Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beauty Abroad, Part 3: Guerrilla Swatches from Topshop, Rimmel, and Illamasqua

Two weeks after I arrived in England, I finally set foot in the huge mall near my boyfriend's apartment. It's a ten-minute walk away, so I'm not sure what was holding me back except my congenital fear of spending money. I needn't have worried, because I wandered for three and a half hours and still came away empty-handed. I know: what kind of blogger am I?

Well, not quite empty-handed: here be swatches.

I was very excited to explore Topshop's makeup selection, especially their blushes. They don't have a huge selection, but I liked the shades I tried out. Top to bottom: powder blushes in Dream Phone and Let Her Go; cream blushes in Flush and Head Over Heels. All the blushes are £7, I believe.


Dream Phone is a neutral plum-tinged pinky brown; Let Her Go and Flush are pink corals, but Flush is slightly cooler; Head Over Heels is a peachy orange very similar to Sleek Life's a Peach. I think I'll end up buying Dream Phone eventually--I don't have a neutral brownish pink blush, and this particular one is cool-toned enough for my complexion and, with its plum tones, perfect for fall and winter. I told myself at the time that Dream Phone was too similar to NARS Mata Hari, but I think I was lying. I'm not a good liar.

Also, check out Topshop's massive WALL OF POLISH, and my obnoxious floral jeans.


Most of the polishes are £5, though the glitters at the bottom are £6. I'll probably go back for Clique, an avocado green; it's the third color from the left in the second row. I've been hunting for a chartreuse nail polish for a while, and this one looks perfect.

Moving on to Boots, I played with Rimmel's Apocalips Lip Lacquer, a range of liquid lipsticks. These are available in the States, though not very widely. Their American name is "Show Off Lip Lacquer," perhaps to avoid offending the great number of Americans who believe the apocalypse is nigh. I've read mixed reviews of these lipsticks, but I was certainly impressed with their pigmentation. Top to bottom: Luna, a pale orange; Stellar, a super-saturated red-coral; Apocaliptic, a fuchsia almost identical to Milani Pink Rave; and Across the Universe, a lush 1940s-style browned dark red.


By the way, I've been pleasantly surprised that the drugstores in England have makeup testers. In America, testers are strictly for higher-end stores like Sephora; there's no way to test makeup in a drugstore except by opening and mauling a pristine item (which, believe me, many people do).

Finally, I headed to the beauty department at Selfridges, where I saw something I had never seen before: a giant Illamasqua counter. I made a beeline for the cream blushes (£21.50) and swatched the four that had been on my radar in recent months: Dixie, a peachy pink; Libido, a red-orange; Rude, a lighter, warmer peach than Dixie; and Zygomatic, a pink-beige.


My favorite turned out to be Zygomatic, which reminded me of Dream Phone; I was really feeling the cool-toned pink-brown neutrals today. Liz will kill me for not buying Dixie after mentioning it in so many posts, but I don't know, I just thought it would be more coral and less pink? I'M SORRY.

I did, however, try it on. I was already wearing Life's a Peach, but not much of it, so what you're seeing here is almost entirely Dixie. In weird dressing-room light:


Back home, in normal light:


There was also a Suqqu counter! Part of me had always believed that Suqqu was a mythic brand accessible only to demigods and royalty, so I was taken aback. Unfortunately, the lady at the counter was so pushy that I couldn't stay more than a few seconds. I also saw the Dior Fluid Sticks in person for the first time ever, which was more exciting than it should have been. Today my cheapness won out, but I'm sure there will be a next time. Until then, I have my two-dimensional images to console me.

8 comments:

  1. LOL! I will forgive you if you buy Zygomatic. Dixie looks quite subtle here and I love the way Zygomatic looks on your skin, so... please. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the gelatos at some point. :D

    We didn't have a big Illamasqua counter except for a crowded little stand in Sephora until this past year when one of our major department stores started carrying them. I have a HUGE wish list going right now and have major plans for Libido and probably all their other blushes. I don't know what it is, but they are just begging to be collected.

    And thanks for finally inspiring an Apocalips lemming after all this time. That obnoxiously bright cherry red is giving me some serious come hither vibes.

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    1. I think I will buy Zygomatic, but I might wait and buy it at Sephora back in the States! It's about $10 cheaper there, and if I order Zygomatic and NARS Barrow Street eyeliner at the same time, I'll be *just* over the free-shipping minimum. *dusts hands*

      Across the Universe is definitely my favorite of the Apocalipses (?) I swatched. I have a feeling it will show up on the blog before too long...

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    2. ...or did you mean Stellar? That one is gorgeous too, but it looks similar enough to Vibrant Mandarin that I can't justify buying it.

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    3. I meant Stellar. :)

      And Illamasqua is cheaper in the US than in Britain? Isn't it an English brand???

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    4. Yes, isn't that weird? The cream blush is $26 in the US and £21.50, or about $36, in the UK. Damn this exchange rate! (Though it was much worse when I was over here last time--about $2.75 to the pound. Now it's $1.69.)

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  2. The first I'd heard of Suqqu was through Lisa Eldridge so I too assumed it was served at the altar of the gods.

    It's fascinating to hear about the naming differences in different countries -- those lipsticks are Apocalips here too!

    Basically, this post has inspired highly pitched keening noises.

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    1. I was going to write a witty and insightful comment...

      ...But Teresa kind of beat me to it ;-) So, basically 'What she said'. :-D

      It's a shame you guys don't have testers so much in the States. It must be one of the few 'advantages' we have here in makeup shopping.... (I'd prefer lower prices and wider brand selection, but I'LL TAKE IT!)

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    2. Yeah, I think I'd rather have lower prices than drugstore testers, but why can't we all have both?! It's a hassle to buy a sealed lipstick, discover how different it looks from the colored sticker on the tube, and go back to return it. At least our return policies are usually generous.

      Lisa Eldridge IS a goddess, or at least the muse of cosmetics. I'd gladly sacrifice a goat to her (a goat made of tofu).

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