Last days in London..

Days are going by too fast, and I'm slacking off when it comes to my blogging. I'm sorry about that, but I've been so tired in the evenings. Too much action apparently! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I've had a marvelous trip, and London is definitely on my list over places I want to return to. Soon.

Yesterday it was time to find something fun to do for Øyvind as well. I mean, he was sweet enough to go with me to IMATS for two whole days, so I figured I had to make it up to him in some way. We decided to meet up with Pinchy and her husband, and together we went to the Science Museum! I never thought I'd say this, but I actually found it quite interesting. Unfortunately we didn't get to see much before the fire alarm went off, and everyone had to evacuate the building. Bah. We did however see steam engines, some space history, and we also saw a piece of the rock collected off the Moon's surface. Luckily the Natural History Museum was right next door, so after a really nice lunch at Pret A Manger we ventured off to see the dinosaurs. Just like in the States, in France and possibly any other country but Norway, there were shops everywhere. I went to have a look, and I fell madly in love with a real Amber necklace shaped as a heart, which Øyvind bought for me. I've always found Amber so incredibly fascinating, imagining what might be trapped inside this incredibly old little lump of resin. Easy to please, I told you! The Natural History Museum was an experience. We saw lots and lots of different birds, reptiles, insects and mammals, both current and extinct, before we got to the section with dinosaurs. Everyone knows the dinosaurs were large creatures, but I don't think I understood actually how large until I saw their skeletons! Amazing.

When the Natural History Museum closed we ventured off towards Harrods, just to have been there. My, I have to say I was a little.. shocked. I don't know what I expected really, but the price range was sky high! We walked around, browsed a little, before Pinchy and I found the Laura Mercier counter - and their Tinted Moisturizer. I've been wanting to try it for ages, and figured now would be a good opportunity to get matched for the perfect color. The woman at the counter quickly found one, tested it on my jaw (where it blended right in with my skin), and I decided to purchase it for £33. She matched me to "Fawn", which I later discovered was a color for medium skin with pink tones, and I was so disappointed to have purchased the wrong color yet again. I was pondering going back to get a second opinion, and possibly exchanging it for a more suitable color, but I decided to just go with it - and successfully wore "Fawn" the next day. I can't really say much about it just yet, but so far I love it. It gave me the result I've always wanted from a foundation, but without the hassle! A review will come after I've had the chance to use it some more. We then moved on to the Food Halls, where we kinda got lost among all the food, teas, coffees, immensely expensive apples, chocolate and other candy. I found three boxes of black fruit tea not containing hibiscus, which I'm allergic to, and Øyvind got a can of coffee. The box was so cool, it'll act as a little London memorabilia in our kitchen. After Harrods we needed some food, so we ended up at an English pub called The Paxton Head. Their food was so-so, I had a large plate of Cod & Fish, which was a bit chewy and too greasy even for me. When dinner was devoured we figured it was time to get back to our hotels, so we walked back to the car - and took farewell with our friends. We had such a wonderful day, thank you both for sharing it with us!

For our last day in London Øyvind and I decided to go to Westfield London, a humongous shopping center, and I was excatic! I'll have to admit to having an agenda when I put it on my place-I-wanna-visit-list: Inglot! I purchased everything on my list at IMATS, but I really wanted to go to the store as well. Don't ask. Addiction. Naturally I didn't leave empty-handed (how do one even do that?), and came out with a black little glossy bag containing two eyeliner gels (77 and 87), two body sparkles (57 and 59), one brush (15BJF/S) and another Freedom System palette with four blushes (27, 40, 30 and 33).

INGLOT at Westfield London

One of the two ladies in the store was the same woman who kindly helped me at IMATS, so she immediately greeted me with a big smile as I walked in. The other one kindly helped me pick out four suitable blushes, and I even got a 20% off my purchase! She also used one of the blushes I picked out on my cheeks, and even though I feel like an idiot when I'm wearing blush, I felt.. more alive - if it makes any sense at all. New challenge added to my list: start practicing applying, and wearing blush. Thank you so much ladies, for the wonderful experience at Inglot (both at IMATS and in-store)!

