(Photo nicked off the Mishref Fair Grounds Website).
I try to make it a point to visit the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition at least once a year. The Perfume & Cosmetics Exhibition takes place twice a year (March and then again in Oct-Nov) in Hall 5 and Hall 6 and Hall 8 at Mishref Fair Grounds. As you can see, the Halls are huge! They’ve always got something or other going on there (sometimes simultaneously), year-round! This year, I noticed that they had strung up pretty fairy lights and arranged a seating area somewhere outside, with a ton of trendy pop-ups in cute little shacks that were catering the event, on either side of the seating area! I actually took a handful of pics, but people’s faces were on full display so I can’t show ’em (privacy blah blah blah consent blah blah blah).
Unfortunately, the majority of the halls participating in the Perfume & Cosmetics Exhibition mainly feature Oud and Teeb (Arab Fragrances), with only a smaller portion of booths featuring “French Perfumes” and an even smaller portion featuring Makeup. Heck, one of the Halls (I wanna’ say Hall 7) was reserved solely and entirely for Boutiqaat (at one point, I saw a tumbleweed roll by).
I’ve been going to the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition for
years decades! In fact, even before I used to go there, my mom would get me a Lancome Mascara Gift Set when I was a teen (drugstore brands weren’t as readily available in Kuwait back then). Even just 8 years back, Victoria’s Secret used to participate (here) as did Sephora (here). It’s also where I first spotted China Glaze (here) and Lush (here). Now, it’s so very different (not in a good way) from what it once was…
There was a lot of this… (Dar Al Teeb Perfumes)
… and this (Dar Al Teeb Perfumes)
… and this (Al Jassar Perfumes), all of which were not my thing. I’ll tell you why. I can’t tell good incense apart from bad incense. To me, it all smells like burning wood (granted, it’s obscenely expensive Agarwood, but still). Also, I just don’t like those little roll-on vials of Attar or Oud Oil or the bigger mixtures and concoctions of whatever and that’s what the majority of those booths sold. Apparently, the perfumes that I do like (such as D&G Light Blue) are referred to as “French Perfume” or in Arabic “Attar Farancy“.
(Photo nicked off the Mishref Fair Grounds Website)
In addition to all the Incense and Traditional Arab Fragrances (as indicated by the gaudy decor of those booths), there were also a few brands that sold regular fragrances (locally referred to as “French Perfumes” or in Arabic “farancy“) such as the ones being sold by Beidoun (they ran the Lancome booth). In the background, you can partially see the rest of the Beidoun booth (including Perfumes and Perfume Gift Sets from all kinds of different brands) still being set up. I was actually there on the last hour of the last day of the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition lol Generally, I have an extremely pleasant experience at the Beidoun booth. This was not one of them.
(Photo nicked off the Mishref Fair Grounds Website)
Besides Perfume and Makeup, even Eyewear companies (that offer Colored Contact Lenses in addition to Designer Sunglasses) get in on the action! This is a photo of the Al Jamil booth which are the distributors of my beloved FreshKon Baby Aqua Contacts. As far as I know, they don’t have any good deals or discounts on Colored Contacts and they only participate for the sake of participating. You can find the exact same deals at any branch of their physical stores, year-round.
Al Mansour Makeup)
One of the many booths I frequent is Al Mansour, who sell everything from L.A. Girl to Milani, as well as some other random brands (Astra and Deborah Milano and Smiling). Other than makeup-y bits, they also sold makeup brushes and make-up tools (sponges, lash curlers, sharpeners, etc…) and accessories (light-up mirrors, acrylic storage, etc…) and bath & body products and bath & body accessories. In fact, right underneath the red “Sale” sign (in Arabic), they had a selection of riffi Exfoliating Massage Straps and Gloves. The layout of their “booth” is pretty much the same, every year. However, they do have a physical store in some corner of City Center (Salmiya), if you’re interested.
Kryolan was a part of it.
As was KLAPP. Initially, I was gonna’ purchase something or other from the Caviar range, but got annoyed (aggressive sales assistant) and left the booth.
Clarins was a part of it too.
I was super stoked to find the Water Lip Stain, that even the obnoxious sales assistant couldn’t ruin my great mood! I was already short on time, and the entire event was about to end in a few minutes (closing up shop until March of next year) and I had a handful of other booths I wanted to hit up before then, but this woman was wasting what little time I had, by constantly trying to redirect my attention towards other things, and going on and on and on about them lol I cut her short by directing her attention to my face, “Lady, I don’t wear makeup. See?” (I’d been awake for more than 24 hours so I wasn’t in the mood for war paint), but that didn’t deter her. She moved on to Skincare, “This will get rid of your dark circles, etc..” After glancing at her under-eye area, I was so, so, so tempted to be rude and ask her why this “amazing eye cream” hadn’t worked for her? (generally I can function on a few hours of sleep, but with zero sleep, I alternate between being cranky or finding every single thing absolutely hilarious). I didn’t say it, but I was thinking it.
