Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.175

by Gio

Hello everyone,

it’s that time of the week again. Yep, time for some random ramblings. Here we go:

shopping Italy

Fancy a shopping spree in Italy? Here’s what you must know to pull it off without awkward mistakes:

1. When you enter and leave a shop, greet the owner and/or salesperson. It is just good manners. You get extra points if you do it in Italian. Most Italians can understand simple greetings like “hello” and “bye”, but not why they should speak a foreign language in their own country. They love it when you at least try and make an attempt to speak Italian. But don’t fret. A simple “ciao” will do, both when you come in and leave. You can also say “arrivederci”, but only upon leaving.

2. Handling inventory is allowed only in some shops. Usually, the more expensive and luxurious the merchandise, the less touching allowed. If you’d like to see something, ask the SA to show it to you (posso vedere? can I see?). You can just browse of course, but they’ll be watching you closely to make sure you don’t touch/ruin/steal anything. In stores that sell cheap merchandise, like H&M and Terranova, you can just touch and try whatever you want. In any case, never touch anything that’s part of the window display. That’s very rude. Also, never touch fruits and vegetables with bare hands, not even at produce markets. Put on the plastic gloves provided or ask the vendor to bag your choices.

3. When shopping for clothes, don’t bring too much stuff into the dressing room. Usually, you can only try 3 or 4 pieces at a time. The exact number is stated on notices around the shop or the dressing room area, so pay attention to it. If you bring one more than permitted, they may let it pass, but if you pick up too much stuff, they’ll reprimand you. If you plan on buying a lot of stuff, use the basket (when provided) or ask a SA if you can leave some stuff at the cashier’s desk while you go hunting for more.

4. Italy is still a cash-based culture. While you can, of course, pay with your credit card, that’s usually reserved for medium or large purchases. Rarely you see people pay for a €10.00 lipstick with a credit card.

5. When paying, put the coins down on the dish provided. The cashier will do the same when giving you your change (il resto). Also, sellers prefer when you pay the exact amount. Back when we had liras, most transactions were in banknotes (it was easy to give small change that way), but the euro has changed that. Now small change can only be given in coins and there never seem to be enough of those in the till, as people still prefer to pay in banknotes whenever they can. So, don’t be surprised if they ask you if can pay some of the amount with coins. It is easier for them than changing your banknotes.

6. Retailers are happy to exchange merchandise, but only if you return the product in perfect condition (usually that means unused or even unopened), accompanied with the receipt, and within one or two weeks. Unless you bought something while it was on sale. Those purchases are usually final.

7. Refunds, instead, are rarely given. You can’t buy something, try it, decide that you don’t like it, and return it. You can ask for a refund only if there is something seriously wrong with the product, and only if you have kept the receipt. Even then, they’ll probably only exchange your faulty product with one that works. Italian retailers would do anything to avoid annulling a transaction and give you your money back (not sure if it is due to greediness, pride, or too much bureaucracy), so think carefully before making a purchase.

8. Don’t eat, drink, nor smoke in a shop. The latter is forbidden by law, while the former are just good manners. Yes, sometimes you’ll come across a shop owner who smokes in his own store, but that doesn’t mean you can do it too.

What are the shopping “rules” in your country?

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.2

beauty wishlist 02

Just in time for the warm season that sends oil production into overdrive, Benefit has created an oil-blotting stick with tiny invisible blotting spheres that mattifies shine for up to six hours after application. The specially designed triangular tip targets shiny zones — the sides of your nose, forehead, and chin — for a smooth, flawless finish. Available at Sephora.

I hate selfies, but I like the idea of powders that act as filters for the real world. This gorgeous palette features three that mimic the effects of your favourite photo filters. Sunrise provides a brightening diffused warmth, Totally Toasted a bronzed smoothing glow, and Moon River a cool ethereal light. Available at Sephora.

I love the bottle, it is so simple yet elegant, like the juice inside. Perfectly balanced with subtle strands of citrus and the softest cedarwood, this fresh, elegant Norma Jean white rose has a unique depth that increases as it warms and settles on the skin. It features notes of white rose oil, lemon peel, rose absolute, petitgrain, honey, and amber. Available at Jo Loves.

