Adventures in beauty: US haul

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Apologies for the long gap between posts. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to blog, or that I haven’t had anything to say-quite the opposite, in fact. However, I think I underestimated how tiring it would be going back to work full-time and blogging both The Apprentice and Strictly whilst still not recovered. Because I still can’t write physically for any great length of time and still relying on the voice software for extensive prose, blogging has not been the most essential task for me and therefore has fallen by the wayside a little bit. However, there are lots of things I want to cover and so I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things a little bit, although I recognise that posts are probably going to be a little bit sporadic at least until Christmas due to keeping up the other blogs.

OK, that over with… I went to America recently for work, to Phoenix, and I have to say, I was incredibly excited at the prospect of all of those American beauty retailers: Ulta! Sephora! Nordstrom! In practice, I didn’t really get much opportunity to look around wider Phoenix, so I mainly stayed in the area where the conference is being held, which had a Macy’s and a Mac store. However, I did manage a walk to the fairly close by Ulta store, where I picked up a big old haul of goodies.

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I tried to get products that aren’t available in the UK, or a few that are available but are much dearer over here and I’d set myself a budget and an idea of what I wanted before I went, which make life a little bit easier when I got there.


I went straight for the Tartelette palette by Tarte, which I’m going to review in my next palette test (after the No7 one I’m posting today). I’ve been lusting after this for ages, and didn’t really want to pay QVC prices that also include postage and packaging. This was a similar price to QVC’s ‘intro offer’ without the P&P charge.

I also knew that I wanted some Zoya nail polishes, because they are difficult to get hold of in the UK, and extremely expensive if you get them from the Zoya website. They were cheaper in dollars than their website charges in pounds, which shows how ridiculous some UK beauty pricing is.

I picked up four shades: Selene, a beautiful aqua shimmer that was only $4.50, Sue, a matte frosted pearly colour from the 2015 winter collection, Tinsley, a lovely orangey shimmer for some reason named after an area of Sheffield rather than a girl’s name 😉 It shows pink on the Zoya site, but it is very russet-orange IRL.

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and this beauty, called Aggie, a lovely shifty multichrome.

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In addition, I grabbed Essie’s Bell Bottom Blues, which sadly wasn’t in the mini-set I have for the Leggy Legend release, and is stunning, plus Penny Talk and a reduced mini set of cashmere matte brights. To be honest, this quartet are not my favourite polishes ever, but they were really cheap and there are a couple of nice shades in there,and they generally look better with top coat than matte, slightly defeating the point…

I also grabbed Happy Go Lucky, a yellow China Glaze from the discount shelf, two cheap Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks (08 and 14) which, again, are cheaper in dollars than the UK sells them for in pounds, a yellow eyeliner from Revlon (I’ve been dying to try Clinique’s yellow skinny stick, but that seems a little expensive for a yellow eyeliner which I’m likely to only get limited use out of, so this was a much better and affordable option), plus some of their HD lipglosses, which I love, even though the pink (Pink Ruby) is so bold I will have limited chance to wear it – and two of the HD lipsticks that I actually don’t like very much now I’ve tried them.


The colours are okay, but I hate the shape of the bullets and the formula – the tubes are already super-messy.

I rounded it off with a hazel eyes trio from Almay that I seem to have lost/misplaced and some Maybellines that you can’t get in the UK: the blushed nudes palette and colorsensational mattes in Touch of Spice and Nude Nuance plus a regular colorsensational, Maple Kiss. Finally in the Ulta haul, I grabbed a winter trio of eos lipbalms, which are also cheaper in the USA.

L-R Top: Mac Velvet Teddy, Mac Viva Glam Miley Lipglass 2, Revlon HD lipgloss in rose quartz and pink ruby, Mac whirl, Revlon yeow Bottom: Maybelline maple kiss, touch of spice, nude nuance; Rimmel kate 14, Revlon Primrose and Rose

L-R Top: Mac Velvet Teddy, Mac Viva Glam Miley Lipglass 2, Revlon HD lipgloss in rose quartz and pink ruby, Mac whirl, Revlon yellow
Bottom: Maybelline touch of spice, nude nuance, maple kiss; Rimmel kate 14, Revlon Primrose and Rose

I went to the Mac store and got Velvet Teddy and Whirl, because how could you not. Interestingly, Mac lipsticks are significantly cheaper in the states, but the lip liners seem very similarly priced. I also picked up Viva Glam Miley 2 lipglass at Manchester airport on my way out, along with some Gucci perfume and Benefit’s Porefessional primer. Speaking of Benefit, I have been bowled over this year by Roller Lash. However, I couldn’t ever justify spending the money on the full-size mascara because I never get through a full cheap before it goes gross and it’s so expensive. I just wanted a small one, because I know they’re the perfect size for me, but they don’t seem to sell them on their own in the UK as they do some of their other products (if I’m wrong, do correct me, because I’d love to know if I can get them-I really like the little picnic stands they’ve got in boots at the moment, but I haven’t seen in those) so I was really happy that they were selling these in Macy’s. They weren’t especially cheap, but it was a comparable price to mascara from other brands and it’s the perfect size for me. I really like Roller Lash because it’s the only mascara I found that can coat my tiny lower lashes effectively.

If there are any products you want to see in more detail, let me know.  Tartelette review is prepped to go soon and I will be reviewing the Blushed Nudes in the next few weeks.


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