I am just back from a 4-day shopping trip in London, I know some of you are wondering what new make up items I got over there, so here they are and I added some swatches for part of them. Some were already in my most wanted shopping list and others are new discoveries.
I had the most wonderful time in this city, as always… I will not only share the hauling but also give you some more details on the trip, maybe you are planning to go there soon and you are wondering where are the best places to shop for make up and beauty.
I have been traveling to London very often, either for work, for shopping, or for special events like the RIAT (Royal International Air Tattoo) and soon also IMATS (International Make-Up Artist Trade Show).
First, the haul. Then, if you are interested, there will be more about me and about London and also some personal tips if you are planning to go there for shopping, just grab a coffee and keep reading if you feel like… it’s a bit long I am afraid 😉
The last time I checked the brushes at the RMK counter, they didn’t look appealing, the ones exposed don’t reflect how soft they actually are and that’s why I never bought them before. Ask them if you can see the ones from their kit or even the new ones, they probably will look much better.
The RMK brushes are extremely soft and well made, the face brushes are goat in the outside and grey squirrel in the center.
I also got some other RMK things and they gave me the two presents, the freezer bag and the nail polish set.
I will add the names of the palettes later on today.
Swatches of the RMK palette (15th Anniversary 01 Pink Coral), the blush (Ingenious Powder Cheeks in MT-04 Rose Pink) and the eyeshadow (Ingenious Powder Eyes in BR-01 Dark Brown) :
I wanted the blush brush for a very very long time so that’s done. Not disappointed.
I have tried their foundation and their setting powder at the counter. They told me that the foundation base was fantastic to neutralize the redness and help the foundation stay much longer, it is. I did not want a setting powder since I have extremely dry skin but this one is totally compatible with dry skin, my skin feels just like silk. I will also post a review on these foundation products but I need to experiment for a longer period with them.
These brushes were in my shopping list for a very long time too but I needed to see them in person before I bought them, I made quite a few bad brush buys recently, now I am more careful. These are fantastic brushes, the 45 is what I expected from the Claudio Riaz primer eyeshadow brush…
The 24-Hour liner and shadow are long lasting and vibrant shadows, I already had the Topaz and love them both.
These are the swatches of the Blackberry Definer on the left of the picture (my second one), then the Topaz and the Smokey Quartz, but the flash is not showing the real color… shame.
I needed backups of their make up remover and I saw this palette that came with a lot of goodies (a nail polish, a mascara, an eye cream and an eye liner pencil), I don’t usually buy sets but I loved this palette ! It contains 4 finely milled eye shadows (some are not so pigmented but the finish is beautiful), two gorgeous lip glosses and a cheek/lip shade, it’s an ideal and very wearable palette to throw in your bag.
I also got the new Twilight Night gel eyeliner.
Swatches of the eyeshadows of this palette :
Burberry, Sisley, Armani and the Make Up Store
The Burberry Rose blush was on my list, it’s absolutely gorgeous I recommend you to check it out !
The concealer got hauled as well… 😛 too many hours at work at this moment and I hope that will help !
Armani Rouges are my favorite lipsticks ever, so there is a new baby 401 for my collection, bright but such a beautiful color !
I love Sisley blushes, this one is no exception !
Swatches of the Armani lipstick 401, then the Make Up Store lipliner (Apricot Tan), Burberry blush (Rose), and Sisley blush (Mango) :
I got these 2 teal, also a gorgeous yellow gold.
I checked out the brushes and wanted to try them, they reminded me of the Claudio Riaz but they are much cheaper and the handles are of better quality. I will review them soon. The others did not look appealing but again, the brushes that are exposed are often full of dust and damaged and don’t always reflect their true quality. I did not want more but these two feel extremely soft and correspond exactly to the brushes I was looking for ! great find ! The top one is the 5FS, squirrel, and the bottom is the 4SS, squirrel substitute, I have no idea what the squirrel substitute is made of, I will investigate… but it’s soft and good quality, the handles are made of wood.
These are : Matte 338, Matte 340, Shine 45, Matte 311.
The pigmentation of the eye shadows is insanely strong, I already had some and I am very happy with them. The pink one makes a beautiful blush. I will also add the numbers tonight in case you are interested in them.
