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”.
Also at Soug Sharq, I stopped by Boots. I wasn’t planning on getting anything especially since I literally just bought some makeup-y bits at Debenhams (hauled here), but then I saw that they had so many cool new products and several new brands too.
For starters, they had the SpaWax (stripless wax warming kit) by the brand Veet which I’d been lusting after, ever since I saw one of my favorite YouTubers plugging it in one of her videos… years ago. Second, I noticed two new brands which were House of Lashes (which I’d been dying to try) and GOSH Cosmetics, and even though I don’t particularly enjoy Soap & Glory (reviews here), they had the cutest Gift Set that was shaped like an actual Christmas Cracker, which I just couldn’t resist. Also, they had a Buy Two Get One Free deal on all Hair Care, and my hair was in dire need of some serious TLC. I only got one makeup-y item which was a mascara, but the rest are all personal care, hair care and body care stuff. Plus, they even tossed in a free makeup bag.
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).
I don’t normally shop at Carrefour at the Avenues, but I do tend to park my car in their designated underground parking area quite often. Quite frankly, the Avenues is huge, which makes it easy for people to get lost (just me? okay!) in the underground parking area. That’s why I prefer having someone else (anyone else, really) take me to the Avenues rather than driving myself there. Even after all these years, I still can’t remember which escalator leads up to which area of the mall. They all look pretty much the same to me. That’s why, when I’m not parking outside (Ikea parking or Forever 21 parking), I’ll go for the underground parking at Carrefour. I know what to look for (shopping carts on a flattened escalator), I know where it takes me (to Bath & Body Works and Boots facing Carrefour), and I know how to get back to my car (using the Carrefour escalators as a focal point lawl). In addition to all that, using my phone, I’ll snap a photo of the number on the column (just to be safe). You might think that’s overkill but I actually got lost down there once (whilst wearing uncomfortable shoes). It wasn’t pretty. It felt like I was in Mad Max and it was survival of the fittest! After going around in circles for what felt like hours (30 mins in reality), and when I couldn’t walk any longer (I was dying!) I gave up and plopped down on the nearest sidewalk and prepared my goodbyes. My mom told me to quit whining (no sympathy whatsoever) and get back home because it was getting late. Luckily, they’ve got a protocol in place for this sort of thing at the Avenues. The security guys roaming around the underground parking area have these little golf carts that they can drive you around in, until you find your car! So… anyways, I don’t normally shop at Carrefour but this time instead of zipping past it (on my way to Bath & Body Works and Boots and such), I had time to kill so I decided to browse around for a bit. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting but I did come across Essence in their makeup section, which I thought was pretty cool!
Like I said, Lancome and Dior are some of my first makeup brands so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart, no matter what. My love affair with Lancome began with their mascaras. My first “black” mascara ever was from Lancome, purchased for me by my mom. I talked more in-depth about my first experience with Lancome mascaras (here). Shortly after, that same love spread to their lipglosses (most of the Juicy Tubes) and a few random bits (Aqua Fusion Moisturizer, Peach-y Blush, literally everything in the Lancome “Calypso” Collection including an Eye Shadow Quad, Blue Nail Polish, and several Lip Products). I’ll still pick up a tube of Lancome Oscillation Mascara (reviewed here) every now and again, and use it as a topper (or even on it’s own because it’s just that good) or pick up random makeup-y bits on a whim. Even though I previewed the Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation (here) I didn’t end up purchasing it. My last Lancome purchase (prior to this haul) was Lancome Grandiose Mascara (previewed here) but I never got around to reviewing it (soz!)
