Going Beyond the Veil with Illamasqua

The Illamasqua beyond the Veil Primer

In general I like primers.  Okay, let me correct that. I adore primers.  I think it is a holdover from my painting days.  I there is just something about the thought of a properly prepared canvas that just makes me think all is right with the world. 

Even on days when I only wear powder and skip the foundation, I reach for primer first.  It is just a habit.  I have noticed that as I’ve gotten older, primer has been much more of a staple in preparing the canvas of my face for makeup application.  Over time my pores seem to have enlarged and there are so many fine lines that just need a little bit of filling before the foundation goes over them.  For this primer is my go to product.

Sample on the left, full size on the right

Typically I also like the brand Illamasqua.  I think at this point powder and foundation are the only two products from them that I haven’t actually tried.  For me their products always work really well.  And In case you were wondering, both of their powder and foundations are on my list of products to try.

So when the new Illamasqua primer, Beyond the Veil, appeared in my Look Fantastic Box I was thrilled.  This was also the Look Fantastic Box I accidentally ordered twice, so I ended up with two samples of this primer. The second is still sealed in its little box.  The first went into my makeup bag this week. First off, I love the look of the jars. There is just something really pleasing about the shape of them.

comparing the products

Now I have used the Hydra Veil Primer from Illamasqua repeatedly.  I tried it first in the sample size and then moved on to the full size (which is now in my dressing table). I really like it.  The difference between the Hydra Veil and the beyond the Veil primers is that Beyond the Veil has Illamasqua’s Beyond Powder blended in.

(I know it gets a little confusing but the links in that paragraph will take you to each individual product so you can see them all separately in more professionally lit photos. Because of the products themselves photographing them was really hard to do. They reflected light in really crazy ways.)

I was very curious as to how this world work.  Would it eliminate the need for powder?  Would the primer be more concealing? Or more powdery? What about texture? So many questions. Let’s find some answers.

First there is a difference in coloring.  The Hydra Veil Primer has no color to it whatsoever. It is a clear jelly like substance.  I always have fun playing with it when I take it out.  I love that once you scoop out a little bit of the formula it leaves a little chunk of jelly missing, but by the time you’ve applied it to your face, the surface of the container has smoothed out again so that it looks like none was taken.  It’s a little thing, but it always makes me feel like I am opening a new product every time I open it.

The Beyond the Veil has the same tendencies but it is a beige color.  The color goes away or blends into the skin, when applied, but in the jar, I can’t lie, it looks more like an overly set, and possibly split, custard because of the color.  There is something slightly off putting about the color and about scooping it out.  It reacts the same way as the clear version, but somehow with the color I always find myself sort of making the icky face at it.

Childish I know, but there it is.

The original is completely liquified by the heat of your hands. The Beyond the Veil melts a little but not all the way down to liquid. It is more of a thin paste. It is thinner than other primers, almost a foundation like consistency.   Once that happens I am fine with the color.  It is just the initial scooping out of the jar that gets me. It is fine once it is out of the jar. Despite the slight change in texture, and not melting to a complete liquid, it applies like the original primer, however it is a slightly dryer formula. 

The Hydra Veil is a very wet formula.  When you apply it, you need a moment to let it dry and set.  Personally I don’t mind it as I tend to apply my powder directly over it and then put foundation on top.  I find this gives me an excellent base.  As the Hydra Veil dries down it becomes slightly sticky and locks the powder into place giving me a fantastic matte base that doesn’t look powdery.

I thought there was the possibility that with the powder blended in, the Beyond the Veil might eliminate the need for powder. It does not. It is less wet than the Hydra Veil and dries down a little more quickly because of it.  It also dries to the same slightly sticky consistency that the regular Beyond the Veil Primer reaches.  I still applied my powder over it and then moved on to foundation.

No primer on the left, primer on the right

What the Beyond the Veil does is it helps over redness and minor blemishes better than the regular Hydra Veil because of its tint.  Because of this I found myself using less concealer this week as I worked my way through the primer. Because of the wet shine in the above photos, I’m not sure how much of the covering aspect it shows. It didn’t affect my use of powder, but I really only needed the concealer under my eyes and on my lids to prep them for eyeshadow. 

The week of use ended up using up my sample size of primer. I do have a second one and I will be using that at some point in the future. Over all I really did like using the Beyond the Veil Primer this week.  It did well eliminating redness and minor sunspots, letting me skip the concealer for face application, it dried down relatively quickly and locked my powder and foundation into place really well.  It is not pore filling but it is slightly sticky and keeps everything set and does a good job of preventing the product overlaying it from settling into fine lines. The above pictures may not look dramatic, but it did wear really well and help out the other makeup products I used this week.

