The England Haul: Part 2 – Drugstore

Ah, foreign groceries and drugstores. Is there anything else more exciting? …at least to me. Boots and Superdrug were both major targets for me on my trip as I know there are loads of affordable brands we can’t get here. I hit up the big Boots at Oxford Circus and came away with way too much stuff – but I’ve found that despite the exchange rate, drugstore prices in the UK are actually great and wonderfully affordable.

The first thing I was after was of course the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I’ve heard SO much about this concealer and Collection is not  brand I can get my hands on over here. I picked up the shade 3 – Warm Medium. I really like the texture – creamy and very pigmented. The only issue I have is with their terrible shade range: there are only 4 shades and 1 – Fair is far too light for me, while 2 – Cool Medium is obviously too cool, and shade 3 ended up being way too dark for me. I’ll have to save it for using in the summer when I pick up quite an intense tan. Another Collection product I decided to pick up was something that I haven’t heard much about – the Illuminating Touch Brightening Concealer in shade 2 – Natural. I am hoping to use this under my eyes but haven’t tried it yet. The Fast Stroke Eyeliner is one I’ve heard a lot about so I thought I’d pick it up as well. I got the Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Cream in shade Cotton Candy for free since I bought other Collection products. I haven’t used it much yet but it’s very comfortable to wear and the colour is lovely.

Some random other products I picked up but haven’t tried yet are the Natural Collection Brow Gel in Dark Brown, Barry M Sunset Nail Paint in Fuchsia Generation, Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off Face Mask, and the two items I’m most excited about – the Fleur de Force By Eylure Lashes in Fleur Loves, and the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+). I’ve heard a lot about the Effaclar Duo and we can get a version of it over here, but I’m almost certain the ingredients are different.

Full sized skin/hair/body products were another priority of mine, despite the annoying fact of having to lug all the big bottles home, but luckily I packed light initially so I was able to bring home the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Healer, which I’m quite excited to try, as well as the Original Source Shower Gel in Mango, which is going to be great for the summer time. I also picked up two facial scrubs – the Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator, and the Botanics All Bright Purifying Face Scrub (are you seeing a theme here?). I also had to pop into Superdrug to pick up the Zoella Wondrous Whip Body Cream to see what her line is like.

Another store I was dying to go to was Kiko Cosmetics, which is another store that exists in the UK and US, but not here, sadly. There were a ton of things I wanted to pick up but in the interest of not hoarding I limited myself to only three products. I obviously went a little concealer crazy this trip – I picked up the Natural Concealer in shade 02, which comes in a tiny tube. It turns out this one is also too dark for me but it blends out beautifully and I will be cracking it out in the summer time. Something else I’m super excited about is the Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick in shade 304. It comes in the most unique, luxurious packaging and I am really excited to wear this colour in the spring/summer. Lastly, I had to grab one of the Extra Sculpt Waterproof Mascaras – I really don’t need more mascara in my life right now but couldn’t resist since KathleenLights loves the Extra Sculpt… and it was on sale!

The very last product pictured is the Satin Matte Nail Polish from Primark, which I haven’t tried yet.

Whew – that was a lot of stuff but I don’t think I went too crazy with the shopping. What are your UK favourites and what would you recommend I try next time?


The England Haul: Part 1 – SpaceNK

I’m baaack! Sorry for the long delay but I have been away and of course while I was out of the country, I bought a ton of beauty products that I needed (wanted??). The main goal for me was to hit up SpaceNK, which is a store they don’t have here and I suppose is kind of like Sephora for Brits. I was quite excited to find one close to my hotel and picked up a few bits and pieces to try.

First up, and most expensive, is the Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster. This is a UK brand that I don’t think is sold in stores anywhere here in Canada, so I figured I had to try something. This looked the most promising – I’ve used it the last couple nights as my serum step. Feels nice but I haven’t seen any results yet. Another skincare item I got talked into buying is the Goldfaden MD Pure Start Gentle Detoxifying Facial Cleanser. It’s meant to be used as either a makeup remover, or second cleanse, and is perfect for those of us with combo skin. I haven’t actually used this yet but I have high hopes! Anna has spoken at length about the Smith & Cult nail polishes, and since I’m an easily-convinced sucker, I had to pick one up since I don’t think they’re available here (and doesn’t ship them to Canada). I will say the huge chunky lid makes it sort of awkward to apply the colour, but otherwise, it applies beautifully – no streaking, and it dries quickly. I would love to pick up more shades, but they’re not cheap at all.

Two items I had to grab out of sheer curiosity and not availability (I can easily buy these at Sephora) were the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (in shade Ceylan) and Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil. Both items are actually cheaper to pick up in GBP rather than CAD, especially when you consider that most of the tax can be refunded at the airport (I got 18% of the overall price refunded to me). Sheer Glow is of course a cult favourite that I’ve been hearing about for years. It’s quite pricey so I thought why not pick it up while I can get it a bit cheaper? The shade is quite light and yellow-based, which is good for me at this time of year. And miraculously, this foundation does not oxidize one single iota! It’s a bit harder to blend than other foundations I’ve used, but once it’s blended in, it sits nicely on the skin. The Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil I actually needed since I’m running out of my current hair oil. It’s lightweight and not greasy at all, so not sure if I’ll repurchase but I will definitely enjoy using the bottle while I have it.

What are your favourites from SpaceNK and what should I try next time?

The Travel Essentials

I’m jetting off on a week-long trip soon and I thought I’d share a few essentials I am bringing with me. Aside from being ridiculously cute, mini products are great for saving for these types of occasions.

For skincare, I’m bringing the Laneige Multi Cleanser, which is a creamy and lightly exfoliating daily face wash, then I’ll be using my mini of the Sunday Riley Martial Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner and then slapping on my absolute favourite Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which works great for both day and night. For any breakouts that might happen (which often do when I travel, sadly), I have my trusty Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel. If that’s not strong enough, I can use a dab of the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment, or use it all over the face.

For makeup, I’ve got the mini of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, which is great for under the eyes and around the face, which will be blended out with my Sephora Collection Pro Mini Airbrush #55.5 Brush. For adding warmth and contouring the NYX Contour Pro Single in Sienna is being packed away for its compactness – it’s also a great colour. For highlight, the cute little Benefit Watt’s Up is my favourite, and it doubles as a great cream eyeshadow. The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is a perennial favourite, and having a mini-sized pen is just great for travel.

To take all this makeup off at the end of the day I have the cutest pot of the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, and to wash my brushes, I packed the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser.

What are your travel go-tos and what do you recommend?