The London Posts | Shopping

Thursday, January 4, 2018


I'm gonna keep this short and sweet. London has some of the best shopping I've ever seen. As someone who knows some malls as well as my house, I was awestruck by all the shops and possibilities waiting inside. I didn't actually do as much shopping as I thought, but going in the stores on my list were well worth the experience. Enjoy!

Harrods



One of my friends was obsessed with going to Harrods every day when she was in London around February last year. So naturally, I had to experience it for myself and found myself there on our first day. I felt like I was in another dimension once I got inside. Mostly because there were so many people and so much to look at. This is honestly where my sensory overload kicked in because I didn’t know what to do with myself.  

I explored through the luxury accessories hall with Amina, where we all but drooled over Gucci and Celine. Next, I made my way up to the Christmas floor. That’s right, a whole flippin’ floor dedicated to Christmas. There were beautiful, delicate, and unique ornaments everywhere but I couldn’t decide on one to buy and they were also kinda expensive. New choice.

I ended up moving to the other half of the Christmas hall where Harrods has more signature gifts, perfect for a tourist like me. I ended up picking up two dish towels for my mom (one was the whole store front of Harrods set in a winter wonderland (!!)), 'Merry Christmas' garland from Meri Meri, and some gifts for my Harrods loving friend.



Every single Youtuber I follow in the UK, loves The White Company. And with good reason. It’s everything beautiful, crisp, and white from bedding, bath, and home accessories. It reminds me of small Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel with the most amazing smelling candles. The Winter candle is most well known, especially the giant one frequently seen in Tanya Burr’s house. Even though I was obsessed with the Night candle, I went for the small Winter candle with notes of Cinnamon, Orange, and Cloves. It smells like a warm, cozy winter day as we wait for Christmas to arrive. I haven’t burned it yet but hopefully I’ll mention it again soon.




Once you read this, you’ll probably think, “She went all the way to England for a drugstore?” And yes, yes I did. Several of my friends know me well enough to bring me back a few favorites that are only available in Superdrug (or Boots, another drugstore). Even if you’re not looking for anything, I just recommend venturing inside one for the experience. 

Superdrug actually carries some of my favorite Youtuber’s products that aren’t available here so I made sure to stop in one after we hit up The White Company. Zoella and Tanya Burr have their ranges in Superdrug with exclusive things I can’t get here in America. Luckily, Zoe sells her original and other lines in Target and Ulta now (you’re welcome), her Christmas range was only in Superdrug (as far as I know). I already planned on getting her You’re Cracking gift set which has a full size Winter Wonderhand hand cream, 3.3 oz Snow Silky body lotion, and 3.3 oz Snow Fresh body wash. She had a huge collection but this was truly my taste and I’ve loved using every product since I got home. 

Tanya Burr’s stuff is always hit or miss with me. She always makes her products seem phenomenal in her videos but in person, they’re quite poor quality and you have to work hard to achieve a certain look. Regardless, I still tried to give her a chance and picked up her eyebrow pencil and mascara from her Selfie Story range. Spoiler alert, I’m not too impressed with either.



While my friend loved Harrods, I loved Selfridges. I could have spent half a day just wandering around the nine (!!) floor department store. The Christmas decorations alone would dazzle anyone and fill them with Christmas cheer. It was another store that was packed with people everywhere, so hello sensory overload again. We really had intentions to meet my friend Indi at the Charlotte Tilbury counter where she works but she was swamped with people, naturally, so we explored the store while we waited for her to be free. I was slightly underwhelmed by their selection of Christmas decorations, but still thrilled to be inside. 

The decorations were truly the center of the store with garland covering every railing on every floor, filled with ornaments of various colors. Hanging beside the escalators were giant ornaments of silver and gold with dazzling lights bouncing off of them as people descended and ascended the escalators. There were other displays that we saw going down the escalators with figures of Santa Claus and various friends to help spread holiday cheer. 

I loved Selfridges and wished I could have spent more time within its welcoming halls. I did end up buying a mug for my mom from their Corner Store and a Matte Revolution Lipstick and Color Chameleon eyeshadow pencil from Charlotte Tilbury. 




Another historic shopping staple tucked off Oxford Street on equally exciting Regent Street. Honestly, it was like someone had smacked me in the face when I realized Liberty was right there. It’s impossible to miss with its iconic exterior and equally inviting interior. The first time I went, it was after we had gone to Selfridges, John Lewis, and Topshop. By then, I was exhausted, cold, and really tired of dealing with so many people everywhere. Literally, people are everywhere in London, especially Oxford Street, and walk wherever they please. Exhausting.


The second time I went back was with Indi and I was determined to buy something. We explored the store together, taking our time since Amina and I had kinda rushed through the first time and Indi hadn’t been in ages. It was so cool to just explore the different floors and really take in what Liberty had to offer. Indi and I really bonded over certain things and took pictures outside amongst the infamous flowers too. If you don’t take pictures of the flowers, did you really go to Liberty?

I ended up getting two ornaments from their Christmas hall (they had one too!!) for my Christmas tree back home. One was a large, beautiful dark blue bauble with a glitter design. Another was dog ornament that looked alot like Parker and Ava. The blue ornament ended up being one of my mom’s favorites on our tree this year. 


Liberty was amazing, even when it was overwhelming and well worth a walk through. 