The only drawback I can see is that color in the jar.  Getting it out of the jar is really unappealing.  Once out it is fine and it is a good product to use, it is just that initial jump. Perhaps it would look different in the full size, I don’t know.

While I will still lean more towards using the regular Hydra Veil, I have to say on days where I have a lot of redness that I want to conceal I would have no problem reaching for this hydrating primer.  I might not look into the jar when I scoop it out, but I will certainly use it.




The Makeup Bag: January 22nd, 2021

The Make Up Bag Used January 16th -22nd, 2021

Welcome my darlings to the weekly makeup bag post, where I discuss all of the products that I used on my face through the week and what I thought of them. This week I didn’t have to go anywhere.  I was working at my desk all week and while there were a few phone calls, none of them involved video.

And what did I wear on my week of only for me makeup?

Well I started with the Illamasqua Primer.  (The link will take you to the full primer review post). The reason I pulled the primer from the dressing table is actually due to a cleanser issue.  I finished up my Elemis Cica Foaming cleanser (which I adore and already have a second bottle waiting in the wings) so I decided to try out a Murad Acne Clearing Cleanser. I was having such good luck with the Murad Hydrating Toner I’m using that I thought it would be nice. And it started off nice.  It cleared up my blemishes fast, and then it dried my skin out something awful. The fault is really my own actually. The Toner is hydrating and the cleanser is acne fighting. It fought my acne, and once my face cleared I should have set it to the side. If I had done that, everything would be fine. But I didn’t, so my skin became overly dry. The product is fabulous and works exactly as it is supposed to, this was entirely user error.

So I have been packing on the extra moisture from trusted brands ever since. 

One thing this Illamasqua primer does is it hydrates as well as gives you a nice smooth base to work your makeup magic on. And this week was all about hydration.  When my Look Fantastic Box arrived and I found it was the spoiler for the February box I was kind of amused by the timing. While I like this primer, I can only use it in the winter. It is far too hydrating for me in the warmer months. But it is excellent if my skin is feeling winter dry. (ir if I’ve gone overboard on and Acne fighting cleanser).

When I pull the Illamasqua primer out of my dressing table I almost always pair it with the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lave Water Foundation.  It is Vegan, it is matte, it is fabulous on my skin. And it works well with this particular primer. This is one of my favorite foundations it is not a hardship to use it. I know I have been using a lot of tinted moisturizers and skin veils lately because I really do like them, but this primer needs an actual foundation so I was happy to turn to Pretty Vulgar. It works as beautifully as always. Although to be honest I probably need one shade lighter for the winter.

One of my new products to try this week was the Item Beauty Cheek Money Bronze Contour Duo in the shades Mood and Vibez.  I’ve never tried anything from Item Beauty. The packaging on this duo is lovely.  It has an orange ombre effect and it feels good to hold. 

Post bronzing

The product however is pointless.  In the picture you can see my face after I applied the bronzer.  I had a hard time seeing it.  I tried building it up, but to no avail.  The product swatches well, and with effort it can be applied in a solid line on the cheeks.  The small line you might see on my cheek is part shadow because the lighting at the time of day I did my makeup on the day I scheduled to take photographs was awful (hence the reason there are more product photos than my face this week) and part where I had yet to attempt blending in. As soon as you do any blending it disappears.  It never builds up it just fades away.  I tried both sides of the dup and had the same result with both.  This is not going to be a product I turn to again. It also makes me hesitant to try any more Item Beauty products.

For blush I turned back to my tried and true Ciate London Marbled Light Blush in Halo.  It is one of my favorite blushes and after the disappointment of the bronzer I was happy to have it.  It is a soft buildable formula that lets me decide how blushed I really want my cheeks and I really enjoy using it.

The Sleek makeup highlighting palette was a new to me product this week.  It features four shades of highlight.  Three of them disappear completely into my skin tone and one of them gives me a pinkish tint that I would like better as an eyeshadow. 

To be honest I might try repurposing this highlighter palette as an eyeshadow palette.  The shades simply give almost no highlight to my skin, providing more pigment than highlight.  I like my highlights subtle but for me, this just disappeared or left unwanted color on the skin. I’ll have to try it as eyeshadow and report back on how it does.  I really like the compact, but like the Item Beauty, the packaging is its best feature.

I had two powders this week, The Smashbox Photo Finish and the sample of the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores pressed powder.  Both were in my makeup bag last week, although I didn’t reach for the smashbox because of the tint of the foundation I was using. This week I used them both. 

