As you may have seen from my last post, last week I spent my week sunning myself (or rather, cowering in the shade) in Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava in Spain. Elliot, Emmie and I headed there with 7 more family members to celebrate my Mum’s 50th birthday, as it is her favourite place in the world.
During our holiday, the girls decided to get together and organise a day trip to Barcelona for some shopping. Now, Barcelona with my Mum is a terrifying prospect, as you will get dragged into and around every shoe shop she spies… however, I also know that there is a big Sephora in Barcelona, so I made a pact with my Mum that I would walk around any shoe shops she wanted so long as I could go in there.
If you’re reading this in America my excitement may not make much sense to you, but we actually have no Sephora stores in the UK. Nada. And shipping from Sephora is prettty pricey, so it’s not somewhere I have the option of spending money in.
Anyway, I’ll get on with it and show you what I got:
Am I allowed to call it a haul if I only got 5 products? I don’t care, that’s what I’m calling it.
There’s a good reason there’s only a few products here. Let me set the scene for you:
Four women in Barcelona, mooching the shops. They stop for tapas and share a litre of Sangria. They then go in to the beautiful shoe shop next door and browse for what feels like an eternity (at least to one of them!), with two of them buying shoes and one buying a handbag to match. They then leave at the behest of the youngest member of the party, who’s desperate to get into a rather large, well-known makeup shop before they leave the city. They exit the store, walk down the lovely side street, up Las Ramblas and into Sephora. Three of the ladies mill about looking at perfumes, while one strides up and down the shop in her element, her basket containing sheet masks within 30 seconds of entering the store. She spends some time testing Kat Von D products and decides on Lock-It Foundation and cult favourite liquid lipstick in Lolita. She has wandered over to palettes and is browsing Too Faced palettes and trying to decide on a favourite when her Mum comes over in a panic, asking if she has her phone. She doesn’t. The three ladies then have to try and calm the manic 4th, trying to decide where it was left, how it can be retrieved, etc. Lady with the basket then has to begrudgingly head over to the tills (picking up an Urban Decay eyeshadow primer in retaliation of not having much in her basket, on the way), where she receives a free Rituals shower gel. All of the ladies then leave Sephora, 2 of them running ahead down Las Ramblas in search of the missing phone.
20 minutes later the phone has been located and retrieved, but there is no time for any more time in Sephora :[
So there we have it. That little scenario probably helped out my wallet a bit, but I would have happily trebled what I bought in there just for the opportunity (and then felt guilty about it later). What I don’t doubt is that I saved money generally just by shopping in store, so what I’m going to do here is tell you how much they’re retailing at online, and how much I paid for them. So let’s detail what I did get:
Online: $4 | £2.97 each
I paid: €1.50 | £1.24 each
Barcelona Sephora is set out like this: it’s inside of a small shopping mall. You enter the store and walk down a long striped corridor before reaching a small shopping section, which usually has featured products and stuff. Then there are escalators to the right which take you down to the main large area of the store.
These were in the first section of the store before going downstairs. They had lots of Korean and Korean-inspired beauty products there, with lots of sheet masks and fruit and animal shaped packagings catching my attention. Sheet masks have obviously been around for a long, long time (my Mum used to use them regularly when I was young), but they have made a roaring comeback recently, with celebrities donning expensive gold ones before award shows, and youtubers and beauty bloggers favouring the fun animal printed ones making their way over from Asia.
I have always favoured a mud mask. don’t really like face masks that just kind of sit on your face, or the peel-off ones. Unless I can feel that mask drying and tightening on my face I’m not really about it. However, sheet masks are something that I’ve been thinking of trying again now that they are becoming popularised again, and so Sephora seemed like a good place to pick these up.
They had a massive variety in store, from these amazingly packaged TonyMoly ones which focus on effect rather than look, to Sephora’s own brand, and also some animal printed ones too. I decided to go with the TonyMoly ones, as I really liked the bold coloured and illustrated packaging. I haven’t tried them out yet, but I’ll be sure to let you guys know how they fare.