Dior Addict Lipstick: 578 DiorkissI have to say that I love the department stores they have over here like Boots, Debenhams, John Lewis, Fenwick, and so on. They have just about everything, and most of them have point reward cards too! I stopped by Debenhams to look for the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, and I scored! I also had to stop by the Dior counter to have a closer look at the Dior Addict Lipsticks as Monica has tempted me one too many times with her "564 Model" - and after swatching a few of them I ended up buying "578 Diorkiss". The man at the counter said it was their most popular one, and hah.. I got the last one in stock. "578 Diorkiss" is the shade worn by Kate Moss in this photo, I just really liked the pink shade, and could see myself wearing it on a regular basis (which is quite unusual when it comes to pink).

Now, I really wanted to meet up with Ingrid while I was in London, but somehow we didn't get around to it until today. She came all the way to Westfield London, and it was so nice finally meeting her! I've met so many awesome people during the last few days, you have no idea - and Ingrid is certainly one of them. We had a coffee at Starbucks® before we went to M·A·C. I wanted to pick up a backup of the Impeccable Brow Pencil in "Taupe" since it's about to be discontinued. I've just recently discovered the magic of filling in my brows, so I've been using my pencil every day for the past month or so! We walked around for a while, chatting and browsing for clothes, before they started closing and we had to leave. I wish we would have had more time, but I sure we'll meet again.

Ingrid and I at Westfield London

Photos © Shamini Thevarajah '12


Revisiting Champs-Elysees

I'm a little sad when I realize we're headed back home in only four days, but I'm really missing our little fuzzballs now. Like a lot. We spent our day on Champs-Elysées, walking around, having Paris' worst cup of Starbucks, and shopping at the ginormous Sephora. Can you tell how much I love Sephora? This time I wasn't half as stressed out as I was last time, so I actually managed to have a look at things, and buying some goodies there as well. I think this must be my fourth trip to Sephora while here, and this is really starting to get expensive! I stopped by the following counters: Dior, Make Up For Ever, M·A·C, Urban Decay. The man at the Dior counter was very nice, and helped me find what I wanted and match me to the correct shade. At the M·A·C counter I asked the MUA to line my eyes, and she made me look so beautiful by using only the Technakohl Liner in "Graphblack" and some setting powder. I need to get the hang of this liner business, I really want to look like this every day!

We've been stopping by Starbucks a lot while here, but the one on Champs-Elysées, oh man.. it's the worst coffee I've ever had. Apparently they had a new recipe for their wonderful Frappuccino®, or at least that's what they told us, making it taste like crap. Ugh. So disappointed. Apart from Sephora and Starbucks we didn't really do anything but walk around, Øyvind wanted to stop by a few car exhibitions as we walked past, and we shared another nice day in Paris.

Oh, and the buses of Paris deserve their own paragraph in this post. All our experiences with them has been wonderful, no trouble at all. Most of them have automatic ramps and a nice space reserved for people in wheelchairs, and when you signalize for the bus to stop, the driver stop where it's easiest to enter. If people are being asses (apparently they are found here as well), refusing to move from the reserved space, the bus driver will demand them to move away. Awesome! Pleasant drivers, helpful and nice, making it a breeze to get from A to B by bus. It's so good to know that buses are indeed a possibility, so two thumbs up from me!

I wrote this post when we arrived back at the hotel after a nice day in the city, only to understand from Twitter that something horrible had happened at home. I quickly learned that there had been a terrible explosion in Oslo, killing seven people, and there was also a massacre on Utøya, killing a lot of innocent youths. I feel bad for posting about our vacation when something awful like this has just happened, but I choose to keep updating my blog for my friends and family. My heart and thoughts are indeed with everyone involved, both in Oslo and at Utøya.