Skinnydip & Too Faced


These two stores were located on quaint Carnaby Street. Carnaby was one of my favorite places in all of London because of its small, boutique sized stores of all sorts and the Christmas decorations that hung and twinkled up above while we walked around. Skinnydip London sells a lot of tongue in cheek products from phone cases to makeup bags. Even if it’s available in the US, it’s even better in person. Indi and I hit the Skinnydip store where I ended up picking up a keychain and makeup bag, both featuring peaches. I just really love peaches (and my Sweet Peach palette). 


Speaking of Too Faced, they opened one of their first stand alone stores on Carnaby Street. It was everything a Too Faced lover (or experienced Sephora shopper) would expect of this super fun and innovative brand. It had everything we could find at home but it was so much fun just being inside. I didn’t get anything but Indi replaced her favorite Born This Way concealer and picked up a mini size of the Hangover setting spray (which isn’t available at Sephora yet–rude). 


Another treasure located on Carnaby Street. Lily Pebbles loves this shop and I wrote it down after seeing it in a couple of her vlogs. I could describe it as a London souvenir shop with everything from unique prints, cards and other gifts. It makes it sound super cheesy but it’s not at all! It was the first store I walked in and I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I actually picked things up to buy without hesitation and walked out happy. 

I picked up a hand drawn print of various perfume bottles from Chanel, Flowerbomb, and Tom Ford. It’s so simple but I loved it more than any of the others. They had a ton featuring London and its many parts but there were simply too many to decide on. I also picked up several magnets to give to friends back home that were drawn of Tower Bridge and Carnaby St. The Carnaby Street now lives on my fridge. I also picked up some dish towels (England loves a dishtowel much to my pleasure) that read ‘Prosecc-ho-ho-ho.’ Couldn’t resist at the holidays. They also had one that read ‘Gin-gle Bells’ and I’m still not over it. 

Definitely visit for unique gifts for the ones on your list and for yourself. The people working there are so kind and friendly too! 

**

These were mainly the big highlights of my trip but there were other shops on my list that I wanted to mostly experience. I didn’t shop as much as I thought but I loved seeing the stores I’d always seen in Youtube videos and on Instagram. 


With Indi, we went to Covent Garden where we went inside the tiny The Ordinary, an unbelievably inexpensive skincare brand that’s now on Sephora.com. I knew Indi had several products from them and they were super inexpensive but I had no idea just how good they were. When I saw that mostly all their products were under ten pounds, I was gobsmacked. Indi just smiled, knowing she was right. I ended up picking up their Marula oil for eight pounds and Resveratrol & Ferulic Acid serum for five pounds (!!). These two aren’t available on Sephora’s website yet but The Ordinary’s site is super easy to navigate. I haven’t used them enough yet but expect a blog post soon. 


Indi also let me venture inside the Nars Boutique just down the lane from Covent Garden, surrounded by Urban Decay, Moleskine, and Jo Malone. The Nars Boutique was tiny and cute, with a selection of everything any Nars lover could ever want. 


Amina and I walked almost all of Regent Street one night, with my favorite Christmas lights twinkling above, where we went inside Anthropologie, just to look around. Then Amina made me go into the Burberry store so we could say we did. I’m surprised I haven’t had a dream about that multi-story wonder of Burberry dreams. Their latest collection hangs beautifully along each side of the walls with their Christmas displays placed tastefully around the inside. There was a giant screen playing their holiday video featuring Matt Smith and Cara Delevingne between the two grand staircases leading upstairs. There was even a room just for their iconic cashmere scarves (the one day I wasn’t wearing mine). Thank you Amina for dragging me in there, even though I wanted to cry. 


I also loved Marks & Spencer, a department store throughout all of England. It has a lot of grocery store locations too which was why I was so excited to experience the food hall down in the bottom of the Oxford Street location. Upstairs, with the clothing and other accessories, I was reminded of being in a Kohl’s back home. But downstairs, where the food waited for me, was something else. They had everything anyone could ever want for their Christmas dinner to a quick bite on the go. Amina and I were starving that morning so we picked up these bottled Iced Lattes that were more coffee than sweetener, they were probably one of the best things we had on the trip. I also got a vanilla bean, greek yogurt, and maple syrup smoothie too purely because maple syrup. I wish I could have spent more time in that Marks & Spencer so I could have bought food I didn’t need but I loved it. 

Lush store on Oxford Street
On one of our last days, I journeyed from Piccadilly Circus to Fortnum & Mason, a tea and gift shop mainly selling tea, various biscuits, and other food for every party (or Christmas dinner). I swear half of London was in that shop buying for Christmas. I could barely make a decision on what biscuits on wanted with all the holiday mayhem going around me. I picked up a tin of Pistachio & Clotted Cream biscuits after trying some from a friend of my mom’s and Salted Caramel biscuits too (purely because I couldn’t resist the tin). Fortnum & Mason is apparently sold at William Sonoma so I don’t have to ever worry about venturing back into that madness again. 

John Lewis on Oxford Street (the BEST lights)

Along with Superdrug, I went into a Boots (several actually), for the experience and I had things I needed to pick up. I heavily debated over some of Zoella’s holiday lifestyle collection (yes she had a range here too) and then wandered around aimlessly with no decision no sight. Eventually I picked up two bottles of body wash from a vegan brand called Original Source, that I was familiar with from Anna of TheAnnaEdit. I’m not fussed with them being vegan but it’s a plus. I picked up the Lime & Coconut Milk and the Mango ones which I ended up using through the rest of the trip. They were about one pound each too, so why not? 





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