June 28, 2013

Illamasqua Hydra Veil

When Illamasqua launched their Paranormal collection a couple of months ago, Hydra Veil was the one product that caught my attention.
I was probably not the only one to be intrigued because it was sold out for quite a while and I had to wait a long time before I was able to finally order and try it.

What the brand says:
Create a radiant finish with Hydra Veil's instantly rehydrating, gel formula. Providing the optimal base for your make-up, apply before foundation with an Illamasqua Brush.

Ok, I feel I need to add more details here. This product is in fact a kind of jelly that has water and glycerin as first ingredients, which means it's going to be quite hydrating. Great if you have dry and/or dehydrated skin. You only need the tiniest amount as it spreads really well, and using too much can give a bit of a tacky feel (due to the glycerin). 
In giving your skin this rehydration boost, Hydra Veil will make its surface a smooth base for makeup application. In this sense, it does prep the skin for makeup, but it's not a primer in the sense that it would  necessarily make your makeup last longer.

In short: this is a skincare product designed to prep the skin for makeup rather than to be used on its own.

The packaging:
This jar was smartly developped: once you open it, you see a little secondary lid to which a little spatula is attached. The lid is also attached to the jar so you won't drop it. The spatula is perfect to get exactly the amount you need and cut out that amount from the jelly block in the jar. Weirdly, the jelly expands again and regains its smooth surface within seconds.
Good pictures here, as I'm sans camera right now.

My experience with the product:I think this really keeps its promises: first of all it does give a hydration boost to your skin and my dehydrated cheeks are loving it. Secondly, it does create a perfect base for makeup and it makes my skin feel soft and look perfectly smooth and velvety. 
I would definitely recommend it if you have issues with hydration and with a skin surface that isn't smooth enough.

On my oilier areas, it didn't make my makeup last longer but it didn't make things worse either. 
I must say that I first tested this on a day where the temperatures were over 30°C, and my makeup still looked good after 12 hours, excepted where I usually get oily - but it was definitely not that bad. So I wouldn't use Hydra Veil if what you're looking for longevity or have a very oily skin, as it tackles skin surface and hydration much better.

Ingredient list for the science nerds:

June 24, 2013

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Mat Luminescence Moisturizing Fluid

What a mouthful, this name, eh? But don't let it discourage you, stay with me on this one as it's an interesting product.

You probably know that any skin can be dehydrated, even oily ones, because dehydrated skin lacks water, not oil. 
My skin tends to be more dehydrated as the years go by. In Winter, it's normal to dry at the same time, then in the Summer it is more combination with a slightly oily T-zone and cheeks that stay a bit dry, definitely a bit dehydrated as well and overall dull. 

Givenchy is, once more, and under-hyped brand. Not only does their makeup not get the credit it deserves, but you hardly if ever hear about their skincare - even though they have a range targeted for all kinds of dehydrated skins. Which I don't think is the case for any other luxury brand.

The Hydra Sparkle range is consequently about giving back some glow to your dehydrated skin while being suited for your skin type. With the Summer being back (officially, in the facts not so much but that's another story) I wanted something that would control the oils as well as give moisture and luminosity back to my cheeks, and that is exactly what this Mat Luminescence Moisturizing Fluid does.

The packaging is very pretty and sleek, with the blue color evoking water. It's all made of plastic so is light and not breakable - but can feel a little cheap if you like to have a solid glass packaging for this kind of price. This particular product comes with a pump, which is very hygienic, and one pump is perfect for your whole face so you won't waste product; it's also quite easy to control how much you dispense.

The fluid itself is white, has a light fresh, slightly sweet scent that is not overwhelming at all and that disappears quite fast. Once applied, the product sets really fast and makes your skin smooth, so it's a perfect base for makeup.

The result is really luminescent. The one thing that bothers me a bit here, is that it will make your T-zone equally as luminous, even though on the touch it will feel matte and not oily at all. So I personally wouldn't wear this on its own, I would at least powder my T-zone so it doesn't look shiny. But of course on my cheeks I love the effect. 
It does compare with the result you would get from Mac Strobe cream, but with a lighter texture, or the Oskia Get Up and Glow serum I used to use, but then the glow would still be present after makeup application, which wasn't the case with the serum.

