Friday, 20 July 2012

RedHead Beauty Diaries Goes to London

I thought I'd share my recent trip to London with you all, it was partly a business trip for Mr RHBD, and mostly on my part, a shopping expedition to all the fabulous store's London has to offer, that the rest of us have to manage without, such as Liberty's and Harrods! Welllllll a girl has to entertain herself doesn't she!?
I have to admit that this was the first time I had ever been to London, yes it's true, us 'country bumpkins' don't get out much you know!
I was excited, but also alittle apprehensive to be honest, as I had been warned that 'Londoners' can be quite rude and that there was a number of large steep escalators on the underground to navigate!
oh dear, I really don't like escalators, I am the annoying person who hovers at the top of them hesitating trying to get my foot on one of the steps!
 'Don't be fannying around at the top of them like you do in Debenhams' warned Mr RHBD  'people haven't got time for that in London you know!'
oh well,  it would either kill or cure me of my fear!

I am pleased to say I survived the delights of The London Underground unscathed and actually really enjoyed hopping on and off the tube, it made getting around London really easy.
Thankfully everyone we encountered was very helpful, and I personally witnessed three occasions where 'Londoners' were helping out 'tourists' with directions and a pram on a broken down escalator quite happily.
A big thank you to two lovely policemen especially, just outside the Westfied Stratford City shopping centre, who spotted we looked a bit lost and kindly helped us with directions to the Premier Inn there.
I will just add in that if you have a iphone then you MUST download a app called 'Tube Map' its FREE and was an absolute godsend.

It made our travelling around the underground so simple, it basically tells you exactly which station you need to get on and off or change at simply by typing in your start and end destination, in tube station terms.
If we hadn't had this app I think our 'Underground' experience would have been rather more entertaining -  but not in a good way!
We stayed in London the week before the Olympics and our hotel, The Premier Inn Stratford,  overlooked the Olympic Village, all was quiet most of the time, but we did get some glimpses of dancers practising their routines,  I guess it was the 'quiet before the storm' as it is will be absolute bedlam there now, and in London generally once the games officially start!

'Olympic Village' View from our hotel room

Olympic Rings Welcome you to St Pancras Station London

Right now, enough Olympic malarkey I hear you cry, what about the shopping??

OK ladies, lets get started with the iconic Liz Earle Store.........

Liz Earle Store Duke of York Square London
I have, for a long time now, wished there was a Liz Earle Store near where I live, sadly there isn't, and when Liz Earle brought out her new make up range I was cursing even more as it's so difficult to choose colours online, especially for my pale skin, so when the opportunity arose to go to London, my first port of call was of course Liz Earle flagship store in Duke Of York Square, just off the Kings Road.
Very easy to get to, hop off at Sloane Square Tube Station and its a few of minutes walk from there.
I have to say I was surprised at how small the store was, I always imagined that it would be huge! Funny isn't it how we conjure up an image in our minds of how things will be and then are 'shocked' when they are totally different in real life?
The store inside was immaculately designed, very sleek and modern and a pleasure to visit,  but I have been using Liz Earle Skincare, in one form or another, for about 10 years, so it only took me about 5 mins to look round as I already know their skincare inside out, and knew exactly what I wanted to buy.
I did however, spend quite a while looking at the make up counter, I was particularly interested in the powder, concealers and cream blush, as these are notoriously difficult to judge online.

Enjoying a nice cup of tea waiting for Liz Earle to Open

I have to say I'm glad I did check the shades in real life as disappointingly the powder and concealers in the fair skin options were both very yellow based,  and not at all suitable for my fair pinky under toned skin,  unless the jaundiced look will be in fashion next season then I might be onto a winner!
It's a real shame as I was really wanting to give these a go, come on Lizzie get this sorted out,  please make another shade for us 'pinky' pale beauties.
On a more successful note the cream and powder blushers were all lovely shades, and I really could have worn every one of them,  but decided to increase my cream blush collection and purchased shades 02 Blossom & 04 Rose

Rose (Left) & Blossom (Right)

I did also purchase some skincare products Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish 200ml, Instant Boost Skin tonic 200ml, Eyebright 150ml, mini Superbalm in Pink Shimmer, and my complimentary gift was a 50ml Eyebright.

I was also lucky enough to get a free Liz Earle branded Tote Bag, which was a nice surprise.

SPACK.NK apothecary was next on my list, there is a store just a short walk from the Liz Earle store, unfortunately it wasn't open on Sunday, which was rather disappointing,  it did however provide a good photo opportunity for Mr RHBD to snap me sitting next to a rather charming sculpture.

This put abit of a spanner in the works as I particularly wanted to visit SPACE.NK as it sells the By Terry brand of make up & skincare.
I've had my eye on this brand for a while now and I'd heard and read only good things about it, but as it is fairly expensive I really wanted to see it before I purchased it to avoid any costly mistakes!

iphone to the rescue again! After a quick browse on SPACE.NK's website, I found there was another store in Covent Garden,  OK we're back on track now!

Chelsea - Just one of 100 Phone Boxes displayed across London decorated by artists to be sold to raise funds for Childline.

We decided to walk the mile or so through Chelsea, have a look at Harrods and get on the Tube at Knightsbridge to Covent Garden.
The walk was lovely, lots of beautiful old buildings and houses, we passed the V&A Museum, which we must visit next time, and if fancy cars are your thing then there was row after row of them parked up and on the road! MR RHBD was in his element and his little face had to be peeled off the Lamborghini Showroom window in Kensington!
I did spot a stunning Aston Martin with the Reg JEN 3E - so that's where I left it!, I'm so absent minded these days !!

Harrods was, well, what can only be described as ridiculously busy, we only spent about 10 minutes in there as it was just unbearable, far too many people,  it is an incredible building and the interior is amazing, well the small part of it I saw was, but certainly not somewhere I'd care to visit again unless it was empty, perhaps when I win the euro millions I can ask for a private viewing!!

 A short trip on the Underground again we popped up at Covent Garden and finally arrived at SPACE.NK that was open - Hooray!

SPACE.NK Store Covent Garden London
This store is fabulous, lots of luxury boutique brands, some that simply can't be found anywhere else, it was a feast for the eyes, beautifully designed, modern fresh, but still has a welcoming feel.
The first brand that greets you as you come through the door is By Terry, ahhhh at last I can get my little paws on it!
By Terry Counter SPACK.NK Covent Garden London

It really was a case of what do I pick first? Well I had to go for the By Terry Cover Expert, described as a Ultra Correcting Coverage Foundation,  I chose shade 1 but shade 2 would have suited me as well, I also decided to purchase the By Terry Rose de Rose Liquid Blush in 1 Fresh Rose.

By Terry Cover Expert & By Terry Rose de Rose Liquid Blush

If I had unlimited finances then I would have purchased everything on the By Terry counter it was all gorgeous! but I was under the close scrutiny of Mr RHBD so had to behave myself!

So that wrapped up my shopping trip to London,  so many shops not enough time I'm afraid!
I had a really positive enjoyable time there - infact another trip is in order I think!

I will of course be reviewing all the make up I bought from London in depth in a future post. 
 I am currently giving them a proper trial as I only share my thoughts on products after using them for at least a couple to three weeks so I can be sure they perform or not as the case may be!

Any Thoughts? Let me know! Leave a comment or contact me!

Jenny xx

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