Musings of a self-confessed beauty addict from the heart of London!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Barcelona Beautiful

So, this Easter weekend just gone Mr P and I packed our bags and headed for sunny Barcelona. Well, it wasn't that sunny really, with temperatures in Brussels reaching a record breaking 28 degrees and a very sorry 17 degrees in Barcelona we were almost tempted to cancel our trip, but hey ho, on we went.

I had spent a good deal of time prepping myself for 'sunny' Barcelona. Mr P had to endure 3 days of me smelling like a rank old digestive biscuit in my bid to turn myself from lowly milkmaid into a bronzed goddess. It never fails to surprise me that despite all the advances in the manufacture of cosmetics no company has yet managed to come up with a fake tan that doesn't make you smell like the contents of a  mouldy cupboard. Anyhow, despite the smell I was very happy with the results. I used a combination of L'Oreal's Nutri Summer gradual tan moisturising lotion and then topped up my legs with L'Oreal Sublime Bronze tinted self tanner for the legs which I tried for the first time on Friday. I recommend both products heartily, if it weren't for the smell I'd probably use them more, but I'm just so self-conscious of the odour when I'm out and about.

Other essential prep included a leg wax, rigorous exfoliation, pedicure and manicure. And to think that once in Barcelona the most flesh I got to bare was on my arms, for like an hour only. What a waste of goddessness!

Still, better hot than not I suppose. 

We were not alone in Barcelona. Two other friends came along, one of whom was my dear carnival queen some months back. She came along on the condition that I would do her make-up twice a day on every day that we were there. And because she wanted to see Barcelona.....but mostly because of the make-up :)

This for me is no hardship. It's easy to get creative when you have a stunning canvas to begin with. Big beautiful green/blue eyes and the most luscious lips you can imagine make my job easy peasy. All I had to do was colour her in!

I'm also lucky that she is as much of a make-up obsessive as I am and has a make-up bag that dreams are made of, full of MAC, Helena Rubinstein, Dior, La Prairie etc. I had particular fun working with the Reelers and Rockers palette from the MAC Tartan Tale collection which launched before Christmas. It contained, amongst other colours, a gorgeous warm toned gold-y green along with a very wearable copper- burgundy. It worked both on her and me and our complexions and colourings couldn't be more different. How I wished I had picked up one of those palettes when they were still available.

I also got to trial the MAC Haute and Naughty Lash mascara which she brought along. This two wand mascara is supposed to define and separate with the finer wand and then build volume with the second. It looked like a bit of a gimmick, but I can honestly say it works. It's also really cool how one wand seems to 'fit' into the other.

The first coat with the fine wand is very natural and delicate but at the same time delivers length and good definition. The second application manages to deliver volume and curl without clumping the lashes together. My friend has much finer lashes than me and they remained beautifully separated even when I got a bit mascara-happy with the volume wand. Definitely one to check out when next in MAC.

Also in the make-up bag of dreams were some samples of La Prairie foundation which I insisted on using on her instead of the powder foundation she was using (also La Prairie..... *sigh*).
Oh my, what a beautiful foundation, so soft and blendable, creating a lovely second-skin effect and natural radiant finish. It was about a million times better for her dry skin and she glowed. I made a mental note to check it out at the airport on my return flight. When I did I nearly fell over...... €138!!!!!! Methinks I'll have to decline. You better make those samples last sweetheart.

I was hoping to find a Sephora in Barcelona, but I was cruelly misled by seeing a shop window with Sephora branded all over it, only to go there and find that the store was still being built. I could see products sprawled over the floor waiting to be put to bed on the shelves of paradise. And then stairs.... stairs! It was a multi-storey Sephora and I was not in time to see it in all it's glory. Oh the disappointment.

Luckily my darling friend had brought some things for me from Greece which is obviously more civilised as Sephora is thriving there. She picked up the Perfecting Cover Foundation for me (which I love, review to come). She also brought me the MAC Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle which I've wanted for over a year and never managed to find. Again, love love love.

The Barcelona beauty haul did not stop there. At the airport I succumbed to the Yves Saint Laurent spring 2011 collection. Actually I was torn between the Chanel Vanities palette and the Yves Saint Laurent one but YSL won over the originality of the colours. I just couldn't resist when I saw that shimmery pink stare up at me.
I also picked up the Golden Gloss in number 40, incidently the colour used in the publicity shoot.

Being totally impatient, I opened up my goodies on the plane and, much to embarassment of Mr P, proceeded to photograph them on my fold-away table before I tarnished them with use.

But just look at those colours! Don't they just invite you to play? And I accepted that invitation immediately, giving myself an in-flight make-over.

Who says patience is a virtue?

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