All in all I would recommend this product, and I would advise you check the range if your skin is dehydrated.
It is a bit pricy though -  this fluid is 50ml and £38 - €54 - couldn't find a US price.

Have you tried Givenchy skincare?

June 21, 2013

All about the glow!

My cheeks have a tendency to be dehydrated and dry, and the thing that upsets me the most with this situation is that it makes my skin look really dull. I think that matte, dull skin is the most aging thing and so I'm really not happy with that and always on the hunt for solutions that bring some glow back.

Enters a new discovery: Illamasqua Lies cream blush.
Lies is a very pale pearlescent cream blusher. It will actually hardly show up as a blusher but the color in it does add some extra dimension that a regular cream highlighter like Gleam does not have. It does performs extremely well in the glow department, to the point that you could make your skin look like plastic with it if you wanted.

How I use it: I start with applying a little bit of a regular blush, here Illamasqua Naked Rose - because I find that Lies on its own does not give me enough color for my liking.
Then, I pat Lies on top with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. And bham: mega glow.

Color wise, this is foolproof, but as I said it can look unnatural (and feel a bit sticky) if you go overboard, so try to stay reasonable with it.

What are you currently using to highlight your cheeks?

June 20, 2013

You have got 10 days left...

... to find an alternative to Google Reader in order to receive the updates from all your favorite blogs. As you probably know the Reader service will be discontinued on July 1st.
While Reader is still working, you can use it to import your favorites easily and save yourself from the hassle of having to redo it all manually.

These past months I have been trialling 2 solutions and thought it would be interesting to let you know how I liked them.

A well known one for beauty bloggers!
Import is done in one click once your account has been created, and lots of bloggers including myself have a Bloglovin button on their page that allows you to add new blogs easily.

You can categorize blogs for easier browsing. 
There is a picture from the blog post shown in the summary.
There is a "mark all as read" button.
You have "like" and "share" features under every post.
iOS app available (I think Android is in the pipe-line)

If you open a blog it does so under a bloglovin URL and for me that sometimes lead to making it impossible to comment, not sure if that's me. I also have no idea about how that translates into Google Analytics statistics - but that doesn't matter for the readers, really.

I was recommended this one on a more technological community and it has become my go-to.

You can create categories for your blogs
You can can display your posts in 4 different ways, for example stacked in one line format, which is easier when you have a lot to browse (I follow over 60 beauty blogs...)
There are "organize" and  "save for later" tools that are really useful
You can add new blogs just by pasting their URL
There is an integrated app for Chrome browser
The iPad app is FABULOUS, allows you to turn your posts like pages until you reach the end of the list.

I find the computer version less user-friendly than the iPad app.

Hopefully this helps you find another solution you like so we can keep in touch after July 1st!

June 13, 2013

FOTD with Mac Temperature Rising quad

Second installment in featuring the Temperature Rising quads with the eponym one! 

Temperature Rising is the quad on the right. It features a mix of rather warm purples with a warm peach -  a weird choice in my book for a Summer collection but since I don't have many purples I thought these would be nice to have. 
The peach shade is Temperature Rising, it is warmer and darker than All That Glitters, for example. It probably has a bit more pink in it too. Then we have  Swelter, a mid-tone greyish violet that I find really pretty, Circus/Performance Art wich is a frosted mauve with a bit of gold, and finally Beauty Marked which actually has a lot of black in it and is part of the permanent collection.

I have been wearing this with the peach on the lid but I'm still unsure if I really like it this way - I will probably use this quad more at the end of Summer and combining the purples only, keeping the peach for the inner corner or the lower lashline.

I don't like this quad as much as the other one, probably because I don't like purples as much as neutrals either, but I do think it's a nice one to have if you want a few good purples, and one that I would really recommend if you have green eyes.

June 11, 2013

FOTD with Mac Bare My Soul quad

Having featured Bare my Soul quad in my May favorites, I thought I should also show you how gorgeous it is when it is on!

