Black Friday in London

Black Friday used to be the worst day of the year when I worked in retail. When you first start working in retail you wonder how bad it can be but as the day comes around you realise just how busy it gets and it becomes more apparent that people seem to forget basic manners when they save £5 on something they don't need. Now that I have left the retail sector behind me, I can see the other side of the argument and I can now understand why people go to the effort of spending hours online looking for good deals. It makes it so much easier to get presents and you can put the money you have saved towards more presents. However I think it is key not to buy anything that you didn't want already as most of the stuff with discount will be in the post Christmas sales. This year Black Friday had an overwhelming presence, both online and in stores. The amount of people using Instagram to promote brands and products over the weekend was ridiculous and it got annoying. Not only did I want to delete my Instagram account but it made me want to part with my money less. I thought Black Friday brought out the worst of Instagram and it really did show who the money hungry people are. Fair enough if you want to promote a couple of products you like but don't change your mind whenever something goes out of stock and you can no longer get the money from your affiliate link.

I never keep tabs on Black Friday as it isn't something that has ever interested me before so I didn't realise what day it was until Monday last week. By then it was too late and my best friend and I had already booked our days holiday for a trip to London. So I got on that train on Friday morning, with my best attitude and telling myself that surely it can't be too bad. By the time I had got on a train: I had already been stuck in a traffic jam, my first train had been cancelled and the train I got on was full due to all the people who couldn't get on the earlier cancelled train getting on this one. I ended up sat by the door, trying to write blog posts on the floor. Even worse than all of that, I had bought a coffee at the train station and it was hands down the worst coffee I've ever had but as I had no way of getting rid of it, I felt like I had to drink it. In the end I didn't get into London until 11:30am and my best attitude has fallen into a mild grump.

My mood changed the moment I made it to London. There is something about spending time in the city which makes my mood improve. I think it is the potential of all the things you can do in London which excites me. After finding my best friend in Paddington, we got on the underground and went straight to Oxford Street, to my favourite store SELFRIDGES! After making our way, very slowly down Oxford Street we finally made it and entered through the section I am not allowed in, the handbag section. I spotted the Dior Diorama bag I have been coveting for almost a year now and just had to walk away. After moving on swiftly to the Beauty hall, I wasn't any better off. The Selfridges Beauty Hall is something to behold, it has every brand you could ever want. After looking around I almost bought a Louboutin Nail Polish but I couldn't quite justify it. After we ended up in the general beauty section, where it is a bit like a child's Pick and Mix. There are lots of different brands and they are all displayed so you can pick up what you want. I had made myself the promise that I would only buy products that I cannot get whilst in Bristol. I am one of those people who prefers looking at products in person so this gave me the perfect opportunity to take a look at a few products I had been eyeing up online. 

The first product I picked up was the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. Literally everyone who blogs has spoken about this cream and I have been desperate to try it. It is available on Cult Beauty but I have always felt reluctant to buy the cream on its own. I would feel cheated if I didn't do a whole haul on Cult Beauty but I would spend an unholy amount of money which I currently don't have. The moment I laid eyes on this in Selfridges, I knew I had to get it. I hadn't even smelt it before I had picked one up and committed myself to it. When my best friend opened the tester and made me smell it, I could understand why so many people raved about this. It smells incredible, like a passion fruit cocktail. It is quite a thick cream and it is supposed to help tighten your skin. It is designed to be used on cellulite and areas with stretch marks which is why it is called Bum Bum Cream but most people use it all over their body. I haven't used this yet but I'm sure there will be a blog post all about it, if I like it. 

Next to the Sol De Janeiro section; Selfridges have a wall of sheet masks. A dream for any skincare lover. The ones I immediately zoned in on were the Tony Moly masks which once again I've heard a lot about. Not only had Jamie Genevieve inspired my purchase of the Sol De Janeiro Cream but she has also spoken about the Tony Moly sheet masks. I wasn't really sure which one to go for but you can't go wrong with Aloe Vera so I figured I would get that mask in hopes that on days when I have a hangover or when my skin is struggling, I could use this mask. I only picked up the one as I want to know I like something before I fully commit myself to it.

I also bought some eye patches to try. I am always on the look out for some good under eye masks. I didn't even read anything about these and I just picked them up as I got a little spend happy. Although I did stop myself there at the sheet mask wall. I think I was very restrained.

Previously I've had a sample of the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser and I did use it on my Beauty Blender but I preferred it for my brushes.  I actually don't use my Beauty Blender anymore but I still buy this in case I use it and also for my brushes. This cleanser gets all of the product out of my brushes and leaves them feeling clean which is exactly what you want it to do. At the same time this cleanser conditions the brushes so you can really tell the difference between a spot clean and a deep clean. It is simple to use and it comes in a handy container so you have somewhere to keep it. You can get this on most online beauty retailers but it is something I forget about when I am shopping online so I decided to get one whilst it was there in front of me. 

Obviously it was Black Friday but it didn't occur to me that somewhere like Selfridges would have any discount. I knew they were offering 20% off of clothing and accessories as I had seen the code a thousand times on Instagram but I didn't even consider that they would reduce Beauty. When I got to the till the sales assistant asked if I had a voucher for discount and after looking alarmed for a couple of seconds, I said no. She very kindly went and got me one and applied it to my transaction so I got 10% off everything which was nice and in line with pretty much every other retailer. I only saved about £4 but that was enough to take it into the £30 mark rather than £40. Even though it wasn't a massive saving, it was nice to get some money off products that I wanted to try and would have bought anyway. After this transaction, I knew there was a discount and I had been eyeing up that nail varnish on the Louboutin counter and I also wanted some of the Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Collection, despite the discount my self restraint won and I did not get anything else.

