UK Haul 

Hey guys. So as a few of you might know, last month I went to England and Scotland to visit my boyfriend. It was my first time in Scotland, and I already want to run away and live there forever. That being said, I made numerous trips to Superdrug, Boots, and a few other places. Since you all know I love a good drugstore purchase, keep on reading for some of my favorite finds from my trip.

This definitely isn’t everything I bought, but it’s my favorites from the makeup and skincare bits.

By some miracle I managed to find the Simply Pure Hydrating serum that Sali Hughes always goes on about. I bought the moisturizer to go with it. It’s actually a surprisingly good group of products. They do what they say on the bottle. The moisturizer was really cheap and doesn’t irritate my skin and the serum is just a good, basic, hydrating serum.

I was a bit obsessed with the Superdrug Vitamin E cleansing balm that I purchased earlier in the year, so I picked up the Facial Oil this time around. The bottle is pretty tiny, but you only need a few drops. I think it’ll definitely come in handy when winter gets here. Chicago winters tend to suck the life out of everything, including my skin.

I got a cool highlighter from Makeup Revolution. They actually stock these in Ulta in the US now. It’s obviously not a highlight on my skin tone, but it makes for a pretty effect over some blush and adds a hint of warmth. I found a new favorite Max Factor foundation. It’s a cream formula, and although the color is a little too dark, I find I can correct it with a lighter powder. The finish is beautiful and it feels really smooth when  you apply it.

I purchased two Sleek palettes from Boots. I’m not a giant fan of the highlighting phase. I like my matte white powder to highlight. However, I swatched the Solstice palette in store to see what all the fuss was about, and knew I had to buy it. I only bought the blush palette that went with it because every Boots within walking distance from Brighton was out of the Solstice palette and they had some insanely good deal on. The blush is really pigmented though. I like that there’s a cream blush in the same palette too. They’re both pretty nifty, and I got them both for twelve pounds or something like that.

As far as the non makeup finds, I bought a few scarves (Obviously. American girl goes to Edinburgh. Comes back with plaid scarves.) A cute safety pin brooch type thing– No idea what to actually call it. And I discovered two perfumes. I purchased one, and bought a sample of the other, insanely expensive one.

Dead Sexy is by Tokyo Milk. The name makes me cringe a bit, but I really like the way it smells. The salesgirl gave me a big speech about how they make their perfumes “without chemicals”. You know. However that’s supposed to work. So if that sort of thing is important to you, check them out. They’re actually cheaper to buy in America–Which I didn’t really realize until afterwards, but I blame the brain fog on jet lag. I’ve blown 10 dollars on stupider stuff, but we’ll save that for another post.

The other perfume is by fancy, super pretentious perfume house Illuminum. My boyfriend took me for afternoon tea at a super fancy tea room in York– No seriously, they had a pianist and everything. Although she basically sat there and played the entire score of Les Miserables, and being an actress I found it a strange, somewhat depressing choice. Anyway, York is home to one of the oldest perfume shops in England, and it happened to be right around the corner. I went in determined to love Floris Night Blooming Jasmine…and ended up really hating it. The salesman asked me what type of scent I liked and when I mentioned gardenia, he showed me White Gardenia Petals. Complete with a story about how Kate Middleton wore it on her wedding day–Which I assumed he thought would sway me to buy it, but for almost $200 a bottle, I don’t really care what she wore. I decided I would hold off on buying  a big bottle and purchased a sample vial instead. The sample vial does smell a little different, I definitely liked it on my wrist in York better. It’s a beautiful scent though. I think the next time I’m in the UK, that’s what I’ll splurge on. Illuminum do a really interesting black tea scent as well, so definitely check them out.

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I’m working on making some changes to my blog and self hosting it. I have quite a lot of stuff going on at the moment, so it’s coming along a lot more slowly than anticipated, but I will keep you all posted so you don’t miss anything too exciting.

 

Sunburn Tips

I recently got home from visiting England and Scotland…And I somehow managed to get sunburned. Yes. Sunburned. I know.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have already seen that picture, but I’ll put it in here for dramatic effect. It’s very rare that I get a full on sunburn. For a pale girl like myself, it’s a fate worse than death (going extra heavy with the drama today). I wear SPF every. Single. Day…Except this past weekend. For some reason that I can’t explain. I don’t know how I forgot, but I did, and now I’m paying for it.

Here are my quick tips for helping the burned, red, flakey, awfulness that is sunburn

1. Bio Oil

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Put this all over your burn. ASAP. I got mine from TJ Maxx forever ago really cheap, so keep an eye out. By the next day, you should see a major reduction in redness. If you peel, like me, it’ll also help to make you not look like a leper. Which is always the goal.

