Rave Review – Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer | #blogmas day 15

Approximately two years ago before starting this blog I attended my very first event, as guest to my already blogging sister Ashliegh. The event was hosted by Cosmopolitan magazine and held at Illamasqua’s flagship store in Beak Street, London. Until then I hadn’t heard of the brand Illamasqua but soon became hooked. One of the products demonstrated that night was their hydra veil primer. It looked amazing but at the time I wasn’t working so couldn’t afford to purchase any at the time. Since then it has remained on my wish list. 

You can imagine my excitement then to see this cute luxury sample size included in Decembers LookFantastic box. 

Priced at £32 for the full 30ml size, even though I’m working now, this is still very much a luxury item for me. It is being reserved for ‘going out out makeup only’. 

I’ve been ‘out out’ twice this past week as part of pre Christmas festivities so indulgently gave this little beauty a run for its money. Oh and boy has it been worth the wait! 

Hydra veil is very much a hybrid product. It is part primer and part skin hydrator. 

The main ingredients include microalgae, vitamins C and B3 that together provide hydration for the skin. 

It has a very unique Gelly like texture that feels very cooling and refreshing on the skin. I like to apply it using a stippling brush and pat it onto my skin. 

Once applied the skin feels super smooth and makes applying foundation so much easier. 

This is the perfect primer for those with skin that is beginning to age. I feel this helps to stop foundation and concealer settling  into my fine lines, especially around the eye area, and gives my makeup a flawless finish. 

I am wearing hydra veil under my makeup in the picture below and love how it looks. It stayed looking great all night even after a few too many beers. 

I might have been an embarrassing drunken oaf in the picture below but hey my foundation was perfect still. 

That picture does make me laugh! 

I’m so pleased I have had the chance to try out Illamasqua Hydra Veil and even more so that it hasn’t disappointed. I shall treasure my little luxury sample size pot keeping it for special occasions. In the mean time I will have to try and save up for a full size. 

3 Disappointing Beauty Products | #blogmas 13

I have always been a bit reluctant to do a dedicated disappointing beauty products post as it seems a very negative thing to do and I try to keep this blog a positive space. Actually though it is just as important to share the dud products as it is the rave reviews. Not only does it demonstrate honesty but it also might save someone else from wasting their time and money on those duds. 

So enough waffling, here are 3 products I have been very disappointed with. 

L’OREAL Nude magique cushion foundation – 

When this was launched at the start of the year there was a lot of hype around  this foundation. It had been a while since any drug store brand had realeased anything that could be considered innovative. L,Oreal though was ahead of the game in just doing just that with the ‘cushion foundation’. 

Lots of high end brands have released their own version of the cushion foundation  including Mac, YSL and Lancôme. This promised to be a more purse friendly option. Though at £14.99 I still consider this to be expensive for a high street brand. 

Having had a play around with mine for the last month I can honestly say that I don’t ‘get the hype’. I find it difficult to apply enough product with the included sponge to satisfy covering flaws and even with a setting spray it wears off really fast. 

I know this is supposed to a very natural looking light weight finish so perhaps my coverage issue is personal preference, I do expect my foundation to stay put though.

 I also have issues with how little product you get for the price. £14.99 is at the top end of the scale for drug store foundations. It doesn’t actually say on the packaging how much product you are getting for your money, just 14.6g e. In other words no  fluid quantity and this probably includes the weight of the sponges. 

As a consumer you are actually paying for a fancy pants packaging delivery system rather than any product. It is not good value for money. Pheww!! That turned into a bit of a rant. 

Natural Collection Brow Gel dark brown – 

Priced at just £1.99 I had such high hopes for this product as a budget friendly alternative to some of the more expensive brow products on offer. 

It’s not a terrible product but it is a pain in the arse. Application wise it’s great the problem I have is it smudges like a Son of a B! When I was using my Urban Decay all nighter setting spray to set it down it was fine. Since running out of that and using the brow gel with my other options I’m experiencing major smudging again. 

