I hadn’t seen Asha, my good friend from uni, since my wedding in Cyprus last October. She lives in Surrey (but commutes to London for work) and has a busy schedule so although we now live in the same country again, meeting up is not that often and requires some planning. We keep in touch regularly, sending each other messages via social media but so far since 2014 we managed to see each other about twice a year. She was due to visit me in Manchester at the end of June but in the meantime she suggested we arrange a meet-up for the day in London sometime in May. So, I booked my train ticket a few weeks in advance to avoid the ridiculously extortionate prices that the Manchester-London trains sometimes charge and off I was yesterday for a girly day out! We planned to do the things we like the most: eat nice food, chat, have coffee, talk about make-up, look at make-up and eat cake!
We met in Euston train station and took the underground to Covent Garden where we were booked to have brunch at Bill’s in St Martin’s Courtyard.
Our nice, filling late breakfasts (Asha had the veggie breakfast and I went for a yummy avocado on toast with poached eggs and streaky bacon) were followed by a cup of coffee and a stroll around the make up stores in Covent Garden. We had been having a running debate about whether Asha’s foundation number/colour was too dark for her skin tone and we wanted to check it out in MAC where she buys it from.
First off though we visited the Charlotte Tilbury shop. It must have been a very new shop there because although it was very busy with people more than half of them were staff members! The staff to customer ration seemed to be 3:1! The staff were very eager to service customers but I’m not sure how many sales were being made. We had a good look at the face creams and make up products and asked about the prices (which were a bit high) but we didn’t find anything that we couldn’t live with so we left without any purchases. I then spotted, on the opposite side of the street, a KIKO store. I first had heard of this Milanese brand in Sweden on a 2009 trip there where while at a shopping mall with my friend Maria we stumbled across it and bought a few colour correcting/concealer products. Asha hadn’t heard of it before so we went inside to have a look there as well. KIKO prices are very reasonable and they had a good range of quality make-up brushes and I ended up buying an eyeshadow pencil brush at half the price of a MAC one as well as a loose face powder and a powder puff. I also bought a few make-up goodies a late birthday present for Asha, one of them was a very promising highlighter.
3 shops to the right was the MAC store which felt really crammed and the staff on the first floor were too busy to attend to all the customers. We almost left with nothing when we realised there was a basement floor. I am SO glad we took the stairs down. It was not busy and that’s where we found a make-up artist who finally put mine and Asha’s debate at rest (the correct foundation number apparently is somewhere between the one she has and the number I suggested). The make-up artist/assistant even gave Asha a freebie with the suggested foundation to try the lighter tone at home (woohoo!) and I was overjoyed to finally be re-united with the eyeshadow brush no. 227. It is by far the best blender eyeshadow brush I have ever used. I had bought it from the Cyprus MAC store 10 years ago and it was stolen from my car in Cyprus 2.5 years ago when someone broke into it at Christmas time and stole my make up bag. Since then I had been mourning that brush more than my expensive sunglasses and other items taken from my car as I was unable to find the same brush in the Cyprus or Manchester MAC stores I looked into. I couldn’t find it in the UK online MAC store either. So I shrieked with delight when I saw it in the Covent Garden store. The shop assistant there who heard me couldn’t believe how happy I was over a brush! So the MAC visit was a win for both my friend and I!
The last thing on our day’s To -Do list was a must visit to Hummingbird in Soho. We wanted to have some cake but also take some treats back home but we were still quite full from our brunch so we only bought cupcakes to take home. Although we both have a sweet tooth we still could not have cake in the afternoon so we decided that we would have them as dessert after dinner at our homes. I chose Carrot, Dark Bottom, Salted Caramel and Red Velvet to share with my husband back home. (He loved them so much he now wants me to go to London again just for the cupcakes).
All in all, it was a lovely day, catching up with my friend, doing some shopping and enjoying yummy things! Even the weather wasn’t too bad with sunshine most of the day. We ended up using our umbrellas only for a minute as the showers were sporadic and we were indoors most of the time.
Having one last cup of tea at Pret-a-Manger before taking our respective trains back we decided that we could meet more regularly in different towns to shorten the distance between us. However, the next time will be a proper visit in a month’s time when my friend comes to stay over in Manchester to spend some quality time and be make-up guinea pig . So part 2 of ladies who brunch and shop for make-up will be in Manchester at the end of June!
P.S. I do have to try some different eyeshadows for my course homework but I am continuing with my personal make-up challenge and was wearing the MAC Deep Truth and Cien’s sky blue eyeshadows on my London day trip.