So on Wednesday a couple of weeks back myself and my lovely Mum took a trip up to London to go and see two art exhibitions and ended up having a little shopping trip too. Now then, I LOVE going to London, and mooching round art exhibitions is really one of my favourite things in the world, so when I found out that there was going to be a Tim Burton Frankenweenie exhibition on at the BFI for 5 days only, I knew I would have to make a special trip up there to see it. My Mum loves that kind of thing too so I swapped my shifts at work and took the Wednesday off to go and see the exhibition. There is also one on until March at the Barbican (one of my favourite art venues!) called "Rain Room" if you live in or near to London or will be visiting soon, then I HIGHLY recommend you take the time to go and experience this installation. It is beyond amazing! You basically go into an area called "The Curve" and as you walk round it you can hear the rain...and when you get to it, it's just this huge square area of rain. Bog standard rain right?? Well.....when you walk into the rain, the sensors in the room know you're there and stop the rain above you but not around you. It feels like you're God or something as you wonder through this downpour of rain without getting wet!! I think I could've stayed there all day to be honest! Bearing in mind that we went on a Wednesday and just after it had opened, we did have to queue for an hour so if you do go, make sure you bring something to do in the queue. So worth the wait though. It is beautiful and such an interesting concept and just so much fun!
Anyway, obviously with the trip to London, came the shopping trip too...I do love a bit of shopping in London!! This blog post will be a little bit picture heavy...I'm not saying I brought loads but I did get a little bit excited when I was photographing everything!
First up is the Rain Room guide. It's a little crumpled from my bag but I do love that it gives in depth details about the exhibition on the inside. If you love art like I do, then it's always nice to read things like this!
One of the many pictures I took inside the exhibition. I was quite surprised that you take pictures in there as most places are strict on photo taking. I seriously couldn't get over how much I loved being in this room. It was so peaceful and it was a lot of fun just being in this quiet space with other people. It wasn't designed to be a silent room or anything but people were just instantly quiet in there because of how calming the effect was. It was just absolutely stunning. Seriously, go see it if you get the chance!
The Frankenweenie exhibition also had a free photo opportunity for a souvenir....and I'm NEVER one to turn down a freebie (especially if it's for something that I'm pretty nerdy about!)
A little "Did you know?" section on the inside.
Here is me looking infinitely creepy by peering into a window and pretending to be a giant. In hindsight, I probably should have gone for a better look on my face! Haha! I got my Mum to get her picture taken too, even though she was all "No, no...it's fine..." I basically got one of the guys from Disney to help me bully her into having her picture taken, and she loved it! She keeps showing people when they come over! Haha! I still haven't seen the film because my local cinema is a bit rubbish and doesn't seem to have it on at good times (it's on at 11.30am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. I think I'm going to have to travel to go see it.)
Picture of the classroom scene. These are the actual props from the film as well, which is pretty cool (if you're nerdy like I am about these things!)
Another scene from the film. The detail was AMAZING. It was bizarre to be looking at these models and trying to fathom the effort that goes into a film like this. It's mad! Quick sidenote: the exhibition had some people from Disney wondering around and telling us all about how the things were made and filmed etc. and I must say....the two guys there were HOT!! Haha! Totally made the exhibition a bit more exciting! Plus because they were both so excited and full of nerdy facts, I was totally in heaven when they were talking to my Mum and I!
So the first store we popped into for some shopping was the Bare Minerals Boutique in Covent Garden. It's a really cute little shop that is next door to a Mac store down a little road in Covent Garden (possibly my favourite place in London) The girls in there are all so lovely and were excited to hear all about my counter when I told them I worked for Bare Minerals. It was quite busy in there as well but it was nice to see they were just as nice to "normal" customers too (if that makes sense??) Anyway, because I work for Bare Minerals I get 50% off in the Boutiques...so naturally I took advantage of this! I actually went in to see if they had the Christmas eyeshadow set in that is exclusive to the Boutiques and online, but alas, they hadn't had it in yet. However, I couldn't just leave without using the 50% off now then, could I??
