First Impressions: Boots

If there is one thing that I’ve always wondered about when I read UK beauty blogs, it is Boots. In my mind, Boots has always been this allusive place much like a US drugstore, overly expensive, small, and empty. However, when I walked in for the first time yesterday, it was the exact opposite of what I expected.


For one, Boots is a big place. The one in Leicester is two stories, and each floor is big with multiple aisles which has a mix of both drugstore and high end brands. There are employees basically everywhere and, customers come up and ask questions about products and for recommendations.

It’s a lot like a Sephora, but bigger, cheaper, and busier.

bootsleicesterAnyway, the trip to Boots was a necessary one. I needed toiletries that didn’t come in a travel size tube, and when I asked the local British students, they said Boots was the place to go for cheap beauty products. Hence, a good excuse to go somewhere I was already planning on going.

pantenepanteneclarifyingThe first stop was the hair care aisle because a pinky size tube of shampoo isn’t going to cut it for the next three months. I decided on the Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner for Volume & Body because it was the cheapest I could find at £3.49 ($5.57) a tube. Apparently, that whole conversion rate thing is quite the pain in the butt.

However, Boots was a running a 2 for 3 special (it took me about five minutes to realize that meant buy two and get one free), so I also got the Pro V Clarifying shampoo. I will swap this out with the volume shampoo, and hopefully that will help with any buildup.

bootstoothpaste listerinemouthwash

Next up, I needed some essentials. I graduated to some big girl sized toothpaste for £.59 ($.94) and splurged on some mouthwash for £4.01($6.40). Here’s me warning you that while the next few months will be probably be filled with me raving about Europe, the money conversion rate will not be one of those things.

bootscottonpads bootsnailpolishremoverLast but not least, I needed something to get off my chipped nail polish from the past few days. I got some Boots Nail Polish Remover for £.50 ($.80), two sets of cotton pads for £2.53 ($4.05), and Q-tips for £1.05 ($1.68). I already used the polish remover, and I have to say it works better than any American nail polish remover I’ve owned.

I only needed to use one cotton pad and it got all my polish off – pretty awesome for being less than a dollar.

Overall, I would say Boots is a pretty cool place. If I didn’t have to convert to dollars, I would say that the prices are more than fair and as cheap as Walmart is in the States. The makeup selection is even better than Walmart, and Boots also has testers for a lot of the foundations and skin products.

You can expect a Boots haul in the future. After all, the conversion rate aside, there is no way I am living in a foreign country for three months and not trying out some UK-only makeup.

Do you shop at Boots? What’s your favorite drugstore/high street stores?


20 thoughts on “First Impressions: Boots

  1. all.things.lady September 19, 2013 / 10:21 am

    When I was in London, I loved visiting Boots. We don’t have stores that are that large here in Malta and it’s great to see so many different brands at the very same place :)

    Great post Sam :) I really enjoyed it xxx

    • Sam September 19, 2013 / 11:55 am

      Thanks! I guess it would be weird to see such a collection of brands if you weren’t used to it!

  2. daisyjanine September 19, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    Haha awesome that you like boots :) Great post!

    • Sam September 19, 2013 / 2:28 pm

      Boots is pretty awesome. I can see why people in the UK go to it so often.

  3. jen September 19, 2013 / 2:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing – I’ve always wondered about Boots, and now I want to travel to the UK just for the store! lol :) I think I could spend a lot of time in one!

    • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:28 am

      It’s definitely different then I expected. What’s weirder is that there is a lot of men in there too because they sell toiletries. In fact, you see a lot of men carrying around Boots bags outside the shop.

  4. pocketmoneypolishes September 19, 2013 / 7:21 pm

    lol Boots is great (my fave) – have you tried out a Superdrug yet? Boots also has an amazing points card reward system which can end up getting you lots of free goodies and excellent deals.

    • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:29 am

      No, I just discovered where Superdrug is yesterday. I will definitely have to make a trip in there soon. :)

  5. Rebecca September 19, 2013 / 10:35 pm

    I don’t know how I would live without Boots! If cheap is your aim, try Superdrug, they often have deals which make them cheaper than Boots. You can also try the MUA makeup range British bloggers rave about if you go to Superdrug :)

    • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:29 am

      Yeah – I just found Superdrug yesterday. It’ll be my next stop when I am running low on some things. :)

  6. Notorious Beauty Blog September 19, 2013 / 10:44 pm

    I am so jealous that you are in London! I have always wanted to go there :)

  7. Queen Victoria September 20, 2013 / 3:41 am

    NOOO i’m so jealous ! literally . the things i would do to be able to a) go to london and b) go to BOOTS are totally unmentionable ! keep us all updated on your trip and congrats on making it safe and sound .


    • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:30 am

      You’ll get here one day. England is definitely much more beautiful than Baltimore. lol.

  8. saralovesmakeup September 20, 2013 / 7:38 am

    It kills me that you dont think the conversion rate is good! You need to experience the aussie conversion before anything looks bad! Haha! I think boots looks amazing and i would do anything to even have a $1 nail polish remover! Super jealous!

    • Sam September 20, 2013 / 9:34 am

      Haha. It kills me that you have never been able to experience the wonderful cheapness that is Walmart. ;) Honestly though, the conversion to the Aussie dollar ($1.70) isn’t much higher than the US dollar ($1.60). The conversion rates for my roommates from Bulgaria is 1 pound = 2.32 Bulgarian Lev. Talk about ouch.

  9. TooManyMuffins September 20, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    Yeah Boots is pretty good, not as much of a makeup selection in comparison with Sephora but it’s definitely more affordable! Definitely try out Superdrug too for brands like MUA! Happy Shopping!

  10. producthoochie September 20, 2013 / 8:40 pm

    I love Boots! The make-up wipes are great and you need to get some Dove deodorant spray. Trust me.

  11. charlottenewbould September 22, 2013 / 12:59 pm

    If you love boots, try superdrug. Its cheaper. Also shops like bodycare and wilkinsons also have a good selection of brand products :-)

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