I would definitely pick up the Smashbox photo finish fresh powder again and keep it stocked.  The It Cosmetics pressed powder however I will be using the sample up and then bidding it a farewell.  It is nice enough to use, but not something I feel is so nice that I need to stock it.  I would much rather repurchase my No. 7 Perfect light

I know I mention the No. 7 a lot but for me that is the test. I don’t have a problem spending $30 on a powder as I know it is a product I will use. Seriously, if there is one product in my makeup bag I will use even if I don’t use any other that day, it is my pressed powder. And if it is a good one then I will spend the money to purchase it. But the No. 7 Perfect light Pressed Powder is $12.99 and is absolutely fantastic. A pressed powder has to work as well or better than my No.7 in order to make the repurchasing mark, whether it costs more or less. I may not mind spending $30 on a really good product, but I won’t buy a cheaper one that doesn’t work just because it is cheaper either.  Several powders do make that standard mark, this It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder is just not one of them for me.

For the eyes this week I used my favorite KVD single eyeshadow in the shade Lolita. (currently KVD Beauty is having a sale. The link will take you to the site.)  I love the formula of this shadow and will happily use it repeatedly in a one and done look.  However, this week I chose it because I knew how it performed.  I paired it with the Thrive Causemetics brilliant eye brightener shadow stick in the shade Aurora.  I really liked the way the shadow stick performed.  (The link will take you to the full review of it.) 

I will be using this shadow stick quite often in the future and possibly looking into others from this line as well.  I wish they had some mattes in the line, but alas they do not.  I’m finding I really like using shadow sticks.  The problem is that all the ones I have are shimmers.  I don’t know if they even make matte shadow sticks, but that is something I will definitely be looking into.

New to me this week was The Estate eyeliner in black. It is a liner that starts off very black but went a little grayish by the end of the day.  It did stay in place without smudging and it dried quickly, it just went a little gray.  However the point of the liner is quite fine so if just lining your lash line if you move quickly then it is nice and thin.  It is not my favorite eyeliner, but it works. Just don’t plan to wear it more than six hours if you are going to do anything more than simply lining the lower lashes. This is not a liner I would turn to for a wing.

My brow pencil this week came from RealHer.  I’ve used it before and loved it, this time was no exception. I have to say the more products I try from RealHer the more I like the brand. The shade Eye Am Strong works really well for me.  And I am happy to keep this brow pencil in rotation.

30% off “You Are Brilliant” Pro Blush Palette! Available for $26.60, original price at $38.00. No code needed!

Currently RealHer is having a sale. The link is above if you are interested. I absolutely adore their Cheek Trio Palette and am actually close to hitting pan on the bronzer in that palette.

My mascara this week was the Pretty Vulgar The Feather’s mascara.  I initially purchased this because it looks just so beautiful. However, I love the way it performs and I really like the curve of the wand.  The mascara is not an overly dramatic one, but it is one that I can use to sort of punch up an everyday look without going too far with it.  It still looks office appropriate and not too after hours.  It doesn’t flake and it dries pretty quickly.

When they had the two for one sale back in November I stocked up.  While this is my second tube of this mascara, I have two more unopened just waiting for their chance to be used.  It is gorgeous packaging that houses a really fantastic product. Right now they have a Mystery box sale going on that you might want to check out. I have tried two products from them at this point, the mascara and the foundation -both in this post actually – and I love them both.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right

Finally, this week I went with the Sugar Crush Liquid Lipstick in the shade Sprinkle.  In a surprising note, it was my only lip product this week. I know my darlings, take a moment and recover from your shock. But yse, there was only one lip product this week.

It is a really nice shade and once on the lips it dries down almost completely.  The dried down part means I am not leaving lip prints everywhere, but the ‘almost’ dried down means that it doesn’t make my lips dry and sandpaper like. 

Final

It is a fantastic liquid lip as far as performance goes.  It smells like cake batter and this particular color is a nice neutral that goes with a lot of everything. This is one of those formulas that I could actually see myself collecting the entire lip line. It shouldn’t surprise me, it is a Tarte Cosmetics product and I always have really good luck working with their products. I was just very impressed by how this dries down so it doesn’t leave lip prints everywhere but doesn’t turn your lips into sandpaper. It is a very fine line and they walk it well.

I did forget entirely to add a setting spray this week, in case you are wondering about it’s absence.

So that was my makeup for the week my darlings.  I learned my lesson on timing though. The sun hits that window at a certain time of morning and while the light is actually really good for applying makeup, it is just horrid for taking photos of the process. I’m still learning on these posts so I hope you’ll bear with me on the photos. I promise to work harder at getting better. And as always if there is anything that you would specifically like to see, let me know.

