Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Shopping Experience

Where I live is really nice but it isn't exactly a shopping mecca. So this weekend I was literally driving all over the state to get in a little retail therapy. While I like having access to all kinds of stuff online, sometimes I really miss browsing at really nice store.

On Saturday, I drove over to Raleigh to the Saks at Triangle Town Center.

My main reason for going was to return a few pairs of shoes that I decided against keeping. I did like these Miu Miu sandals and the Prada sandals but decided my favorite pair were the black satin heels, so I took the others back. I'm trying to be frugal, ya know.

These are stunning in person, though. Sigh.

Since I was in the store, I did pick up a few things we needed - I needed some Clinique mascara and the hubby needed his Kheils shaving cream.

Then I remembered that I had an $80 Saks rewards gift card. Whoo hoo! Not that I needed it, but I decided to get a girly little compact for myself. So I sauntered over to the Estee Lauder counter and got them to pull out the ones I liked. The Tuberose Gardenia one was way heavy so I decided on the Heart of Hearts compact. Isn't it cute!

Everyone at the counter was very nice and helpful in a genuine way (surprisingly). They had a make-up artist in and they asked if they could make me up. I normally never go for that but what the heck, right? They brought me a glass of champagne (it was delish) and tried a few products on me. One product they used was the Bronze Goddess Shimmer Bronzer. I have never used bronzer and rarely use blush because I have a ton of pink in my skin. But this actually looked really nice. So I did buy one. I guess they made their quota off me. I used it again today and liked how it gives me color but I don't look too overdone or anything.

Saks is also doing a free gift with purchase. Not only is it filled with a bunch of great stuff, all of which seem made just for me, but it had 2 travel bottles, a small case and a travel toothbrush. Perfect for decanting when packing for a trip.

It was a nice relaxing day. Which I think is a rarity when shopping these days.

Then today I drove down to Charlotte and went to Neiman Marcus at the Southpark Mall.

The main reason for heading down there was to see a Manolo Blahnik trunk show. In honor of that, I decided to wear a pair of Manolos - my red snakeskin mary janes. I also wore my JCrew scottie dog sweater and my charcoal denim skirt.

I have to interject here. I've probably said it before but Manolos and the way they are architected are amazing. On Saturday, I wore my JS heels. I barely walked around in them and they were starting to bother me a bit. But today I wore the Manolos, walked all over the mall and they weren't bothering me at all. I had actually brought a pair of flats to change into, just in case, and I didn't even have to crack them out.

So, back to the trunk show, it wasn't thrilling me. While they were lovely, I didn't really see anything there that jumped out at me. I was hoping for something unique and amazing, but left without buying anything.

I also have to say that, while I love Neiman Marcus, I find their Sales Associates a bit annoying. They tend to run the gamut from obsequious to condescending, or are both. I usually do two things when I'm planning a trip to a NM. I dress up a bit (half the reason for the Manolos) and I carry a shopping bag with my book, or like today, an extra pair of shoes. I know it's kind of a lame cop out, but I think of it like being at a frat party. I used to carry around a glass of water or a soda around just so everyone would quit bugging me about not drinking. They just want you to join in the consumer frat party. If you don't have a bag in your hand they're all over you. Not very relaxing.

And if you have a few nice items on, like your bag or shoes or jewelry, you actually get better service. A very large part of me hates that. Who are they to judge by what I'm wearing? But part of me wants the better service and I also like dressing up a bit when I'm going to a nice place to shop and to have lunch. Obviously I am not the only one, because I saw a lot of nicely dressed ladies in the mall. And that is not usually the case, especially in this state. Still. The NM Associates can be snobs.

So after wandering around NM for a while, I took a leisurely non-husband-rushed stroll around the mall. I wanted to go into the Hermes store, but it was closed. I did go into Nordstroms which was having a big shoe sale (didn't get anything and found their SAs to be too helpful. I wanted to shoo them away like gnats) and then went to Sephora.

The make-up artist at Saks had used a brush to put on some foundation and a wide brush for the eyeshadow. I liked how they worked so I decided to get some for myself. Both ones are Sephora brand.

Foundation/concealer brush

Eyeshadow brush

I also wanted to try some very glossy nude-pink lip glosses. I didn't want anything shimmery, just really slick and glossy looking. I got two to give a try. The first is Sephora's ultra-shine lip gloss in Natural Pink 14.

The second is Smashbox lip-enhancing gloss in Pop, a sheer pale pink. Much more nude than that swatch appears.

From Sephora, I also got a free mascara sample, so now I'm overwhelmed with mascara options. After Sephora I had a uber-filling lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then I headed back home. I capped off my glamour shopping weekend by hanging out in the yard with the chickens and freshening up their coop. Talk about a contrast.
Did you do anything fun over the weekend?


WendyB said...

Flower feet!

Daniela said...

Oh, I love the jeweled sandals. I'm not a big fan of the other flower-heeled pair though. I think I like the black satin pair too much in comparison. Good call keeping them.