It had to happen...and it did.

One of the best things about London (definitely not the weather) in summer has to be the ongoing sales all over and Selfridge & Co is no exception. The trip there was hovering near the top of my to do list, and ironically it was to buy the Percy & Reed Dry Shampoo, which I ended up not buying because I was a little disturbed by how easily the lid on it fell off, which makes me feel like someone had already used it. I don't like this at all. A little bit of plastic wrapping would be nice. The environment isn't fragile enough for me to be willing to omit a protective layer of plastic over something which can be readily used in store by all and sundry. Horror!

Nevertheless, this did not deter me from amassing so much stuff that I may have traumatised myself a little.

Yes, this is going to be a long post. I'm going to be showing you an idea of what is going to be reviewed in due time, so I'll go over this in in order of purchase.

First off, I headed straight to Lancome because I have been waiting rather impatiently for their new Alber Elbaz collection to be released and if I'm not wrong, other than being sold online, they are exclusive to Selfridge's and Harrod's in the UK. So, when I popped round to the counter and saw the collection, which had just been launched on the 17th, on display, I was ecstatic. Then the beauty consultant informed me that they were giving stuff away with the purchase of two full-priced items. I love sample sized stuff so I really can't say no to such things. The following picture is a combination of purchases between the Enabler and myself:

[Lancome's Alber Elbaz Hypnose Mascaras, Exfoliator and Freebies]

The least exciting product here (but still thrilling) would be the exfoliator:

[Lancome's Exfoliance Clarte (£29)]

I do love exfoliators and this was one of my two purchases. I couldn't help it. 

Then, there were mascaras:

[Lancome's Alber Elbaz Hypnose Mascaras (£23 each)]

Look how pretty!!! For the record, just one of these is mine. The other two belong to the Enabler, so this is a combined public service. The collection actually has 4 mascaras, but she had the fourth as well as the mascara I bought from a prior purchase in their traditional black and gold packaging as will be shown below. There is no material difference in the quality of the product, merely the packaging. So, if you already have any of these, don't buy them again unless you really want to. You should. SO PRETTY!

[Lancome's Alber Elbaz Hypnose Star Mascara (£23)]

This is supposed to be their "ultra glam" mascara, but I've never loved the wand which is the only thing stopping me from getting it. It looks ordinary enough, much like their Noir Hypnotic (which will be shown later). It's dramatic, but not unnaturally so and would work reasonably well for daily use.

[Lancome's Hypnose Drama Mascara - Alber Elbaz & Regular Packaging (£23 and £22 respectively)]

This mascara is my favourite of the lot because I am a huge fan of volumising mascaras. It's supposed to be full bodied and the wand is a little twisted to enable greater coverage and reach in coating the lashes. So much love! As you can see, there really is no difference between the original and the Alber Elbaz wand and formula, it's just prettier, and a pound more pricey! I'm just glad I never gave in to buying it before this!

[Lancome's Alber Elbaz Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara (£23)]

I was contemplating buying this, but I didn't because I wasn't sure about the wand, and now I have regrets! The Enabler tried it on today, and look:

[The Enabler with Lancome's Doll Eyes Mascara]

It's beautiful! And she was told she didn't even have to curl her lashes prior to use, which she followed and the result still worked out wonderfully. Now I want this too. 

[Lancome's Hypnose Mascara (£22)]

This is the fourth mascara in the collection, and the packaging is green (all the primary colours). The want is a little thicker than the Star wand and this is lauded for its volumising properties. It really is a very lovely mascara. Lancome generally excels in this area so if you're looking to buy a mascara that isn't from the pharmacy, look into their stuff.

[Lancome's Freebies (with purchase of two full priced items)]

We shan't discuss the cleansers, even though I love all of them (and if you want an amazing eye makeup remover, buy this), but let's talk about the makeup! 

[Lancome's Noir Hypnotic]

I already had this in the exact same size, but one can never have too many travel friendly mascaras, and I absolutely love it! It really is one of my favourites, and this is coming from something with 5 different mascaras currently being used in rotation. The formula of this is just wonderful. I despise "crunchy" eyelashes, and this doesn't give you that effect. It also doesn't give you the false lash effect, and that makes me quite happy. It's the perfect volumising and defining mascara and because this is a few months old, it has started to flake a little after 7 hours, but that really isn't too bad. The effect on the lashes remains until you remove it and if you want a good, mildly dramatic mascara, get this. The full-sized product retails for £22.

