Monday, 20 May 2013

Melbourne: Shopping

Naturally, I did lots of wonderfully cultural things in Melbourne, but to strike a balance, a lot of window and actual shopping took place too. This post is about some of my shopping highlights.

Cotton On is a great, good value store with branches everywhere, similar to our H&M (there's no Hennes in Australia). While I was there I got some great items, including two gorgeous jackets, Zino and Claudine (I got my Claudine in mint green, I can't find it on the site). Zino was marked at $40 but was $20 when  got it to the till, and now the site says it's $5! Claudine was also $20 but is still $40 on the site. I am tempted by Zino in red too, as I've just found out they ship to the UK for $40!

This snood/scarf in khaki was also offered at $5 along with any purchase which is super soft and comfortable and was very useful to retreat into when we landed at 6am in London.


Cotton on Body is part of the group, but usually a separate physical store selling underwear and sleepwear, there I got some gorgeous PJ shorts including these sailing boat cuties for $10, and another couple of pairs at 2 for $30.

Typo is also part of the Cotton On group, selling cute stationery and gifts, you'll find branches all over the place. I also heart kikki.K, which falls into the same category.

Some of the best shopping in Melbourne is on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. There I got this gorgeous lasercut wallet from i.d.s. It's a wallet with a chain strap, so can be used as a bag for a night out too, it'd look great with an otherwise plain outfit. I love it!
i.d.s wallet
Also on Brunswick Street were loads of quirky gift shops and some huge clothes warehouses including Clear It selling tonnes of discounted Alannah Hill dresses. I fell in love with one, and now I am seriously regretting not buying it, although I've just found it on eBay...maybe I will enquire about postage costs...
Alannah Hill Everlasting Love
Hours of trawling to be had on Brunswick Street

There was also loads of vintage wares to be had at Hunter Gatherer, if only I'd had a bigger luggage allowance!
Hunter Gatherer Vintage
I also fell in love with T2 teashop, visiting the stores on Brunswick Street and at Melbourne Central, an awesome shopping centre. I asked one of the shop assistants and he said that T2 is hopefully coming to the UK in the next year, with a store opening at one of the London Westfield centres. When it does I am buying ALL DAT china, I am in love with the Casbah Collection! I make a point of buying some tea in a nice tin wherever I go, so treated myself to Babi's Brilliant Blend, pictured below. I love the cute tin, I would have bought the whole range!
Afternoon Tea
Babi tea

There's also Chapel Street, a reeaaaally long street in Prahran/Windsor, which is chocka with opp shops (charity shops) where there are many cheap treasures to behold. There's Chapel Street Bazaar, a haven of antiques and vintage clothing for all price ranges. We went to Chapel Street on day one, still up to the eyeballs with jetlag, but as soon as I clapped eyes on the Bazaar and the opp shops, I knew I was going to love Melbourne! Chapel Street is also chocka with restaurants and cafes, but that's a whole other post!

Chapel Street Bazaar
Melbourne Central
My Directory:
For vintage and charity shops: Chapel Street
For alternative fashion and cool gifts: Brunswick Street
For High Street stores: Melbourne Central
For Designer/Top End gear (not featured much on this blogpost as it ain't my budget baby!): David JonesMyer, Collins Street
For souvenirs: Queen Victoria Market, cheaper than the souvenir shops on Swanston Street!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Melbourne: In my Beauty Bag

I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Melbourne, and this is the first of many posts about my trip. I returned yesterday morning, so am still a little jetlagged, so lets start with the basics: what I took with me!

I've probably mentioned before my efforts to destash my bathroom cabinets, so I bought as little as possible for my trip, choosing to take with me a few half finished goodies so that I could throw them out once and for all. This resulted in an empty L'Occitane Precious Cream and one Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Day Cream, both lovely rich face creams. I particularly like the Eucerin product because it contains SPF15, but I am not particularly loyal to any one brand when it comes to moisturiser so will continue to hunt around for the best for me. I've still got my Ainhoa and Avon night oil to work through for now but am always looking for recommendations for a good all-rounder, so do let me know if you've got any tips.

Just before my trip, I popped to the Boots Get Out There (#Bootsgetoutthere) event for bloggers which gave a great overview of the products on hand from Boots this summer, that are there to help you look and feel your best this summer s that you 'get out there' and enjoy yourself in the summer sun! It was a great showcase of the products available to help you feel confident and safe this summer. I took away with me some Soltan Protect & Tan Ultra-Light Texture Suncare Spray to trial on my trip, and I have to say it's a great product, completely non-greasy, easy to apply, with real protection, and it's half price at the moment along with some other great products in the range! Its slimline bottle also meant it was easy to carry around for reapplication during the day.
Soltan goodies on display
 Another favourite of mine was the Boots No7 Stay Perfect nail colour in Stand Back, which I applied on day one of my trip. It actually did 'Stay Perfect' well into the second week of my trip, and the fun shade also went fabulously with my sandals (Primark 2011)! A steal at £6.

No7 Stand Back
When I wear sandals or flip flops for the first time after a few months of hiding my feet away, they are horribly prone to blisters again, no matter how comfy those same sandals had become the previous year. When we landed at Melbourne, my toes were horribly blistered already from the ancient flip-flops I'd been wearing. The weather wasn't so hot on that first Sunday so as soon as I got into my hotel I wrapped them up in my Converse and let them heal. When I wanted to wear sandals again, I sprayed my feet quickly with Boots Blister Prevent Spray for the first couple of wears, and remained blister-free for the remainder of the trip. I'd definitely recommend this spray to keep the blisters at bay, at £5.49, it's worth it to save that agony!

These are some products that will be sticking with me all summer, I am looking forward to hearing about more great products that have impressed you this summer too....