So these are a few bits that I got for my Mum. She never really wears make-up but since trying Bare Minerals, she is completely converted....to the point where she wore the foundation to work the other day! I was shocked! She just said that she found it so easy to apply that she just loves putting it on now. (My Mum is a glasses wearer too, but can barely see anything without her glasses on, so the powder foundation is dead easy for her to use) So I got her to have a little look round the shop and pick out some bits that she liked so I could treat her. She decided to go with: two eyeshadows in Water Lily and Sugar Plum, Redness Remedy and the Pure Transformation Night Treatment. She got a kit from me a while back with some of the eyeshadows in and she loves them, so when she saw the display with them on she went a bit crazy swatching them all on her hand! I was so proud! Haha! Basically, in the Boutiques and on bigger counters they have a massive selection of colours....on my counter, I have 12 colours. It's a little annoying unfortunately. Anyway, she fell in love with these two colours so I picked them up for her before she could argue that it was "too much" or anything else that Mum's like to say sometimes. The Redness Remedy was something that I had be telling her about for ages, and as she has pretty high pigmentation on her cheeks she decided to go for it. I honestly am SO impressed with this product! It basically completely hides her redness but has also treated it so that there has been a visible improvement over the last few weeks. Very, very impressed. The final product that she chose was the Pure Transformation Night Treatment. I've been using a sample of this that I brought home from work a little while back and my skin has really improved quite a bit. I don't think my Mum really needs a huge amount of help with her skin (the woman is 51 and REALLY doesn't look it at all!) but she was really impressed with how my skin has been looking and wanted to try it. She's been quite impressed with how soft her skin has been and thinks that this has also been helping with her redness too.
Eyeshadows: £14 each (£7 each with staff discount)
Redness Remedy: £27 (£13.50 with staff discount)
Pure Transformation Night Treatment: £45 (22.50 with staff discount)
So these items came to £50 for the 4 bits. I love staff discount so very much!
Swatches of Water Lily (left) and Sugar Plum (right) My mum is seriously in love with these colours!
So on to my gifts to myself!
I really did love the bag quite a bit. I wish I had these instead of standard Debenhams bags!
Anyway, I've been eyeing up one of the Christmas at work but just couldn't justify the £26 spend, when really it was just the eyeliner that I really wanted (everything else would just be a bonus!) Even with my 20% staff discount, I still couldn't justify the £20.80 at work. However, in the Boutique this little set cost me just £13! The eyeliner is full size and is £13 on it's own. Now then, I know what you're thinking "Why didn't you just buy the eyeliner on it's own?!" As with all retailers at Christmas, Bare Minerals have brought out sets with exclusive colours in. Great because it's all pretty and Christmassy....not so great because I really like the eyeliner colour but won't be able to get it again when it runs out, unless they decide to bring it out as a stand alone product. Rubbish!
So in the Scene Stealer set you get: a Mini Instant Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover (it has kiwi and apple extracts in it to nourish the lashes), Prime Time Primer Shadow in Pink Sugar, Pretty Amazing Lipcolour in Pizazz and a Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner in 1AM. Everything in it is full size except the eye make-up remover, so it's a pretty good deal even at full price I think as just the full size bits would be £44 alone (although that is as long as you like the colours of course...)
Top: Pretty Amazing Lipcolour in Pizazz - I like this deep raspberry colour but it is a little out of my comfort zone. I always feel a bit out there when I wear it because I usually wear bright colours.
Middle: Prime Time Primer Eyeshadow in Pink Sugar - Love the colour of this for a base.....but I don't really like the product personally. I'll do a full review on it soon so you can hear my full thoughts on this.
Bottom: Round the Clock Eyeliner in 1AM - You can't really see it in the picture (damn lighting!) but this is a black eyeliner with a silver sparkle in it...and I'm in love with it!! It's so easy to use as well and stays on all day which is awesome! I do find that it irritates my eyes if I put it on my waterline though, which is a disappointment. Again, I'll do a full review of this later.
My final Boutique purchase was this Pretty Amazing Lipcolour in Moxie. I don't have this one on my counter and when I went on training recently, our trainer Janey had this colour on and it looked really nice on her. So when I saw it in store, I couldn't resist a little play with it. I was really surprised with how much I loved this light pink beauty. Normally I'm not a fan of light colours on myself but I completely fell in love with this colour...so naturally I had to buy it... This is normally £15 so I got it for £7.50!
