Brazilian Challenge Day 222: O Presente

On day 222 I was forced perform the task I most despise in Sao Paulo – buy a present. No, it’s not that I’m not a giving person. It’s just that choking back the idea of spreading my money out for an over-priced gift activates my gag reflexes.

This Sunday is the Brazilian Father’s Day, a fact I overlooked while shopping in the U.S. As I won’t be able to get away with printing out another father-daughter photo and digging out a long-lost frame from the back of the closet again, I headed with a friend to the Higienópolis mall in hopes of finding something reasonable to procure.

The Shopping Higienópolis has a nice balance of local shops and imported luxury, which makes it a reasonably safe spot for shopping. However, I was shocked when I wandered into Kiehl’s to peruse some product for my hubby. Holy moly! Has no one mentioned to the Brazilians that Kiehl’s was acquired by L’Oreal? The people that make mascara sold at Walmart and do-it-yourself hair dye? R$140 for a men’s moisturizer?! Sorry sisters but that is a 100%+ markup from the U.S. price for the same.

Moving on… again, there are some logically priced store, and in one of those I bought my gift. I won’t reveal the contents of the package to salvage the surprise, but I think he’ll be happy with both the gift and the fact that I didn’t spend stupid money.

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9 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 222: O Presente

  1. Danielle says:

    Yeah, Alexandre and I don’t even give each other gifts anymore unless they’re some kind of inside joke or if they’re hand-made. We just go out for a nice dinner to celebrate things.

  2. I totally prefer your system. We need to get on board.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I agree with Danielle’s system too. We save our money for trips and going out. Once a year I buy my husband a gift from Osklen, but I know he’ll wear it and I know it will last, but that’s it. I would love to surprise him sometimes with gifts but there is NO money for that. Truly. Rio has two Kiehl’s stores now and I’ve never even poked my head in. I won’t. I already know I can’t afford it and will be offended at the mark-up. When I first moved here I was so thrilled they had a MAC store. I went down to stock up on 4 items and didn’t even think to ask the prices. When the total came I was in shock, R$560! For mascara, powder, 1 lipstick and some eyeshadow. I don’t think it would have been more than US$120 at the time. First time and last time I’ve bought MAC here. There really is a reason why we save shopping for our U.S. trips! I had to plop down R$86 for a simple Revlon foundation the other day. I cringed. But I’m not a fan of Avon or Natura or O Boticario. I’ve tried those brands, and they are a bit less, but mostly I don’t like them.

    • Oh yeah, I agree. I really like the Korres makeup line. I was so excited when I saw a pop-up stand, in Cidade Jardins no less, and I was about to approach it – but then I remembered where I was. I too save it for a U.S. trip and then load up from Sephora. My students were telling me that Natura is good, but I have yet to try it.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Natura is good for skin care, lotions, oils and I liked their baby line too. But not for make-up. I recently ordered some lipstick and the colors were all wrong (never buy lipstick without testing it first!). Plus I found them really drying. Oh Sephora! I’m going back in October, it’s been 16 months since my last trip back. We need a lot! One thing we really need is a new wireless phone and answering machine combo. I don’t know if it’s just us, but the ones we’ve bought down here last for a year tops, and then the core battery loses it’s charge and to replace the battery is more than half of the price for a new one. I can now talk on the home phone for a total of 5 minutes before it goes dead. But I’m holding out for my next trip, I won’t shell out the amount they want here for something that lasts for 1 year.

  5. anna says:

    prices in brazil are ridiculous!!

    you can find Sephora at Shopping JK Iguatemi in São Paulo. (only store in brazil so far)

    my fav perfume is locao mamae e bebe Natura (baby line perfume from Natura). it is meant for kids but I wear it myself.

    I like the oil lotions from Boticario – specially acai and plum / ameixa.

  6. Pingback: Brazilian Challenge Day 229: Malling | born again brazilian

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