2. Neosporin

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I do a double whammy of antibiotic cream and Bio Oil. Because…why not? I prefer the Target generic brand version instead of the actual name brand Neosporin because to me, Neosporin smells like brown sugar. And boy do I hate the smell of brown sugar. Plus, its cheaper.

3. Dusting Powder

After I leave the products I just mentioned to soak into my skin for a bit, I like to use some dusting powder on the area. Mostly because I’m secretly an old woman and enjoy smelling like a grandma, but I feel like it makes it a little cooler feeling…If that makes sense. I know there’s some weird stuff going on at the moment with talcum powder, so just be careful and do your research beforehand. I like the Yardley one and this Chanel No. 5 one–For when you want to go full on old lady.

Also, if you’re not a complete idiot like me and actually put your sunscreen on, this is my favorite one to use on my upper body: Neutrogena Ultra Sheet Liquid Sunscreen. And for my face I like the Cityblock SPF 25 by Clinique that I wrote about here.

Got any good tips for me? For the love of God, please let me know in the comments.

Oops. I missed a post.

I was doing so well! I could have sworn I had my newest post scheduled for this past Monday, but apparently not. That’ll be coming up next week then.

To make up for it, here’s a sort of photo blog of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to the past month.

As always, follow me on IG @willowtschneider

Keep an eye out for my newest blog on Monday!

House of Glamdolls Vintage Doll Palette Review 

 Alright. So. I bought this palette (shown left in the picture below)  when I was in England a few months ago. I wanted to have time to really test it out and play with it before I mentioned it again.

I’m going to try to do some more makeup looks and start taking pictures, I’ve just been so busy with my other job that I’ve been sticking to quick write ups and reviews.

Here’s what I think about it…

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with it. For what it is. I like the variety of shades and I wish I had bought some of the other palettes. It was really cheap, but the shadows are decently pigmented. I find myself reaching for it more than I thought I would. Especially the two blush colors.

The four dark, cooler toned shadows to the right are all brow powders. I seldom do much to my brows, but it’s nice to have some options in this palette.

 

My favorite shade is Starlet. It’s a really shimmery copper shade. Delicate and Silver Screen are close seconds though.  The lip colors are decent. They’re a bit waxy, but good for experimenting with darker colors or reds if that’s not your usual thing.

I did a quick, messy, poorly organized swatch when I fist opened it a few months ago– just to see how pigmented the shadows were. I found that the darker the shade, the easier it went on in one go. Some of the lighter shades were kind of patchy, but the silvery shade photographed extra sparkly. Which is always good. In my opinion.

All in all, I’d say it’s worth checking out if you’re looking to play around with a new look and don’t want to spend a lot of money. I’m a sucker for interesting drugstore makeup finds and it’s always nice when they surprise you. Next time I’m in the UK, I’m going to try a lot more from House of Glamdolls. Anything I should keep an eye out for? Let me know in the comments!  I think I’ll definitely pick up the Fairy Doll palette when I get a chance-Look at all those colors!

       

Boots/Superdrug Haul…And Some Other Stuff

My favorite store in England, you ask? Harrods? Selfridges? Cool vintage shops?

No. Boots. Hands down.

I know. I have a problem. Whenever I go, it’s a toss up of wether I’m more excited to see my boyfriend, or go to Boots.

I’m half joking.

I kinda know what I’m looking for when I go now, so this time it was mostly stocking up on things I had run out of, but there are a few new finds.


 

I always stock up on Soap and Glory stuff when I visit England. I feel like it’s cheaper there even though I don’t even know what I pay for it here when I get it from Sephora (if they still carry it. I’m not sure). I’m probably crazy, but the fact that it’s always on sale at Boots helps me justify why I buy so much of it. I usually buy a lot more of their products, but I only bought three things this time. THREE. If my Dad is reading this, I’m sure he’s very proud of me.     The scrub and the body wash smell amazing. However, I do think I prefer the Smoothie Star body cream that comes in the tub over the Body Milk I bought. It’s still rich and moisturizing, but my skin has been pretty dry lately so I prefer the thicker creams.


 

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I really should have washed my new bedspread before I took these so it wasn’t all wrinkly. Oops. It’s cute though, isn’t it?

I bought lots of Colab dry shampoo. I really love the extreme volume line, especially when I’m wearing a hair piece or doing an updo. My hair is so slippery and hard to style that the Extreme Volume spray gives it a lot of extra grip and…volume. Imagine that. My favorite scent is the London one, but the Paris floral scent might just take over that place in my heart. I’m not an avid dry shampoo user. Mostly because I’m weird about showering and I have to wash my hair all the time. Germs are everywhere, people. Take showers. As a styling product though, I think it’s awesome. The Luxe Shine spray is worth checking out, although it hasn’t totally won me over yet. I’m not crazy about the smell, but it definitely does make your hair really shiny.

