Sephora Haulage (October)

Smashbox Glam In a Flash Kit
The Lancome Drama Look

Not my first choice, but whatever. All the other options (here), were even worse lol

During the summer (I’m talkin’ June here), I qualified for one of the Sephora 200 Point Perk Brand Gifts (3pc Kit you got to choose for accumulating 200 points on your Sephora Black Card). I really had my heart set on either the Becca Gift or GlamGlow Gift (all the way at the bottom of this post), but somehow didn’t manage to get either. I was physically in the store and everything on June 5 and again on June 6 (back when both Gift Sets were still in stock), but had to wait on the confirmation e-mail (as I mentioned earlier).

After 10 days of radio silence, I decided to e-mail them (Sephora UAE) on June 16 about my Sephora App not reflecting my current status and also about the “Brand Gift“, and they promptly got back to me on June 18 (so professional, unlike Sephora Kuwait where they would’ve probably just ignored my e-mail lawl) with a printable Gift Voucher that offered a choice between 2 “Brand Gifts”; 3-piece Kit either from Becca or GlamGlow! All I had to do was go back to Sephora, show them the e-mail (on my phone) and claim my “Brand Gift“!

So I went back to Sephora on July 20 (here) to purchase a few things and pick up my 200 Point Perk “Brand Gift”. This time, I was told that they were out of stock, but if I just left my name/number (hurriedly jotted down in a rather large notebook and already filled up with other names/numbers…), they’d get back to me (as soon as the Brand Gifts were back in stock). I thought it was so ineffective and useless when MAC Cosmetics used to do that (for all I know, they probably still do), so I didn’t have much faith in the process. To further prove my point, Sephora never contacted me. This all went down during the Summer.

More recently, I hit up Sephora in October, to purchase a birthday gift for my favorite cousin. At the cash register, I was told that I’d now qualified for two Brand Gifts and I could choose from the very pitiful selection (pics shown at the end of this post). They were nowhere near as lust-worthy as the Becca Gift or GlamGlow Gift, but for lack of better options, I ended up going with the Smashbox Gift and Lancome Gift. I also got a Givenchy gift with purchase (gwp). It’s not lost on me that I wasn’t given the Givenchy gift with purchase at the check-out counter (where I’d payed for the Givenchy Fragrance), but later on, by the nice lady only after the whole Name Engraving Service fiasco (here). Oh, Sephora.

Smashbox Glam In a Flash Kit:

Smashbox Primerizer (sample)
Smashbox “Bad B” Be Legendary Liquid Lipstick (full size)
Smashbox Cover Shot: Metallic Eyeshadow Palette (full size)

Smashbox Primerizer (sample)

The thirst is real! Achieve 24-hour hydration and increase moisture by 127% with this all-in-one power primer, infused with skin-restoring Niacinamide and hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, the feather-light formula absorbs instantly, sets in seconds and smooths, plumps and conditions skin for for all day application.

Awwww, so cute! Tiny and effectively useless, but cute! I mean it’s got Niacinamide which is intriguing and Hyaluronic Acid which is currently everywhere! Smashbox Eyeshadow Palettes might leave a lot to be desired (terrible pigmentation), but their Primers are the one area where they excel!

Smashbox “Bad B” Be Legendary Liquid Lipstick (full size)

Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip’s formula glides on the full coverage of a liquid lipstick and the high shine of a lip gloss in a single coat.

Bad B: Light Cool Pink Pigment

It’s actually more of a muted pink-y peach. In any case, the name made me lol Also, it brings to mind Cardi B (who just cracks me up)! I’m not big on overly thick and goopy lipgloss, especially ones that are this pigmented. However, now that I’ve gone back to having blonde hair, Bad B is actually quite flattering on me! I like that it doesn’t have any shimmer or glitter to it, but it’s not a matte either. It kinda’ reminds me of my old-school Dior Addict Vinyl Lacquer (you might know it as Dior Addict Plastic Gloss which is the same product, but with a different name for different countries) or MAC Lipglass or any other intensely pigmented Lip Gloss (of which there are many).

Other than being extremely pigmented, the Be Legendary Liquid Lipsticks hug the lips and feel quite comfortable on them! Unfortunately, they also smell like death (… or rotting fruit). Normally, I wouldn’t enjoy something like this (I’ve moved on from my pigmented lipgloss phase), but since the shade is quite complimentary, I’m kinda’ feelin’ it! Also, it pairs well with my other shimmer/glittery/nicer-smelling lipglosses (dabbed in the center of the lips or wherever)! Now if we can only do something about that smell.