[Lancome's L'absolu Rouge - Rose Nu (6)]

Such a pretty colour! This rusty rose-pink would assuredly be complimentary on any skin tone and age group, and as with all their lipsticks, it's reasonably moisture-retaining which is very important. I love it! The full size retails for £22.

Then, on to Clarins. My initial reason for visiting their counter was because the madre needed some stuff, but then this happened:

At least half of this picture is not my fault! They gave me a ridiculous number of samples (thanks to prompting of course), and I am eternally grateful! Then again, Clarins has always been extremely generous with their sample provision.

[Clarins' Bag of Samples]

First up, my mother's stuff:

[Clarins' Extra-Firming Night and Day Creams (£50 and £48 respectively)]

My mother has always been a die hard Clarins fan, so she will probably be just as excited as I am about all the sample stuff. Her skin is actually really great for her age, so she may be on to something. In any event, I'm pretty sure that the generosity of samples was a result of what she wanted so that worked out well.

[Clarins' Daily Energizers Kit (£10)]

This kit was on offer and it's very hard to pass something like this up. It cannot be denied that Clarins really does make great products, and I'm really stoked about testing this out.

[Clarins' All About Eyes Kit (£15)]

[Clarins' Instant Definition Mascara (£21)]

Considering that the mascara itself retails for £21, this set is very much a bargain. The want is extremely interesting because it tapers quite drastically towards the tip. It makes me very happy. I also like the fact that the packaging gives you tips on how to use the product properly.

I'm reasonably sure you're beginning to see the trend of kits and mascara on this blog, and for good reason. They are the best. Along with eye cream. How can you not love eye cream?!

So, Clarins has reasonably recently forayed into the world of makeup, and I'm a little curious about their stuff. I figured this kit gives me all the reason I need to try the mascara first. Plus, there's eye cream.

I may not sound overly enthused about all the eye makeup remover I'm receiving, but don't be fooled. I don't use the stuff regularly because I'm lazy and just hold makeup removal wipes on my eyes for about a minute to loosen the stuff before swiping it off, but I think I probably should start using a proper remover. Now that I'm growing old.

[Eye Cream Samples]

More eye cream hehehe

[Base Samples]

I can't wait to try this out actually because the beauty advisor informed me that this would work really well as a primer to cover up pores, etc. And my pores are horribly visible. At present I'm using Clinique's Pore Perfecting thingy as a primer and it's working extremely well. I wonder how this will fare. Can't wait to test it out!



Yes, she gave me a reasonably large bottle of perfume! It looks like it's for women, but smells rather maybe it's for trannies? Who knows. At some point I might test it out on my person, but for now I don't feel like smelling like a dude. Maybe tomorrow.

Now, for the product I'm almost too thrilled to discuss:

[Caudalie's Divine Oil (£25)]

I have been lusting after this for over a month now, and for me that is an eternity. It's a multi-purpose oil which can be used for the face, hair and body - That is value for money right there. What I find a brilliant selling point is the fact that it comes with a pump because I have coordination problems. This allows me to remove an appropriate amount from the bottle to prevent wastage. It isn't cheap, but you don't need terribly much for it to be effective.

Yes, I have tested it. How does it fair? I want to buy a carton of them to take back with me because only one place in KL sells them. I got this yesterday and last night I used it on my face and hair. I couldn't stop touching my face before falling asleep, and then again when I woke up. I'm someone with combination/oily skin, so the fact that this sunk in seamlessly without leaving a horribly oily residue speaks in its favour. I love it!

As for the hair, this weather is murdering any moisture present in my locks, which is very depressing indeed. I used a very small amount (two pumps) on my hair (halfway down and through to the tips) and it immediately sank in and smoothed it out a little. This morning when I washed my hair, I spritzed 4 pumps onto my hair and right now it's softer than it has been in the (almost) week that I've been here. I love it so much! A caveat however is that I used a mask on my hair for the first time today as well, so the combination may be key, but I'll test it out on its own and see how it works. For now though, I'm very much enamoured with this product.

On a side note, the Enabler bought Moroccan Oil which I intend to steal and test out. I'll compare the two at some point.

Next up is the item of severe indulgence which I just couldn't pass up. I couldn't. I tried. I saw it before looking for Caudalie, and then I came back to it and tested it and couldn't walk away again.

Yes, La Prairie. I know...I know. I couldn't walk away. My soul soared a little when it realised I would be buying this. Now, if that isn't an indication of what you should buy, then I don't know what is!