There were some tried and true favorites this week. There were also some stand out newcomers and some absolute bombs.  Quite the exciting mix actually. Next week, I have one scheduled conference call so I won’t be making up just for me.  Because of that I may lean on more tested face products next week.  But I won’t really know until I sit down with my makeup bag and start choosing products. I can’t wait to see what makes it into next week’s bag.


Pretty Vulgar Make up

Going Beyond the Veil with an Illamasqua Primer

As we all know, I love primers.  While a lot of my primers are silicone based, this Illamasqua Hydra Veil is water based, which means that I tend to use it with a different sort of foundation.  This week’s foundation was the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water foundation.  I adore the foundation and this primer works really well with it. 

According to the product page…

Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel. Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, creating a healthy looking, balanced finish. Plant extracts also provide a calming and refreshing feeling, leaving skin fully prepped to apply your chosen foundation.

Prior to foundation application, use the spoon provided to apply one scoop of Hydra Veil to the palm of your hand. Using the Foundation or Highlighter Brush, gently brush the product from your hand and apply all over the face, right up to the lash line until the product is fully absorbed

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Peg-240/Hdi Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Niacinamide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alcohol, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Disodium Edta, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Acmella Oleracea Extract, Potassium Laurate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bht, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Tocopherol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene

Illamasqua

I’ll admit, it took me a while to figure out that was a spoon attached to the inner lid.  I thought it was a decorative handle.  It does work as a decorative handle though, but really, you need to use it to scoop the primer out. 

When you scoop it out it looks like clear jelly. But almost instantly it starts to liquefy in your palm.  When it does, a flat foundation brush is your best bet for applying it where you want.  It goes on smoothly and while it is clear it does smooth out pores. 

Just remember to use a clean foundation brush and to use a different foundation brush from the one you intend to use to apply your foundation.  The primer does liquefy so the brush (and your face) take a moment to dry down. If you use a previously used foundation brush, you will end up with old foundation on streaking your face as the primer moistens it and the brush releases it. Even if clean the brush will be all wet and needs to dry before using it to apply foundation.  If you don’t have a spare flat foundation brush, then just use your hands to apply.

I tend not to use this under tinted moisturizers, but more under actual foundations.  The illamasqua smooths things out, but it is clear and doesn’t cover anything as it is clear. 

A little goes a long way and despite its pore filling tendencies and excellent performance, I tend to only reach for this primer in the cooler months when my skin is dry.  When my skin is dry, this foundation is fantastic.  It keeps other products from looking dry on my face and extends the length of my foundation.  Just remember the golden rule with primer, like goes with like. 

If you use a water based primer, go with a water based foundation.  Likewise if going with a silicone based primer go with a silicone based foundation. There are exceptions of course, but this matchy matchy combo prevents a lot of compatibility issues and products work better if they aren’t in a cage fight with each other at the same time you want them to look good on your skin

There are two things to remember when using this primer. The first is that it is more or less a liquid once your body heat touches it, so you need to take a moment and let the primer dry down on your face.  I know you should always give your primer a moment to settle in and lock into place before adding foundation, but it is even more imperative that you give this primer it’s moment to settle. If you don’t it will mix a bit wth your foundation and while it will still work it won’t be as pore filling and smoothing as it could be. 

The second thing to remember is not to use too much.  This is definitely a product where less is more. The picture of it in my hand is about double, if not more, than what you should apply.  I always forget how little I need the first time I go back to this primer and then end up wasting half of the product I took out.

Needs to take a moment to dry down (the sun was at a strange angle so I was trying to avoid glare)

I know it is strange to say but, I love the fact that I can use this primer for a long time and each time I dip in, the product looks untouched because the gel melts back together to form a smooth surface.  Generally it melts back together by the time I’ve finished applying it on my face and have rinsed the spoon off.

It’s also why I only use the spoon to get it out because any inclusions don’t remain just on the surface but can sink within and contaminate the whole thing. In addition it is a beautiful jar that I kind of like having on display.  If you are a member of Look Fantastic and receive their Beauty Box each month I believe this is the primer that is going to be in the box. 

It is a sample size whereas this is the full sized version, but you end up using so little of this primer that even the travel size will last a surprisingly long time. I’ve had the sample size before, which is why I picked up the full sized version and it seemed like it was never going to run out.  I think part of that is the fact that it always looks smooth and brand new when you open it, so it is the bottomless pit of primer. Personally I am glad that it lasts so long and this winter I will be reaching for this Illamasqua primer more often.


Incidentally Pretty Vulgar is having a Mystery Box Deal going on right now 5 products for $55 (retail value of $138). Just click on the banner ad and it will take you right to it. Their Cool AF Lava Water Foundation and Feathers Mascara are two of my favorites.

Pretty Vulgar Make up