If you follow me on twitter (@expatmuaddict) I have been saying that I have hauled quite a bit in the month of March and so I have put together a collective haul post here so you can see what I have been treating myself to, where it's from and in some cases, who was the beauty blogger enabler behind it!
Very picture heavy and I haven't used any of it yet as I have been saving it all up to do this post so this is basically just pretty pictures of make up!!
NB-I did think for quite a while about whether I should include some kind of 'I'm not boasting/showing off' disclaimer in this post as I recognise this is a lot of stuff. But here is my take on the whole disclaimer thing. It's my blog. If I want to post what I have bought with my hard earned pennies I can. I also think that if you have a blog, whether it be fashion, beauty, lifestyle, whatever, there is an element in you that likes to show off. You're either showcasing your writing skills or your amazing fashion sense, the last meal you had in a cool restaurant, your fantastic make up skills or your make up and beauty collection. Otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to have a blog.
I figure I can justify buying make up/beauty products if a) I have paid all my bills for the month and b) I can afford to feed myself, Mike and the cats for the rest of the month and you'll be relieved to hear no doubt that I can yey!
If you disagree let me know-I am always open to a healthy debate :)
On with the hauling!
First up-an online Selfridges haul. I use a Dubai based service called Aramex Shop and Ship to get items to me from the UK and US. They are a freight forwarding service who supply me with a UK and US address that I can have things posted to and they then bring it to Dubai for me in a couple of days and I pay the shipping. The system works best when you have both a UK and US registered credit card which I do (and Aramex can help you to get a prepaid US visa card with a US address that you top up via paypal)
In this haul I bought three of the Spring Tom Ford lipsticks-Paradiso, Sweet Spot and Incorrigible, a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Emotion and the Aesop Purifying Cream Cleanser.
I had been umming and ahhing over the 3 Tom Ford lipsticks you see above ever since the first swatches came out on Temptalia. It seemed that I could dupe them from my own already extensive stash but I just wanted them and the packaging is to die for. After reading every review under the sun it was these reviews from Sandy at The Diary of a Beauty Banker and Anoushka from Anoushka Loves that had me clicking 'add to cart'
Rebecca from Be Beautiful definitely enabled the purchase of the Aesop cleanser after a glowing review on her blog. I get most of my skincare recommendations from Rebecca and she hasn't been wrong yet. The Chanel lipstick could also be a Rebecca enabled purchase-I know she really likes the Rouge Coco Shine formula and I now own 4 because of her.
Next up is a Wayne Goss brush haul from Love-Makeup.co.uk. I have wanted to buy something from the range for a long time and after watching all his YouTube videos about his range of brushes and reading Sara from Color Me Loud's extensive reviews I plumped for #1 the foundation brush and #4 the medium crease brush. When Sara says something was 'love at first sight' you know you have to get in on it! The foundation brush is soft and dense with natural and synthetic hairs and a tapered end and the crease brush is made of blue squirrel hair and is fairly long in shape with a pointed end.
NB I tried the crease brush this morning and OMG it is 'the one'. I have always bleated on about the MAC 217 being the best crease brush ever but no more. I will do a post asap but this is so bloody good that I have placed another order this morning for another one.
Next up is a Dubai Duty Free haul from my last trip to Cairo. I really don't need any more perfume (in fact can you all come round and spray yourself with what I have please?!) but killing time the Bvlgari Omnia Coral caught my eye. Label anything with 'coral' in it and it's basically sold to me. It's light and fresh with notes of bergamot and goji berries but also has lily, hibiscus and pomegranate. A lighter version almost of 'Pomegranate Noir'.
I love Issey Miyake full stop. I think I have every edition that has ever been made over the past 15 years and when I saw this new Lotus limited edition I had to buy it. I love love love aquatic fragrances.
I also somehow managed to pick up six new glosses from MAC. I have overlooked lip gloss for some time now and am just getting back into it so I obviously felt I had to expand my collection.
And below is Modern Romance (from the new Mineralize glass collection), Next Fad and Right Image.
In March I also had a bit of a splurge in the MAC store in Mercato Mall. I picked up one of the new Mineralize Rich lipsticks in Be a Lady, a gloss in Be Nice and two sheen supreme lipsticks. On the left is 'Supreme Style' and on the right is 'Full Speed'. Sheen Supreme is a new formula to me so I will be sure to report back. I also picked up a new lip liner in Cherry.
Next up is a Harvey Nichols Dubai haul. After reading various reviews (Sunny from Mostly Sunny, Isabelle from Nails and Cupcakes and Sara from Color Me Loud) I decided I literally had to jump on this new Chanel Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow palette bandwagon and I think the palettes I bought are beautiful. On the left is Mademoiselle and on the right is Tissé Camélia. I also picked up a Tom Ford crease brush that has been on my wishlist for ever...#13. Well it was my birthday and that is the excuse I am sticking too!!
Mademoiselle is a palette of golds and the darker brown shade in the bottom right hand corner has some green shot through it.
Tiseé Camelia is a palette of mauves and peach with a deep burgundy.
Next up is a Nordstrom online haul-again using my shop and ship account to get it to me in Dubai.
The purchase of this stunning Chantecaille palette was enabled by the beautiful swatches I swooned over on Bubbly Michelle. This is a blog I have only found fairly recently but have utterly fallen in love with and I can tell Michelle is going to be very bad for my bank balance! She has beautiful taste and her blog and instagram are full of gorgeous photographs.
I also picked up some new skincare bits-this new mask from Rodial which sounds very interesting and is full of ingredients I really like and the Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster which are drops you add to your normal moisturiser to boost your complexion.
Having loved the Guerlain Les Voilette's pressed powder I was desperate to try the loose version. This comes in the most beautiful packaging I think I have ever seen-my pictures today didn't do it justice so I will review it and take some more soon.
