Travelogue: London 2014


So I finally, finally, FINALLY managed to put this together! I wanted this to be a little more than just a haul post, thus I tried to add as much info about where to find stuff and get around London. A bit like a guide to London for nail polish addicts, if you know what I mean. I'm not native to London, but I think if I, a mere tourist, could find these places, chances are you'll find them just fine as well.

First is the most obvious you will want to visit and that's the drugstore. London, and I'm guessing the rest of the UK, has two big drugstore chains which are Boots and Superdrug. You'll find them anywhere, really. In Victoria Station alone there are two Boots and a Superdrug! And you'll love them. They have most of the big brands there and I found offers on pretty much all of them: 3 for 2, buy 2 for a special price or get a free product, buy one and get the second 50% off... So I'll just walk you through the brands and offers I found there.

L'Oreal was having a 3 for 2 offer, sadly I wasn't paying attention the first time when I just picked up the two confetti toppers to complete my set. However, I did notice the second time around when I got the Jeans Effect ones, which were apparently 'exclusive to Pinkbox Switzerland', yeah right.

  • Indigo Blue
  • Azur Salopette
  • Jean and Tonic
  • Oulala Blue
  • Splash Peach

Ah, Sally Hansen! I remember back when I was a young teen, we'd buy Sally Hansen polishes while visiting family in Singapore. Recently Sally has found her way into Swiss drugstores too, but in London, she was offering a free cuticle cream with any 2 polishes purchased. Naturally, I took up the offer... 3 times. Won't say no to cuticle care, plus now I can have one stationed everywhere: at work, in my bag, in front of the TV... Never forget to TLC my cuticles again, ever!

  • Mermaid's tale
  • Get Juiced
  • Mauve along
  • Purple Heart
  • Splattered (Color Frenzy collection)
  • Green Machine (Color Frenzy collection)

Maybelline was ALSO having offers on their polishes (or the drugstores were). At Superdrug you could get one polish and 50% off the second one, while at Boots you could get 3 for 2. I decided to complete my Acid Wash collection and finally got the blue Street Artist topper! Also two shades I've been eyeing and the candy pastel colours.

  • Alley Attitude (Street Artist collection)
  • Top Splatter (Acid Wash collection)
  • Mint-Acid-Ittude (Acid Wash collection)
  • Tutti Fruity
  • Glitter It
  • Uptown Blue
  • Mint for life
  • Golden Brown

Seventeen is a brand I had never heard of before (is it a UK brand?) so I decided to give it a shot, they were quite affordable at £2.99-3.99 a piece.

  • In the surf
  • Black
  • Bijoux Baby
  • Bluetone

Revlon was having a 2 for £10 offer, so I could finally get that pink jelly with glitter I have been lusting over for so long! I also picked up two of the scented polishes, don't you just love those elegant little bottles?

  • Girly
  • Confident
  • Wintermint (Scented collection)
  • Bordeaux (Scented collection)
Another popular UK brand is Rimmel London, which I was only ever able to find in clearance bins here, never in stores. The I <3 Longlasting line was 2 for £5, the others were regular priced.

  • Lose your lingerie (Rita Ora collection)
  • It's a scorcher!
  • Cute as a kittne heel
  • Blueberry whizz (Sweetie Crush collection)
  • Sherbet Sweetheart (Sweetie Crush collection)
  • Candyfloss Cutie (Sweetie Crush collection)
The other UK brand I was really excited to finally be able to shop, besides Models Own, is Barry M! I managed to get both limited polishes from Boots and Superdrug (I found one of the Boots limited polishes at Superdrug, though, please explain!)
Got some of the matte polishes, Gelly pollishes and some interesting looking glitters.

  • Promenade (Superdrug limited)
  • Seaside (Superdrug limited)
  • Carousel (Boots limited)
  • Bikini (Boots limited, but bought at Superdrug)
  • Rose Hip
  • Coconut
  • Matte top coat
  • Vanilla (matte)
  • Waikiki (matte)
  • Copa Cabana (matte)
  • Black (Sequin effect)
  • Rose Quartz glitter
  • Crystal Glaze
Some random bits and bobs I picked up from the drugstores. I think I got the last Urban Jungle by Essie in whole of London! I also got the cute Nails inc. flower toppers, only two since they were rather pricey at £12.50 a pop and then I found those cute Hello Kitty shaped bottles at the Boots in Camden! (They have neon stains, you'll find out later in this post...)

  • Essie - Urban Jungle
  • Essie - Sand Tropez
  • Nails inc. - Daisy Lane
  • Nails inc. - Richmond Gardens
  • Hello Kitty polishes had no visible names :(

Next stop is Westfield London, it's a huge mall where you will find a bunch of shops. My main purpose to go there was the Modelsown Bottle shop, I wouldn't even know about this mall if it wasn't for that! I was there quite early, even before the second sales girl came in, so I could enjoy full service and let me just say, the sales girls were really lovely greeting me and walking me through all the collections. There's a 6 for £20 offer, so of course I made use of that... 3 times. I also go the Hyper Gel top coat, since it was £5 with any purchase.