Smashbox Cover Shot: Metallic Eyeshadow Palette (full size)

These fabulously foiled shades, which include gold, bronze, copper, and pewter are formulated with a layer of pearl to magically mimic metal.

Back in 2016, Shay Mitchell (one of the Pretty Little Liars) collabed with Smashbox to release 7 limited edition variations of their purse-sized Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palettes. When I say purse-sized, I mean tiny! I believe the Metallic Palette (as shown) is one of the 7. There was also Matte (all matte), Smoky (mix of deeper shades), Bold (mix of colorful shades), Ablaze (fiery reds and browns) and finally, Golden Hour (warm pinks and golds). I believe there were different variations on the holographic packaging for each palette as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The holographic packaging totally reminds me of that one Victoria’s Secret Perfume that I had way back in the day, when I first started this blog (here). The scent was pretty nice, but the bottle with the little tinkling beads was adorable! Even the packaging was holographic and actually whistled when you lifted the lid on the cardboard box! Anyways, I figured a slideshow (as shown) would be the best way to capture the holographic-ness. Pretty cool, Smashbox!

Top Row:
Inside Scoop – Peach-y Gold (frost) (terrible pigmentation)
Straight Up – Pink-y Gold (frost) (terrible pigmentation)

Bottom Row:
Let’s Rage – Yellow Gold (frost) (terrible pigmentation)
Liquid Fire – Orange-y Copper (frost)
Party Time – Chocolate Brown (shimmer) (terrible pigmentation)
Booty Call – Pink (frost) (excellent pigmentation)
Rock Candy – Taupe (frost)
Metal Work – Gunmetal Grey (shimmer) (excellent pigmentation)

Oooh I can’t wait to play around with Rock Candy (taupe)! So far it, applied like a satin, not a frost, but I’m not bothered either way, because I just love me a good Taupe! Liquid Fire (copper) applied like a satin as well. As expected, most of the shades had… you guessed it, terrible pigmentation. The top two were especially dry and chalky, but Straight Up (pink-y gold) had a lovely “glow” to it. Let’s Rage (gold) was quite shimmery and sheer whereas Party Time (brown) had to be built up. Metal Work (grey) had excellent pigmentation, as did Booty Call (pink). I’m not quite sure, but it seems like Booty Call (lol the names) also had a somewhat duochrome-y quality to it. None of the shades were actually metallic lol With that being said, all that was just based on the preliminary swatches (back of my hand) and when I barely rubbed one hand over the other, every single shade completely disappeared, leaving behind only a ton of shimmer. I don’t see these lasting any longer on the eyes. Like I said, terrible pigmentation!

Smashbox Glam In a Flash Kit

Considering the fact that you only qualify for a “Brand Gift” with every 200 Points and you only get 1 Point for every KD 0/800 which converts to $2.63 (that’s U.S. Dollars), which means you need to spend KD 160/000 which is exactly $525.56 (let that sink in), I believe that their “Brand Gifts” definitely do not reflect that. I’ve said it before, Sephora (Kuwait), your “Loyalty Program” definitely doesn’t deserve my loyalty!

In other areas of the world (not third world countries), they freely hand out gifts with every other purchase and deluxe samples, not to mention the one-time-use samples and most import of all, they do their job and don’t act like they are the ones doing you a favor for shopping at the store that they happen to work at (this goes for you too, Harvey Nichols). In the States, when you drop that much dough at Sephora, they straight up treat you like royalty lol Just to be clear, nobody is asking for that over here (at least I’m not), but I would really, really appreciate it if the Sales Assistants at the local Sephora were less… obnoxious. Obviously, not all of them are like that and some are in fact absolutely delightful, but sadly those are far and few in between.

I get it. They’re human. They have bad days too, just like everyone else, but dang, that one dude who bungled up the Name Engraving thing (here), annoyed me so much! Some people might think, I should’ve done this or I should’ve done that, but I saw no point. I could’ve filed a complaint or whatever, but what if he was already on thin ice with management and my complaint got him fired? What if his mother was a sick elderly woman who needed expensive medication and he had a wife and two kids with a third one on the way and if he lost this job, they’d all starve? Bit far-fetched (I have an imagination and I let it run! lol), especially since he was flirting with his pretty Lebanese co-worker (so… not married). My point is, I did’t know his story (and I didn’t care to know), but I also didn’t want to possibly be the catalyst for any of that (karma, bruh). I could’ve berated him, but since I happen to be a local, it could’ve been misconstrued as racism. I could’ve ruined his day (now that, I didn’t mind doing), but it felt like a waste of energy. Weighing all the possible actions I could’ve taken and all the possible outcomes, I came to the conclusion that there was no point in discussing it further with the man (he was who he was).

