The Matte and Hydra Veil Primers from Illamasqua have been products on my Beauty Wishlist to try since they launched in 2014. I don’t know why I hadn’t got around to purchasing them, probably because Illamasqua just is a really hard to see in person brand for me – but when I stumbled upon a set in TK Maxx for much less than I could have bought the primer for alone, of course it was time to try it! I’m putting the fact that I snagged this as a total steal out of my head and judge it as if I’d purchased it for full price.
As someone with oily skin, a year ago I would have stayed away from moisturising primers and opted for matte bases – but after I was gifted the Stila One Step Primer, I discovered just how well moisturising primers can work for my skin and whilst previously Matte Veil might have been my preferred choice out of the two, Hydra Veil wasn’t turned away.
The Hydra Veil primer comes in at £34, so it certainly isn’t a cheap option. The packaging is lovely and very reflective of the Illamasqua brand as a whole, everything I’ve had from them has been high quality plastic packaging in the super shiny black finish. This is a fairly chunky style packaging and therefore isn’t the best thing for taking away in a slimline makeup bag – as I’ve discovered as I’ve been away from home a lot over the past few months!
The pot unscrews to reveal a flip top lid inside that features a little spatula to help get the product out. You can, by all means go in with your fingers, but it’s nice that they provided a hygenic option. I’d have preferred overall if this was in some kind of pump, but I can see how that might have been difficult with this kind of formula.
The formula of Hydra Veil is a gel, it’s hard to photograph in its black packaging with it’s colourless appearance. so you’ll see in the photo below where I’ve carved through the product. It self levels quickly so when ever you open it up it looks all fresh and new – which gives me more pleasure on a daily basis than I probably should admit.
This has a thick wobbly texture that almost sits on the skin until you start massaging it where it breaks down quickly and becomes thinner in formula. This feels a lot like a gel moisturiser – it feels lovely on the skin first thing in the morning as it has almost a depuffing quality. I put this on first step in my routine – as it first goes on it feels quite wet and cooling on the skin, I like to let it dry whilst I do my eye makeup and wait for the point where it feels slightly tacky on the skin.
Makeup applies really nicely on top of Hydra Veil and I’ve tried it with a myriad of foundations in my collection – from the best performing to some of the worst I’ve ever had. Notably I’m trying to finish up The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation which I reviewed last year, I couldn’t get this to stick on my face with any primer and whilst at the end of the day I do look very very dewy (it’s like the serum in that foundation comes to the top by 5pm) this primer has done a far better job of keeping that foundation under control than anything else. They definite trick with this has been to wait for it to feel less wet more tacky and it seems to do a better job of binding the two layers together.
Under more matte primers it does a good job of making them look more natural taking on slightly more dewy look. It’s not always my preferred look – sometimes I prefer a matte look in which case I opt for a different primer. But for day to day wear for work this has been my go-to as it feels lovely on the skin and wears well through the day.
Whilst I am really enjoying using Hydra Veil – I’d say the average time for me to finish a primer would be about 3 months, I seem to be whizzing though this quicker and I think the longevity in my collection will be 6-8 weeks. It’s a 30ml pot, but it doesn’t feel like it spreads especially far, one spatula scoop is enough to do my chin, cheeks and nose, but I need another half dose for my forehead.
If I divide that up – that makes a cost per week use of £4.25, if I’m working to the best case scenario of eight weeks. Ouch.
The product is bloody good, I just wish the pot size was larger to give a better cost per wear. I’d recommend if your pockets are quite deep and you’re willing to splash the cash. I do really enjoy this and think those with super dry skins would probably get along with this fantastically too, but I don’t think I would be in a position to shell out for this at full price permanently. But if I saw it for a steal again in TK Maxx I would be tempted.
What Primer is your go to?
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