame thrower cosmopolitan hipster bitten

Initial reaction:

So I’ve heard rave reviews about the foiled shadows. I agree that they are very nice, but I think they have been overhyped a bit. In my opinion they aren’t some magical pixie dust the world has never seen the way some people have described, but they are still high quality, very pigmented metallic eyeshadows. I would compare them to the look of a loose powder pigment, but in an easier to use pressed format. I thought Flame Thrower was more intensely metallic than Starry Eyed, and Flame Thrower did have a slightly more slippy, silky feel than a traditional eye shadow where Starry Eyed’s texture was a little more commonplace. Starry Eyed wasn’t that different from most other champagne metallic shadows for me (very similar to Stila’s famous Kitten shadow). Again, that doesn’t mean they’re bad (at all!). I do think they are comparable in both color and quality to shadows that cost a lot more (Starry Eyed is similar to Stila Kitten, and Flame Thrower makes me think of MAC’s Amber Lights- both of which used to be fixtures in my makeup kit).

As for the other OG shades, Cosmopolitan and Hipster both blew me away with their initial swatches, but Bitten seemed a little under-pigmented and streaky. Part of the reason for that is that these are finger swatches. Ironically, finger swatches often look better than what you can produce with a brush (your finger’s surface picks up more concentrated color than a brush because a brush is meant to diffuse the harsh lines a bit), but I found that Bitten picked up far better with a brush and looked amazing when applied! I’m really glad, because that was the shade I was most exited about.

I tried swatching again this morning over primer to see what would happen and the difference was startling. You can see how Bitten wasn’t doing so well on its own, but comes to life over the primer. The other regular shadows benefited slightly from the primer and the foiled ones looked the same either way. This is all fine by me because I always use a primer anyway.

Swatched with no primer on top and a strip of primer on the bottom:
MUG swatches bitten starry eyed hipster cosmopolitan flame thrower over primer

Enough about swatches, let’s see these bad boys in action.

I’m really sorry for how tired my eyes look in the first set of pictures. I look so tired because I was really, really tired. I took this set last night and it was way past my bedtime. I was just that excited about these shadows that I HAD to play with them before I could sleep. In these, I’m wearing a wash of Starry Eyed on the inner 2/3 of my lid with Flame Thrower blended from the outer third. Since it was late I just slapped this one with my fingers without primer or anything, but I still thought they blended really nicely (and as mentioned above, the foiled shadows do very well without primer).makeup geek starry eyed and flamethrower foiled eyeshadow look makeup geek starry eyed and flame thrower foiled eyeshadow

Ok, here’s today’s look where I was actually awake. I did kind of a grungey, ’90s inspired mostly matte eye without much else going on.
I’m wearing Bitten all over the lid with Hipster just barely blended into the crease as a transition shade and Starry Eyed in the inner corners again.

makeup geek bitten eyeshadow (2)
Dat pigmentation tho.

makeup geek venus palette dupe
I think I’ve told you guys before that I LOVE red tinged eyeshadow.


grunge inspired 90s makeup
Comin’ at you straight up out the ’90s.

I failed to include a look with Cosmopolitan, but that will be coming in a post soon, so I’ll be sure to link when I put it up (update: here it is!).
As for my final thoughts, I want to confirm the hype (for the most part, since I mentioned earlier that some people have gone a little overboard). These eyeshadows were all great to work with, blended super well and had great pigmentation. MUG provides a variety of finish levels as well as really well thought out colors. They are all a great value, but in my opinion the regular old non-foiled shadows are actually the winner. They are phenomenal to work with (even though some require primer), they are pigmented, and they are only six bucks. All of the shadows are high end quality, but the regular line will give you the most bang for your buck. I’m definitely going to be placing a second order in the near future. Thanks for creating such an awesome product line, Marlena!

Nylon 16th Anniversary It Girl Palette Review

Memebox sent me the Nylon x Memebox XO #ItGirlPalette ($29) to review. This palette was created by Nylon Magazine in honor of their 16th anniversary and it’s definitely party girl oriented. It’s very sleek and minimal, and much like the Soothing Sista palette, it was smaller than I expected, but it makes the most of its diminutive size. It includes a decent sized blush and highlighter, six eyeshadows, a pretty big mirror and a double-sided brush/spongetip applicator with a surprisingly soft brush.

nylon x xo memebox packaging nylon x xo memebox palette size nylon xo memebox sweet 16 palette

The shade names are kind of hilarious. Each one is based off a different celebrity scene queen, and all of the colors make sense for their namesake personality, especially the matte white “LiLo” shadow (see what they did there?).

Shade names, L-R:
The Moment highlighter, LiLo, Mary-Kate, Mischa, Sweet 16 blush, Lana, Paris, Nicole.
nylon xo memebox face palette shades

There is also a really intense hot pink blush and a really sparkly highlighter. I was pretty scared of both of them (although they actually worked out just fine with a light touch).

I was a little disapointed with the initial swatches. These are not swatched over primer, but the color payoff was ok but kind of dull for most of them.
nylon xo memebox sweet 16 swatches

Luckily, they fared a lot better once I applied them to my eyes over primer! I had a lot of fun playing with these shades and they work well separately or together. I have prepared two looks for you using all of the shades.

First we have the “good girl” look in gold. I used the Lana and Mary-Kate shades on the lid, Nicole in the crease and Lilo on browbones. I also used a small amount of the blush and highlighter on my cheeks and was pleased with how wearable they actually were.
nylon xo memebox face palette gold look golden bronze eyeshadow look

Next is the “bad girl” look in red. I have Paris on the lid, Mischa blended heavily from the outer corner and lower lashline, The Moment highlighter in the inner corner, Sweet 16 blush blended into the crease for a halo effect and LiLo on the browbone.
nylon xo memebox sweet 16 eyeshadow look red and pink eyeshadow red fuschia eye makeup look

All in all, I was very pleased with the palette and since it is so tiny, I think it would be great for travel or for stashing at your desk. When packed with an eye primer, mascara and a blush brush, this kit has everything else you need for a weekend trip!