Anywho, in Germany, when I shopped at Douglas (their version of Sephora, I guess?), the Sales Assistant was practically a machine, rattling off all the uses of each and every single item I pointed at, translating their names for me and even color-matching me properly! You truly got a sense that you were in good hands! Even the deluxe samples that they handed out where useful things (you have an issue with XYZ, this sample will fix that for you, but make sure not to mix X with Z, and if you like the samples, you can come back to repurchase the full product for X amount and qualify for a Gift With Purchase that contains a full-size XYZ). Meanwhile, in Kuwait, the Sales Assistants only know the very basic of most basic information about the brand (forget asking about a specific product), and even then, they keep attempting to redirect your attention to the more expensive items (that you didn’t even ask for, mind you), and are always trying to pull a fast one over you… well, except for Zara (just ask any of the employees over their about any random item that they currently have in stock and they will rattle of all the colors and sizes by heart! Despite the fact that they’ve got tablets (or whatever those devices are, to help them cross-reference stuff), I feel like they’re forced into memorizing the entire inventory (which is a bit much… I feel for you guys).

Anyways, even in Thailand, whenever I’d purchase even a single item from any legit store (not open-air vendors), the sales assistants would give me a ton (and I mean a ton!) of skincare samples, to the extent that I couldn’t accept everything, because I had to leave some space in my suitcase for my husband’s stuff (well, husband at the time). Meanwhile, in most stores in Kuwait, they rarely give out samples, and when they do, it’s either play-makeup (cheap packaging and garish colors) or old and expired stuff. In fact, Jo Malone (Fragrance) and L’Occitane (Skincare) and Beidoun (Fragrance + Makeup + Skincare), are the only three in the entire country where their employees are always wonderful, their products are always up-to-date (new releases, etc…) and they are always quite generous with their samples!

Basically, I’m saying the Kuwaiti branch of Sephorasucks! I’d rather they just close down the physical store and give us the option of ordering online from the Sephora U.S. website or even the Sephora U.A.E. website or even via Amazon again (which was how I used to purchase stuff directly from Sephora U.S. and not some shady sellers) /end rant

The Lancome Drama Look:
Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover 30ml (deluxe sample)
Lancome Hypnose Mascara (full size)
Lancome “Noir” Crayon Khol (sample)

Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover 30ml (deluxe sample)

Makeup Remover removes traces of the day, simply and beautifully

I’ve got a full size of this stuff (haulage here) that’s still almost full. A lot of people love this stuff, but I just don’t like it. It leaves behind an oily residue (meaning I can’t reapply makeup afterwards, no matter how many times I rinse) and gives me cloudy/foggy vision which bugs me to no end. Bi-Facil is still one of Lancome’s best-sellers, so I understand why they include it in every other Gift Set, Value Set, etc… It’s a good product I guess, but it’s just not my preference.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara (full size)

Let your eyelashes take center stage with Lancome’s Full Volume Mascara

I must say, I love Lancome’s Mascaras! In fact, I cut my teeth on them (they were some of my first mascaras ever)! More often than not, I’d get great results from them! Most of their Mascaras had fantastic brushes, excellent formulas and washed off with warm water and soap! My most favorite Lancome Mascara has to be Lancome Oscillation Mascara (review here), but they don’t seem to sell it in the Middle East anymore. However, their other ones are pretty good too! In fact, I purchased Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara during the Summer (haulage here) and was actually surprised by how much I liked it! As for Lancome Hypnose Mascara, I picked up a Value Set earlier (haulage here) that included a variation on it and enjoyed it as well! So I’m pretty happy that I got another Lancome Hypnose Mascara (here’s hoping they didn’t give me a completely dried out mascara which is a very real possibility, knowing our local Sephora)!

Lancome “Noir” Crayon Khol (sample)

Easily define and contour your eyes with Crayon Khol Eyeliner

The previous Lancome Value Set that I’d purchased earlier (here), also included this baby. It’s an Eyeliner and it’s Black. Those always come in handy (no matter how tiny). Not much else to say lol

The Lancome Drama Look

So, for spending KD 160/000 (that’s $525.56 in U.S. Dollars!), I qualified for 1 full-sized Mascara and tiny thing of Eye Makeup Remover and a mini Eyeliner (which you can’t even sharpen because it’s too tiny lol). Okay then, Sephora.