Basically It is far too much of an effort to make this product work hence its made its way to the disappointing product list. Sorry natural collection I usually love your products! 

Avon Advance Techniques Large Barrel Brush – 

So this is the second of these brushes I have had. The first one I sent back thinking perhaps I had just received a dud. Nope! The second brush has recently done exactly the same. Though it did last longer this time. 

As you can see from my picture the glue securing the barrel to the handle keeps coming away. Now I’m not particularly rough with a hair brush, but I do like to pull tight when I rotate the brush so I get a sleek blow dry. I can only assume the glue is melting with the heat of my hairdryer?? However I only ever use it on a medium heat setting so why is this happening?? Im chalking this up as ‘not fit for purpose’. 

Have you tried any of these products and experienced any issues? Maybe you love them so let me know how you make them work for you. 

Dupe Alert! | Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil v No 7 Sculpting Pencil

It’s no secret that I love a brow product and I probably have more in my collection than is healthy for one girl to own. This still doesn’t stop me gravitating towards the brow product section when I first check out any makeup brands display stand. This will be how I stumbled across what I think is a really great dupe for the brilliant but slightly too pricey Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil £18.50

So what is this supposed dupe then? 

Meet No7’s Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil £8. At over ten pounds cheaper we are already onto a win here, and the products are so similar. Well, let’s forget about the difference in packaging, Benefits offering is very fancy pancey next to the No7 pencil. 

Both products though have a very similar wind up tip and a super handy sculpting brush. Please note my benefit pencil is missing the brush as it is a luxury sample size I received in a beauty box. 

Both products have a similar waxy feel and are equally easy to apply. When swatched the shades are very similar. Benefit has that extra edge in the creamy texture feel though. 

The top swatch is No7 and the bottom swatch Is Benefit shade 03 medium

The No7 pencil unfortunately only comes in three limited shades brown,black or grey. Not great then if you have fair hair. Fortunately as a medium toned brunette brown is just right for me.  

In comparison Benefit offers five shades ranging from a light to deep. 

So if you are a fan of Benefits Goof Proof Brow Pencil, but like me can’t justify parting with £18.50 every couple of months check out the No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil. At over £10 cheaper it performs equally well it’s just not as Insta-pretty.

How to fake a sun kissed face with Boots Natural Collection

Who like me is not having a holiday this year? For your sakes I hope not many. 

Don’t feel too sorry for me, I had two fabulous holidays last year. We have just decided to be sensible with money in 2016. 

If like me you’re  not going abroad for some sun and feel you are going to miss out, fear not as I have the answer to creating the look of that post holiday glow thanks to Boots Natural Collection. 

To achieve this natural sun kissed look I used just four products from Natural  Collection.

  • Tinted Moisturiser – Natural
  • Pressed Powder – Warm
  • Sun Tint – Golden Glow 
  • Blushed cheeks – Pink Cloud

As with the whole of Boots natural collection all items are priced at the super purse friendly price of just £1.99. 

    The trick to achieving a natural looking glow is to use a light coverage product such as a tinted moisturiser. You want to even out your complexion whislt still being able to see your actual skin. 

    I then set it with the pressed powder to reduce any shine.

    To create that sun kissed effect, I used my real techniques finishing brush to sweep Sun Tint over all the areas of my face that would naturally catch the sun. 

    Finally a sweep of blushed cheeks across the apples of my cheeks added some colour. 

    This takes less than five minutes!

    Having not used many products from the natural collection range since my teenage years it was great to have the chance to be reintroduced to the brand. 

    Considering how inexpensive it is I have been impressed with the quality of the products. 

    The Sun Tint in particular stood out to me as it has a good level of pigmentation, doesn’t look orange on the skin and blends easily. 

    The products do lean a little bit towards the powdery side but as long as you remember to knock any excess product of your brush this isn’t a major problem. 

