Get a Free Gift when you spend $75 on Men’s Grooming or Cologne. $86 Value.
I’d already filled up my online shopping cart at Nordstrom with Hair Care, but then, noticed that they’d added the Men’s Sample Pack (products purely for dudes, because of Father’s Day). The Men’s Sample Pack included a whole bunch of Men’s Fragrance Samples, which naturally I was very, very interested in sniffing since my latest obsession (well, since this past December) was Fragrances. So I added a Perfume/Cologne (Travel Spray) and a couple of Bar Soaps, from the Men’s Grooming and Cologne section, to qualify for the Men’s Sample Pack (for the month of June).
I was at Sephora (here) shopping for a birthday present for someone who was extremely difficult to please. Normally, I’m awesome at anticipating what people would like, but with this dude, it was next to impossible. In the end, I went with Cologne (safest bet) and hoped for the best!
Also, much to my delight, they’d brought out even more stuff for “Beauty Friday” (discounted items) including the Cologne I ended up buying as a birthday gift (not shown because I already gave it to him)! I’m positive they hadn’t been on display the first time around (here)! I quickly snatched up several of the items I’d been lusting after (some on sale and some not on sale).
I really wish I’d gotten this post up sooner (like, December), but you know… life. In this post, I’ll be going over some New Items, Skincare, Hair Care, Perfume, cute stuff at the “Aisle of Doom“, the Brand Gift of the month, and most importantly, a few of the discounted items during “Beauty Friday” (Sephora’s version of Black Friday)! I’ll start by going over all the Sephora Holiday Sets.
Sephora had released a whole slew of Gift Sets for the Holidays! You could differentiate them by their lovely navy blue packaging (to mimic the night sky) with a golden moon and stars scattered all over them! Around every corner there was a different Holiday Display. At first, it was a bit overwhelming, but I quickly realized it was mostly the same stuff, except rearranged differently. I tried to take pictures of as many of them as I could. I believe I managed to get all of them (sorry in advance for the glare in some of the photos!)
This (shown above) was literally on the opposite side of the Too Faced Counter. All the other Holiday Displays scattered throughout Sephora featured several of the same products, which led me to believe that this was the main display.
I was at the Clarins booth at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (here) and I believe they were having a discount (I wanna’ say either 15% or 20%) in addition to another promo (where if you bought any 2 Makeup Items, you got to pick an Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector for free). I’d been lusting after the Water Lip Stain for a minute, so when I saw that they had all 4 on display, I had to snag at least 1. Since I was buying something anyway, I figured I might as well pick up something else to score the free Lip Perfector. As I mentioned earlier, the sales assistant was incredibly annoying which was exasperated by the fact that the entire Perfume & Exhibition was going to end in a few minutes (let’s say 15) only to start back up again in March… of next year. She was wasting time I didn’t have. The worst part was she had no clue what she was talking about, for the most part. Somehow, I made it outta’ there in time to hit up a handful of other booths, despite her best efforts lol
(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…
I received a text message on July 18 that said they were giving out a free gift to anyone who spent KD 24 on the Sephora Collection which was my main incentive for going back to Sephora. However, I also wanted to pick up my Brand Gift which was between either a Becca trio or GlamGlow trio (as shown on the left and also on display all the way at the bottom of this post, here) both of which were equally awesome! I’d actually qualified for the Brand Gift by accumulating the 200 points (exactly KD 0/800 per point) earlier, on June 5 (haulage here) but on June 6 (when I went back to exchange something, here) was told I had to wait for a certain e-mail. As you can tell from the photo (on the left), eventually I received the e-mail with the Gift Voucher on June 18 (only 2 days after I e-mailed them, which was very professional of Sephora UAE and so unlike Sephora Kuwait) which meant I should’ve been able to claim my Brand Gift. Unfortunately, that was not the case. On July 20, I went to Sephora again to pick up my Brand Gift and tried to discreetly take a few photos for my Spotted at Sephora post (here) and even purchased a few of the items, to qualify for the Sephora gift with purchase as mentioned in the text they sent out to everyone. However, at the cash register, I was told that both Brand Gifts were out of stock but they would contact me once they were back in stock… if I just gave them my name and phone number. The guy at the check-out counter proceeded to pull out a rather large book already full of pages and pages of names and numbers of other people on the “waiting list” for the Brand Gift . We’ve been through this before with MAC, guys. Doing it old-school just doesn’t work, at least not in Kuwait. C’mon now, y’all are Sephora. Surely you guys have a more efficient way of doing this LOL Like I said at the start of this post, I went back to Sephora on July 20, meaning they’ve had my name and number for a little over a month now and still haven’t contacted me. Heck, I’m not sure if they even added the points I accumulated from this haul. In any case, everything I purchased in this haul, was featured in my Spotted at Sephora (Summer) post (here).