I’m in love with the Vitamin E hot cloth cleanser. It’s so gentle and moisturizing– great for sensitive skin. I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but it was weirdly cheap. So was the serum above it in the picture. It’s just a simple moisturizing serum. It was only about two pounds if I remember correctly. I chose this serum because the one Sali Hughes recommended was still sold out. This one does have an odd, almost licorice scent to it, but that doesn’t bother me. It does what it says on the label which is always a good thing.

The little tube in the picture is just a basic Boots brand cucumber eye gel. I thought it’d be useful to stick in the fridge when my eyes are all swollen and puffy from allergies. Which is seemingly all the time now. Ugh.

This nail polish…I wasn’t impressed. I liked the concept; Nail polish IN A CAN, but ehhh. I’m really picky about my nails. If they aren’t perfect and shiny, I’ll just pick at them and it gets ugly REALLY QUICKLY. If you’re a perfectionist like me, this probably isn’t worth the money; I think it’s about $15 USD. I’m going to mess around with it more (literally-this stuff is messy) to see if I can figure out a better, more perfectionist/OCD-friendly way to use it. Stay tuned.

This is what’s left of my food/candy stash. I’ve been home for a week and as much as I value my readers, I’m not going to avoid eating chocolate just so I can photograph it. Psssh.

YOU GUYS. The cookie shortage in England. It hit me hard, man. This must be what living through the Great Depression was like. I went to the store looking for my  favorite Bourbons, AND THERE WEREN’T ANY. Tragic. Pretty sure I compensated with enough junk though. I’m gonna make it.

 I bought a golden shimmery highlighter from Makeup Academy. I’m not sure if I like it as a highlight. I have a beef with highlighters–which I know in todays IG world is sacrilege. But I’ve yet to find one that actually shows up on my skin without looking like a big frosty nightmare. I usually just stick to my white eyeshadow. This product just sits on top my skin and makes my pores look bigger than they are. I do like it for an inner corner highlight or even as a wash of shimmer on my lids.

I picked up the Chanel CC Cream in the shade “beige 10” since they don’t sell a shade that pale here in the US. It’s a little bit thicker than I anticipated, but I love the fact that it has an SPF of 50. It’ll really come in handy this summer.

The Bourjois foundation is an old favorite that I needed to stock up on. It’s so blend-able, light, and comfortable on the skin. I’m shade 51 Vanille. I repurchased my Bourjois bronzer as well. I think it’s a pretty decent dupe for the Too Faced Chocolate bronzer. They’re a great choice for us pale girls. Super affordable as well. I practically glow in the dark, so I’m not one to spend a lot of money on bronzer. I’ve just accepted the fact that I will never be tan in any way. This light bronzy shade is good for adding warmth to the skin, without necessarily making you look dark- which is what I like about it.

As for the palette, I think I’ll do a full review of it later. I need to mess around with it some more and try out a few different looks. I got it for five pounds at Superdrug. It’s by House of Glamdolls and it’s the “Vintage Doll” palette. For the price, it’s surprisingly good. The blushes are especially lovely and pigmented.


 

 Technically…I didn’t buy this when I was in England. I bought it on sale from Asos a few months ago and had it shipped to my boyfriend’s apartment in Brighton since they wouldn’t ship this specific coat to America. I was glad I had a wool coat when I got there because I went in only a leather jacket (a long wintery, faux leather one lined in shearling…I’m from Chicago so I’m no n00b when it comes to cold weather). As soon as I got to England, the weather turned shitty, cold, and insanely windy. So shout out to past me– Good call on the spending money on a coat thing.

Anyone who says it’s ever warm in England is a LIAR. I’ve been there in all seasons now. You’d think I’d catch on.

 The coat  isn’t available anymore, so sorry to taunt you if you really like it. They do have some similar coats by Mango (last time I checked) but not this specific one!


 

  Last but not least, I got these cool old books for five pounds. The Tower of London is for me, and the short story collection is for a cool book chain thing I’m doing. I’m not sure when the Ainsworth book I have was printed, I know the original was published in the seventeenth century, but the short story book has a library stamp from 1956, which I thought was neat. I’m really into history, especially anything to do with the Tower of London (or anything else morbid and weird). Can’t wait to read it. I know it’s not beauty related- I just thought they were too cool to pass up.

That’s about it for my purchases from this trip. Keep checking back for some in depth reviews!

Covent Garden Shopping

PHEW. I’m back.

