Once I spotted the Al Mansour Booth at the Perfume and Makeup Exhibition, I cautiously approached the booth. Why cautiously? Because Al Mansour (mentioned previously – here) sold everything from L.A. Girl, LASplash, Milani, Deborah, etc… basically all the drugstore brands (read: inexpensive products). Now that every single girl in the world has joined the darkside (read: has turned into a makeup junkie of sorts) the ones in Kuwait have quickly sussed out that Al Mansour sells great products at a relatively inexpensive price. In case you missed it, basically it means their booth is now always swarmed by women and consequentially men who are trying to “pick up” said women, much to my dismay. I can understand the hand-holding couple who are so in love that they can’t bear the thought of being apart even for a second and I actually kinda’ think it’s cute! I can understand the grumpy older husband being dragged by his much younger and consequentially much hotter wife to these things. I can understand the gay guy whose brow game is so next level it hurts, browsing the same brow products shelf as I am and sizing me up (or my brows, more accurately) as I do the same to him, like two samurai warriors acknowledging each other as worthy adversaries before they do battle. I can understand the younger men sent by their significant others (who for whatever reason couldn’t make it) and shopping on their behalf. I understand the men who are there to purchase Oud and such from the neighboring booths. I cannot however understand the fully grown men who gather on the outskirts of these makeup booths just to leer at women. Aside from being creepy AF they also create an obstruction to the already narrow pathways and add unnecessary participants to an already large crowd!!!! *end rant*
There is no subtle way to segue from that so… anywho, Al Mansour has many different variations of their shopping bags (with Al Mansour printed on them). I wanna’ say their signature bag is the canvas bag (the black one shown above) but they also seem fond of storing people’s purchases in the itty-bitty, transparent, tacky looking pouches (as shown in the photo above).
I mean… ugh, so tacky.
This Riffi Massage Strap is ah-mazing! I’ve been repurchasing these for years and years! Honestly, I would be sad if I had to give up makeup but I’d straight up die if I ever had to give up these Riffi exfoliating loofah thingies. I won’t go into it too much because I’m going to be doing a whole blog post dedicated entirely to these Riffi Massage Straps.
I will say one thing though, these are so rough that it’s like trying to exfoliate your body with sandpaper. I’d gladly pay their asking price (KD5/250) several times over, for that reason alone. Riffi loofah thingy + Bath and Body Works Shower Gel + insanely hot water temp = PURE BLISS ^_^ … also, issues (law).
I also picked up this IQueen Self Bubbling Oxygen Foam Cleanser which was pretty expensive but self bubbling masks and whatnot are having a “moment” (even though Bath and Body Works were selling fizzy skincare years ago like those True Blue Spa Green Tea Fizzy Foaming Masks hauled – here). Also, they only had a few pieces left. Plus, apparently IQueen is a Korean brand ergo must-have.
Like I said before, I’m an unapologetic brush hoarder and an optimistic one at that as I’m quite convinced that every brush I come across might very possibly be “life-changing”! This Milani Blush Brush retails for KD3/000 (see? very affordable). I could do without the gold but Milani is very fond of their gold so at this point, I’ve learned to just accept it. Worthy of note, this Blush Brush is very soft! Super pleased with this brush, so far <3
I picked up another L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer… Okay, Imma’ be honest with you guys. I already have a bunch of these (purchased from cherryculture.com) and I absolutely hate them! None of the shades match me as they are either too dark or too light and the undertones are always “off”. That’s fine though because they’ve got a huge range of shades and my odd sallow skin is actually hard to match. The consistency though, is God-awful! I despise the consistency so much! It’s hard to blend, sinks into fine lines, wears off unevenly and does all kinds of other weird things. I’m not big on concealer anyway but I held on to them figuring I could use these for contouring or summat’.
So since I hate these HD Concealers so much, why purchase yet another one? Well… I have a really good reason (but not really). This specific one is in the shade Yellow! Back when I was a blonde, I used to hoard orange concealers (also because I could never get my hands on the Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer). Now, orange concealers look a tad dark on me so I’m leaning more towards yellow concealers. Anytime I see a straight up yellow concealer, I purchase it (issues…).
Also previously purchased on CherryCulture.com are these L.A. Girl Glide Gel Liners in black and I wanna’ say purple…
Deborah Plumping Top Coat made me giggle. I feel like something got lost in the translation. It looks very pretty though (I have a thing for transparent, semi-transparent, translucent, see-through packaging)! Yeah so I’ve got weak nails and hopefully this’ll help.
Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in the shade Bombshell. What can I say? I like pink nail polish.
L.A. Girl Velvet Hi-Lite Contour Stick in the shade Radiance. I was gonna’ get the one from Smashbox but I think I’ll pass on that now that I’ve got this. My wallet is pretty happy about that too.
I got this L.A. Girl Pro Setting HD Setting Spray because it was so small and cute!
I wasn’t planning on getting any lip stuff but these two were gorgeous and I could not walk away from them!
LASplash Lip Couture Waterproof Liquid Lipstick in the shade Summer Bliss is yet another gorgeous coral (I need help). I like how although it’s “new”, the product inside is all cracked and separated :/
This LASplash Smitten LipTint Mousse in the shade Nāginī made my year! It’s so beautiful that I can’t. I just can’t! Honestly, I figured Nagini was probably Japanese for, er, something. Come to find out (thanks, google) that Nagini is actually the name of Voldemort’s Snake in Harry Potter which I found amusing. Speaking of which, have you guys seen the Harry Potter “inspired” makeup (that eyeliner quill is everything) from the brand StoryBook Cosmetics?
These Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows from Milani are pretty cool! I’ve already got Bella Violet (purchased from drugstore.com before they closed down) when these first came out, so I decided to go with Bella Caffe, Bella Taupe and Bella Espresso because they were more practical neutral shades for everyday use. These were sooo not fun to photograph because they kept rolling away every time I stood them up and I was also clearly visible in every other photo thanks to the reflective gold packaging.
I’ve never really tried O.C.C. Lip Tars but I feel like these L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paints are kinda’ the same thing. I believe Maybelline has recently come out with something similar too. I’ve already got the red one which is called Pin-Up (also from Al Mansour, a good long while ago) so this time I got Whimsical, Peony, and Flirt (same order shown above). These are incredibly pigmented so a little bit goes a looong way.
Finally, the “samples”. Honestly, this is the one store where I actually have to ask them to kindly NOT include samples with my purchase. I feel guilty for throwing them in the trash but I also refuse to give them to anyone because I strongly suspect that they’ve already expired so I wouldn’t want to risk hurting someone. They also have a very strong funky smell to them (which is another reason why I suspect they’ve expired). They also look incredibly cheap and tacky, almost like play makeup… I mean, the pink lipstick legit came apart in my hands (please excuse the smudges in the background but I couldn’t get it to stay upright). I feel like it’s a two birds one stone kinda’ thing, where Al Mansour in trying to get rid of their expired products figured they could just hand them out to paying customers as “samples”. That’s the problem with businesses in Kuwait, everyone is always trying to pull a fast one on everyone else. Quite frankly, I think it’s insulting that they think people won’t notice or won’t care that they’re being given expired products just because it’s free. Worse still, the people that don’t look into these things might actually ingest some of the expired lipstick (y’know because humans lick their lips every now and then) and get a serious infection or apply the expired eye kohl (which gets pretty close the eye-ball) and potentially mess up their eyesight. Expired makeup is no joke and can harbor all kinds of harmful bacteria that can lead to something serious like a Staph Infection! I really wish Al Mansour would either include proper samples that people can actually use (that haven’t expired) or not give out any “samples” at all.