Sunday, 14 November 2010

Notes from a Big Country: US Beauty Report

After a week traipsing around New York, I'm back home with a bump and very, very much looking forward to a long hot bath.  But first, here are a few beauty related things I learned on my trip to the Big Apple.

A week without my Clarisonic has left my skin in a terrible state; I left it at home because I was worried it'd turn on in my luggage and cause a security alert or something (yes, I am paranoid).  I dutifully oil cleansed my makeup off every night, but evidently a single cleanse was no match for city grime; I've now got a delightful crop of spots.  The first thing I did when I got through the door was to Clarisonic my face, and I feel a lot better for it; truly, it's one of those products you don't realise how much you love until you stop using it.

Sephora, once a place where I could spend hours staring at products only found in the US, is no longer quite the draw it used to be.  Makeup brands such as theBalm, Makeup Forever, and Smashbox are no longer inaccessible in the UK; with the advent of the Internet much of what I found in Sephora could be ordered in the UK.  Of course, the exclusive products are still out of our grasp - like the Sephora by OPI nail collection - but luckily, I've brought a little bit back to give away.

Speaking of Sephora by OPI, they now have a range of oh-so-trendy nail stickers, developed by Minx.  Costing $15 a pop, the single use sets have some very cool designs, but I didn't indulge - mostly as the package claims they last for only 1 - 2 days.

Manicures, pedicures, and now threading are available in the city at very low prices.  I saw manicures for $10, and threading for as little at $6 or $7.  Threading is becoming more and more popular in the UK and as a result, cheaper, but I don't think I've ever seen a session advertised for around £4.  I suppose the low prices are related to the difference in what's considered maintenance versus a treat - I don't know anyone in the UK who has regular maintenance manicures, whereas it seems that in the US, regular manicures are the norm.

I discovered a new haunt in Rickys NYC - less makeup, more skincare and haircare than you might find in Sephora, with a massive range of brands, some European and some American.  I found Miss Jessie's curly haircare, Manic Panic hair colour, Essie and OPI nail products, and a wide range of brushes, hair styling tools, and more.  High end to low end, I spent a very happy half hour trawling the shelves of the Fifth Avenue branch.

And finally... interestingly, most of the Sephora branches I popped into were still sold out of the UD Naked palette! Looks like the well-hyped palette is still in demand, despite it being part of the permanent range!


  1. Great post! I really can't wait to go to America next year, haven't booked anything yet but it has to happen - I've been promising myself a trip for the past 2 years!

  2. Ahh what I'd do for a trip to New York!! I went Dubai earlier & trawled through all the makeup shops there (much to my husbands annoyance), they had sephora, victoria's secret, lush, everything!
    I have to say, where I work in central london, the prices for threading are minimum £12-13 for eyebrows, which is daylight robbery in my opinion, seeing as in east London (or heavily indian populated areas of London such as Southall), the prices are £2.50-£3 for both eyebrows!!
    This is why I refuse to pay such scandalous prices in central london.. but I guess if it's the only option for people who live near there, then they get away with it!

  3. Great post! I understand your ~paranoia about the Clarisonic, I always get flashbacks when travelling of that conversation they have in Fight Club about *ahem* vibrators going off in luggage XD


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