Sephora Brand Gift (200 Points) + Mini Haul

I’d finally managed to rack up 200 points on my White Sephora Card, meaning I could finally get upgraded to a Sephora Black Card (full deets here). According to the rules, I’d receive my new Black Sephora Card in the mail. I waited for a full month but nothing was ever delivered to me, not even through e-mail. I waited until I actually had to go to the Avenues for something, and made a quick stop at Sephora to pick up my new Black Sephora Card and “Prestigious Brand Gift“. Along the way to the check-out counter, I was quite charmed by two Sephora Eyeshadow Singles (shown below) so I snagged those two for myself and picked up yet another Dior Addict Lip Glow (previously hauled here) as a gift for my younger sister-in-law.

Once my turn came up, the woman behind the cash register informed me that I was not going to get a Black Sephora Card and that I should just go ahead and download the Sephora Loyalty Program app, instead. I thought that was unprofessional of Sephora. I mean… what if I didn’t happen to physically walk in there and ask for a Black Sephora Card? Would they have somehow contacted me anyway and told me about the app or just left me wondering to myself about the non-existent Black Sephora Card? Also, what if I didn’t happen to bring my phone with me (maybe just left it in the car) or had my phone but didn’t have access to the internet on my phone? As it turns out, I did have my phone and I do have internet on it, but a heads-up would’ve been nice.

Out of the pitiful, ratchet-looking selection I chose the Clarins Beauty Treats Pouch (shown above) as my “Prestigious Brand Gift” (for reaching 200 points). It was either a travel-sized Armani Fragrance… for men, or the Clarins Pouch (stocked with deluxe skincare samples). Not quite sure why it says Feb 16 (16 as in the day or 16 as in the year?) on the receipt, but I actually picked up the Clarins Pouch on Nov 11 2017.

As you can see, the set includes:

Pouch (with a an illustration of a girl in pink dress on a bicycle with the Eiffel Tower in the background)
BB Cream mini (shade #2)
Moisture Rich Body Lotion
One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser (previously hauled here)
Supra Volume Mascara (previously hauled here)
Mission Perfection Serum (previously hauled here)
UV Plus Day Screen Translucent Shade

It’s not particularly exciting nor something I would actually covet. I would have liked to have seen a variety of options. Maybe even something that included, oh I dunno… actual makeup! At least I got a Mascara (one that I actually like) out of it, and I already know that I’ll enjoy using the One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser based on my previous experience. Plus, the rest are all skincare samples, so that’s handy too. This set wouldn’t have been my first choice, but like I said earlier, it was either this or the travel-sized Armani Fragrance for men (I wanna’ say Black Code, but don’t quote me on that). Basically, I pretty much didn’t have a choice. I can’t say this wasn’t expected (because… Kuwait) but I’m still disappointed in Sephora. If this is the kind of “Prestigious Brand Gift” that I get for acquiring all those points… then the Sephora Loyalty Program does not deserve my loyalty.

Sephora came out with the Colorful Eyeshadow range back in 2013. The range consisted of no less than 243 colorful shades in different finishes (matte, shimmer, glitter, mirror)! They have been discontinued since, but for whatever reason, they’re still available for purchase at Sephora (Kuwait). I just couldn’t resist picking up these two (the taupe is called Pop Idol and the brown is called Tiramisu) and as a result of my purchases, they ended up giving me (x2) Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick Card Samples.

Sephora Pop Idol Colorful Eyeshadow (Glitter) retails for KD 5/500

The photo does not even begin to do this thing justice! Underneath the fluorescent lighting at Sephora, the tester for Pop Idol looked super sparkly! Aside from the tester (not for sale) I couldn’t find one to purchase. I raffled through the racks in a frenzy, but to no avail. Thankfully, the sweet Filipina Sales Assistant (with insanely cool BLUE hair) noticed me spiraling and gave me a hand, but even she couldn’t find one for me. While looking, she kept saying Pop Idol might be out of stock (and since the Colorful Eyeshadow range has been discontinued, that probably meant it was gone for good) while I kept urging her to keep looking, but eventually gave up. As I was walking away, she called out to me saying she’d found the last one! Success!

Pop Idol would look gorgeous as a topper over other eyeshadows (just a small dab in the center of the lid) or in the lower inner third of the eye or even as an all-over lid shade (on its own)! If you get a chance to purchase Pop Idol, I say go for it, because this thing is stun-ning!

Sephora Tiramisu Colorful Eyeshadow (Shimmer) retails for KD 5/500

Since I was going to be waiting in the long queue anyway, I figured I might as well make it worth my while by getting a few more things to purchase. That’s where this thing comes in. Truthfully, I didn’t notice that Tiramisu had a shimmer finish (which just makes it even better, in my opinion) until I got back home. I just picked it up because it looked like a nice cool-toned brown and I happen to love my neutrals!

Tiramisu would look lovely all over the lid (on its own) or paired with other stuff in the crease (Baby Talk Super Shock Pigment, for example). That said, I wonder how Tiramisu would fare as a crease-color. I mean it is a neutral, so you can pretty much pair it with whatever, wherever!

Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick Sample Card (x2)

This is Vice Liquid Lipstick—a waterproof formula so life-proof, it’s not going ANYWHERE until you take it off. Choose from a huge range of 40 shades and two finishes—comfort matte and metallized.

Crimson is described as rich red (comfort matte)
Purgatory is described as a deep berry with pink sparkle (metallized)
WSM is described as a rose-pink (comfort matte)
Big Bang is described as bright pink sparkle (metallized)

In the interest of full disclosure, not once have I ever actually torn open a Sample Card of lip stuff (no reasoning behind it, really) – but I’m glad they gave me these Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipsticks to play around with because Crimson looks beautiful (I’m having a moment – a very long moment- with all things Red)! Heck, even WSM looks kinda’ cute (here’s hoping it’s a warmer pink when worn) and Big Bang looks like it could be pretty fun as well! If I ever actually use these Card Samples and fall in love, I’m definitely going back to purchase the full-sized product. That’s how you generate business, Sephora. Suck us in with them samples.

The points I’ve acquired from spending KD 24/500 at Sephora will go towards the next 200 Point “Prestigious Brand Gift” as well as getting upgraded from a Black Sephora Card to a Gold Sephora Card (in nothing but name only, because they had me download an app). If it wasn’t already obvious, my opinion of the 200 Point “Prestigious Brand Gift” is very, very poor. Honestly, if you are in Kuwait, you should find a way to just order from the U.S. Sephora website directly. You’ll get access to the newest of the new, more diverse brands, way cooler products, nicer gift sets, better deals, usable samples, and so much more! As for the Sephora in Kuwait, everything from the service in-store to the actual website to the loyalty program to the products themselves is shameful (shame, shame, shame *bell-ring*)!

13 thoughts on “Sephora Brand Gift (200 Points) + Mini Haul

  1. Yes, tell me about it. I am so disappointed with Sephora Kuwait. They are so stingy when it comes to giving samples and refuse to hand out samples if you don’t make a purchase. I aint gna shell out 20 KD on a foundation without trying it more than once. And don’t get me started on the Black card drama. I too walked into the store asking for one and they gave me the same answer. I don’t see any benefit of being a black card member over a white card member.

  2. Hi Sonia!

    Gifts with Purchase and Samples aren’t the same thing. Someone should really have a sit-down with the people at Sephora (Kuwait Branch) and explain the difference.

    You know I could understand them being stingy with samples if they had some sort of return policy but they don’t even have that! While I was there at Sephora, I saw them give this one girl such a hard time, for trying to return the Tarte Amazonian Clay Concealer, because the one she got was all dried up, but they wouldn’t let her, even though she bought it only a day before, and even had the receipt with her to prove it. One SA called the next one over and so on, until a crowd of Sales Assistants had formed around her, practically ganging up on the girl, effectively trying to bully her into keeping the dried up concealer. It had absolutely nothing to do with me but seeing that burned me up so much that I stepped in and confronted the gang leader (probably the manager because she’s the one they all kept turning to for confirmation) and asked HER if she would have kept the dried up concealer herself after purchasing it only a day before. Obviously she didn’t answer my question and shot me a dirty look instead lol (if looks could kill) but replied that she was not authorized blah blah blah so I asked her if she could find someone who was authorized. I didn’t wait to see how the whole thing played out because I had somewhere else to be but honestly the whole thing was disgusting. I felt so bad for the poor girl.

    Foundation/Concealer are a commitment and an expensive one at that. People shouldn’t have to pay upwards of KD20 for something that, if they’re lucky, might, maybe, kinda’, sorta’ match them. Foundation/Concealer Samples are a must! At Sephora abroad, you can pick out whichever foundations (plural, not just one) you want to sample and they’ll actually fill up a little jar or pot for you, of each. Not to mention the pre-packaged samples. Honestly? I suspect that just like the Sephora Stores abroad, they’ve got plenty of samples but the Sales Assistants keep the samples for themselves, and distribute them to their friends and family. At least that’s my theory.

  3. Oh yes. I totally get you. I remember walking into a Sephora store abroad and i wanted to try the NARS foundation (back when this was not available in Kuwait) and the SA sat me down and tried different shades on me and ended up applying a full face for me to try it out. She even told me that there s a chance of it oxidizing, so she told me to walk around the mall and do my shopping and come back after an hour. When i returned, she checked and said that the color matched me perfectly and asked me if i would like a sample to try it for few days and come back to purchase it if i liked it. I was extremely satisfied with the foundation and went back few days later and did some major damage to my bank account(no regrets lol). I was blown away by the hospitality and couldnt help but think how the SA’s in Kuwait actually lack this. What i hate the most is the obnoxious stare some of them give when you walk in.

    I pity the poor girl who had to endure the torture from the staff at Sephora. She should actually raise this issue with the head office in Dubai. Def the concealer is not going to dry up in a day!

    Regarding your theory of the samples, yeah i think so too.