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.
Swear to God, my experiences at Sephora keep getting weirder and weirder. I was dressed in jeans, a basic white tee and flats. I had no makeup on (not even lipbalm) and my hair was tossed in a messy bun (freshly washed hair tends to be more pouffy, so a bun keeps it in check). I happened to be carrying my Black Box Backpack on my er, back (strapped around both shoulders as opposed to just one, so as to keep it out of the way). Nothing about me made me look like a Makeup Artist or Sales Assistant… and yet some girl approached me out of nowhere and started asking me questions about a certain product (I got paranoid for half a second and thought that she had somehow pieced together the fact that I run LuLu ♥’s Makeup). I explained to her that I didn’t work at Sephora… and then proceeded to help her anyway lol
As for myself, I picked up a few random tidbits such as the a Travel-Sized Waterproof Too Faced Better Than Love Mascara (which made me die laughing because it’s actually called Better Than Sex world-wide, but I guess they had to “clean it up” for us uptight Arabs) and Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara (which is overtly sexual – going by the description alone – lol) and 2 Urban Decay Liners (1 being specially formulated for the Waterline which I thought was pretty cool!) and a Sephora Honey Lip Scrub. I was only browsing around but also managed to find something I’d been lusting after for so long (Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in the shade Solstice)! Also, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the Limited Edition GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment (Sonic Blue – Collectible Edition)!
Further disproving my “Samples Theory”, they gave me some Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer Card Samples (because I purchased x3 items from Urban Decay) and several Clarins skincare samples (because… I don’t know). The total for all of the above was KD 48/000 which means Sephora Black Card, here I come!
The great big box in the background with Christmassy frosted biscuits is a Face & Body Set called My Weekend Getaway Essentials. In the forefront we’ve got tiny Crayon Kohl Pencils in the shade 01 Intense Black (x3) which were free, a deluxe sample-sized Wonder Perfect Mascara which was part of the My Weekend Getaway Essentials Set, and finally an Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil and Mascara Supra Volume.
I was at Harvey Nichols when I came across a Clarins counter (hidden away in a corner, for some reason). Generally, I tend to stay away from Clarins as I feel it’s more of a mature women’s brand and also because I bought an eyeshadow palette from them (way back in the day) which turned out to be a dud (unpigmented) even though the colors looked beautiful in the pan. With that being said, I’ve been dying to get my hands on an Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. Personally, I prefer to leisurely browse in peace and quiet but every time I picked up a product to read what was on it, the hovering sales assistant would not only interrupt my thoughts by telling me what it was called (not what is actually used for or even how to use it) even though I was clearly in the middle of reading it and would actually try to lead me to a more expensive version of the same product. She was aggressively pushy! Since she obviously wasn’t going to get off my case, I decided to get straight to the point and asked to see the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors.
The shade I wanted was out of stock so I got 05 Candy Shimmer. Later on, at a different location, I picked up another one in the shade 01 Rose Shimmer which retailed for KD8/500 and was the one I actually had my heart set on. Both are shown in the photo above. Sorry for the horrible quality but that was my adorable yet sadly clearly useless new camera. I’ve since gotten yet another, better camera but I figured might as well use the photos that I’ve already taken. Along with the Lip Perfector, I also picked up a little set. I’ve mentioned this before but I believe the best way to familiarize yourself with a brand is to pick up a set of some sort. The rest of the stuff in the photo are just some samples (including Everlasting Foundation samples in the shade 111 Toffee) that I managed to wrestle out of the sales assistant.