Shopping with Amira!

On Friday I finally got to meet my darling friend Amira for the very first time, and it was so nice finally seeing her! We've been chatting online for several years, but never had the chance to meet until now. We met outside Jardin du Luxembourg, and sat down on a bench in the park just talking until she had to catch her bus home. It's hard to explain, but it's so awesome when you meet someone in real life, who you've only known online, and you just click. I'm so lucky to have friends like her in my life.. just as I have Pinchy, Fieran and Ingrid, who always manage to magically brighten my days.

We decided to meet up again on Saturday to go shopping. Poor Øyvind, leaving with two makeup and shopping crazy girls, but at least he was able to bring his iPad to avoid death by boredom, or even makeup overkill. I have to say that I'm amazed by the bus system here in Paris, it's so easily accessible! We just have to point at my wheelchair and the driver stops, ejects the ramp, and I'm all set. Since we all needed some food we decided to start off at KFC, which I've never been to. Yes, I am a fast-food lover, so naturally it had to be checked out like everything else! It was crowded by doves, making my heart ache for them with all their injuries (some lacked feathers, others lacked claws and feet), but we managed to have a nice meal without any dove-crashing-into-any-heads-incidents while sitting there.

After having eaten a little we decided to venture on, and stopped by the huge Apple Store on Opéra because of it's nice architecture. I wanted to take a look at their accessories, and I ended up buying a Griffin A-Frame Stand for my iPad - I did tell you that I bought an iPad, no? Anyway. I'm loving the stand, it's the perfect height and everything. Makes nerding so much more convenient. We then moved on to the enormous department store called Galeries Lafayette, heaven for a shopping geek like myself! OK, so I was a bit overwhelmed when we entered, there was people everywhere not really minding me, but I still managed to navigate in between everyone (without injuring any toes). And the ceiling? So incredible! I'll go back and take some pictures during the week, I promise. Inside I found a gorgeous bright coral pashmina I had to get, now regretting that I didn't get one in another color as well, before hitting all the makeup counters. Honestly I can't really remember what we saw when, but the first counter we stopped at was M·A·C. Of course. Amira wanted to take a closer look at the new mineralize eye shadows from Semi-Precious, and I wanted the 234 brush which I didn't find at the local M·A·C. I scored! I don't remember if I said so already, but in addition to the two MES I got on the first day here I also got two more: "Dark Indulgence" and "Blue Sheen". They all look so gorgeous in the pan, and applied wet they are indeed to die for. I also purchased a bottle of Dior Rock Coat, a top coat meant to "smoke up" any regular nail polish. Quite cool actually! I might get a few other Dior nail polishes, we'll see what happens. There's a color called Nirvana, which keeps calling my name.

After a quick break at a Starbucks - I cannot understand why we don't have Starbucks back home, their Frappuccino® Chocolate Chip or even Java Chip is the most amazing beverage on Earth - the next stop on our plan was the other ginormous department store called Printemps. Another heaven! I immediately saw the Giorgio Armani counter, and wanted to take a look at their Eyes to Kill eye shadows. My God. It's something in-between a cream and a powder, without actually being a cream. So smooth, so nice, and the "02 Lust Red" is such an amazing color! I kinda wish I could get more, but with their steep price I refuse to dish out for more than maybe two. I'm lemming "04 Pulp Fiction" as well, but I'm leaning towards skipping it.

After seeing these amazing department stores it was time to head back to the hotel, and in the meantime it had started to rain. Like a lot. Like seriously. Stupid as I am I was wearing a white shirt, white linen pants and a white and silver scarf, so when we arrived back at "our" bus stop and had to walk to the hotel - without an umbrella - I suddenly realized that my clothes had indeed gone see-thru. I was soaking wet from head to toe! Oh well. Just a little everyday action there, I guess? Anyway, I had such an amazing day with Amira that no rain could ruin the day for me.

Interested in knowing what I've shopped so far?
Feel free to "continue reading".