This was a completely new brand (German?) to me. I believe they specialize in Hair Care (everything from Hair Tools to Hair Products). Their Hair Brushes were all ergonomic this and concave that. I mostly saw a ton of Tangle Teezer dupes (Detangling Brush) and a few Paddle Brushes in a variety of cheerful colors and different designs! I even spotted a few boxes of those Thermal Treatment Hair Wraps which I wanna’ say were Korean-Inspired.
Unfortunately, it seemed the booth was completely abandoned and I couldn’t find anyone to ask about the brand, or the price point, or where else would it would be available for purchase after this event, or anything like that. To be fair, it was around closing time so I was pretty late.
Another brand that was new to me was Face Inc. which seemed to focus purely on Skincare. I tried visiting their website to learn more about them but… their website is a joke so I gave up. They had a handful of test-tube-y looking products and ampules and space-age-y packaging that all seemed quite gimmicky, but fun!
I asked the dude (partially shown in the photo) about a certain product, but he was effectively useless. Also, he kept snarling at his female coworkers (you could tell he was a nightmare to deal with) and I was one annoyance away, from strangling the closest offender, so I just walked away.
Chelsea Beautique Wagon
I’ve never heard of this brand before either, but I thought the idea of a wagon display was pretty cute! They had a ton of False Lashes for under KD 5 per pop.
As per usual, theBalm was located near the exit (same place every year). Since I was done “shopping”, I could now leisurely take photos for my blog. I feel incredibly awkward taking photos of stuff out in public, but it’s a necessary evil, I guess lol
Betty-Lou Manizer (Bronzer) and Cindy-Lou Manizer (Peach-y Highlight) and Bonnie-Lou Manizer (Gilded Highlight) and the infamous Mary-Lou Manizer (Champagne Highlight). These things are pronounced Luminizer and not Lu Miya Nizer… as people on YouTube keep referring to them lol All the sisters can double as Eyeshadows too! The texture, the pay-off and wear-time is bomb (theBalm, heehee)!
theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette
I thought this palette was interesting… back in 2012. I don’t believe they even make this anymore. theBalm have come out with Alternative Rock Vol. 1 and Alternative Rock Vol. 2 since.
theBalm Nude Dude Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Fun-ny! I purchased this online when it was first released (I remember being so worried it would get confiscated lol). They’ve come out with Nude Beach Eyeshadow Palette since, but I haven’t seen it locally.
theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude Nude Matte Eyeshadow Palette
Lovely concept (I love me some mattes)! However, theBalm have come out with Meet Matt(e) Ador and Meet Matt(e) Trimony since. C’mon guys, bring over the new stuff.
theBalm Meet Matt(e) Shmaker Eyeshadow Palette
Oooh! Now this was new! Took a beat for it to register (matchmaker) lol
theBalm Appetit Eyeshadow Palette
So stinkin’ cute! I mean look at those names! LOL Anywho, this was released in 2016 and doesn’t seem to be available on the official website anymore.
theBalm Higlight ‘N Con Tour Palette
Cuuuute! This was released a year ago and also isn’t available on the official website anymore. I love me a good theme and theBalm never disappoints!
I’ve mentioned OMG! before (here). They seem to specialize in Masking Treatments (All-in-1 Kits). Be it Bubble Masks or Clay Masks or Charcoal Masks or Peeling Masks or even Hair Masks and Gold Eye Patches and Face Creams and Serums and Microfibre Headbands (to keep your hair out of the way when all said masking goes down), they’ve got you covered! They’ve even got the cutest “Mini Beauty Fan” (which I guess could be used to help the masks dry faster)!
Lastly, directly in front of the exit, I spotted the Bling Pop display (I took a photo of the front and back of the display). Bling Pop (made in Korea) was another brand that was new to me! As you can see, the packaging was tres adorbs! They sold Sheet Masks and Eye Masks and Hand Masks and Foot Masks and even Nail Masks! I only had KD 1 in my back pocket (I’d blown the rest on other stuff) so I asked the lady at theBalm booth, how much they cost and she said the top row was KD 1/500 and the bottom row was KD 1/000 each. So I snatched up one of them, handed her my very last dinar and made my walk back home, very broke but also very satisfied!
Bling Pop Glacier Moisturizing Face Mask
Bling Pop Collagen Skin Elastic Face Mask
Bling Pop Charcoal Soothing Face Mask
Bling Pop Rice Bran Brightening Face Mask
Bling Pop Eye Mask
Bling Pop Nail Mask
Bling Pop Foot Mask
Bling Pop Hand Mask
Bling Pop Aloe Brightening Face Mask
Bling Pop Lemon Brightening Face Mask
Bling Pop Pumpkin Brightening Face Mask
Bling Pop Peach Brightening Face Mask