If you haven’t kept up to date I went on a 1-month honeymoon extravaganza to the west coast of America in May this year. I have already done two posts showcasing the fun-filled action : Part I is all about the places, Part II is about the (gloriously amazing) FOOD and I have obviously saved the best ’til last with all the beauty shopping/haul right here.
I love a bit of beauty shopping and I’ve pretty much exhausted every avenue we have here in the UK, so I was like a excitable child when we hit the U.S cities to do some shopping and my first port of call was always gonna be Sephora. This Place. It’s the BEST. Not only are the sale assistants super helpful (albeit slightly over-eager) but the brands that they do are just the FU*KING BEST. Lots of people compare it to Space NK over here, but for me, it has a clear lead ; particulary when it comes to brands. They have a perfect mix of more well-known brands such as your Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder and that sh*t, but then they have the *american-brand powerhouses* including Kat Von D, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverley Hills, Kate Somerville, Josie Maran etc and then the niche, small, never-heard-of-before-brands that really get me going.
I was also hypnotised by the American pharmacies/drugstores. I guess equivalent to our Boots/Superdrug is Walgreen’s and CVS which again, I was IN at any given oppurtunity. One night my husband was seriously ill at our hotel in San Diego so I had to drive out at 1am in the morning to a 24-hr CVS pharmacy. The awful decision was before me ; Run in and grab his medication and get back beside to him OR do a cheeky little beauty shop whilst I was in there. Yeah I got around $80 worth of all the stuffs. Soz babes.
Mainly from Sephora. I picked up some old favourites and kit top-ups including the Bobbi Brown Shimmer brick in Nectar, MAC Morange lipstick in that cute limited edition packaging, Kevyn Aucoin cream contour duo, my favourite Tulipina lipgloss and a couple of eyeshadows. Totally new products for me include the Hourglass Ambient bronzer which I’m absolutely obsessed with, a Beauty Blender (hype hype). From Makeup Forever (it was just literally launching into the UK as I was on honeymoon) I got a plexi gloss in an unusual lilac shade and then the Face & Body foundation as I just loved the texture of this and really want to give this a whirl in my kit.
There has been so much talk around Anastasia Beverley Hills so I had to get a couple of their signature brow bits including the dipbrow pomade and the brow wiz. I was thinking that Kat Von D makeup would be a bit gimmicky and crap to be honest but after having a pretty serious swatch and play with the products I was super impressed ; I got a tattoo concealer for myself and then the tattoo eyeliner in brown which I am actually using as a brow ink. She does actual brow inks too but I found the brown tone for the eyeliner to be better for my brows and still nice and thin to create a hair-like stroke. I have since got 2 more of these eyeliners from friends in the US as I love it so much. REVIEW HERE.
This was all from Sephora. They do such great brands, similar to Space NK but more hand-selected maybe so really key products from brands and just so many different ranges. Most of the skincare stuff I bought I had used or at least sampled before although a few totally random purchases. From Dr. Brandt I re-purchased a microdermabrasion as this is just one of the best face exfoliators ever and I have used this for many years. Also the Pores No More is a kit stock up, I find this great for male grooming. I have used a fair bit of Tata Harper (love!) and am actually using one of her day creams at the moment but my friend raves about the Revitalising Body oil which is super luxurious and thankfully a bit easier on the wallet in America. Boscia is a japanese botanical range I have never even heard of but from just having a quick read and sniff of their products I was convinced that I needed to try; I go through cleansers like nobodys’ business so picked up the Tsubaki cleansing oil-gel to try.
Josie Maran is another range I had never seen until I stepped foot into Sephora but it has an extensive makeup and skincare range, all based around argan oil which interested me. A perfect way to try the range was to get this starter kit which has a cleanser, oil and a moisturiser from the range. I saw the First Aid Beauty range and instantly knew it from Caroline Hirons but I couldn’t remember what it was she always raved about (it’s the pads) but I has really dry and sun-scorched skin so picked up their Ultra Repair Cream (small size) which was great for using in the PM on holiday and only £10 or so. Kate Somerville is a really great brand and I have loved and used many of her products for like 6 years ; Exfolikate is an absolute must so I re-stocked up on this. There was SO many other products I wanted from Kate Somerville but I had to reign it in for my budget. Cane & Austin acne pads again was a re-stock as I have used these for years. I picked up the new Nude oil (Progenius Omega rescue oil) which is the one designed for combination/blemished skin.Yet to crack this open but I can’t wait to try it as I love the original Nude oil.
If you have been to Sephora you will know they do loads of minature/travel sizes that you can buy which I think is GENIUS. Especially for people like myself when you want to trial out a product without buying the full-size, I really wish more stores did this over here plus it’s an absolute money-maker for the companies. As you Q up to pay there is loads of different minatures you can grab and this is where I actually got my Josie Maran set from and also my favourite Glamglow Thirstymud mask.
Just obsessed with American drugstore shopping. As I said above there are a few that are really good like CVS, Walgreen’s and also Walmart is a MUST-SEE if not just to walk around gawping at all the stuffs and crazy people. I was told by a few bloggers to try Wet N’ Wild makeup so I got a bunch of bits to try including the contour palette which I have been using and really like. I bought a cheap angled brush for my Anastasia Dipbrow from Elf which was like $3 and stocked up on my beloved EOS lipbalms in some new flavours. Mane ‘n Tail was something I saw in Liberty’s London ages ago whilst shopping with babe-a-sauraus Vanessa and I got a huge full-size conditioner as it was super cheap at $7 as opposed to £12 which is what they charge over here. If you are unfamiliar, it is haircare designed for horses (!) that has seen in an interest in us mere humans of late and has been pretty popular. For me it isn’t great as I found it really lightweight and not nourishing enough on my bleached hair, however I can imagine it will work really well on normal/fine hair.
I discovered my new favourite lashes by accident by a brand called KISS. I think these are now available in UK but not 100%. Either way I picked up one packet then ended up getting maybe like 8 sets in the end, and I have used them all already! They are layered up individual lashes so each ‘one’ has like a strip of three individuals. Really good for a natural lash and layering them up. Really obsessed with these and am hunting them down in the UK as we speak. Ok they do sell them here but not these beloved trio lashes from what I can see.
So there you have it, my big fat American beauty haul. It was so long ago now…and I have actually barely started using a lot of the products as I have such a back-log but will slowly dip in when needed. One of my favourite discoveries of the trip was 100% the Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner which I use in my brows Every. Single. Day.
Are there any beauty brands you want to try that you cannot get over in the UK? Have you tried any of these products?..