Friday 13 April 2012

Parisian purchases... Ooh La La ;-)

I have recently returned from a trip to Paris with my sister and my beautiful baby girl. Aside from all of the obvious sightseeing, and enough museum trips to make my old art teachers proud, we were on the hunt for some beauty products.

My sister and I are regular watchers of beauty videos on Youtube and, because of all the hype around it, the one store that we were desperate to head to was Sephora, which is a haven for make-up addicts. Normally, shopping abroad implies bargains galore as prices in Britain can be very expensive when compared to those in the USA for example. However, with the exchange rate of the pound to the euro not being so great at the moment, the prices of most make-up and beauty products weren't great value for money at all. If anything, most items worked out around five pounds more expensive per product!! So, I decided to purchase items that I aren't available within the UK - and this left only one brand really, and that is Sephora's own.

We visited two separate Sephora stores, with the biggest being on the Champs Elysees. I purchased a variety of products, most of which I will be doing individual reviews on once I have had a chance to use them. I bought two body washes, one Toffee scented, and the other Lemon scented, and also some of their fizzing bath cubes. I was very impressed with the scents in the shop, so hopefully they will live up to my expectations. I also purchased some of their triple action cleansing water to remove make-up because I had been able to test this in the shop and was really pleased with the result.

Sephora Nail Polish - Midnight Crawl shade 69

I bought their highlighting compact powder in Rose Pink, two eye shadows in no.14 Marie and no.13 Peach Beige as they complimented each other well and swatched nicely too. I got a lip colour in S15 Fun Coral, as coral seems to be popular at the moment, and it is known for suiting most skin tones. I purchased two nail polishes; Moody Blue shade 67 which is a blue shimmer, and Midnight Crawl shade 69 - this is a great duplicate of the Chanel Peridot polish.

I also purchased two of their make-up brushes: No. 22 All over shadow, and No. 13 Rounded Crease. They are really soft, and seem to be of good quality - they have had no hair loss so far anyway!! My sister bought one of their large blusher brushes, and she is really happy with it too.

Sephora are renowned for giving away great freebies with purchases, and I was lucky enough to get a mini Chanel inimitable mascara and also a mini of Dolce & Gabanna's 'the one' eau de parfum, which are both really lovely little extras :-D

Also on the Champs Elysees was a store called Yves Rocher. I had never heard of this brand before, but a quick visit to their website since has taught me that they are firm believers in botanical beauty. I purchased a variety of products, including Micellar Cleansing Water, Shower Gel, Body Scrub, Body Balm, Lip Balm and Fizzy bath cubes. All of the items that I purchased were travel/mini sizes, which is always great when you are trying new products. They smell so great, and I cant wait to road test them!! The downside is, if I do end up really loving them, they are not freely available to buy in the UK. They are available for internet order though, and the reviews that I have read about their products so far indicate that they are all purchases well made.

I also bought two MAC goodies at the Galleries Lafayette - their Fix + finishing spray for make-up and also one of their Tendertones in Hush Hush, which is a really lovely sheer gold lip balm with a pretty gold shimmer. I did pay a little over the odds for the Tendertone at 15 euros, but I realise how lucky I am to get my hands on them at all, as they are completely sold out online.

Even though I know that they are widely available in the UK, I made a few purchases in the Body Shop. I fell in love with the gorgeous scents of their Choccomania Lip Butter and the Satsuma Shimmer Born Lippy Lip Balm. I don't normally associate the Body Shop with cosmetics as much as bath and shower products, but I perused their make-up collection and ended up purchasing one of their new Colourglide Shine Lip Colours in 02 Shell Pink. Apparently, so the sales assistant informed me, this new range of lippies contain marula oil, making them much more moisturising that their other lip products. This is a winner for me, as I suffer with really dry lips - lets just hope it keeps its promise! At the moment, their range is limited as they only have six shades available. I also bought some satsuma hand cleanse gel. Although this is not the most exciting product, I loved that it makes your hands smell strongly of satsuma rather than the non-descript smell of plain alcohol gel - definately a winner in my books!!

Oh, and just to let you know, the Body Shop have a massive 50% off all of their body butters at the moment - so head on over to their website and take a peek!!

A few weeks back, I read an article in one of my mother's magazines (I think it may have been Bella?!) stating that Victoria Beckham is a massive fan of Caudalie Beauty Elixir, and uses it on top of he make up to ensure a glowing complexion. Since then, I have seen this product being talked about everywhere, and it has also featured in Bazaar Beauty's Hot 100 for 2012

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 30ml & Free Novexpert expert Anti-Aging Eye Contour sample

This product has also been favoured by Queen Isabelle of Hungary, describing it as 'the elixir of youth'. It is said to improve skin by smoothing, tightening pores and providing a burst of radiance, but all this comes for a pretty penny. A 30ml bottle set me back around 11 euros ( but is available at for £9.35 delivered). Will it work? We shall see!

I also made two high-end product purchases at the Airport Duty Free. I have never tried any Shiseido products before, but their 3 step skincare set caught my eye. It is specifically for skin that requires moisturising, and contains Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam, Hydro-Nourishing Softener Lotion, and Day Moisture Protection. It set me back around 40 euros, so hopefully it will prove as money well spent, especially considering 95% of people have said to have seen significant improvement to their skins smoothness when using all three products for 1 month.

And last but by no means least, Dior Extase Mascara. This is a total splurge for me, and a complete gamble as I hadn't read any reviews about this product before purchasing it. My mascara of choice has always been Clinique's High Impact Mascara, and it is one that I have always reverted back to. But maybe Dior will give it a run for its money?!

So that's it... Hopefully this little lot will keep me going for a while!!

Have you tried any of the products listed here? What were your experiences?

x X x

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