Contouring is big now. The current makeup trend is all about sculpted, highlighted face that brings your best features forward. To help you achieve it, Too Faced has created this adorable palette, which contains two essential sculpting shades, two highlighters (one matte and the other shimmering), and a contouring brush. Available at Sephora.

This beautiful blush features NARS’ exclusive Translucent Prismatic Technology, a new formula that allows for multi-dimensional effects with a uniquely weightless, luxurious texture. It is available in 6 variants. My favourite is Adoration (pictured above), which contains two shimmering pink shades, one soft, the other bold. Available at Sephora.

What’s on your beauty wishlist this week?

What I’m Reading Now

wicked women chris enss
Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West by Chris Enss
During the late nineteenth century, while men were rushing to the Old West in search of gold and land, women of easy virtue, prostitutes, and gamblers, knowing there was a lot of money to be made, followed suit. It was often a choice dictated by poverty, not will or inclination. Single women were very vulnerable back then, and many turned to a life of prostitution, professional gambling, and crime only after they were widowed, left orphaned, or were abandoned by their husbands. Resourceful and bold, a lot of them found ways to thrive in the Old West, but they all paid a high price for it. The book introduces us to many wicked women, from the infamous Calamity Jane and Belle Starr, to lesser-known figures such as Josie Washburn, Nebraska’s Reluctant Madame, and Ella Watson, Wyoming Cattle Baroness. Their stories make some fascinating and interesting reading. It’s true that after a while, they tend to sound somewhat similar, but that’s no fault of the author. On the contrary, the similarities just bring home how few options these women had. Available at Amazon.

The Links

Why I Don’t Do Outfit Posts – J Is For Jen

Are Lush products really self preserving? – The Beauty Brains

FYI, This Is How Much Work Goes Into Writing ONE Single Product Review – London Beauty Queen

Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Cruelty Free Makeup – Phyrra

All About Oil Cleansing: A Beginner’s Guide – Lab Muffin

Sunday Survey, Vol.249

1. Have you ever fallen from a ladder?
Not yet, but then I avoid using one if I can.

2. What makes the search for your HG foundation so difficult for you?
Colour matching. Most brands simply don’t make shades pale enough for my fair skintones, and, if they do, shops rarely stock them. *sighs*

3. How are you feeling today?
Relaxed. I’m spending the day just chilling out and recharging my batteries for next week.

4. Would you rather be a robot or an alien?
An alien. I don’t like the idea of being a machine.

5. Do you like pointy-toed shoes?
Not much. They give your feet such a weird shape!

It’s your turn now!
1. Have you ever fallen from a ladder?
2. What makes the search for your HG foundation so difficult for you?
3. How are you feeling today?
4. Would you rather be a robot or an alien?
5. Do you like pointy-toed shoes?

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, this post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping

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Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.

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Ana March 16, 2015 - 7:59 am

I love the Italian culture bits.

That is all -.- .

Gio March 16, 2015 - 2:56 pm

Ana, glad you do. I’ll post more. 🙂

Kiss & Make-up March 16, 2015 - 9:43 am

I loved the part on shopping etiquette! Most of it makes sense to me though, but I guess not everyone sees it that way.

1. Have you ever fallen from a ladder? No. I did fall from a set of stairs once though.

2. What makes the search for your HG foundation so difficult for you? Finding the perfect shade.

3. How are you feeling today? Quite alright for a Monday morning 🙂

4. Would you rather be a robot or an alien? An alien. But a sexy one.

5. Do you like pointy-toed shoes? Not on me. I have large feet and pointy toed shoes only make them look bigger.

Gio March 16, 2015 - 2:58 pm

Melissa, a lot of tourists are very surprised when they learn they can’t touch anything in the window display or that shops usually don’t give refunds. But I guess other European countries have similar customs?

Kiss & Make-up March 17, 2015 - 8:45 am

I guess. In Belgium and Switzerland it’s pretty much the same.

Gio March 17, 2015 - 3:19 pm

It’s a shame we can’t return stuff, though, isn’t it? That’d be so useful!

Kiss & Make-up March 18, 2015 - 7:49 am

Yeah, it sucks 🙁

Gio March 18, 2015 - 3:50 pm

Who knows, maybe one day things will change. We can hope. 🙁

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