    Fingers crossed we get some sun in the UK this year. You never know I may even get an actual tan! 
    *post features PR samples. 

    theBalm Nude’tude Palette review – It’s love!

    theBalm is a brand that I absolutely love! The Nude’tude palette £29.99 is no exception to that rule. 

    I’ve provided a link to Superdrug as though pricier it is guaranteed to be the real thing on sale. There are loads of sellers on eBay selling this far cheaper but you can never be certain that the item isn’t a cheap knock off. Any hoo, slight digression there. 

    I’ve had this palette for some time now so have had a good chance to have a play with it. I thought it was about time then that I shared a review of the palette.  
    The packaging is super cute, and actually is what first captured my interest in this palette. Opened up It has a retro feel and is just a little bit cheeky.  

    The packaging itself is made of stiff card board, with a large mirror. Despite being made from cardboard it feels sturdy and well made. 

    theBalm have included a small double ended brush with the palette. The brush itself is okay, it’s very soft but is so small it’s only really suitable for detailed work. Your going to have to reach for another brush for blending. 

    The palette includes twelve shades, of which eight are varying shades of nude, as the name would suggest. I like that they have included some shades for smoking out you eyelook, should you wish to. 

    Favourite shades for me have to be Selfish, a very pretty shimmery taupe, and Sultry, a perfect transitional shade. 

    All of the shadows have a soft buttery texture and are nicely pigmented. The only shade that doesn’t quite live up to its promise is Silly. In the pan it looks like a beautiful shimmery chocolate brown, this doesn’t transition on the lid though as it lacks pigmentation. 

    Overall though I’m in love with this palette and I have reached for it everyday this month. I’ve actually set myself the challenge to completely pan this palette in 2016, so it’s a good job I love it. 


    shades used stubborn, sexy, snobby & an MUA single

    shades used stand-offish, selfish, sophisticated


    Have you tried anything from theBalm before? Do you have any recomendation for any of their other products I should try?  


    Take 3 Beauty Samples – featuring Nars, Bell & Lush

     Here we are with another round of ‘Take 3 Beauty samples’. Each month I select some samples from my little stash to use and provide a little first impressions review. 

    This month I had some pretty exciting samples to be using. They included; 

    • Nars pure radient tinted moisturiser 
    • Bell cosmetics mat & smooth make up base & mat & soft make up 
    • Lush Buche de Noel cleanser (Christmas limited edition) 

    If you want to here what I thought of these product samples then keep on reading. 

     First up is the Buche de Noel fresh cleanser  £6.75 from Lush. 

    This is one of those grainy cleansers that when mixed with a little water forms a cleansing paste. 

    It smells lovely, kind of like marzipan really. That will be the ground almonds! 

    I did find it a bit weird rubbing this into my face. I felt like I was rubbing porridge into it. Especially as you can see bits of cranberries in it. I’m not saying I didn’t like it though, it just felt strange. 

    Where I did feel this product is great is that it provided a gentle daily exfoliating effect, minus any harshness. 

    My sample lasted me four days, and I felt it left my skin looking nice a bright. 

    I’m not going to be rushing out and purchasing this though as I’m struggling to get beyond the feeling of rubbing porridge in my face. That’s more of a personal preference thing though not a fault in the product. It does actually have 5 star reviews on the website as well do it does have some fans out there. 
    Next up is the Nars pure radient tinted moisturiser £29


    I was really excited to try this but oh my god, I hated it! I’m not one to be skating a product, I usually stick to just talking about products I love, but this was BAD!!

    The first picture below is just the product worn on its own. My face looks like an oil slick. I appreciate that this is meant to be an illuminating product but I just look greasy. Yuck!!  

    The second picture is with a bit of powder on top to calm down the shine. Okay it’s not so bad now but I’m just not a fan of anything too dewy looking. 

    I’m going to chalk this one up as not for me. Sorry Nars! 

    The last sample is actually a duo sachet of 2 different face products from Bell cosmetics. 

