I’ve shared my New York wishlist on the blog, so most of the items featured in this post shouldn’t come as a big surprise. I’m excited to share with you what I decided to take home as well as some of my favourite stores in case you might have an upcoming trip to the US or a willing mule. I know I did brig home quite a few things, but I want to disclaim that I had been saving for a while and that it also was my birthday so I had quite a bit of birthday money to splurge on myself as well.
With so many books and magazines to choose from and at such better rates than here in South Africa, I really struggled to limit myself. I picked up a copy of Veranda, a beautiful home decor magazine as well as two books by Nichole Robertson, namely Paris in Color and New York in Color, in honour of the last two places I visted. Both are absolutely beautiful and were a steal on Amazon. I’ve also previously ordered (via my travelling husband) the Elements of Style by Erin Gates and more recently It’s Beautiful Here by Megan Morton.
I didn’t pick up as many clothing pieces as I expected, as the quality of Old Navy clothing was slightly disappointing. Although there definitely were a few items I could easily have taken home in Anthropologie and Sezane, I ended up only purchasing a silk shirt in Zara with the perfect pocket details. I also eyed up a few shoes in Sezane and Everlane, but struggled to part with that much money for something I literally walk all over.
During our strolls in Soho I found a beautiful slim gold ring by designer Alexandra Beth. The area was filled with pop-ups and shops stocking beautiful designs by locals and they aren’t as expensive as you might think. I’d highly recommend you keep an eye out if you have something special in mind.
I think this has to be my favourite category as I found so many items were so much more affordable. Of course you could go the luxury beauty route, with brands like Drunk Elephant, Hourglass, Charlotte Tilbury and many more available. Most of my choices were decidedly more budget friendly though.
Sephora was great, but overwhelming and overcrowded. The sales lady also wasn’t much help when I wanted to test out the IT Cosmetics CC cream (sadly the lightest shade is too light and the following too dark on me). It definitely is great if you know what you are looking for, but not the best for browsing.
In Target though, I found what I was looking for. I really regret not picking up the mini Pixi Glow Tonic, but did take home the Milani Rosa Romantica blush which is a great dupe for the Hourglass blushers and the beautiful Kristin Ess The Signature Shampoo. Compared to my usual shampoo, it feels thinner yet no less foamy. It doesn’t make a significant difference in how clean my hair looks, but man does it smell good. The best way to describe the scent would be like a subtle unisex aftershave with the tiniest hint of floral.
Next up was the ELF store, where I replaced my eyeliner brush (for my brows) for only $3 and this beautiful No Budge Shadow Stick in Bronze Metal. Unfortunately though the colour is a little misleading as the shimmer is a warm copper, but the base colour is a cooler grey. This becomes obvious once I blend, so it only really works as a very full-on shadow look with the edges blended. I like the formula though, so if you aren’t looking for a warm shade this would be perfect.
I spent quite some time in the Deciem store as well, where I browsed The Ordinary shelves. In stark contrast to Sephora, the busy sales lady was more than happy to help me test and explain the differences in products. I left with Salicylic Acid (which has been great on spots), 1% Retinol in Squaline and Hyaluronic Acid. Each of these products has found a special spot in my beauty routine, but I’m already planning on ordering a few back-ups of the HA. Now that I know my skin can handle the retinol, I’m also keen to try a stronger dosage and perhaps give the Peeling Solution a go.
Lastly I made my way to the pink heaven that is Glossier. Be warned that the small showroom can get packed and that there might be a line outside if you arrive at an unfortunate time. Much to my husband’s dismay I tested several products before settling on only taking home the Milky Jelly Cleanser. I wouldn’t say it is worth the trek and perhaps if you have medium-oily skin this would be better suited for you. Personally I like the smell and it does make my skin feel clean, but I’ve just realised that I prefer creamier cleansers.
I can now safely say that South-Africans really don’t have it bad when it comes to chocolate choice. In the US most candies are either peanut butter based or made by Herseys. The latter of which we tasted and gladly parted with soon thereafter. Our tried-and-tested favourites includes Yorkies (mint patties), Reese’s Pieces (imagine peanut butter M&Ms) and all the M&M flavours (excluding Birthday cake). We tried Red Vines but found them slightly disappointing, probably due to all the hype.
Whilst I could have easily decorated a whole townhouse whilst there, both my luggage restrictions and credit card limit weighed heavy on me. So in the end I only took home this beautiful agate coaster from Anthropologie (which can only be described as Poetry on steroids.) I’ve long lusted after the agate book ends, but after seeing them in real life I realised that they were too small to create the impact I expected them to give. I also spotted loads of smaller items that I could have easily taken home with me in CB2, West Elm and Sezane.