A little background: In the past, I have used their Cellular Time Release Moisturizer...and omg. If it is ever within your price range, just buy it. Seriously. It is definitely right up there with La Mer. It might actually be better...but I haven't done an active comparison. At present, I'm using their Lip Moisturiser and Hand Cream and they're both really, really up to par! Such love!

So naturally, buying this is like entering a new relationship. You're all heady and semi-worship the ground on which it stands. *sigh* Young love...

There were other sets available, but this was the least "old person"-ish which makes me feel young. She also mentioned that this was great for combination/oily skin which was all I needed to be convinced to whip my wallet out. I'm so easy.

[La Prairie's Advanced Marine Biology Kit (£88)]

Now I know that this seems like a lot of money for this kit, but it works wonders. I haven't tried it yet, but from past experience, I know this.

So, the set comes with a cleanser, toner/serum, moisturizer and eye cream. Everything you would need for the basics of facial-ing. Eye cream hehehe. So much love! 

I cannot wait to try this out but I will. I'll replace my current regimen with it when I get back to KL and hopefully I will remain this enthusiastic about it. I'm positive I will be! I cannot wait!!!

Now, that was all I bought from Selfridge's. Yes, all. Don't argue.

But when we were walking through the train station to get home, someone stopped us with a nail buffer. I noticed the Dead Sea Minerals tag and got a little too interested for possibly my own good. There is a valid reason for this! A couple of years back when I was walking around MBS in Singapore, some random dude stopped me with a nail buffer. I know...I have to stop stopping for random dudes with nail buffers. He was a representative of Seacret and he spent about 3 minutes buffing my nail and told me the manicure-like shine would last for a month. Naturally, I didn't believe him so I didn't buy it. But honestly, the shine lasted for 3 weeks. It was insane! It looked like a brand new manicure daily! I was so impressed with it. So when I saw this I couldn't stay away!

[Gadi Products]

So he stopped me and buffed my nail while telling unending stories about the Dead Sea. When he was done, it was just as shiny as the Seacret buffer and I was ready to buy it at any price! Thankfully the Enabler was present and put her bargaining skills to good use by asking for a discount. So in the end we got him down to a 1-for-1 offer for the nail kit:

[Gadi Nail Kit (£20)]

I actually only wanted the buffer, but who can say no to kits? Not I!

As can be seen from the picture, the buffer has 3 sides: The grey (or black for the colour blind) is for nails which are stained or have ridges. So, it can be used post-nail polish removal, for older nails or for smokers. The green is for buffing...just a pre-shine buff really. And finally the white....which is for that incredible shine. I kid you not when I say that this might put an end to my obsessive nail painting. The shine on the nail has no diminished even mildly since yesterday even though I am a compulsive hand-washer. When I say compulsive, I mean it. I have to have washed my hands at least 35 times since last night after I got home from the tube station.

This is unbelievable. I'm curious as to how long this will last so let me see how it goes. If it does work as well as it is supposed to (he promised 2 weeks of shine), then I'll do a post on how it fares over that time frame on all my nails. So exciting!!!

Of course, he had us trapped with the buffer, so he started showing us other products, and I couldn't resist the exfoliator:

[Gadi's Body Exfoliator (£20)]

He also gave me this for 50% off so I'm quite happy about that. It's worth it for two reasons: 1) He taught me how to property exfoliate with a salt scrub without irritating the skin, 2) My skin after he demonstrated the product was so unbelievably soft I couldn't say no to it. Really...really...REALLY baby soft. It was amazing. He told me before I bought it that it would remain soft for 3 days, and I sort of believe him right now because even after compulsive washing, the skin on my hands (including my palms) is so much softer than it has been for years. I love it!

Seriously, I am direly in love with this line right now and I cannot return to Bond Street Station for fear of purchasing more products. By the way, the scrub comes in two scents: Sandalwood Lavender and Tangerine Vanilla. I'm not a fan of vanilla-scented products so I steered clear. This smells amazing though. I really am curious as to how it will work on my legs for issues such as in-grown hair and scarring.

Another interesting point he brought up was that these scrubs can be used for people with psoriasis and eczema which tend to show improvement because of the natural minerals in there. I might get my mother to try it out because she has a few skin problems in that range, so I'll follow up with a blog on this product alone.

[Gadi's Hand Cream (FOC)]

The Enabler also extorted hand creams for us out of him and it's a decent enough product. Not the best...or maybe I just didn't see a difference because my skin was already so soft hahaha.

End of ridiculously long haul.