they see me haulin’: what i bought at the crabtree valley mall;

Yes: I’m just back from America and the first thing I am going to tell you about is my trip to the mall. In my defence, allow me to raise two points:

– Shopping is not “basic”. Realising you are walking up Columbus Avenue holding a Starbucks coffee and Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” has started playing in your headphones is basic;
– I’m far more disappointed that I passed up a gig to stay in with Aggie and order Chinese food than in the amount of money I spent shopping. Actually, no I’m not, that was awesome.

Crabtree Valley Mall is your typical American indoor shopping mall – by which I mean it’s like a shopping centre over here, but bigger. Think 200 shops and restaurants, anchored by a Macy’s and North Carolina’s home-grown department store, Belk. It’s tough to get to because the default position in NC is that everybody has a car – which means one bus an hour – but hey, it has a Sephora.

Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Sephora

Obviously, no US shopping trip is complete without a visit to Sephora. The Crabtree Valley store wasn’t the largest I had ever been in, which might have been why I managed to escape relatively unscathed. There were a few things I had planned to stock up on while I could take advantage of the exchange rate, but I didn’t manage to find a holiday purchase with which to treat myself. There was an exciting-looking Smashbox eyeshadow palette I was tempted by, but I’m saving myself for Urban Decay’s Spectrum.

The Dr Brant Pores No More primer has been one of my “hero” products since I discovered it in a Birchbox a year or so ago: it’s velvety to the touch and mattifies all my shiny bits. Sure, it’s not the cheapest primer on the market, but I have 30+ skin and I do what I want. Benefit’s Hervana is my favourite everyday blush, and I’d been meaning to buy a full-size Urban Decay All-Nighter makeup setting spray since I used up the sample I got in my goody bag from the House of Fraser press event.

Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Sephora

I’ve been reading a lot of love for Urban Decay’s creamy, well-pigmented Revolution lipsticks, but I doubt I would have purchased the gloriously rich magenta “Jilted” if I hadn’t tried a sample size first. Turns out it is my colour. The sparkly eyeshadows were my one two concessions to the unnecessary: they’re Sephora’s own brand and they’re called Fairy Princess (mauve) and Break the Bank (green).

Crabtree Valley Mall haul - NARS Beauty Insider gift
Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Too Faced bronzer sample

There were also a couple of freebies, courtesy of my Beauty Insider points card. I signed up for one of these back in 2009 (Sephora Chestnut Street, Philadelphia) and it turned out I was still registered under my old email address. I picked a lovely Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer as a deluxe sample with my points (it’s make with cocoa powder, and smells like it too!) and got given a couple of NARS lip pencils as my (four months late) “birthday gift”.

My “best” purchase was the new trainers I got for $40, reduced from $140, but I’ve already tramped them all over New York so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Far more exciting: hand sanitisers and Yankee Candles.

Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Bath and Body Works
Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Bath and Body Works

Lynsay, the Great Encourager, first introduced me Bath and Body Works’ probably iconic Pocketbac hand sanitisers, and my Rachelle Renée, the Great Enabler, then sent me a bunch of them last year. They’ve changed the design of the packaging, which it turns out makes them even more pocketable. At five four $6 plus sales tax, I picked up some seasonal scents including Sunlight & Apple Trees, Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte and Sweet Tangerine.

Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Yankee candles
Crabtree Valley Mall haul - Yankee candles

Yankee Candles are, of course, proper basic, but I’m a sucker for the votive size – so cheap, and fit perfectly into the candle holder my sister-in-law gave me as a souvenir of her wedding – plus, the scents you get in the US are so much more interesting. Somehow I managed to resist the Turkey & Stuffing scent, though. No, I’m not kidding. Instead I picked up mini Gingerbread Maple, Vanilla Bourbon, Apple Pumpkin and Salted Caramel (another one Rachelle Renée got me hooked on) scents. If you’re wondering whether I love apple scented and apple flavoured things way more than I love actual apples then yes, you are correct.

What do you think of my purchases? And what’s on your US beauty wishlist?