I was really looking forward to shopping in Australia. It’s a country that I often looked at for inspiration when working in homeware and retail so the interiors lover in me was excited. I was also excited by the prospect of normal sized clothes and a huge choice of swimwear – both of which are lacking here in Thailand.
Whilst I did buy a few things I didn’t do nearly the amount of shopping I had anticipated. There were a number of factors in this; firstly, as we were in Oz over Christmas and New Year a lot of the independent stores I would usually have explored were closed (queue sad face but happy bank balance), secondly, our schedule ended up being pretty jam packed so I really didn’t have the time, and thirdly, when I did make it to the shops, the sales had begun and spending precious holiday time rummaging through the piles of season leftovers wasn’t my idea of a good time.
But I did pick up a few awesome bits…
City Beach is a surf type shop that for me was the epitome of Australia (apologies for the hideous stereotyping) and we loved it! They have stores all over but we shopped at the branches in Brisbane and Airlie Beach. I haven’t ever seen so much gorgeous swimwear in one place, I was totally spoiled for choice and if I’m honest a little bit overwhelemed. In the end I chose this cute marbled number by Kaiami for $69.99 – I figured seen as I was spending Christmas day in a cozzie I should have a new one! Granted it didnt look quite the same on me as on the model in the picture but I loved it! I bought it knowing the colour is totally impractical as it is already yellowing but the structure and quality is fab. Dave went completely bonkers in City Beach buying 5 pairs of board shorts, sunglasses and vests, and I’m sure if he’d come across another store in Sydney he’s have bought even more!
Stupidly I forgot a hat (we flew straight after a full day at work, that was my excuse) so in Brisbane I had my first taste of Target where I picked up this floppy black straw number for just $12. Now kudos to this hat, it went everywhere with me and was shoved into bags and cases and quite frankly not treated with much love, I expected to bin it before flying home but it held strong and has since been protecting my head from the suns rays in Thailand.
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is something I have been wanting in my stash for years but other than ordering it online, I haven’t come across it. It’s quite like Vaseline only smells better and is a little thicker. I really like this stuff and since grabbing it in the supermarket (for around $5) in Twin Waters, Queensland, it has been in my handbag. It has lots of uses apparently, so far I’ve used it for insect bites, as a face mask, for sunburn and dry skin, it’s great. I burnt my face one day (don’t ask me why I didn’t have the above hat on) and slathered this on before I went to bed, the next day my face was so hydrated and glowy and thankfully, the sun burn had seriously receded! Big tick.
We have a real issue getting decent sun tan lotion here in Thailand. You either pay an extortionate amount for it, or its total crap. It’s one thing that we often ask visitors to bring from the UK where you can so often pick up decent lotion on offer. Anyway, I didn’t take any sun tan lotion to Australia, that’s like taking spaghetti to Italy, so during our time in Brisbane, it was on my list to pick up.
I have never in my life seen that amount and choice of sun tan lotion, it was incredible (I later found out it’s largely due to the fact that Queenslander’s have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world) but incredibly overwhelming. After five minutes stood in the drug store debating the pros and cons of different types of sun tan lotion, another customer asked us if we needed a hand. She was Australian, about 25 with healthy looking skin so when she recommended Le Tan Coconut Spray (SPF 30) that was decision done. Turns out this is one of the nicest sun blocks I have ever used; it’s not greasy, it absorbs, it smells incredible and best still, I really did feel like it was protecting me. I’m usually a factor 50 girl but this was amazing – I’d suspect Australian sun tan lotion has to meet higher regulations…? Needless to say we stocked up before heading back to Thailand, $16.99 each.
Everywhere we went, in real life or on Instagram, everyone had round towels. I wanted one too. I picked up this beauty again from Kaiami at City Beach for $34.99. Not just is it amazingly Insta-worthy, it also turned out to be a good travel accessory as two of you can fit on it together! Win win right…
I saw Peter Alexander in Brisbane Domestic terminal waiting to fly to the Whitsunday’s and had a quick whizz around, loving all the gorgeous lounge and nightwear. It was a bit too pricey to be shelling out at the beginning of the holiday so I just crossed my fingers I’d come across a store later on.
Thankfully I did, in Sydney, and guess what…they’d gone into SALE! Whoop whoop! Living in Thailand I tend to go for short sets and ideally cotton as they are much cooler. Of course I fell instantly in love with this bright, slouchy floral pajama set which was XX down from XX. I have worn these a lot, they are really comfy and wash beautifully. My only regret is not picking up another set!
Anyone who knows me is unlikely to describe my wardrobe as colourful, so it was a little odd how drawn to the bright yellowy mustard leather bag in Zara. Maybe it’s because Thailand was still very much in mourning when we were away that this seemed to bring a little sunshine into my life! It was in the sale reduced to $50 I think and it has become my everyday bag. It doesn’t have a zip to the main compartment (sorry mother) but it does have a large zipped pouch attached to the inside so I don’t feel too reckless with my belongings.
This Mac lipstick was technically bought in Thailand but I purchased it with sunshine and Australia in mind a couple of days before going. I wanted a summery coral and this totally fit the bill. Coral Bliss is a Cremesheen finish and is soon pretty, it’s coral but not bright. I love the Cremesheens, they need applying a little more frequently but feel so nourishing and moisturising on the lips. This is quite a sheer colour so it’s perfect for daytime or applied a little heavier for evening. It really has become my absolute favourite lips, it’s the one I reach for day in, day out whatever the occasion. It also somehow makes me look a little tanned even when I’m not.
Again on the colourful theme, I also bought the shirt I’m wearing in the main picture in the Zara sale. Light and long sleeved, it met the brief for practical cover up pretty well. I ended up liking it so much it made it into my NYE outfit, which by the way we spent at Luna Park in Sydney! The views of the bridge and the fireworks along with being big kids in an amusement park (with alocohol) was amazing!!
So I didnt manage to do the shopping I thought I would in Australia, but surely that means I just need to go back right?!…