Naturally, one of my favorite activities while in Europe was shopping - from the independent shops, the chains unavailable in the States, to the outdoor markets. I loved seeing the differences in style from home, and tried to take advantage.
I certainly found some new favorites. My new favorite store: Cos. The collar necklace (£25) and angular ring (£19) above were both Cos finds. The store's seeming dedication to simplicity mixed with modern silhouettes was the perfect style I didn't know existed. The items were not cheap, however, and I had to limit myself so that I would have funds left over to eat. I really hope they offer online shopping with international shipping sometime in the near future.
The Mango coat to the left is a beaut. When paired with ankle boots and skinny jeans, it is the epitome of what seems to be the European fashionista uniform. Luckily, this coat was also on sale, so even though I can get Mango back home... it was on sale! Had to have it.
I purchased the Oasis sweater to the right from a fantastic store called Debenham's. They had a great sale and I, yet again, was faced with some serious fitting room decision-making. This sweater is incredibly soft and perfect for study days in the library. (£20)
Another Mango find, and for only $50. This is still available in the states but I had to have it. The cap sleeve, pencil skirt, and extra femininity from the hint of a bow at the shoulder made it the perfect classic work dress with just enough style.
More Debenham's finds! The short Warehouse trench is light enough for a summer's evening and sways just right. I plan to pair it with skinny jeans for a casual feel and a pencil skirt for dinners. The silk Oasis top (£19) to the right is reminiscent of a JCrew colorblock blouse I had been eyeing but for significantly less pounds. Good for dinners, dressed down, or for work!
I'm kind of a stupid for purchasing so many coats, but it was cold out there and it was still very cold in Indiana and, well let's be honest, they were all just so adorable! The short trench to the left has the perfect amount of edge. I absolutely love the quilted faux leather and it was only around £30 from Primark!
The coat to the right is yet another Mango find. I love the tan + navy and the metal toggles were exactly what I had been searching for. Not to mention, it was on sale while it was still full price in the States!
My last Cos purchase. Ah, it was so difficult to decide and these photos, unfortunately, do not do this jumper justice. The crisp solid black is a classic, while the loose, hi-lo cut makes it more modern. This piece was made even more unique by combining fabrics, the back being button-down silk. The crew neck is the ideal width and the 3/4 sleeve gives the perfect balance. (£90)
Another Primark find! This lightweight, striped coat has a serious "aww" factor. Adorable, classic, and trendy at the perfect price! (around £30). I plan on pairing these with neutral heels and understated jewelry. (The neutral heels, btw, are another London purchase... of which I forgot to include in this post. crap. Well, they're from TK Maxx, Charles by Charles David, closed toe and double strapped. You'll see them soon enough! *shameful face*)
The accessories to the right are from the Spitalfields Market. The necklace has a double-timeface display with an antiquey feel. The satchel is reminiscent of those I've seen for over $100 on ModCloth or ASOS, but has a large main pocket as well as a slim pocket on the opposite side. And this one was only £20! And the necklace was £6!
Now, you guys probably already know, I've been "attending" the Eldridge Beauty University for months now. Naturally, I had to purchase the beauty products that are only [easily] available in London. Boots, btw, is an amazing store. It's a glorified Rite-Aid or CVS but with designer products as well as high-street brands. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
First stop, Vichy Dermablend Foundation. Lisa Eldridge raves about this product for concealing blemishes, which I sadly have plenty of right now. Unfortunately, I'm very unhappy with this product. There's a good amount of product at a reasonable £15, and I could see the formulation being a good one, but the colors are kind of awful. There are only four choices, and none of them are even close to my coloring. I would have to mix the two darker shades, and I really didn't want to buy both colors. I'll have to give this product to a friend. Womp womp.
BOURJOIS. Yes. Love. Completely. Boots had a deal on their products, 3 for 2 with the foundation at about £11 each. I wanted to really stock up, but they were dangerously low on my shade and I didn't have all the time or ability to stop by every Boots I wanted to. The foundation has light-medium coverage, and is buildable. It's incredibly easy to apply with fingers, foundation brush, flat top kabuki...whatever! I prefer the simplicity of using my fingers to apply just because it's easiest. I hate looking like I'm actually wearing makeup, so I adore how this foundation looks so natural. It seems to tint the skin, instead of sit on top of it (if that makes any sense). The only things I worry about is that it doesn't necessarily last all day and since I'm already at the darkest shade, once I tan I'll no longer be able to wear the foundation. It'll just have to be my winter shade (that is, until I move back to California and am tan all the time...omg I'm suddenly so sad).
Duty free shops are a great plus to traveling. Case in point, Chanel and Benefit products. The Chanel Correcteur Perfection concealer in 30, Beige Petale, has great coverage, is incredibly easy to apply, and is the perfect shade! I'm completely in love with this concealer. I've tried the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit and was not impressed. Nor with Clinique's Airbrush Concealer.
Recently, I've been very into doing my brows. Brows and lashes are most important to me nowadays, and Benefit Brow Zings kit is very convenient. It comes with two mini brushes, mini tweezers, a wax, and a powder. I have jet black hair so the dark shade was definitely best for me, and I love that it doesn't have so much of that reddish undertone that many brow powders have. The wax product is my favorite.
On that note, I had to purchase a Suqqu brow product. Again, Lisa Eldridge raves about their products. I purchased the brow pen in moss green from Selfridges (£20). I know... moss green sounds really weird but it's really more of a gray with green undertones, which actually makes the product look incredibly natural for black hair, even in harsh sunlight. Since the pen looks so natural, it is really good for filling in the sparse areas and thinning brows. It's also completely waterproof and easy to apply. Great product! Anastasia makes a brow pen I'm dying to try. I just hope they've formulated a similar color.
I got two lipsticks, the Barry M in #158 and Maybelline's 14-Hour in Ravishing Rouge. The Barry M is in a shade similar to Nars' Heat Wave and was only about £4 from Boots! The Maybelline shade is a classic, matte red that I haven't been able to find in the States. The color is similar to MAC's Ruby Woo. I don't think the color actually stays for 14 hours and tends to come off when I eat or drink. I do like the product for the price-point, however (about $8).
Last but not least are the mascaras. I got the Max Factor Xperience and 2000 Calorie mascaras in black. For the price (about £7 + deals), they are great mascaras. They are not, however, the best I've tried. My favorite has been Nars' Volumizing Mascara, but I do love using these on an everyday basis since the Nars product is pretty pricey.
Phew! That was a long post! I didn't anticipate it would be so long, but I just got too excited. I'll come out with a full fashion post soon and hopefully even some videos! More to come from The Pantry Drawer, people. I'm at least excited. See you guys again soon!
Thanks for reading!