After trying the tightline shadows at the counter in Switzerland, I decided I would get a dark purple (Orchid Shimmer), but since I am into teals at the moment, I also got the new Deep Teal.
You probably already know their Caviar sticks ? I got the Turquoise and the limited edition Gold in the little set.
I have been looking for the Laura Mercier Satinee Crème Eye Colours for sooo long ! I asked all the LM counters but nothing was left… they have been discontinued for some time and are very hard to find. I stopped at the John Lewis LM counter and I saw the “Stone Suede” tester… I froze. Juan (the make up artist working there) asked if he could help me… Of course they did not had that shade in stock anymore, but can you believe that Juan offered me the tester ? I couldn’t believe it… I hunted this shade for so long ! they even had Peach Organza and Rum Satin ! I was so excited !!! I bought these two, plus I got the Stone Suede tester 99.99 % full as a gift… Juan is just made of pure kindness, I hope we will keep in touch ! Gracias Juan, un besaz0 para ti !
Swatches of Peach Organza, Rum Satin, Stone Suede, Gold caviar and Turquoise caviar :
I was interested in the Shu Uemura #12 eyeshadow brush, but after seeing the price, I decided not to get it..
Instead I left with the Shu Uemura 18R and a few other items.
Swatches of P Black 997, the BG931 and the CR330. I LOVE the CR330, the color is to die for and has a nice long lasting power for such a glossy finish!
Two brushes (small dome and large dome) and a nail polish called “Trouville”, terrible name by the way 😛
I use the Shade and Illuminate everyday so I got the brush that goes with it. Also the Gold Dust bronzer… couldn’t help it…
My friend Dena sent me some samples of the foundation a few weeks ago, she told me that it will work with my dry skin, it did and I loved it. I needed to buy the full size, I am shade 9 but also got a lighter one for the winter. The Gleam cream is fantastic and of course also the brush belt, I couldn’t leave without it !
Their new Smoked palette looked very tempting, the dark brown is perfect ! I will use all the shades for sure. I was looking for the Perversion eyeliner and this one is included in the palette. I am reviewing 20 black long-lasting eyeliners and wanted to include this one in the review.
I like their lip liners (not very long-lasting but really nice flattering colors) and also some of their brushes. When I saw this brush I thought it was very close to the Mac 217, I took it for review and comparisons but actually, I am liking it a lot !
I also got some other things, some backups (Ellis Faas foundation, By Terry lipgloss, etc), one Sleek by 3 blush palette and some MUA eyeshadow palettes to see how they perform, I already know the blushes and they are the best quality/price ratio ever, together with La Femme blushes.
There is a fantastic counter in Selfridges with many Muji acrylic organizers, I have some at home already and I always go there to get a few more… they also have tiny little spray bottles, I used them to put alcohol, or brush cleanser, or setting spray for make up… extremely helpful since they are so tiny but still big enough for a two week long holiday for example.
Bottom line : even if you are very selective, you will end getting many things so be prepared…
A bit about me and why I will travel anywhere just for make up…
Well, it’s not only for make up… I just can’t live without thinking of my next trip, I love planes, it’s such a huge interest that I normally attend the RIAT airshow each year in the UK. I have been closer to an Eurofighter that you could ever imagine, I met the Red Arrows several times in person, they are fantastic people and very fun to talk to, I also jumped out of a plane at 10’000 feet… I am literally obsessed with the technology behind flying machines, I will use whatever excuse to fly !
This time I was also meeting my friend Dena from Beautifulactivenourished. We had the most amazing time getting to know each other and also talking about make up and brushes ! She is so funny, generous and can’t wait to see her again !!!
We tried the ORA Thai restaurant – we loved it – and she took me to the tempting Whole Foods shop, paradise but with a price 🙂 So many tempting things to eat and drink !
We also had the funniest moment when we were talking blushes in a pub in Soho. Her husband was at the bar and we were sitting next to 7 cute guys in their 30’s 😛 Our conversation was very innocent but suddenly I think Dena said something like that “I used a Nars Org@sm at my wedding” (just read it out loud and you will understand…) all the guys stopped talking and stared at us, we all started laughing so hard ! of course they had no idea we were just talking make up !