Next up...a little trip to Selfridges! I've not been in there since developing my make-up and nail polish addiction. As we walked down Oxford Street, we went into Primark...and walked straight out again. I was tired and cranky (plus we'd only had a bagel each for food at 12.30pm and it was now 5pm...I need food more regularly than that when walking round London! Haha!) and Mum felt the same when we were faced with two women literally fighting over a jacket...I mean, there were loads left on the rack and it wasn't even a particularly nice jacket either...I wasn't in the mood for that at all! So instead, we skipped Primark and walked for what felt like MILES to Selfridges down the other end (we did pop into Ann Summers too and I brought myself this bra with the "shorts" because I think they look nicer in this range...also this link is totally safe for work! It's nothing kinky I promise!) Anyway, I wanted to go into Selfridges because Bare Minerals have recently launched a pressed version of their foundation and, as it's an exclusive to Selfridges, I won't get it on my counter until April next year... Now then, I wasn't ready to be wowed by it, I just wanted to try it and see if it was any different to my loose foundation. The shade I was matched to was Fairly Light, which is the same shade that I am in the loose foundation so I really wasn't expecting to see much difference. However, after having my make-up removed and having this little baby put on my face, I was given a mirror to look in and WOW!! My skin literally looked flawless. And she'd only used about 4 dabs of the foundation. Holy crap. I sat in the chair looking at my Mum for ages going "Oh...I don't need it do I?? Would it be terrible to treat myself???" Whilst my Mum stood there and went "It looks amazing.....but the choice is yours..." Long story short I spent £44 on this foundation (£25) and the retractable brush that is recommended to use with it (£19) I'm glad I brought the brush and I'll do a full review to explain why.
Here are the free samples that they gave me in the Boutique and Selfridges. The Boutique girls were so freaking nice and given the choice between the two I would always venture back there. The Selfridges girls were lovely but they were clearly more about the sales than the service (which I think is a thing in Selfridges to be honest...I might be wrong but that just seems to have been my experience.)
So whilst in Selfridges, I had a little look at the Tom Ford section to see what their ridiculously priced lipsticks were like. They are pretty but not really for me. However, everyone on that counter was impeccably dressed and i've never seen so many pretty men on a make-up counter! Lovely! Haha! Anyway, as we were leaving I spotted the Mac stand and went to have a really quick look. I've never looked at Mac stuff and have never been interested in it either, but people keep telling me how much I'd like their lipsticks so I wondered over just for them. The range of colours and finishes won me over straight away and I had a little swatching session to see what I liked, and boy did I like a lot of them! My favourite was definitely this one though and I fired off a really quick text to one of my friends who can get 65% off on Mac and other brands...She kindly said ok and this little beauty cost me just £4.90! Bargain! It's in the shade "lickable" and I just love it. Full review coming soon! (so many reviews to write!)
This wasn't a London purchase but it was in the same week, so I'm throwing it in! I brought the Dior Rock Coat from my local counter (because Toyah is a darling and threw in a Miss Dior Sample and a Dior Addict Lipstick sample too!) This is a black topcoat that turns any nail polish into a completely different colour. I'm absolutely in love with it and it was well worth the £11.20 I paid for it. I'm so in love that I kind of want to buy another one from her because it's limited edition and I know I'll be super upset when she sells her last one (these came out quite a while back, but the girl who was on the Dior counter before wasn't that excited about the products I don't think and therefore there's a lot of limited edition stuff left on my local counter! Basically if you want anything that was limited edition and has sold out everywhere, then give me a shout as I'm sure we probably still have it on my local counter!)
And last, but certainly not least, I brought Cabin in the Woods on blu-ray. I went to see this in the cinema in summer, when everyone was telling me how much I should go and see the Avengers "because you love comic book crap and it's a great film..." I've recently gone off comic book films as they are very predictable and as someone who studied film, I find that I can pretty much predict the outcome of every damn movie that I see. It's a gift and a curse. However, this film is also written by Joss Whedon (who I love and will be the only reason that I ever bother with the Avengers...) and just blew me away. I literally got halfway through the film and was all "What the actual F is going on here?!" and the ending was just so unpredictable! First film I've seen in forever that I couldn't see exactly where it was going and I loved it for that! I popped into my local HMV (which I used to work in) and went to grab this, when my friend Simon said "Noooo!! Wait!" then reached several rows behind and grab me the limited edition steelbook case for me! I do love a good limited edition case to my blu-rays. I'm a massive nerd about these things you see! Anyway, this did set me back £17 but it was completely worth it. I watched it last night and had forgotten how much it actually made my hide behind my hands (which I never do with horror films...because I know what's going to happen....because I am a film nerd and have watched too many to count...) If you haven't seen this film, then I highly recommend it.
So there's my little London haul. What do you guys think? Any Mac lipstick recommendations for me??
Until next time,