  • Coconut Cream (Scented collection)
  • Banana Split (Scented collection)
  • Sun Hot (Polish for Tans collection)
  • Shades (Polish for Tans collection)
  • Rhubarb and Custard (Sweet Shop collection)
  • Liquorish Allsorts (Sweet Shop collection)
  • Luis Lemon (Ice Neons collection)
  • Dove (Speckled Eggs collection)
  • Duck (Speckled Eggs collection)
  • Goose (Speckled Eggs collection)
  • Indian Ocean
  • Northern Lights
  • Mermaid Tears
  • Microdots
  • Cornflower Gleam (Hypergel)
  • White Light (Hypergel)
  • Red Lustre (Hypergel)
  • Blue Glint (Hypergel)

Next I walked into this random beauty store, I forgot what the name of the shop is, but it looked a little shabby, like some discount/pop-up 'big sales' kinda shop. I walked in not expecting to find anything, but there was a whole aisle filled with L.A.Girl polishes for £1.99 a piece and L.A.Colors for 99p a pop!

  • Crowd Surfing
  • Spat!
  • Goddess
  • Frou-Frou
  • Broken Hearted

Westfield Mall is also home to the first Essence store in the United Kingdom! Say whaat, I know right? I didn't know the UK didn't have Essence yet, I was shocked! But I was also shocked to hear that they have a own Essence 'shop' (it's not really a store kinda shop, it's just the displays you find in drugstores here, placed at a crossway in the mall, similar to the bottle shop). They're also a little behind on the Trend Editions, they had two on display which were Beach Cruisers and Wave Goddess. Well, at least I could pick up the thermo top coat, since that one never made an appearance in Switzerland...

  • Essence - Crush on blue
  • Accessorize - Ruby Red 

There's also a Kiko store in Westfield mall (I saw another on Oxford Street), but you'll want to avoid them if you have a chance to go to another EU country that has Kiko stores. The prices were rather overpriced, I think even more than in Switzerland! But they had the latest Kiko collection in, so I'd say they're quite up to date.

Then there's the clothes shops that sell polishes too, of course I kept my eye out for those little bottles of happiness as I was shopping for my wardrobe.
First we have Topshop. This was amazing! They don't just sell clothes, but there's a cupcake and a Boba store inside the shop and when you go to the basement there's a beauty salon, nail salon and even a little cafe, say whaaat?
They have their own line of polish and I regret not picking up more than just the matte top coat... But they also had the Polish for Tans collection by Models Own and Seche Vite (for £10.95 a bottle, but I thought I'd give it a shot).

  • Seche Vite top coat
  • Models Own - Flip Flop 
  • Models Own - Bikini
  • Top Shop matte top coat

I love the polishes from H&M, they come in these really pretty bottles. Again, one of them has a neon stain and you will soon find out why... All of these were on clearance for £1, except the small glitter topper which I got at retail price for £1.99.

  • Crackled Black
  • Just blue much
  • Blue Bliss
  • Basement Chill

Get ready for some drama! I went to American Apparel, specially to get their neon green polish called Parakeet. It was the only thing I wanted from there, but ended up getting 3, since you know, special offer. When I finally got home and opened my luggage, I could smell the scent of polish. I was kinda expecting some bottles to get damaged during the flight, but as I fished out one bag after another, finding all of them in tact, I thought everyone had reached home safely... Wrong. My Parakeet exploded during the flight! Luckily it was in a plastic bag, so the polish only stained the other bottles that were in said bag, nothing a little remover didn't clean up.

  • Parakeet
  • Smoke Dazzle
  • Neon Red

Urban Outfitters sells all kinds of things, even Indie-esque polishes! I really liked the look of the bottles and the logo, I'm a sucker for square bottles, sho cute! They retail at £6 each, but you can get 2 for £10.

  • Allsorts
  • Purple mix beaded

I like checking Claire's for their sales aisle, you never know what you find there! Also they've come out with some really nice and hyped polishes recently. I didn't get any polishes, but I found these two nail wheels with Fimo embellishments in them, one is flower themed and the other is cakes & sweets. They were on sales for £1.50 each, thought it might be a good time to give these a try.

My last stop, I am really not proud of... Primark. I was there on my last day during the early morning, so it wasn't crowded at all and I didn't get to experience the 'crazy teens' as I had seen it on TV. Phew! I wasn't interested in the clothes at all and I had told myself no more polishes on my last day, so I just picked up some nail accessories, they were all £1.

And to round this off, a store I had heard a lot about online but couldn't really grasp what it was all about. Seriously, they should just call this NPA heaven or something! I'm talking about T.K.Maxx, where you can find brand name everything for prices as low as 60-80% off the original retail price!! Okay, it's mostly old collections, overstock items or other 'old' stuff, but it's a great place to grab a bargain or find some old treasures. I went to two different T.K.Maxx, one was in High Street Kensington and the other was... Somewhere between Covent Garden and Leicester Square, honestly, that was on my first day and I was quite disoriented, roaming from Covent Garden down to Picadilly Circus...

  • Nails inc. - Colour collection 'Beaded Polish' (£25.00 - £7.99)
  • Essie 3-pack with Stylenomics, Mojito Madness & Beyond Cozy (£23.97 - £7.99)
  • OPI - Minnie Style (£3.99, lost the sticker with original price...)
  • Nails inc. - Liverpool Street (£12.50 - £4.99)
  • Nails inc. - Regents Park (£11.50 - £4.99)
  • Nails inc. - London Wall (£11.50 - £4.99)

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