I am so sorry, I did not notice the picture was so blurred…
I left on a Thursday, I nearly missed the plane because of an alarm clock problem, it had to be that day… I had only 45 minutes to pack my luggage and my make up and 20 to take a shower, wash my hair and put on my make up ! Glad I made it…
I always travel to London City airport, take the DLR at the airport and change at Bank to the Central line, you will be in the center of London very fast and easy !
I always stay at a hotel near Oxford Street, this time I was at the Cumberland in Marble Arch.
Pros : a fridge for your personal use, a bath (you have to tell them you prefer a bath instead of a shower, same price), nice clean rooms, beautiful hotel for the price. The location is perfect, outside Marble Arch underground station. Nice bar and restaurant. Real useful coffee, ironing and hairdryer facilities.
Cons : Don’t take a room close to the staff elevator, too noisy. The wifi is very expensive, I bought a pre-paid internet sim card but my room was so isolated that I had no reception. I had to spiderman the window to get the tiniest signal. The TV quality is awful but I don’t care about TV. Small rooms, but it could be worst.
I stayed in better hotels but they were much more expensive, actually I tried many so if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂
These are my favorite places to shop (I am just mentioning some of the brands that are more difficult to find) :
Selfridges : Suqqu, RMK, Trish McEvoy, Illamasqua, Tom Ford, Shu Uemura, etc…
John Lewis : Burberry, Laura Mercier, Nars, etc…
The people working there have great manners, are extremely helpful and polite at all counters. Not only at the make up counters, it’s exactly the same everywhere else. The man working at the Olympic souvenirs was so polite and helpful, they won’t bother you, they are not intrusive at all.
They just started to carry the Burberry beauty line, I had bought the cut crease brush some time ago but did not know how to use it to get the most out of it, they helped me and did two different make up looks. Very helpful, I am not sure about the brush yet but at least I know now how to use it…
Spake NK : The now have Kevyn Aucoin in selected stores, also Hourglass and Ellis Faas, Chantecaille, etc..
Fenwick : Becca products, Sue Devitt or the Louise Young brushes…
Harrods : Tom Ford, Burberry, Dolce Gabbana, Chantecaille, etc…
I have the Harrods loyalty card, that you can purchase even if you don’t live in the UK. A few times per year they do a 10% discount (only in store). Also the points will allow you to get small discount vouchers, if you have that card you can benefit from these offers, better than nothing…
Liberty : Hourglass, Trish McEvoy, Shu Uemura, etc…
Westfield Shopping Centre : HUGE shopping centre, you will find Inglot, Kiko, the Make Up Store, Mac, etc…you need to go there.
The kind of shops that I don’t like…
House of Fraser : They have a nice website and online store, but I can’t stand how the employees follow you around like robots with questions “whatkindofmakeupdoyouwearwhatdoyouwearonyournailshowdoyouwashyourhands”, they do that all the time, you just can’t browse the counters, it’s impossible. It is an offensive technique and I just prefer to leave. They did that to me every single time I entered the shop, anytime of the year.
General shopping related tips and tricks
I bought these maps : http://www.streetsensation.co.uk/
I believe they cost 4£, mine are a bit out of date because I bought them many years ago but I still use them.
It will give you an idea of where the shops are and what underground station is nearby, extremely helpful !
Take good comfortable walking shoes. After the first day you will already need them. Go to Lush for example and buy some nice relaxing bath products. I took one for the feet and some for the bath. You will be exhausted and you will need something to get you going…
This is the stepping stone scrub for feet, you can break it into pieces and use it during 4 days… melt some of it with water and scrub your feet with your hands, it’s refreshing and moisturizing.
Eat, discover, enjoy, shop and unwind…
If you are alone, you can grab some nice Italian take aways and have a nice dinner in your room if you don’t feel comfortable eating on your own in the restaurant.
I tried to visit The Shard but was still not open to the public, we will need to wait till February 2013, so I had lunch at the AllBarOne nearby, nice tapas with wine !
At the Westfield Shopping center you can have half a lobster for 11 pounds (with chips and rice…) I think the place is called Le Palais du Jardin. I did that on Friday, it was my second glass of wine of the day and that was a bit too much for me… 😛
If you think you are going to take the underground later in the day, go to the station in the morning after 9am, take an off-peak day travel card and use it also with the buses on Oxford Street to travel between Oxford Circus and Marble Arch, it’s better than going to the underground station, faster and easier for these short trips.