    I have a few products that I love from Bell already. Particularly their BB mouse and their eye makeup removing gel, so I was expecting good things from this. 
    The Mat&Smooth base was a lot thicker than I was expecting. It actually felt quite moisturising and did provide a nice smooth surface to apply the foundation. 

    The Mat&Soft foundation £7.95 I would say is not completely  matte but I do like how it looks on my me. This in my opinion is a medium coverage foundation as I did have to use concealer under my eyes and on my chin.   
    The lasting power of this isn’t amazing compared with the BB mouse makeup I talked about earlier from Bell so I don’t think I would purchase this. 

    I recommend checking the BB mouse £6.95 if you are looking for a hypoallergenic foundation as that is better. 

    Let me know what you thought of them if you have tried any of these products. Processed with Moldiv

    The Long Awaited Sephora Haulin’ 

    I’m not really one to be doing haul posts, mainly because my shopping habits are shocking at times. Yes it would be embarrassing. I’m breaking the norm here though as I have waited so freekin long to get inside a Sephora.

     Why guys? Why do we not have any Stores in the UK? 

    I know you can order online but I’m not about to drop £75 for the minimum spend everytime I want to place an order. Consequently I don’t. 

    Finally inside an actual store I was like a child in a toy shop dashing here and there, slightly overwhelmed by the array of makeup brands available that I can’t get my mits on easily at home. 

    Keen to make the most of my budget I opted for several value kits. I wanted to try as much of the different goodies as a could. 

    Here’s a my new stash in all it’s glory. Sigh…..Yes I know it’s shameful to get that excited over make-up. I can’t help it though! 

    Let me give you a little run down of what I picked up. 

    Josie Maran Whimsical Wonder Argan Oil Color Essentials set $34

     I have had my eye on this little kit since it was released as I’ve wanted to try the brand for a long time. This seemed the perfect way to do it. Sephora claim this to have a $72 value so it is a big saving. 
    The next kit I picked up is the Sephora Favourites Give me Some lip collection £25.  

    Just take in that selection of lip products to try! Included are the brands MUFE, Tarte, Fresh, Kat Von De and Mark Jacobs. 

    These are all of a good luxury sample size and most importantly the shades are very wearable. 

    Tarte are one of my favourite cosmetic brands ever. The only place to buy it for in the UK is QVC, and then they will charge you a hefty postage fee. It was a given then that I was going to pick something up from the brand. 

    They had just had a delivery of the new holiday sets so I quickly nabbed  a blush pallete. Considering the individual blushers at $26 a peice it made sence then to get this containing 5 shades for $44. 

    Before I show you a pic of this inside just look at the packaging. It is so pretty , all sparkly and black and feels nice and weighty in the hand.  

    Inside the embossing on the individual shades are just too pretty. I know it sounds daft but it will take me a couple of weeks to bite the bullet and ruin it’s perfection by using it. Weird I know. Don’t judge me! 


    Next up I picked up a travel size of the Mist & Fix setting spray from Make Up Forever $14. This has been on my wish list for quite a while. I used this as my setting spray whilst in vegas and It did a fab job on helping my make up last all day.  
    My last purchase was this set of individual use face masks from Origins. I’m not sure how much this pack was, but you can get an individual one for $4

    I’m this pack there are four pods of Out of Trouble which is for problem skin. Keep your eyes peeled over the coming weeks for a review as this is going to be my next #facemaskfriday feature product. 

    Lastly we move on to the freebies, with all that shopping I had collected a fair you BeautyInsider points. 

    Both the MUFA HD Powder  and Glamglow flashmud mask were 100 point perks. I was also yet to recieve my birthday gift so was able to get this aswell. I so pleased to have this as I love love love the Nars satin lippencils.   

    I was super spoilt as my Husband and treated me to this trip to Sephora. He knows how obsessed I am so big big THANK YOU!! 

    Have you tried any of these products? What were you thoughts? Do let me know in the comments below if there is anything that you would like me to review on Schoolrunbeauty.com. 

    Processed with Moldiv