This time last week, my mum and I were at Bicester Outlet Village, a ‘shopping village’ full of designer brands (mostly with a focus on fashion and accessories, with a couple of beauty and home shops thrown in). I spent rather a bit too much money, but got some really lovely bargains! This is going to be quite a long post…
Firstly, I picked up some more L’Occitane Shea Butter handcream. I feel like I go on about this too much on this blog, but it really is the best hand cream I’ve ever tried!
These came in a little tin, and are scented ‘Date Bouquet’, ‘Rose Petals’ and ‘Mango Flower’. The rose one is delicious (but then you know about my rose obsession), the mango one is a lovely light mango scent, not floral at all, but the date one is horrible. It smells really musty and strong, not nice at all. However, none of the scents of these are particularly long lasting or overpowering, so it won’t stop me enjoying the benefits of this amazing cream. It’ll certainly tide me over til I can buy the Spring Blossom trio, with Shea Butter, Rose and Cherry Blossom scents – hopefully it’ll be in the outlet over the summer! This set cost me £15, compared to the RRP of £24. It’s on the L’Occitane website now for £22.
The shop assistant kindly gave me this pack of samples with my purchase – I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I’m rather hoping I don’t fall in love with any of them. I can’t afford to become a L’Occitane devotee for any other regularly needed products! Expensive handcream is quite enough!
The Pivoine Flora range has very pretty, delicate packaging, and a small range of colours (although they’re all nice!), with a silky feel and good pigmentation. I picked up the bronzer, £6 instead of £20, and the lipstick in Shade 1, £3.60 instead of £12.
The bronzer is gorgeous, and might just be the softest thing I’ve ever touched. I don’t even normally wear bronzer, but I had to have this, just because it’s so beautiful. The lipstick is a slightly sheer cherry red, which lasts on me for about an hour and a half before needing reapplication (but then I am quite hard on lip colour). It’s not the best formula in the world; it’s a bit drying, and it tastes ever so slightly of that sort of plasticky lipstick you used to get when you were small, but the colour is very wearable and the packaging is so cute!
Next up is two of the eyeshadow duos, in Corail Quadrille and Blanche Etoile, £4.20 each instead of £14. My lack of good lighting means that the glitteriness of these is really subdued, but these are SO glittery!
The formula of these is again very silky soft, but they are slightly powdery and there was a fair bit of fallout when I swatched them. I’ve worn the black and white shadows once, and didn’t find too much transference once I’d finished my make up, but I needed to brush my face after applying them to get rid of the fallout. Luckily, this was mostly colour rather than glitter and didn’t turn me into a full on Tinkerbell! It’s so hard to get misplaced glitter off your face…
Lastly I picked up a highlighter/eyeshadow from a different collection, Fleur Cherie. This is a slightly shimmery white powder, which I’ll use at the inner eye and under my brows for a proper night out. This was £3.75 instead of £12.50. The embossed powder is so pretty!
Away from make up now, and on to perfume!
I adore Penhaligon’s. It makes me feel like I’m in a magical apothecary, with all its beautiful little bottles and wonderful scents. There’s no way I could afford their perfumes normally (£80+ a bottle, eek!), but the outlet shop is actually a lot more reasonable (around £45 a bottle). Still, on Friday I didn’t have the money to buy either of my longed-for scents, so instead I bought this cute little set of samples of ten of their most popular perfumes, which was only £10!
I know you can’t see any of the names properly, but this set has Artemisia, Lily of the Valley, Malabah, Ellenisia and Bluebell from the feminine scents, and Endymion, Blenheim Boutique, Quercus, Opus 1870 and Sartorial from the masculine range. I’m in love with Bluebell, and although I’ve only sniffed the others, I can see all of them (yes, even the “men’s scents”) becoming favourites.
Still slightly perfume-related, my next purchase was from Temperley. Alice Temperley is one of my favourite designers, but I can only dream of owning one of her beautiful ballgowns. Slightly more within my price point was this gorgeous candle:
With top notes of Blackcurrant, Rose, Frangipani, and Ylang Ylang, middle notes of Orange Blossom, Jasmine and Violet and base notes of Patchouli, Vanilla and Chocolate, this candle smells good enough to eat, and even good enough to wear as an actual perfume, if that were somehow possible. It fills the room with the most beautiful scent, even unlit. I cannot rave about this enough! The only reason not to buy is the Temperley price tag – I picked this up for £18, which seems like a lot for a candle, but its RRP of £25 is even steeper. I suppose it’s small change to someone who can actually buy clothes from Temperley, but for my poor student purse it’s a fair amount of my budget. So worth it, and to be honest, it’s worth it to own something from the brand to bolster my dreams of owning a dress someday.
My final purchase is, in fact, a dress, but from the rather more affordable French Connection. I love French Connection: I own two of their skirts (one from a charity shop, the other the same skirt but in a different colourway from eBay) and they just seem to be working from a pattern that suits my body. The skirts are the perfect waist AND hip size AND length, which never happens. This dress is even more of a rare beast: a maxi dress that actually hits covers my ankles!
(Excuse this terrible photo, as usual)
Even better, the waist falls on my actual waist, and it’s not too low cut. This will be absolutely perfect for my summer holiday in Malta, and the elegant, slightly 40’s style will go beautifully with my very large floppy sunhat.
I did get one more thing at Bicester, but that is intended to be an early birthday present, so expect a very excited post when I’m actually allowed to have it! There’s a small clue in the corner of that last picture…
I’d really recommend Bicester Village for a good mooch around – it’s fun to see what bargains you can find, and lovely to come away with an inexpensive piece from your favourite designer. The shops they have there are constantly changing, and it’s impossible to judge what stock they’ll have, but if you go with open expectations (and purse), you should find something good!