The new kid in town is called '& Other Stories' and is the up market sister store to H&M, and it is exactly as you would expect. A whole store filled with the more premium styles that can sometimes be found in H&M stores, think more 'COS' style clothing... more luxe fabrics and simple but stylish cuts.
But what has me really excited is not the addition of a new place to exchange my bank account for wardrobe fillers - but the beauty offerings and let me show you a sneak peak as to why...
First up, how gorgeous is that packaging? I'm almost a bit sad that the big wordy lables are actually just to be taken off from the nail colours - I like how the names of the shades are so prominent and it looks really different. But even with the big lables removed the packaging looks clean and simple but stylish with the swirly text of the brand name.
Then that blusher! Anyone else out there just picture the scene in the Leonardo DiCaprio version of Romeo and Juliet where Pete Postlethwait says that saying to Claire Danes? That just springs into my head when I read it and for some reason makes me totally love this blusher! There's a whole selection of shades, all with the same lovely quote imprinted. I chose this one as it's one of those that looks scary and bright but delivers a gorgeous healthy glow. The powder is silky smooth too, so easy to blend it's pretty much fool proof. Really lovely quality, although this blush is £10 - which despite how gorgeous the store is, I can't help but mentally still have the link to H&M which makes it feel a little expensive...
Back to the nail colours, each of the shades are £5 which compared to the blusher I feel is pretty reasonable. There's a lovely range of shades available and I couldn't choose between them so ended up picking all three that caught my eye. As I type I'm wearing Dowlas Cloud, the dark grey - when I was swatching these for the photos above this was the most opaque and smooth in quality and it does apply like a dream. No streak marks, despite the shimmer - it manages to balance between pretty shimmer and creamy colour really well.
Of the other two shades, I loved the Spring pastel type shades as they were pretty but that little bit unusual at the same time. Having swatched them, I do think I probably already own very similar ones, so can only blame being sucked into the packaging! Moire Green was the sheerest of the three and needs two good coats, potentially three to get the colour opaque. Orleans Cornflower is nice and creamy and easy to apply - especially for a pastel cream.
So overall, this is a gorgeous range and I suspect one that will be nabbing a few of my pennies in weeks to come. I would put it on par with Topshop Makeup - on price, quality and style.
Other products that caught my eye included a gilded gold eye pencil, some brow pencils, more blusher shades, the lipsticks and the 'basics' selection - cotton buds, face wipes etc. Will definitely be going back to check it all out again! The beauty section also includes a few non-own brands for good measure too, such as The Balm.
Have you checked out '& Other Stories' yet, what did you think??
London's & Other Stories store is 256-258 Regent Street (close to Oxford Circus)
Bought by me.