Well, hello there! Some of you may have noticed I've been M.I.A. recently. I was on vacation! As a birthday gift to myself I decided to head to England for two weeks on a little getaway. It was my first time out of North America, and I fell for London's many museums, amazing architecture, and of course, beauty offerings.
Hunting for new and exciting beauty finds at local drugstores and boutiques is part of the fun of traveling, and London was a beauty goldmine. Since I'm no greedy gal, I've decided to share my new loves with all of you, along with some classic favorites from across the pond.
The Old Favorites
Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser
I was already a diehard fan of Eve Lom's line, favored by English beauties like Nigella Lawson. As a jet lagged traveler, I fell again for the brand's Morning Time Cleanser. Similar in texture to Lom's iconic balm cleanser, it comes in a convenient tube, rather than a tub. Warm a bit of the paraben-free formula between your fingertips and massage it on, letting ingredients like papaya fruit enzyme and eucalyptus oil boost blood flow and exfoliation. After leaving it on for a few minutes and rinsing with water and the brand's famous muslin cloth, your skin will be glow-y, smooth, and ready to absorb moisturizer and provide a clear canvas for makeup.
Batiste Travel Size Dry Shampoo
I'm very picky about my dry shampoo formulas. Many seem to leave my hair limp, or give me the appearance of having doused myself with icing sugar. Batiste was the first dry shampoo I ever used, and it will forever be my favorite. It's available in a wide variety of scents and comes in tinted formulas for darker hair. I grabbed a Travel Size Dry Shampoo at Boots for less than £2 in my favorite scent, Floral Blush, and spritzed here and there to boost volume, get rid of oil, and smell like a garden rose.
The New Loves
Vaseline Rosy Lips Therapy
Vaseline Rosy Lips Lip Therapy is nothing new. But I've never seen it packaged in a pretty, retro-style tin like this. (I spotted it at Boots and at the discount clothing chain Primark.) Formulated with rose and almond oil, it tints lips a slight pink and makes them appear plump and healthy. It also adds a gorgeous glow when dabbed atop cheekbones. And in a pinch you can rub it into cuticles to avoid hangnails, or smooth it over your brows to keep them in place.
Barry M's Genie Colour Change Lip Paint & Nail Paints
I'm drawn to beauty products that have a touch of magic to them, and Barry M's Genie Colour Change Lip Paint definitely falls into that category. Upon removing the cap, you'll find a green bullet that smells sweetly of watermelon. Slick it on your lips and watch them transform to a customized shade of rosy pink that lasts and lasts for hours, even through pizza.
I also fell for Barry M's wide range of Nail Paints, available in many of London's drugstores in a variety of shades and finishes, all under £4. I picked up Blue Moon, a sheer baby blue that can be built up to opaque pastel perfection.
Bleach London Swamp Spritz Texturizing Spray
I've waxed poetic about my love for messy rock 'n' roll hair before. Salt sprays are widely adored for adding grit and texture to hair, but they tend to come with pretty, mermaid-y associations. While there's nothing wrong with that, I like a bit of sleaze to my texturizers, which is where Bleach London's Swamp Spritz comes in. Packaged in a cleaning supply-esque spray bottle, this formula gives hair that slept-in, mussed up look, without any trace of beach-y, coconut-infused vibes. Dirty-pretty swamp things, rejoice.
And One Final Weird Thing...
One thing that struck me while I was shopping in London's drugstores was the overwhelming amount of aerosol deodorants--shelves upon shelves of them. Apparently the Brits prefer a spray to a stick deodorant. Intrigued, I picked up a can of Dove Original Antiperspirant Spray and tested out the alcohol-free formula. It's on par with my stick formula in terms of beating sweat and smell, though breathing in the spray fumes proved uncomfortable. While I'll probably keep the mini-can on hand for short trips until it runs out, I favor a solid. Sorry Brits, but I'm siding with North America here.
- Now, what are your favorite U.K. beauty products and brands?
- I want to hear about other vacation beauty finds, too. Where have you been? What have you bought?!