British Beauty Haul: Everything I Bought On My Year Abroad

Posted on April 10, 2015 under Lists

One of the allures of a year abroad in the UK was, of course, access to UK makeup brands. When I’m in Canada I can usually find my ways to get my hands on the goods, but nothing beats being able to browse at your leisure, to swatch, to mull things over in the aisle of Superdrug. (Not to mention not paying postage, not having to wait for the package to arrive, and not implicating someone else in the process of buying a simple lipstick.)

I think I controlled myself, to be fair. Sure, I purchased things, like any makeup lover would, but I tried to limit my purchases to things I would actually use and to avoid being swayed by the novelty factor of having so much British makeup at my fingertips.

I’ll be leaving the UK today, having a brief dalliance with all that Iceland has to offer, and returning to Canada on Monday. Today seems like the right time to post this: what I purchased, beauty-wise, while in the UK, in roughly chronological order.

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Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
I think I bought this within my first three days here. My lovely friend Jelena had managed to acquire this product in Toronto, and let me borrow it for around two months. It became a staple in my routine and was hastily purchased when I made it to the land of abundant Illamasqua counters. A full review of it will be coming at some point!

The Body Shop Camomile Oil Cleanser
The Body Shop was opened in Brighton, so it totally counts! I’ll probably write a proper post about this cleanser at some point, so suffice to say that it’s one of my favourite products from The Body Shop.

barry-m-swatches

Barry M Hi Shine Nail Paints in Kiwi, Sugar Apple, and Damson
I did not buy these at once, but as my opinion on the three of them is the same I may as well lump them in together. I love these three colours, especially Kiwi (it’s so vibrant and unexpected!), and I love the formula. These nail polishes were very hyped in 2012 and 2013, and for good reason: they really are long-lasting and shiny. I’ve recently written all about Damson, and Kiwi featured in one of my first blog posts. Here’s a shot of Sugar Apple:

sugar apple

Unsurprisingly for a lighter colour, I do find that Sugar Apple needs three coats to reach full opacity as opposed to Kiwi and Damson’s two, but that’s a small gripe.

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Barry M Lip Paint in Black
Admittedly, I only bought this because I have never seen black lipstick in a North American drugstore. I’ve never worn it out, but I’ve tried it on, and it’s surprisingly comfortable to wear. One day I will wear it for real.

Eyelure Nadine no125 lashes
This was a stupid purchase. I didn’t bring any lashes with me to the UK, and I was like, “What if I need some?”, ignoring the fact that I have never in my life found myself in a situation where I felt false lashes were especially warranted. I’m just not a false eyelash person, with one exception. Oh, well – I like these well enough for what they are, and I suppose I’ll find an occasion to wear them.

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Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet in 307 Meteoric Matte
I was drawn in by the hype, by my love for liquid lipsticks, and by the colour. I’ve worn it twice. I have products with similar colours in formulas I like better. It’s not that it’s a bad product, it’s just that it doesn’t fill any hole in my collection and thus falls by the wayside. I’ll probably end up passing it along at some point so someone else can enjoy it more than I will.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Despite a more positive post about this concealer, upon further use I have to conclude that I don’t quite get the hype. Maybe it’s just that the lightest shade is still too dark and too orange for me, but, although this is a perfectly adequate concealer, it just doesn’t blow me away. I’ll stick to my MAC Studio Finish; it’s more hygienic, anyway. (God, I hate doe-foot applicator concealers.)

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
I love this sponge – the density, the shape, and the application, everything. Not to mention the price! At around £5, it’s much cheaper than the beautyblender, and totally does the job.

bourjois-healthy-mix-serum

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation
I picked this up despite my reservations about the colour. These reservations turned out to be well-founded; it’s simply too dark and too warm for me. Surprisingly, I also didn’t love how it applied on my skin – it seemed to sit on top of it rather than sink into it, and it made me look oily, which is quite a feat considering I’m on the dryer side of normal. My friend Hayley loves this foundation, so I’m taking it back to Toronto to pass on to her.

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Real Techniques Nic’s Pick’s brush set
Reviewed – I use every single brush from this set regularly. A very good purchase.

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Collection Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Cream in Cotton Candy
Not the best liquid lipstick, but it performs reasonably well, especially at £3. I have relatively few neutral lip colours, so this one is good to have on hand. I will contest the claim that this is moisturizing – it’s fairly drying, just as you’d expect of a cheap matte liquid lipstick.

topshop-depth

Topshop lipstick in Depth
Love the colour, love how it feels on the lips, don’t love the staying power. Ah, well; a colour like this is bound to be high-maintenance. I did not give this lipstick enough love this fall and winter, and now it’s getting too warm for it to be seasonally appropriate. Whatever; I’ll probably wear it this summer anyway. Life’s too short not to use gorgeous lip colours whenever the heck you want.

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Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red
Reviewed here. This is still my favourite lipstick formula. Even though I like to mix up my lipstick colours and not just stick with a classic red, I reach for this one all. the. time. I’ve never understood people who underuse expensive products – sure, one day this baby will be all used up, but at least I’ll get my £23’s worth!

Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter False Lashes
Reviewed here. Still impressed with these, still the only lashes I’m inclined to wear with anything resembling regularity.

packaging vaseline

Vaseline
I mean, it’s just a mini tub of Vaseline. But the packaging is cute and it keeps my lips in good condition, so it can stay.

One Direction You & I Shower Gel
Tragically, the newest One Direction perfume was on special along with the shower gel for just £10 at Superdrug. My friend Bec and I split it, and she got the perfume. Fine with me; I wear fragrance so rarely that shower gel is much more useful to me. I’ve smelled the perfume, anyway, and on me it’s pretty much indistinguishable from One Direction’s original fragrance launch, Our Moment, which I already own. (I’m ashamed of this fact, but not as ashamed as I should be.)

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Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished
Reviewed here. My opinion on this highlighter is unwavering: it’s simply the best, in my books.

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Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Red Diva
These twist-up Rimmel lip liners are excellent quality – so creamy and pigmented! This one is the perfect true red to match the red lipsticks I favour. I just wish there were more shades in the line, because I’ve bought all the colours I like!

little-mix-jade

Little Mix By Collection Lipstick in Jade
By the time you read this, I may have purchased Jesy’s lip colour just to complete the set. (I have Perrie’s and Leigh-Anne’s from a 2013 haul.) At just £2.49, these lipsticks are really great quality – easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-lasting considering how creamy they are. It was Aisling who originally put me onto this colour, because it’s one of her favourite neutrals. I do love the slightly brown pink; it’s very wearable. And, as a fan of Little Mix, I also consider this a collector’s item. The packaging isn’t glamourous, but it’s very cute!

Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Night Cream
This was another product bought at the urging of Aisling, who is such an enabler. (I never would have bought the most expensive lipstick I own without her!) So far, I am loving it. Look out for a full review within the next few weeks.

And there you have it: a collective beauty haul spanning from September to April.

(And, of course, in the interest of not reducing seven months in the UK to pure consumerism, I had an amazing time in Glasgow, exploring the city, the UK, and beyond. I’ll absolutely be back… and I’ll probably pick up some more makeup while I’m at it.)

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