Givenchy Perfect Pink Mini Gift:
Perfect Pink Mini Pouch
Perfect Pink Mini Lip Perfector

This was the gift with purchase I was given, after the Name Engraving incident (here). Internally, I was quite annoyed by the sale assistant who was manning the Givenchy Fragrance section, for not offering anything in return for me spending almost KD 50 (I’ve gotten more for less, here). That said, I’m quite thankful to the pretty Lebanese sales assistant (who ended up gift-wrapping the perfume, after it had been engraved with not my cousin’s name), because she was the one who called out to her co-worker and asked her to get me the Givenchy Gift (with purchase).

Givenchy Perfect Pink Mini Pouch

Cute Pouch! Quite small (almost as big as a bag of potato chips). Flat on one side, somewhat domed on the other. Has a Pink Star Charm on the zip. Surprisingly structured (handy for safe-keeping fragile items, I guess?) for such a small thing. Not much else to say about this either. lol

Givenchy “Perfect Pink” Mini Lip Perfector 0.4oz/1g (sample)

Better than nude, Givenchy reinvents the lip balm: a moisturizer, plumper and color enhancer, it is the new couture lip care for naturally sublime lips.

Awwww, have you ever seen anything more precious? So stinkin’ cuuuuuuuuuuuuute! I didn’t even know that the Pouch came with this baby, up until I read the back of the protective plastic and unzipped the the Pouch, only to find this itty-bitty cutie inside! Sadly, because it’s so tiny (smaller than my pinky), I accidentally lost it (right after taking the pics for this post, whoops)! With that being said, I’ve actually purchased the full-sized Givenchy Perfect Pink Lip Perfector (here) and actually really enjoyed using it! Honestly, it’s pretty much just a bougie lip balm lol

Givenchy Perfect Pink Mini Gift

Hmm… if I were a more artistic person, I probably would get some black paint and dip the paint-brush in there and use my finger to bend the bristles backwards so they’d flick the paint onto the Pouch… but I’m not, so I won’t lol It was just a thought. Anyways, cute set!

Now, as promised when I first signed up for a Sephora White Card (here) and then got “upgraded” to a Sephora Black Card (here), I’ve kept this blog updated on all my experiences with Sephora (including their so called “perks”).

Starting from the “Welcome Gift” which was your choice between a Sephora Collection full-size Body Lotion or Sephora Collection full-size Body Wash (both of which weren’t available for individual purchase, leading me to believe… that they were just trying to get rid of them, by foisting them on us as a “Welcome Gift“). Even my first 200 Point Perk “Brand Gift” (here) was basically more Clarins Skincare Samples (which they’d been freely handing out all year, with every other purchase, unprompted mind you), leading me to believe… that it was also old (possibly expired). The Birthday Gift (here) was quite tiny, but also quite cute! It consisted of a mini lipstick (not unlike the Givenchy Mini Lip Perfector shown above) and a mini Black “Highliner” from Marc Jacobs. However, it lost its charm when they offered it to me… again, as a 200 Point Perk “Brand Gift” (at the end of this post). My second and third “Brand Gifts” (for acquiring +400 Points) are the pathetic Smashbox Gift Set (shown above) and the more useful Lancome Gift Set (shown above). I literally spent KD 480 (which is $1,576.67 … in U.S. Dollars) and these so-called “Brand Gifts” definitely do not reflect that. If anything, they feel like something you would get for free, for purchasing a full-size item (for example, “Buy the new Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara and get the Lancome Gift Set for free” or “Buy the full-size Clarins Night Cream and get the Clarins Gift Set for free”).

Also, they are quite stingy with the Samples. I feel like if you spend at least KD 30 (which is $100 U.S.), you should at least get a handful of some decent samples (things you would actually use) to show for it.

Spent KD 31 (here) and got not one thing.

Spent KD 70 (here) and also didn’t get a single sample.

Spent KD 145 (here) and received a Gucci Sponge and Gucci Travel Kabuki and Gucci Bloom Notebook (all thanks to the wonderful Egyptian sales assistant who even decanted x3 perfumes into little vials for me as fragrance samples which resulted in him bleeding, unfortunately) and some one-time-use YSL skincare samples and a mini YSL lip thing, based on the fact that I purchase two Gucci Perfumes and one Yves Saint Laurent Perfume for a total of $478.

Spent KD 48 (here) and got x3 Urban Decay Card Samples for purchasing x3 full-size Urban Decay products (that just seems stingy of them lol) and a whole bunch of unwanted Clarins Skincare Samples (I’m guessing they were trying to get rid of them because they were either expired or about to expire).

Spent KD 38 (here) and only two of the products were from Urban Decay (pencil sharpener and pencil liner) and yet got an Urban Decay Distortion Bag (filled with samples)! Also, despite the fact that I didn’t buy anything from those brands in that haul, I got deluxe samples from Kat Von D (Liquid Liner) and Marc Jacobs (mascara) and Fenty Beauty (foundation… not my shade, but it’s the thought that counts)! Even when I went back to exchange something the next day (here), I got even more Kat Von D Deluxe Samples and another Fenty Beauty Foundation Deluxe Sample… without having to purchase a single thing!