Bare My Soul is the neutral quad on the left. It features a beautiful tealish green called When In Rio that can remind you of Mac Club in the pan but looks really different on the skin, as well as 2 browns, Romatico (a soft medium brown that reminds me of Burberry Pale Barely in some aspects) and Friendly (a rich warm chocolate brown).
The gold shade named Bare My Soul, which has a little bit of copper in it, is actually the one I find the hardest to wear but I always find difficulties with this kind of shades that are a bit mustardy. I keep it for inner corner use. 

Here's an example of how I've been wearing it, with the teal as a liner. 

I don't think these shades have exact dupes in the Mac permanent collection at all, so this quad is worth getting if you like it and can still find it. If not, I would bet that Inglot must have similar shades in their collection.

Another favorite is featured there, and that's the Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise Glow in Coral - perfect to tie this whole warm look together!

June 4, 2013

May Favorites

May was a strange month on the weather front: we had a few (very few) sunny days that made us think that Spring was really there, and then they were followed by weeks of rain and wind and temperatures you normally get in March.
As a result I still haven't switched my wardrobe to Summer, or started using fake tan - I only introduced a bit of bronzer because I'm so tired of this never ending Fall/Winter that has been going on for 8 months. At least, col temperatures allow you to wear more makeup without melting off!

Bad windy weather going on means my skin is still dehydrated, and this moisture booster was of great help all month! Definitely a must have, I'm scared of running out of it since you can only get it from the UK at the moment.

Guerlain Gel Top Coat.
I am absolutely in love with this - I have used it over all my manicures this month. Unfortunately it doesn't make anything in terms of making your polish last longer, quite the opposite in fact in my experience. But I don't care, the effect is just so pretty.

Cool toned matte smokeys and my Inglot palette.
I have had this palette for just a year now and I love it so much I actually hit pan on one of the base shades already! I found myself a little obsessed this month (or is it not just this month?) with cool toned smokey eyes and this is the perfect palette to create them.

Mac Temperature Rising Quads: Bare my Soul and Temperature Rising.
I can't remember the last time I bought anything from a Mac temporary collection but this month I found that the Temperature Rising collection was really cool and decided to get those 2 quads.
I particularly like the one on the left, Bare my Soul, which is a great combination of neutrals with a hint of green - the kind of green that you'd find in Mac Club eyeshadow, but minus the duochrome. The pale shimmery taupe reminds me a lot of Burberry Pale Barley. This is just a gorgeous palette for everyday or more dramatic looks, and I've been using it on days where I didn't want matte eyes.

Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise duo in Coral.
This bronzer blush duo was all over blogs this month and wow, isn't it pretty? The packaging itself is state of the art, the bronzer suits pale skins and the coral blush is fresh and pretty. I just find that it's a bit hard in texture, which is something I don't like in blushes, but it does compliment the bronzer very well. And I find the bronzer easy to apply without overdoing it using a big fat powder brush. This comes with a mini kabuki but it's a bit scratchy and probably more suited for blush due to its size.  Definitely a purchase I won't regret.

Chanel Les Beiges.
Another well loved product, this doesn't leave my purse and is so perfect for touch ups through the days, as it mattifies the skin without making you look cakey - it just removes the unwanted shine, makes your skin look smoother, and smells very nice. Plus, perfect packaging as well.

What were your favorites this month?

June 1, 2013

Classic Smokey Eye FOTD

Lisa Eldridge recently posted this Classic Smokey Eye tutorial, and it's something I had to try!

The technique is really easy and it didn't take me more than 6 minutes to recreate it. As I was wearing this during the day, I didn't line the waterline. I also used a brown liner instead of a black one, purely because I prefer the effect of brown against my blue eyes.

I think this kind of smokey eye is really easy to wear in any occasion, definitely something to practice and have in your makeup wardrobe - it would work for a job interview as well as for a night out!

Products used:
Bourjois Healthy Mix (new formula) in #51
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in #2
Dior Nude Paradise Tan duo in Coral (bronzer only, hardly any blush)
All matte eyeshadows by Inglot (sorry, don't have the numbers), medium brown, dark cool brown and beige
Nars Larger Than Life liner in Via Appia
Clinique Hight Impact Mascara
Illamasqua Naked Stranger Lipgloss

Have you tried any look recently after having seen a new tutorial?