If you live abroad and you need an internet access, roaming will be too expensive, you have the possibility to buy a temporary prepaid internet access if you absolutely need the internet during your stay, insert the sim in the phone or a tablet (that has to be unlocked) and have it activated.
Take time to relax. Have a scone, a beer, a coffee from time to time. In London there are many little parks, where you can sit and relax for a while. For example behind Oxfort Street, I go there, sit on the grass and have a picnic.
During this trip I tried to see the arrival of the Olympic flame at the Tower of London, I was there but did not see much of it unfortunately…
Don’t forget the theaters and the shows… I saw many of them already, I even met John Barrowman in person, he later sent me an autographed theater program and he wrote a few words for me… (Torchwood is one of my favorite tv series 😛 )
It depends where you live, in Switzerland you don’t often have the chance to attend events like the ones in Waterstones for example with the authors, you have the possibility to spend the evening with them, listening and even talking to them, I was really impressed, so if you like literature and want to meet the authors, try it, it’s magic ! Of course I did it and I could not believe I was talking to John Connolly !
I hope that this helps a bit and makes you want to go there, do you have any shopping ideas of other tips and suggestions ?
I already want to go back 😛
First off, you look so gorgeous!! You certainly don’t look anything over 35!
What a great haul! I saw you got the RMK 15th Anniversary palette. I hope you love it like I do. 🙂 Lovely brushes as well!
I have been thinking whether to get the Nars brushes so I cannot wait to hear if you like them. Actually I would love reviews of everything here!! Oops, I got too excited just looking at your amazing purchase! I would love to hear your thoughts on Trish McEvoy brushes too. 🙂
There is a Inglot store in my nearby town but I have never paid much attention to it.. Silly me because they really look so pretty. Are they long lasting too?
Thanks for this drooling post! 😀
Hi CC !!! thank you 😀 that’s sooo sweet !
I have been working very long shifts since I came back and I did not have time to wash my brushes yet 🙁 I want to use them but I still couldn’t !
I will write reviews on all the brushes mentioned here, that’s for sure !
Inglot eyeshadows are excellent ! try them ! they are long-lasting (for a powder eyeshadow) and they are so pigmented and easy to blend ! For the price, they are mind blowing !
Wow, what a nice haul ! And everything is so worth it ! I’m curious if RMK changed their brushes because the one I bought on bonboncosmetics is said to be grey squirrel and seems less black compared to your photos. I have the mango sisley blush, it’s really a very nice blush.
the laura mercier cream colors are very nice even though the metallic ones I have crease without a base but your swathes make me want the caviar sticks 🙂
By the way, did you get your koyudo brushes, I’m making a huge list ?
I haven’t tried many of these things yet, even the make up.. can’t wait to have a little bit more time at home ! I got the Mango because of you 😉 I know these are great blushes and this shade is so fresh !
The LM do not crease on me but I always wear a base anyway so that’s ok for me.
I think I finally received them at the post office today ! I got the paper to pick them up and I will pop there tomorrow morning before work yeah !! I’ll let you know ! I have received your pics, thank you ! I will get all of the pics together with your own comments, please send them by email if you like 🙂 Stacy also ordered some apparently 🙂
YAY!!!!! I’m so happy you found your LM stone suede !! Even if it is/ was a tester, who cares?? It’s easy enough to sanitize. The Peach organza looks pretty too. I wonder why they discontinue these things?
I need to read this post another 10 times at least to absorb all the detail and travel tips. Thanks for letting us in on your fun few days. I almost feel like I was away myself:))
If I drank 2 glsses of wine & then went shopping I would have to buy another suitcase to get all my purchases home. I would ALSO need a second and third job to pay my credit card at the end of the month. I really love to sit somewhere and enjoy a glass of champagne when I have a shopping day but once that glass is drunk I love everything I lay my eyes on and I buy it too:))
Glad to see that you splurged on the TF Gold Dust bronzer. I reach for it more than the Terra at the moment. I think that in the cooler months I will revert back to Terra though because it’s a bit more subtle and better for paler winter skin.
