Once again, I was at the Avenues and on my way back to my car, popped by Carrefour to replenish my stock of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and pick up another Colgate 360 Toothbrush (every time I open up a new one to start using, I like to go out and purchase a back-up as quickly as possible, especially since I don’t always find these babies at any given local co-op).
While there, I couldn’t resist picking up these bars of KitKat because the name of the flavor (Cookie Crumble) made me lol Inspired by recent success with Lux Soap (here), I decided to try out a random scent, which smelled nice in-store, but was so floral and just awful during use!
At the Makeup Aisle, I was completely smitten with a Maybelline Nail Polish in the most delicious shade of coffee brown that was appropriately named Dark Roast! Keeping up with the chocolate-y theme (you know how much I love my themes), I snatched up a tiny pot of Cocoa Butter Body Cream from the brand Himalaya (or Himalaya Herbals? I dunno… it’s just one of those brands that’s always been around, in every drugstore and local co-op, since the beginning of time) to stash in my car for when I forget to moisturize. Lastly, I hit up the Essence counter and picked up a few things (more on that below).
I just happened to be in the vicinity (because I usually park my car in the underground parking lot) and figured I’d replenish my stock of Beef Jerky. One thing led to another and I ended up with… dis. To be fair, I can’t find Beef Jerky anywhere else, other than Carrefour, which is why I buy the stuff in bulk (Avenues isn’t exactly around the corner from my place). Also, our local co-op is always out of whichever coffee drink I happen to enjoy at the time, so that’s why I buy a pack or two at a time.
(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 rarely stop by the Phase I or Avenues I branch of Boots (wedged in wall-to-wall with yet another Starbucks). Normally, I’d visit the Phase II or Avenues II branch of Boots (because it’s one store over from Bath & Body Works which is my usual haunting ground). However, I’ve been hitting up pretty much every single branch of Boots that I can think of, in search of Batiste Dry Shampoo – A Hint of Colour Medium & Brunette (featured here) because it seems to have vanished, country-wide (which makes me very, very sad). It had the nicest scent out of all of them, and the powder was tinted (matching my hair perfectly). That stuff was my favorite! So, if anyone happens to know where I can find it locally, please do share. I’d be much obliged to ya! Anyways, I was at Boots and opposed to just the Buy Two Get One Free deal that they’re usually promoting (which forces your hand into purchasing more stuff), they actually had a legitimate Sale going on (25% off most items), so I stocked up on a few “necessities”.
Normally, I tend to avoid the perfume and makeup aisles at Debenhams (Soug Sharq) due to the overly aggressive sales assistants. The makeup people will literally yell out to me, from behind their designated booths, rattling off a list of things that I have no interest in, whatsoever. Even after politely declining, they’ll still keep going, completely disregarding my lack of interest. You might think, what’s the big deal? After declining the first few times, if they still continue, just ignore them. However, one of them (Filipina sales assistant) actually kept following me (from booth to booth), trying to convince me to go back to her counter. In the past, I’ve gotten so annoyed by this behavior that I’ve actually stormed out (without purchasing anything).
The perfume people aren’t any better. They keep shoving perfumes in my face, regardless of my preference. It’s more about them selling perfume from the brand that they’ve been assigned to, rather than what I’m actually interested in. They even interrupt and talk over each other in trying to get my attention. I just find this behavior so uncivilized and unsettling. Honestly, it makes me feel like I’m at some sort of street bazaar rather than a department store. As such, I tend to avoid the perfume and makeup counters at Debenhams.
So I was at Debenhams looking for a new swimsuit (but gave up after not being able to find anything cute enough) when I decided to check out the makeup department. It’s been forever and a day since my last visit and I was kinda’ curious to see what was new. I wasn’t planning on getting anything, really, but then I spotted some new Maybelline Baby Lips. I figured I could just get them later on from somewhere else, like Boots (they tend to have Buy Two Get One Free deals on Maybelline every now and then). However, once I spotted the Farsali Unicorn Essence, I knew I was going to end up doing some damage. There weren’t any deals going on at the time so I justified my purchase by only getting things I truly needed (lawl).
Pink Shock (Fushcia), Fierce n Tangy (Yellow), Berry Bomb (Purple), Oh! Orange! (Orange), Minty Sheer (Green), Strike a Rose (Coral)
As let down and disappointed as I was, with the original Maybelline Baby Lips (reviewed here), I couldn’t resist picking up every single Maybelline Baby Lips from the Electro Pop collection (purchased online at Drugstore.com). Except for the graffiti-esque font which was different on each lipbalm (to match the product inside) the packaging was all black (which made all the colors pop and appear more vivid against the darker background), so cool! They were several newer additions to the shades as well (with correlating scents, of course) that included a gorgeous Coral and a beautiful Orange. Slightly more unique, were the Yellow and Green shades that strongly reminded me of the Nivea A Kiss of Milk & Honey (Yellow) and Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon (Green) which were also quite sheer upon application. Best of all, in my humble opinion, is that none of these had any shimmer to them (which is why I totally skipped Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal and Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue which were the two collections that followed Maybelline Baby Lips Electro Pop). I’m not quite sure if it’s my imagination playing tricks on me, or if it’s just because I knew what to expect this time around, but I honestly felt that the lipbalms in the Maybelline Baby Lips Electro Pop range didn’t feel quite as thick on the lips as the original Maybelline Baby Lips. In fact, I could almost swear that the Electro Pop balms were more emollient, absorbed faster, and just felt all-around nicer upon application.
As a devoted lover and collector of lip balm, I was pretty stoked to try out Baby Lips by the brand Maybelline. I know I say this a lot but… I’d been dying to get my hands on Baby Lips, ever since they first started being featured all over YouTube and the blogsphere. What with Kuwait being Kuwait, I had serious doubts about seeing Baby Lips in stores here (locally) anytime soon, if ever. I did the next best thing and stalked Drugstore.com until I finally got my hands on these babies. Let me tell you, it was no easy feat. They kept running out of stock (almost as soon as they arrived) way before I could place my order. It was incredibly frustrating! Meanwhile the hype surrounding Baby Lips grew and grew! Eventually (around the summer of 2012) I finally managed to purchase Cherry Me (red), Grape Vine (purple), Peach Kiss (shimmery nude) and Pink Punch (pink) from Drugstore.com. I passed on getting Quenched because it was clear and Peppermint because yuck. I found even more shades at Watsons (their version of Boots) in Thailand, while I was there on my honeymoon. My friend got me Baby Lips (in a shade completely new to me) from India while she was there on her honeymoon. I guess each region has not only different variations on the packaging and the names, but also their own versions of shades (and accompanying scents) such as Lychee Addict, Watermelon Smooth, and Mango Pie. Years later (possibly 2014?), Baby Lips started appearing at Maybelline stands in Boots Stores all over Kuwait.