Spent KD 38 again (here) and got some Sephora PVC Bags (they were having a promo where if you bought KD 24 worth of the Sephora Collection, you got your pick of pre-selected Sephora Bags that contained x2 Sephora Deluxe Samples and a Sephora Sheet Mask. In that same haul, I also got some fragrance samples (one of which was actually pretty nice!) and some more unwanted Clarins Skincare Deluxe Samples (it seems they’ve regressed).

In this haul, I spent KD 48 on a Givenchy Fragrance and didn’t get a single sample, up until much, much later (after I’d already payed and everything).

As such, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’ve clearly got a ton of samples on hand, but the Sales Assistants roaming around pick and choose whom they give them out to. It doesn’t matter what you buy (Perfume or Makeup or Skincare) and it doesn’t matter which brand you buy it from (be it from the cheap-yet-still-overpriced in-house Sephora Collection or the more luxe, Chanel) it doesn’t matter how much you spend (KD 2 or KD 2,000). It just depends on the Sales Assistants and whether they’re in a good mood or not lol Also, apparently the Sales Assistants at the cash register have no say in the matter. The Sales Assistants at the cash register are the ones you go to for the “Brand Gift” or “Birthday Gift” or “Promo Gifts“, only.

All this would have been well and good, except everything else at Sephora is just as chaotic and random! I won’t say anymore about the attitude of the Sales Assistants (because we’re all individuals blah blah blah), other than, for every 5 Sales Assistants, 1 of them will turn out to be quite sweet. However, I will say that it’s extremely annoying when I find a display of certain products or collections that are a year old (or older), being passed off as newly released! Also, whenever there are any new developments, I feel like we (the customers) are the last to know. Case in point, when they switched over from using the physical Sephora Card to just using a Sephora App (here) and later on, did away with the Sephora App as well, and now just go by your phone number (here)!

Even the way they contact (or rather, don’t contact) their customers seems very haphazard. I mean, I left my name and phone number in that notebook (so ineffective) during the summer (here), and they never called me back, even just to tell me to come in and pick something else. Even when I had White Card Status and got upgraded to Black Card Status (here), no e-mail, no text, no nothing, not a peep. In the interest of full disclosure, I do get those mass forwards on my phone, whenever they have one of those “Buy X amount and get a Free Gift” promos (I chose the Sephora Eye Bag) or whenever they have discounts during the Eid Holiday and such, but that’s pretty much it. Lastly, as I mentioned in my most recent Spotted at Sephora (here), everything is over-priced!

Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts on Sephora?

6 thoughts on “Sephora Haulage (October)

  1. Lol i went in to get a foundation yest. Got the new Nars foundation. Got a bit surprised with the price. 20 KD. But when i came to the counter, the sales staff informed that i was due for a Black card gift and i got the Tarte box( full size liquid lipstick, sample size mascara and a highlighter,

  2. Oooh, Nars Foundation, suh-weet! Hope you love it!

    Yeah, girl, I was at Sephora on Wednesday picking up a Birthday Gift and ended up getting the same 200 Point Gift from Tarte. I wore the mascara last night and loved it!

  3. Yup, loving it!! Ohhhh… cant wait to try the mascara for myself. I would love to get a recommendation from you for translucent powders. Do you typically set your foundation using powder foundation or a translucent powder? I was using the Laura Mercier one and am looking to get another one. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Sorry Sonia, but I don’t wear Foundation enough to have an opinion on Setting Powders. I’ll just grab whatever is on hand and use that and even then, only when I’ve gone overboard with Blush or Bronzer. I find Loose Powders way too messy, so I stick with Pressed Powders (also, they just look so pretty in the pan lol). Believe it or not, the E.L.F. Tone Correcting Powder is my favorite! That said, I’ve got dry skin (think Sahara-level dry) so what works for me, might not work for everyone.

    Since you purchased the Foundation from Nars, why don’t you give their Setting Powder a try? If you want something affordable that everyone (literally, eeeeeveryone) seems to love, I’d suggest the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Pressed Powder. With that being said, I haven’t tried either of those, because as I’ve said, I don’t wear Foundation enough to have any thoughts on Setting Powders and such. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  5. Oh no worries :) I too have heard a lot about the Maybelline one. Perhaps i should give that a go. Also, i have tried the Nars compact powder and felt i went through it pretty quickly. Neways will try the Maybelline one and see. Thank you ! <3

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