Illamasqua Hydra Veil

24 July 2014

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Illamasqua Hydra Veil Review Swatch L'amour Josie

Illamasqua Hydra Veil has been on my 'to try' list for the longest time now. Initially I grouped it in with a few other primers that I wanted to test out, but I've realised that it's actually something different to that.

The main reason that I initially wanted to try Hydra Veil was the consistency. The only thing that I can liken this to is jelly. Every day I scoop a chunk out, and then the next morning I'm always surprised to see that the product has levelled itself out and looks brand new again. Everything about the texture of this product screams hydration - it's like applying a combination of lots of water with moisturiser on to your skin. Once applied though, skin instantly feels smooth and satin-like (no grease in sight).

In all honesty, Hydra Veil hasn't been stunning at extending my makeup, but the reason that I like this product so much is how beautifully foundation sits on top of it. My pores look blurred - or veiled - my skin feels soft to the touch, these are all components for a great base. Whilst I probably wouldn't turn to Hydra Veil to make my makeup last longer on a sweaty night out, I would use it if I needed to look my best for a job interview or photographs, as it completely smooths out the skin. It feels very gentle and cooling once applied too, which has been very welcome in the recent weather, and I imagine perfect for soothing wind-swept skin in Winter.

MAC x Kelly Osbourne - Dodgy Girl

20 July 2014

MAC Kelly Osbourne Dodgy Girl Lipstick Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Despite the hype around the MAC and Osbourne mother/daughter collaboration, I was initially pretty disinterested. Don't get me wrong, I like the Osbournes, but I've grown ambivalent towards MAC's limited edition collections. They're difficult to get hold of, and tend to just feature the same old products. Fast forward a few weeks from the release and I was having a swatching session at a MAC counter in York when I spotted Dodgy Girl. I've got a little bit of a thing for purple based lipsticks at the minute - plus who could resist that gorgeous packaging? - so of course it came home with me.

Dodgy Girl is the exact shade of lipstick that I would design to encompass Kelly Osbourne's style (and trademark lilac hair). MAC describe it as a light lavender, and whilst on darker skin it does pull more towards the pink side of things, on my fairer skin Dodgy Girl is most definitely a bold lavender. I've been pairing it with simple eye makeup in the day, and actually I've been surprised by quite how wearable it is. Normally brighter lip colours can tend to wash me out, but there is just enough of a cool undertone in Dodgy Girl to avoid this.

Dodgy Girl is a matte finish lipstick, meaning that it has some serious lasting power. I get a good five hours wear (unless I'm doing some extreme eating and drinking) before I feel the need to top up, but unlike other matte lipsticks I haven't found this shade to be at all drying on me. In fact, Dodgy Girl feels creamier when applied than other MAC lipsticks I've tried. If you can track this shade down, then I'd definitely recommend giving a lavender lip a go.

Too Faced Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer

16 July 2014

Too Faced Snow Bunny Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Too Faced Snow Bunny Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Bronzed, glowing skin is something I'll always want in the summer months. On my last night in Vegas I popped in to Vegas for a final few presents and couldn't resist one of these bronzer/blusher/highlight hybrids from Too Faced. Too Faced isn't a brand that I'm all that familiar with - there are no counters local to me - but I was drawn in by the pretty gold packaging combined with how well this product swatched.

Snow Bunny is billed by Too Faced as a "luminous bronzer". I never purchased this with the intention of using it as a bronzer, the colour is too light for that, but as a highlighter it adds an understated natural light to the skin. My favourite way to use this product is to take a fluffy brush and swirl it in the pan, so that all of the colours blend together to form a golden shade (as shown in the swatch photo above). Snow Bunny is a pretty, subtle powder. 

Texture-wise, this powder is smooth and not at all chalky. However, I would say that with a more matte base, Snow Bunny can tend to accentuate my pores slightly. With a good primer and natural finish foundation combination, swept across the top of the cheeks, Snow Bunny adds a beautiful golden light to the skin.

Currently Loving 05

13 July 2014

L'amour Josie Currently Loving
Ever since I got back from Las Vegas last month, I've been obsessed with the products I bought over there. It's no surprise that all of the products I'm loving right now were purchased in the States, so here's the lowdown.

Whilst in Vegas I managed to soak up a lot of sun, so wanted a cheap bronzer that I could use all over to top up my tan. I opted for this Wet n Wild bronzer in Ticket to Brazil, which cost me under $4. I've never owned a bronzer specifically for 'bronzing' before - I've always used them for contouring - but I love the warmth that this adds to my skin. This bronzer is buildable, pigmented and finely milled, and a bargain for the price! Another complexion enhancer which I've been loving is the NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator. I won't go in to too much detail as this will be featuring in a post soon, but this is the perfect champagne highlighter which blends beautifully, adding a natural glow to the skin.

I'd bought a couple of Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products on my last trip to Vegas and was suitably impressed, so this time I stocked up. I've been using their Brow Wiz lately to fill in my eyebrows and it's love. This pencil is so fine, it's perfect for defining my brows without looking too overly drawn on. If you want shapely brows which aren't too bold, give this pencil a go.

Finally, the absolute star product of all of my Vegas buys is possibly my favourite beauty product ever. Yes, I went there. The Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian is my perfect gloss. It's neither sticky nor sparkly, but gives a lovely pinky-nude pout with just the right amount of plumping. It's love, now I just need to get my hands on a few back ups.

My Favourite MAC Concealers

2 July 2014

MAC Concealer review l'amour josie
MAC concealers have been a constant in my makeup bag for as long as I can remember. Their colour selection is second to none, as is the variety of different finishes. There are six concealers in the main MAC range, but I've rounded up my top four to share in this post.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer is the first from the range that I tried, and one that I've consistently repurchased over the years. This is a heavy duty concealer that I save for the worst of the worst when it comes to blemishes. This concealer is solid with a creamy texture, and is packaged in a small pot. It can be quite difficult to blend.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is a product that earns brownie points for the packaging. It's housed in a clear glass tube with a matte black pump. It's a thin liquid concealer which is perfect for evening out skin tone. I like to wear this either under my eyes, or blended with my moisturiser across my cheeks on lighter makeup days.

MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer is my every day concealer, it's perfect for blending over blemishes to give an airbrushed finish. It's billed as a liquid consistency, but I see it more as a gel. Select Cover-Up comes in a squeezy tube, so it's easy to control how much product you use.

MAC Select Moisturecover is a lightweight liquid concealer which is perfect for covering any redness on dry skin. I use this concealer a lot during winter, because it's moisturising on flakey skin (particularly around my nose!), plus it's great at neutralising redness. It's housed in a tube with a doe foot applicator.