I’m with Nikoleta on the RMK brush question. As far as I know, the cheek brush is pure squirrel. The powder brush & cheek brush S are a goat/ squirrel mix. The shadow brushes I have are pony. A VERY nice addition to your rapidly growing brush collection Miss
I can’t wait to read your opinions on all your new goodies. I’m especially interested in hearing what you have to say about the Shu 18R. I have powder brushes to last me for another 20 lives at least but that red brush is still calling me.
I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing evening & are also finally having great sunny weather as we are?
My Addiction order is at customs by the way. Booooooo:(( Now I still have to wait on the ransom note so that I can finally go and pick them up. I hope yours make it faster.
Hi Buggsiebee !
The lady at the RMK counter kept on talking and talking about the brushes, she told me she was happy to find someone that actually cared .. unfortunately they did not had the normal cheek brush anymore but that’s right, the normal one is only grey squirrel. Mine is the S Cheek with the blended hair. They were very helpful and funny, I had a great time there, not pushy at all, just happy to share info on the products, how they were made, etc…
The Shu 18R looked awful at the counter, so rough! I asked to check what the new one looked like and it was totally different !
If I relied on the ones exposed I would not buy anything… and that’s why I did not buy them before!
I think my brushes are here at the post office, probably they made it here faster than yours… will pick them up tomorrow morning!
I am waiting for the Koyudo and the Addiction to start working seriously on reviews and comparisons 😛
Can you imagine a shopping trip all together ? we could have some wine and then go shopping 😛 wouldn’t that be crazy ??? We should plan at least an IMATS trip…
The weather is perfect right now but I need more free time and less hours at work !
Will update you tomorrow on the brush parcels 😉
Got the brushes ! the Addiction and the Koyudo ! you will have pictures of them tonight !
Buggsiebee, since you have the Shu 12, if you don’t mind, could you please give me the measures of the hair/ferrule/width ? that would be really helpful, I am trying to compare it to the Addiction B ! thank you 🙂
Yay for you!! 🙂
My Koyudo brushes are still with the customs.. 🙁
I will happily give you the measurements of the Shu 12 but you will have to wait till next week as I will be away till then with my sons & I do not have the brush with me.
I got my new Koyudo order too so i will send you pics of those next week too. They are just as excellent quality as the fu-pa series. I do hope that your are happy with yours?
I will only collect my Addiction parcel next week:((
Did you have to pay tax / a customs fee on your parcels?
Sonia, wow. This is an epic post and an epic haul of gorgeous product. I enjoy your blog thoroughly and I am really looking forward to your in depth review of many of these products. I have had my eyes on the TF bronzers, the Suqqu Nuancing face powders, the LM caviar sticks, too!
Thank you Jane ! I can’t wait to experiment with all these products, I forgot to mention some little others but I will try to upload the pic right now…
The great thing about going to London is that the best products (like the Suqqu ones that I consider very high end) are less expensive than the middle/high end ones in Switzerland therefore it allows me to try other great interesting brands that are often better for my sensitive skin. I have used the Suqqu base and the setting powder this morning and it does make a difference, I also find it so relaxing to play with these smooth textures before a hard and stressful day at work !
I am happy that I finally could find a setting powder that does not dry out my skin, after that powder, I can apply the TF bronzer more evenly as well 🙂 not that it’s a problem to apply it without 😛
Sonia, What a great well edited collection of products/ brushes!!! I can not wait to hear your thoughts on all of them as you get a chance to play! The Suqqu foundation and powder are so intriguing, I too would love to find a setting powder that doesn’t take my last little bit of moisture and comfort from my skin. The RMK!!!! Ahhhhh! And the Suqqu lip colors! I don’t even think I would need a relaxing drink to throw all budget cautions to the wind if I could have access to some of these lines! 🙂
I still don’t have my Koyudo brushes (surprise!) but after 20 long days my BeautyBay order came yesterday!!!! RMK blush! Can’t wait to go get ready and use!!! (and place another order I’m sure!!)
I have the same problem… sometimes I would like to set my foundation just a little bit for it to last longer, but like you, I still want some glow… working on finding the right balance is a precision task and with very dry or very oily skin, with fine lines on top of that, it gets even more difficult, it does help a lot to have the right products and brushes 🙂 wish they were less expensive and more easy to try.
