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?

Top Spring Summer Nail Loves

As we are well into May now and the weather in Canada has finally gotten to almost consistently warm temperatures and sunny skies, I thought I’d take a dive into my nail polish stash and see which colours I’ve been wearing the most and will continuing to wear throughout May and into June. Pastels are some of my favourite types of colours – they’re light and pretty and most of them enhance a bit of early tan.

Here are my top picks for pastels and nudes: first off is the very light and easy Bourjois So Laque Glossy in 07 Coton sur Ton – I find that this is not the most opaque of nudes, therefore it is extremely easy to apply. If I want something a bit thicker in formula, I reach for the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Rose Hip, which is a lovely baby pink. I’ve spoken about my love for the American Apparel Nail Lacquers before, and one of my favourites is the colour L’Esprit, which is a cool-toned light purple that looks good on pretty much anyone and is a good alternative to pink. (Edit: I just did a search and it appears the colour may not be available anymore!!! I don’t know if AA are discontinuing their nail line, but I really hope not!) Lastly, and one I enjoy using on my toes, is Essie’s Mint Candy Apple. This is an Internet cult classic so I had to pick it up when I spotted an Essie sale a few months back. On some people it appears more green, but on me it definitely veers more baby blue.

Corals

Going into summer, I love a good coral, both on the nails and lips. The lightest of the bunch is Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish in 230 Royal Blush, which in the picture is showing up as quite pink; however in real life it leans much more apricot in tone. Speaking of apricots, Revlon’s Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Apricot Nectar both goes on and smells like a dream. It lasts a surprisingly long time and has a light fruity scent without being overpowering or weird. Covergirl’s Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Polish is another of my favourite formulas, only recently released in the last year or two, the colour Coral Silk is a lovely mid-toned coral that works on both the fingers and toes. My obsession with coral polish was really amplified when Clinique released their line of nail polish in 2013 and I had to get my hands on the shade Really Rio, which looks amazing with a tan as well. The last and deepest of my picks is another Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish in 450 Kook-A-Mango – it’s red, it’s orange and it’s coral: the perfect summery colour.

What are your picks for spring and summer nail polishes, and which formulas last the longest on you?

Exotic Gifts from Across the Pond

Europe
So recently, some people in my life have either been sending me or bringing back some exciting beauty products from Europe – England and France, to be exact. Thanks to the wonderful world of YouTube and beauty blogging, there are loads of products I have been dying to try. The products that are available in Canada are a bit of a weird mix – we can get most mainstream American brands, but also quite a lot of French brands, such as Bioderma, which I know for a while were almost impossible to get in both the UK and the US.

I was really excited to receive some items that have helped filled the gap in available products. Firstly, I was so happy to get a few drugstore items that you just can find here, such as Soap and Glory’s One Heck of a Blot – we have a limited range of Soap & Glory products here, especially on the skincare and makeup side.  Also, I got four shades of the much-talked about Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint – Lychee, Rose Hip, Chilli and Cocoa. I have tried a couple of them, and I find that they have a lovely finish, but chip quite easily. Last but not least, the Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eyeshadow in Bronze, which I’ve written about already.

More recently, I was able to get my hands on some even rarer stuff – La Roche Posay Serozinc OMG. This toner is practically the stuff of legend at this point, especially because it’s literally impossible to buy outside of France. I was kindly gifted two bottles and I’m almost afraid to try them since there’s so much hype surrounding this cult product that I’m scared it won’t work and I’ll be horribly disappointed. …that’s the spirit, right?
A trip to SpaceNK, which is a store that hasn’t quite reached our shores yet, despite them existing south of the border, resulted in a recommendation from a salesperson, the Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Facial Mask, which looks perfect for my oily, congested skin and I am super excited to try. I believe the brand is only available in the UK so far, though since it’s on feelunique.com, you can get it shipped to other countries.

All in all, I am incredibly pleased with the latest boatload of products I’ve accumulated in this short while, and will be trying them all out in the near future.

What hard-to-get or foreign products have you tried recently, and have you been loving them?