  4. Oh wow she even knew what oxidizing was! The SAs over here rarely (if ever) know what they’re actually selling. Try asking them about a certain product and watch how they get flustered and try to shift your attention to something completely different. I’m like “Do you have the clear lipbalm that tints the lips pink?” and she’s like “Have you seen this new Eyebrow Pencil?” umm… not the same thing lol.

    By any chance was the foundation you mentioned Nars Sheer Glow? I had a similar experience at a MAC counter in Germany. The idea of a SA that was actually helpful (as opposed to unhelpful ones in Kuwait only trying push products on you) was shocking to me! I even blogged about the whole thing (I’ll link it below).

    https://lululuvsmakeup.com/2013/04/02/my-story-foundation/

    Raising the issue with the head office is something people would do in a more… civilized country. Sadly, Kuwait is far from. I mean, they don’t even answer the phones at Aramex, MAC, Sephora, Bath & Body Works, Harvey Nichols, and the list goes on. It’s a nightmare trying to get in touch with ANYONE about ANYTHING lol that it’s much easier and less of a hassle to just accept it (whatever the issue is) and move on. Great suggestion though! The next time another incident takes place at Sephora (and you know it will) I’ll follow through with your suggestion personally and attempt to contact the head office in Dubai. Thanks! It never even occurred to me to do that before (I guess I’ve gotten so used to putting up with this sort of behavior lol that it’s actually become the norm).

    As for the obnoxious staring (kinda’ like vultures or better yet, sharks when they sense fresh blood in the water) it IS unsettling, but I’ve learned to tune them out, by focusing more on all the pretty products instead ^_~

  5. Lol i love your sense of humor. The NARS foundation i was talking about is the All day luminous weightless foundation which suits my oily/combination skin.

    Thanks for linking your foundation story. I will check that out. :)

  6. Haha thanks!

    Ooh that foundation does look tempting (Stromboli is so yellow that it seems perfect for my odd sallow skin lol) especially with key-words like All Day and Weightless and most importantly LUMINOUS but unfortunately my skin also happens to be crazy dry. How are you liking it so far, or have you moved on? I actually don’t wear foundation, but literally everyone I know won’t stop gushing about Bobbi Brown Foundations and they have a pretty decent variety of shades… but the price is painful :P

  7. Yeah its a good one. I use the shade ‘Syracuse’. The only thing is you need set this with powder as it transfers(oily skin issues) and kinda takes sometime to dry.

    Oooohh dont get me started on my foundation hunt. I wear foundation everyday as i like to conceal my hyper-pigmentation but i dont like to look like i have a cake face on. I have tried Make up Forever, NARS, Smashbox, MAC(hated – i looked like a long lost cousin of the Simpsons family) and now Estee Lauder (which i am loving!!). I too have heard good reviews of Bobbi brown but havent tried them so far. Infact i dont own any BB product.

  8. Finding the right shade is a nightmare! Especially since in Kuwait, they only select light to light-medium shades to bring over. I was at Boots playing around with the Bourjois City Radiance Foundation, when I asked the SA to color-match me, to which she chose a blatantly lighter shade, because apparently in her “expert” opinion, it was a match lol Unfortunately, at drugstores in Kuwait like Boots, the darkest shades I can find is usually medium :/

    Have you tried MAC Mineralize Skinfinish? They give my skin an airbrushed finish, they’re not matte, they blur out my pores, and they photograph beautifully! That’s actually what I use in lieu of foundation. What’s the name of the Smashbox Foundation you got? The Smashbox High Definition Concealer is a forever-favorite of mine (I wanna’ say since 2010) and so I’m flirting with the idea of maybe getting a Foundation from Smashbox as well. That’s why I’m interested to hear your thoughts on it (honestly, I could talk about makeup FOREVER lol it’s just so… fun!).

  9. Oh yes, this is exactly why i dislike going to the makeup aisle when in boots/centrepoint. The SA s there dont know what they are talking about and literally push products on you and mostly the wrong ones. lol

    No, i havent tried the MAC foundation you mentioned. I think the one i used was the Studio Fix. I shall give that a try, now that MAC reduced their prices(hehe). The foundation i tried from Smashbox is the Studio skin 15 hour wear foundation in the shade 310. This one was good. I liked that i did not have to set this foundation and it stays true to its word, transfer-proof. It did not make me oily and stayed beautifully on my skin. But i dont agree with the hydrating part of this foundation. i feel i have tried other foundations that are more hydrating. But yeah overall i liked this one in terms of color match and longevity. I havent tried the concealer from Smashbox. My go to always remains the NARS one.

  10. My bad, hon! I started off being a Mac addict so I just assume that everyone is the same. Basically, the Mineralize Skinfinish from Mac are domed powders, not foundation. The coverage is not quite matte and they come in so many shades that people use them from everything highlighting to bronzing or just setting their foundation and such. As for myself, I use the shade called “Give Me Sun” instead of foundation, and even then, only on “special occasion”.

    I tried the Nars concealer after the whole world raved about them and while the coverage was excellent, they were just too dry for me (my skin is supa’ dry) and settled into my fine lines. My personal preference is light-reflecting concealers with a dewy finish.

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