Why did you order take so long ???
The Koyudo are worth the wait, I am going to be getting more for sure, after seeing the quality of these, how well they prepare your little parcel (I never saw brushes protected that way), it just makes you dream for more, which can be bad for the wallet…
I have already clean them and I am waiting for them to dry, hopefully I can try them soon !
I will definitely upload my first impressions on the Addiction and the Koyudo brushes tonight.
a friend of mine who has extremely sensitive and dry skin uses Caron or T. Leclerc loose powder and she seems satisfied.
I am on first name basis with the man at the Postal Service that tracks missing packages. He is a lovely man, very helpful and friendly in a very unhelpful and unfriendly business! We can not figure out why some of my overseas packages take such an extra amount of time and some come within 3-4 days! I shouldn’t complain after reading all of you talking about customs and taxes that you have to pay to pick up your packages. I didn’t even know that existed! Since I had been communicating with BeautyBay about my missing goodies I put in a plea for them to consider or look in to carrying Suqqu and Kose Addiction. It would sure help! What color is that gorgeous RMK Blush and eye color? And what shades of foundation and powder did you get in Suqqu? I think we are the same shade….
I think this shopping trip of yours will keep us all intrigued for many days to come!
Now I just need my Koyudo order!!!
I saw the addiction brushes on a blog (don’t remember the name) and the weasel pointed eye brush seemed really good, densely packed and well shaped but price is quite high 🙁 also, I have so many weasel brushes (hakuhodo) and some chikuhodo kolinsky that I can’t justify another brush right now but well, probably one day it will be mine 🙂
I agree, the pointed one ( P ) looks nice and dense. Perhaps I will still weaken but I too have enough pure weasel/ kolinsky. That is why I was interested in the B brush as it is a squirrel/ weasel mix.
I think you may have seen the brushes here:-
How DIVINE is that brush roll??
After not buying the Shu 12, I think I will splurge in the P one… we’ll see… first, let’s try this B !
the brush roll is beautiful.. and red… love that !
I needed one for big flat square brushes so I got the Illamasqua belt (I’ll review it), but the Addiction one is quite sexy too… 😛
Buggsiebee, about your question on the tax, I had to pay a lot for the Addiction, but nothing for the Koyudo…
Yes, that’s the blog, there are not many reviews yet on these brushes.
Stacy, I forgot my notes at home, I will update the names tonight, so sorry !
Same here, some parcels are really fast, some are stuck for ages… at least you have a nice helping contact at the PO 🙂
Yesterday I tried the Suqqu powder and I had a tiny dry patch on the face near the nose, BUT, I am not sure that came from the powder. I tried a different moisturizer for the face at night time and I think this is the reason… Will keep you updated, I will be trying them during the weekend and checking in the daylight 🙂
What a fun weekend you will have!! Surely you don’t have to work do you?
I don’t have to work, yeah !!! but I do have to study for my exam, 3 more weeks before I have to pass it … I will still have time to play with the brushes and my new make up items !
Rainy day today so no regrets 🙂
I love this blog. Like you, I work constantly at a very stressful job and the one luxury I allow myself is to travel to various locations to shop for beauty products. My husband does not understand why one set of brushes is not sufficient. I live in the US and I’m planning to go to London later this year so your post was full of great information that I’m certain I will use!
Thank you Christine 🙂
I know … and my boyfriend told me last week “I am going to write a post on the 1001 ways to clean your hi-fi equipment with your girlfriends makeup brushes” 😀
It took time but today we laugh about it 😛
Have you been to London before ? if you have any other question don’t hesitate to contact me !
Wow! Fantastic haul. Glad to hear you had a great time and great to have you back. I love and miss London, my fav city of all time. Will go shopping for Suqqu and RMK when I get there in Oct. Waiting to read your reviews on your haul esp the Suqqu foundation and powder. I love my Sisley mango blush too. I never thought it would show up on my NC35 skin but it is perfect.
Thank you Mandy 🙂
I am trying the Suqqu foundation, base and powder nearly every day but I am not really excited about it.. will see how it evolves… so far, it’s not glowy enough on my skin and does not provide enough “comfortable” coverage. One more week and I will be able to write a post on how it went…