I had a great time in England and the wedding I went to was a ton of fun, but now I’m back home and it’s time to get to work.

Hopefully this all makes sense. I’ve pretty much had a migraine since I left Brighton. And I’m tired. Forgive me if there are tons of mistakes.

Let’s talk about Covent Garden. Somehow in all my trips to London, I hadn’t been. The Charlotte Tilbury store was reason enough to go. It’s DIRECTLY across from the Covent Garden tube station. So. If you’re there, you HAVE to go inside. It’s obligatory.

I was a little too excited

Anyway, this has been blogged to death, so I won’t write too much about it. I got two small things– a Color Chameleon pencil in “Champagne Diamonds”, lip liner in “Pillow Talk”, and a pencil sharpener that I desperately needed– But they’re things I’ve been eyeing for a while. I was THIIIS close to buying another shadow palette and decided against it. Being responsible blows.

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A little further down the block was the new store 3ina. A super cool, super affordable makeup shop. Really clean and modern with helpful staff…and surprisingly nice products for the price point.

LOOK AT ALL THESE COLORS. SO CHEAP TOO. AHHHH.

 

I didn’t try any face products, but the lipsticks and shadows were really nice. The black lipstick was awesome too, but in a severe lapse of judgement, I put it back at the last minute. GUESS I’LL HAVE TO GO BACK.

I felt a little guilty despite my boyfriends claims that he was fine with staying and shopping, so I didn’t want to stay too long. I swatched a few products and picked up a white eyeshadow– I liked the size of it because I use it for highlighting my face– And a new liquid liner because the lid to my favorite Wet and Wild one (post to come soon…It will blow your mind) got lost during my travels and it dried out.

Charlotte Tillbury gave me two free samples of her creams (the employees, not Charlotte herself, obviously). Sorry for the lighting–Trying to photograph things on a cloudy day on a peely windowsill in Brighton isn’t exactly easy. *Also, that’s a rose petal from the pretty flowers my boyfriend gave me upon my arrival at the train station. That’s right. Flowers AND he spent all day  looking at makeup with me. No. He’s not gay, just the best.
    

THIS LINER YOU GUYS. It passed my test. And I’m dead picky about eyeliners. I prefer actual liquids with a brush usually, but those are getting harder and harder to find, so I’ve slowly made my way over to the dark side of felt tipped markers. This one really stays on. I wore it to the wedding and it stayed on from 7 am till 2 am when I finally took it off without any transfer. I don’t have oily skin though, so I can’t make any promises. The white shadow isn’t anything remarkable, but like I said, I like that I can get a slightly larger brush into the pan since I use it to highlight. I was using a NYX single shadow before and they’re the same size as little MAC ones. This is much better. AND. AAAAND. I only spent about $20. Not too shabby.
 Like I said, these have been blogged to death, so I’ll just say they definitely live up to the hype. I was torn between Champagne Diamonds and the Amber shade, and while I like the one I bought, I feel like the glitter is a little chunky. I don’t dislike it. It’s glitter. Of course I like it. I guess it just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be. I felt like it looked different on my hand. Or I could just be nuts. It’s still good though, and the staying power is insane. The lipliner is a much better match than the Ben Nye one I’ve been using out of my stage makeup kit. So all around amazing products I’d say.

Well. That’s about it as far as stuff I got on my trip goes.

 

Juuust kidding. I spent a disgusting amount of time at Boots. That’ll be in a later post.

 

For now, I’m going to eat lots of chocolate that I brought back with me and try to stay awake since I keep getting up at 4 am every day thinking it’s way later than it actually is. I’ve got a ton of stuff to get done before I head off to start rehearsals for my new show, but I’ll try to get back to a normal blogging schedule.

 

Hm. Actually I might go make scones. Going through scone withdrawal.

 

 

Memphis

Hey Guys

So…a non beauty related post. Not that it matters really because I’ve only just started. I Guess it’s my blog and not many people will really be reading it–So I’m going to do what I want.

Currently stuck waiting at the Nashville airport after I spent the weekend at an audition in Memphis. Have three more hours until I can board my plane back to Chicago.

I’ve got some pretty cool posts coming up this week–In the meantime, here are some pictures I took

That’s pretty much the only interesting thing I did. I got there too late at night to do anything exciting and I knew I had to be up super early the next day. I did get BBQ though. So that’s something.


ALSO. Look what I stumbled upon at O’Hare when I was flying out:

 It’ll sure beat sitting at the gate for two hours when I head to England in three weeks. Not sure how I never noticed it was there to be honest.

Anyway, that’s how I spent my weekend; at an Elvis themed hotel. They played Elvis movies. 24/7…

Willow