More recently, at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (Mishref Fair Grounds) I stopped by the Beidoun Booth to check out the sets available at Lancome. Just like Clinique (who are constantly churning out Value Sets and Gift Sets and all kinds of sets really) Lancome are also known to come out with a few desirable sets of their own. I was only interested in the new Energie de Vie Skincare Collection (green ombre packaging), the antioxidant liquid moisturizer specifically but other than that, I wasn’t really planning on getting anything. With that being said, the sales assistants were all so lovely and accommodating (as always, just like all Beidoun employees, as opposed to the horrible aggressively pushy Alshaya employees) that I obligingly picked up a Douceur Cleansing Trio which consisted of the cult classic Bi-Facil (Dual Phase) Eye Makeup Remover, a Cream Cleanser (my preferred way of removing makeup) and a Toner (to play around with), all full-sized. The sales assistants were all so very helpful that I couldn’t help pick up yet another set called Effortless Chic Eyes that consisted of a full-sized Lancome Hypnose Volume-a-porter Mascara (black), mini-size Lancome Crayon Khol (black), and full-size Lancome Lip Lover (Rose Attrape-Coeur). The Cleansing Trio normally retails for KD 22/750 but I got it for KD 14/790 and the Effortless Chic Eyes Set retails for KD 13/000 but I got it for only KD 8/000! Not only was their a significant discount on both Sets, but I also received a generous supply of samples including some from the Energie de Vie range! I walked away feeling great about my extremely pleasant experience at the Lancome counter! The sales assistants were lovely and actually helpful! They were also quite generous with the samples! Best of all, there were several great deals on already marked down Value Sets! Can you fault me for loving Lancome?
I had to check out the Dior counter when I was at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (that takes place twice a year at Mishref Fair Grounds). Lancome as well as Dior were some of the first makeup brands that I cut my proverbial teeth on, so those two brands will always hold a special place in my heart. Dior specifically (I’m pretty sure it was Christian Dior back in the day), always held my interest (when I was much, much younger) with all their beautiful Eyeshadow Quints (5 Color Eyeshadow Palettes), fun lipgloss offerings (at one point, I even had a sheer green glittery DiorKiss gloss that had the flavor and scent of green apples!), absolutely fantastic mascaras (DiorShow), and their intoxicating perfumes (Dior Addict reviewed here)!
I’m not quite sure why, but I’m no longer as obsessed with Dior as I once was. I’ll stick pick up the occasional tube of DiorShow Mascara every now and again, or purchase a random item that might’ve caught my fancy for whatever reason, but that’s pretty much it. Maybe it’s because on the rare occasion that I do visit a Dior counter, the sales assistants are more interested in showing me what they would like me to buy, rather than showing me what I asked for? Maybe it’s because I’ve discovered other inexpensive alternatives? I mean quality-wise drugstore products nowadays are practically on par with most high-end products and they cost considerably less. Maybe it’s because now that I’ve grown older (and hopefully a smidge wiser) I no longer feel the need to purchase every single thing that is released by Dior? Maybe it’s an accumulation of all the above?
In any case, I found myself at the Dior counter and for old time’s sake, picked up a Mascara (yet another reincarnation of an old favorite, DiorShow) on my first visit and a Lipbalm (which was another product from Dior that I used to be quite fond of) on my second visit. DiorShow Iconic Overcurl Mascara cost KD 14/240 and Dior Addict Lip Glow cost KD 13/500 but because I purchased them at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition I also got a little discount (about KD 1/000 off of each item), so that’s something, I guess.
I went to H&M (Salmiya Branch) again in December because they were having a Buy Two Get One Free deal on cosmetics. I’ve always enjoyed H&M cosmetics because they’ve got a vast array of products and everything is so inexpensive! I’ve purchased so many of their face masks, scented wet-wipes, eyeshadow palettes, colored eyeliners, black liquid liner (which is amazing!), nail polishes, and so much more from them, in the past. In fact, I always used to purchase at least one pink-y lip gloss every single time I visited H&M. However, I stopped purchasing makeup-y bits from them because everything always looks so ratchet (severely picked over) now. Plus, I feel like they bumped up the prices. With that being said, I downloaded the AlShaya Privileges Club Application on my phone (which is supposed to tell me whenever any of the AlShaya Stores such as H&M, Victoria’s Secret, etc… are having some sort of “offer” which normally aren’t even that enticing). That’s how I found out about the Buy Two Get One Free deal on select cosmetics (not all). I wasn’t really in the mood to try anything on in the changing room so I only purchased another one of those stripe-y pajama pants, aside from all the makeup-y bits. Now on to the haulage…