Online: $35 | £25.95
I paid: €34.50 | £28.45
My Revlon Colorstay has run out. I milked it for all it was worth but it’s gone, and left me without a heavier coverage foundation. As I’ve probably mentioned, I have been trying to steer clear of heavier foundations during the day recently, as I want my skin to get better. However, when I’m going out somewhere really nice or meeting up with friends I want my foundation to work a little bit harder and make me look a little bit more flawless. I believe I have found the one.
This was the first shade I tested. I always gravitate to the very lightest shades as that is what I need, and I never find that drugstore brands quite cut it in terms of matching my skintone, but they serve their purpose. I swatched this one on my hand and it melted into my skin and disappeared… I couldn’t see it at all. [I know swatches for foundation should be on the jawline but I was sunburnt]. I decided pretty quickly I wanted to buy it, but I can’t remember the last time I bought a foundation that expensive, so spent a while convincing myself I wasn’t going to. But I did, and boy am I glad.
I’ve only used it once so far, on my Mum’s birthday night out, but the coverage was beautiful. My face was sunburnt, but the coverage of this actually managed to make my skin look like my own AND match my neck (something that does not often happen)!
[Me just before applying, wearing Lock-It foundation, and on another day wearing a different foundation which you will note doesn’t match my neck.]
Overall, super pleased with this buy.
Online: $20 | £14.86
I Paid: €20 | £16.56
Come on: who can resist a new lipstick?
I don’t own any Kat Von D lipsticks, and I knew if I were to buy one it would have to be cult favourite Lolita. So that’s what I got. But there’s something very deceiving about Lolita: she is not as she seems. This is what she looks like swatched on my hand:
A lovely dark-nude, dusky pink. And here’s what she looks like on my face:
A dark brown, barely pink shade.
At first, I didn’t like her. The shade was way darker than expected and I thought, “oh fuck, I had an opportunity to buy all this beautiful makeup and I’ve come away with something I don’t like!”, but now, she’s growing on me. The shade definitely looked way better once I had on the makeup I paired with it specifically, as opposed to testing it out with completely different makeup directly after buying. I now feel pretty stupid: of course it’s going to look different on me to most people I’ve seen it on because I’m pale as fuck.
Anyway, the shade I am learning to love. I haven’t fallen for it yet but I’m sure I will in time. Probably particularly in Autumn and Winter. But the wear, the wear is incredible. It really is the longest wearing liquid lipstick I’ve used, and as it wears off it doesn’t patch but kind of fades off subtly. All in all, fantastic product, but maybe make sure you’re 100 on the shade you’re buying before buying it… unlike me.
I Paid: £9.93
This was an impulse buy. By this time, my Mum was running around like a headless chicken crying over her phone, and I was still trying to swallow down my disappointment from not being able to find and buy a palette I liked in time, so I grabbed this and thought “well I’ll give that a bash”. I haven’t used it yet, but isn’t that packaging pretty? I know, I’m a martyr for nice looking things.
I Paid: nothing!
This was a free gift I got at checkout and was very excited and surprised to see. I have heard of and wanted to try Rituals products for a while, and so now I get to.
This is a full size product, not a sample size, which I think is particularly generous. I used this for the first time in the shower this morning, and it is just lovely. First off, it smells fantastic: a really flowery, sweet fragrance to it, but the real surprise is its application.
It applies just like a shaving foam. As in, you squirt it out and it’s a gel, and as you lather it in it turns into a foam.
Because I wasn’t expecting this, I used far too much of it. But I’m really rather surprised because it feels like this will last a long time, and it is lovely. I definitely would be encouraged to try more of their products after this.
So, how did my value comparisons turn out?
Total Value of Products: £71.25
I Paid: £57.42
So, I saved myself roughly about £12. However, I am doing these calculations as of today, writing this blog post. These products were bought 2 days before the Brexit vote, which has obviously changed conversion rates vastly, so I would have saved even more as of the day I bought them.
I’m very happy that I managed to visit the beautiful city of Barcelona again anyway, but also pleased that I managed to visit Sephora as a now fully-fledged makeup addict. My only disappointment is that I didn’t get to get more, however I’m certain that I have not seen the last of it.
Barcelona Sephora, I shall see you again, my love.