We then made our way to the clothes and shoes. Obviously my dream would be to Pretty Woman the whole store and just be able to buy everything I want but in reality, my friend and I just pointed out everything we liked. That was more on the designer floor, there is a floor one higher which has the contemporary fashions like Self Portrait, Ted Baker and All Saints which were the three brands I really wanted to look at. I had my eye on an item from each counter as I was looking to get my Christmas present from my parents. In short, the Self Portrait dress I wanted they didn't have in my size. This left me to decide between two jackets: one from Ted Baker and one from All Saints. I had tried to buy the Ted Baker coat online the night before but my size sold out as I was putting my card details in so I missed out. Both Ted Baker and All Saints were on 30% off which is an amazing saving for both brands. As both brands are represented in Selfridges I thought it would be a good opportunity to try on both and get the opinion of my friend as to which one I should get.

Image from Ted Baker
They are both very different jackets. The Ted Baker Junnie Jacket is a sort of puffer jacket in grey but it is the only version of that style of coat I've found which doesn't make me look as round as I am tall. With 30% off it was £140. From All Saints I was looking to treat myself to one of their iconic leather jackets. I had my eye on the Balfern style which is one of their best sellers and I have been thinking about getting it for a while. After trying them both on I couldn't decide; the leather jacket is a classic piece whereas the Ted Baker coat would be more practical (plus I liked the faux fur collar.) After trying them both on and having some lunch, I finally decided it was time to treat myself to my long awaited leather jacket! So my friend and I headed to the All Saints store on Regent Street to try on the different sizes. In Selfridges I had tried on a size 4 but I was looking to try a size 2 to see if it would be any better. After much debate and a ridiculously long time spent in All Saints, I went for the size 2. In the Black Friday sale it was almost £100 off which is rare for such a classic style so I was very pleased to finally buy it. As it is my Christmas present, I am not allowed it until Christmas but I am very excited to introduce it into my wardrobe in the new year.

Image from All Saints
After spending ages in All Saints, we decided to head to Covent Garden on the tube. This was around 16:30pm. We got on the central line to Holborn and then the Piccadilly line to Covent Garden. Whilst we were making our way through the underground system, an announcement came over staying that Oxford Circus Station was now closed. Well, that was where we had just come from so that immediately made me wonder what the hell was happening and what we had just missed. When we got to Covent Garden I went straight on the BBC news app and there were reports of gunfire and smoke in the station. I knew I had to phone my mum immediately as the moment she saw that she would have been worried. My friend and I literally just missed it all by a few minutes. We must have been on one of the last trains to leave the station. Luckily in the end it was nothing but if it had been an actual incident, we would have only been a few minutes away from it. The thought is quite scary but as I said luckily it was nothing more than a fight that broke out on a platform and people self evacuated the building. When you think about it, really it is quite amazing that people would think to do that and how quick the response was.

Once we had arrived in Covent Garden (and after I had phoned my mum,) I knew there was one shop I was not missing out on and that was the Deciem store. I have always wanted to try some of the products from The Ordinary and I had been looking at it online for a while but the products I want always seem to be sold out. The Deciem store itself is huge but it is broken down into two different stores: one for The Ordinary and one for some of their other brands. I was only really interested in The Ordinary on this particular trip and luckily for me they had the two products I really wanted to try. The first product I zoned in on was the Hyaluronic Acid 2%. I have been trying to buy this from Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay for the longest time but whenever I am doing an order they are always sold out. They had quite a few bottles in the store so I instantly took one. All I really know about it, at the moment, is that Hyaluronic Acid is good for hydration which is something I need over Winter as any form of heating will suck out any moisture I have in my skin. 

The second product I wanted to get was the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Soultion and luckily they had some of this in store as well. I've seen a lot of people use this product and it looks like food. It literally looks like someone has rubbed jam all over their face but I assume that comes from the ingredients. The thought of using this scares me, I think it is just the words: 'acid' and 'peeling' that makes it seem like I'm about to put bleach on my face and melt it off but there have been so many good reviews that I really wanted to try this. I do think I need to do a little bit of reading up on this product before I use it just to make sure it will be ok for my skin but I will be writing about both products so keep your eye out for that if you are interested. 

The Deciem store was incredible and everything I hoped it would be. I now have my eye on the Rose Hip oil as I hear that is meant to be wonderful for the skin. I didn't get it at the time as I was conscious that I had just spent a lot in All Saints. Plus I haven't tried the brand before and just because other people say it is good doesn't mean it will work for me. Skincare is a tricky product to recommend as you do not know if it will work for everyone. 

After the Deciem store, we had a look around the beauty heaven that is Covent Garden. Literally every beauty brand has a store there and for anyone who loves looking at products, this is a place to go whilst visiting London. I really wanted to go into the new Tom Ford store but they had closed it for an event so I couldn't get my fix of Tom Ford but they have definitely left their mark on Covent Garden. They had a massive sign outside making it clear the store had arrived. After only shopping for myself I decided to do some Christmas shopping which meant I needed to go to the White Company. The White Company is a store which I like for myself but also my mother has come to love it as well. I did get a few prezzies and I know that my mother does not read my blog but I don't want to spoil it, just in case.  

After all of this shopping we tried to get a cheeky cocktail and got on our trains back home. I didn't get home until about 11pm which meant I had quite a long day in London but I always love visiting the city. There is nothing like London at Christmas time: the decorations are always stunning, there is a hussle and bussle you don't get in other cities and you have unlimited shops. What more could you want? I make it my mission to do a Christmas shop in London every year but this year it was less of a Christmas shop and more of a shop for me. I most definitely will not be braving Black Friday in the future, that was a mistake! Not only did I experience first hand the greed of Black Friday but I have certainly learnt how easy it could be, to be caught up in a major incident in the city but that won't put me off going there. I look forward to many more trips to London next year.

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