Three more lip products were also ordered and all are new releases-the LORAC Lip Luxe in Hot Pink and two of the new Lancome Lip Lover hybrid lipstick/gloss/balm/stain, which I read about on Sunny's blog. I plumped for the shades 'Lip Lover' which is the pinky colour on the left and 'Ambre Arabesque' on the left (exclusive to Nordstrom in the US)
I also picked up another MAC MSF in Perfect Topping-I was unsure about it but after reading Sara's from And Beauty Or Something's great review here I am sure I made a good choice!
Still with me? Bravo.
I ended up in Sephora Dubai Mall after a stressful day in the office (have the worlds largest mall outside of North America 1km from your office was never going to be a good thing) and picked up some treats. Another of the new Chanel palettes, this time in Tissé Rivoli, which has beautiful grey and taupe tones and two more of the Gloss Volupte from YSL. I adore the two new shades of this light and shiny new gloss offering from YSL-these two are definitely a glitter free zone after not liking Rose Fusion and it's glittertastic formula so much.
I also picked up Gimme Brow after reading Belle from Mascara and Maltesers review and YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in 52 Rosy Coral. I read about this lipstick on Selphia and had to buy it! My previous experience with a Rouge Pur Couture was really disappointed and the fomula was awfully dry but when I reviewed it the feedback was that other people hadn't had the same experience I did so I am giving Rouge Pur Couture one more try!
Next up, a Space NK online haul and we'll start with a couple of Bumble and Bumble products. I am really into texturising sprays at the moment (for the record, hate the Oribe one , it does nothing for me at all) This is my third can of the Bumble and Bumble hair powder (ps this was sent to my mums and she brought it to Dubai as you can't ship aerosols). I love this Bumble and Bumble powder despite its ridiculous £28 price. It gives volume and grit to my hair, stopping it from being flat as a pancake and holding the style all day. I thought I would give the 'pret a powder' a shot too.
The two dinky By Terry pots you see were totally enabled by Laura from Buy Now Blog Later. These little pots of sorbet like blush weren't even on my radar until Laura blogged about them and I was like 'I neeeeeeed these in my life'. I chose the same two Laura did, Frozen Petal and Flower Sorbet-Flower Sorbet is potentially the most beautiful colour I have ever seen in my life. I am dying to dip my fingers in these beauties! I will admit I expected the texture to be quite a solid cream blush but these are definitely a runny, liquidy gel. Great description there Stacey....
After seeing Amelia Liana wearing the shade 'Candy' in one of her YouTube videos and reading her blog post about the new Lipstick Queen Vesuvius Liquid Lipstick I snapped up two-Candy and Fuschia. I also picked up the Hourglass retractable foundation brush-something that has been on my wishlist for ages. I love how soft the Hourglass brushes are and still want their #2 foundation brush.
And now....finally...the hauls everyone is raving about in the UK-Sephora finally shipping to England!!
I have so far placed two hauls-sending them to my mums in the UK for her to forward on to my freight forwarding address in the UK for it to then come to Dubai (Sephora will not post directly to Dubai at the moment). Both of my orders have been over £75 so I paid a flat £10 for shipping and no additional costs once it got to the UK. Both orders have been at my mums within 4 days of ordering as they use DHL.
In my first haul I picked up.....
Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade and a Brow Wiz pencil-I am still obsessed with my eyebrows and can't wait to try these two.
I am a big fan of the Sephora Pro brushes so picked up another-the Pro Large Domed Stippling Brush.
I had envisaged this to be similar to the Real Techniques stippling brushes which are perfect for applying cream blush but its actually much larger and will be perfect for applying foundation-liquid or powder. The bristles are dense and soft and this another great brush from the Pro range. If you do ever get chance to check out the Pro brush range I would highly recommend it.
As it was also my birthday in March I was sent this Happy Birthday treat from Make Up For Ever. This is the VIB Rouge version which is the top level of their loyalty scheme.
I added another two Tarte blushers to my rapidly growing collection-on the left is Glisten which looks very much like Nars Super Orgasm, almost an ochre coloured shimmery blush and Blissful on the right is a warm toned peach.
My second haul was just as exciting (well to me anyway!). I picked up one of the new Marc Jacobs Love Marc matte lip gel in Shout-a vivid watermelon colour. I have the normal Love Marc lip gel lipsticks but I really wanted to try the matte version as the normal ones can be a bit slippy. Another Tarte blush-this time in Peaceful, a shade I have been waiting to come back in stock for ages. And I picked up another Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape. I absolutely love the one I already own and this cool pink will be perfect for summer.
I also indulged in some skincare-the Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask, Ole Henriksen Truth To Go (for flights only I promise Mrs Hirons) and the Algenist Algae Brightening Mask. I find my skin responds really well to vitamin C and really wanted to try the Peter Thomas Roth mask and I recently tried my first Algenist moisturiser and loved it so much I wanted to try more from the brand. I bloody love a good face mask and I can't wait to try both of these!!
After seeing Estee from Essie Button talking about the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation on her blog I really wanted to try it. This will be the first mineral foundation I have ever used and I am really excited to try it. I also bought the airbuki brush that matches the foundation and the Smooth Operator finishing powder that has been on my Sephora wishlist for months.
My final splurge was a birthday gift to myself. Mike bought me a Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 in monogram for my birthday and I treated myself to the new Elysée wallet also in monogram with the amethyst lining.
I like purses with lots of pockets in and this fits the job nicely! It was a very big splurge and even as I was buying it I was thinking this is a crazy amount to spend on a purse.
If you've read this whole post thank you!!! Of all the things hauled what are you most interested to see reviewed on my blog first? Would love to hear your thoughts.