First impressions was the impressive view of John Lewis (station side) once you get past IKEA. It's similar to many modern shopping centres as it's got wide pathways between shops to avoid the area becoming too congested. It has a range of normal high street shops (Topshop, River Island, H&M, Dorethy Perkins) but also features Hollister, All Saints, Crew and French Connection. Although I didn't venture into the stores themselves the size of the shopping centre would suggest that they are all of a reasonable size.
As for eating there is the usual Costa, McDonalds, Pizza Hut all organised on the upper floor for easy viewing while you make your mind up what you fancy! All in all, very well laid out.
However, my primary reason for visiting was my make-up bag. It's got to that time of year where all my main make-up pieces are wearing a little thin and it was about time I re-purchased and updated. We heading first to the beauty counters of John Lewis in much anticipation of MAC. That's where our luck ran out. MAC was just opening up so hidden behind big black boards. We were 5 days too early - it opens up tomorrow! But we stuck ourselves in elsewhere. For me, my primary needs where to find a replacement for my foundation (my Estee Lauder Futurist is being discontinued), powder, powder brush and mascara. I love my Max Factor, but seeing as I'm new to blogging I thought I should at least try something new.
From top left (sort of going across):
- Smashbox eye-shadow "Sparks"
- Smashbox "Limitless Eye-liner Onyx"
- Christian Dior Universal Lip-liner pencil
- Maybelline Colour 24 Hour tattoo "40 Taupe"
- Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara "Jet Black"
- Clinique Chubby Stick "Plumped Up Pink"
- Benefit Sugarbomb
- Real Techniques Powder Brush
- Benefit "Hello Flawless" Pressed Powder
- St. Tropez Medium/ Dark Gradual Tan.
The Smashbox items were purchased through their "Smashbox Wondervision Eye Set in Sparks". I decided on this firstly as it was a way to try out their mascara and equally I love their "Smokebox"eye-shadow palette and wondered what this would come to.
The mascara is a bit weak. For me it gave length but not volume, whereas I want volume > length so I think I'll be using this for my bottom lases for the time being.
As for the eye shadows. I was drawn to this colouring as I find some brown palette's are a bit too grey and shimmery for me. I don't understand the obsession with Urban Decay Naked palette's at all! As you can see by the tests on my arm, the nude shades aren't very visible and if they are, they are of a pinky sparkle and the first brown as a lovely gold sparkle. This is what I wanted. For barely there, natural make-up that stays all day I consider this as money well spent!
The set all comes with three cards showing three of their "looks".
Next, lips. I love the Dior universal lip liner. My lipstick shades vary too widely (and my budget too little) to buy lip-liners for all, so this is a life saver. I would never put lipstick on without it.
For harsh winter days (to which it is very windy in Portsmouth) the chubby stick offers the perfect pinky shade whilst hydrating my lips, avoiding them getting chapped on the way to and from lectures. A purchase I would recommend to anyone. The only downside is that the colour doesn't stay very well.
Face. I had a Benefit "make-over" to try out their new foundation. My old powder was their "Get Even" which I really like. It leaves me matte all day and their "Hello Flawless" is just the replacement.
However I was really impressed with their "Sugarbomb" blusher. I'm more of a bronzer girl at heart but the combination of colours in the quad blusher is perfect leaving my cheeks highlighted and warm, perfect for winter!
I've also heard great reviews on the Real Techniques brushes. My foundation brush is Dior, and I have a travel MAC set which I use for concealer, bronzer and eyes but I've been really let down with an old Bourjous powder brush which has been leaving powder sitting on my face too heavily. I have to say for the price (£10 I think) it's incredible! So soft with such good coverage. I am yet to wash it yet so this could be the real test!
(Image from Google - the light in my room wasn't good enough to capture it's true beauty)
My St.Tropez gradual tan speaks for itself really. I love the golden colour it produces and I tend to apply every two days, ex-foliating once a week to avoid build up. My skin tone is quite yellow so I need a tan which will react with the melanin in my skin and I find this very similar to a Zen-Tan I had a few months ago. I find I look quite sickly without some form of fake tan in the winter months so this gradual tan is perfect. The set I bought it from came with the everyday face gradual tan and a bronzer which is intended for use with the instant fake tan I think, to cover up and even out any bits that may have got missed. It is soo dark!! Think that will remain at the bottom of my make-up bag.
The only disappointment was the much anticipated cream eye shadow by Maybelline. This lasted all of 2 hours before it had creased in my eyelid. I think maybe my skin is just a little too greasy for an oil based eye-shadow so I'll be sticking to powder shadows for the time being.
Have you used any of these products and had a different experience to me? I'd love to hear about it!