Like I said in my previous post (here), I was sick of paying top
dollar dinar and still having to deal with all the unpleasantness at the local stores. So, I turned to online shopping and one store that really stood out to me was Nordstrom. They had everything you could think of, including brands that have yet to reach Kuwait (give ’em a year… or ten lawl)! I purchased a ton of skincare and ended up getting a ton of deluxe samples as a “gift with purchase”, all for only KD 100 ($331.52 with tax)!
Everything was properly packaged (not one thing arrived damaged) and was shipped pretty much the next day! They also had great customer service with agents available on the 24-hour live chat pop-up to answer any of your questions! You could tell these guys were trained because they knew exactly what they were talking about and they got back to you instantly (unlike the 15 minute wait at Carriage for them to only tell you “I don’t know” lol so useless). Even on the off-chance that customer service reps at Nordstrom didn’t know something, they’d transfer you to the proper department in a matter of seconds! They were so professional! More importantly, they were all extremely polite and actually quite friendly!
Basically, from the products, to the price, to the attitude of the customer service reps, the whole experience was massively different to the experience of shopping at any given store in Kuwait! You don’t have to take my word for it either! Just compare this Nordstrom Haul to any given Sephora Haul and you can spot the different for yourself! Needless to say, I was extremely satisfied with the whole experience of shopping online from Nordstrom and will continue to do so in the future!
I got some stuff from Herbivore Botanicals and Sunday Riley, both of which are skincare brands that I have yet to see in Kuwait. You wouldn’t think it, but to me, Buxom Lip Creams are one of the most elusive beauty products I’ve ever tried to acquire. It was next to impossible to get my hands on this stuff… and I’ve seriously been trying… for years! +10 years later, I’ve finally gotten my hands on the shade White Russian! I can die happy now! I also got a small size of the infamous ExfoliKate which I’ve wanted to try for years now, but could never find. I picked up the COSRX Low pH BHA Overnight Mask because it seemed like a great starting point to ease my skin into this whole chemical exfoliating business. Also, COSRX is a Korean brand. Arguably the best thing out of this entire haul, was the discovery of my beloved Lancome Oscillation Mascara (full review here), which I was told was discontinued, but apparently is still being sold world-wide, just not in Kuwait.
For the sake of convenience (it’s just easier for me), I decided to split up my Sephora Haul into 2 posts. This one will feature all the stuff that came in the Holiday Gift Box and the next post will feature stuff I actually payed for at Sephora.
If you don’t feel like reading, you can just click the link and scroll all the way down to see the Black Card Gift and Gold Card Gift on display in-store (here) or the very bottom of this post to get a closer look at the Black Card Gift (12pc deluxe samples).
Sephora Black Card Festive Gift Box
Sephora Denim Tote Bag
Sephora Magical Gifts Brochure
Sephora Star Phone Ring
When I payed for my stuff at the check-out counter at Sephora, I was delightfully surprised when the woman behind the cash register pulled out a “Festive Gift Box” and placed it in my shopping bag, alongside the rest of my stuff!
Order placed: August 22
Order shipped from ELF: August 29
Order forwarded from US Aramex Mailbox: August 30
Order arrived in Kuwait (undergoing clearance): September 2
Order received: September 9 (it’s a whole song and dance, I tell ya’)
Just like your average, run-of-the-mill, everday addict, I was craving my next hit of inexpensive makeup (hey, it could be worse). As I said in my previous post (here) ELF had come out with 4 new makeup brushes, in addition to a several very interesting new products. Plus, the Free Gift Set (with orders of $25+) actually seemed worthwhile. Plus, I’d racked up enough points from their loyalty program to spend. Plus, they were giving away a full-sized product as a Free Sample.
I had my eye on several of the creamier makeup products, as well as some skincare, but I was worried that they might go bad or melt in the heat. That’s why I decided to wait until the weather cools down in Kuwait before ordering them and also why this particular order consisted mostly of powder products, makeup brushes and tools (products that were relatively unaffected by heat).
That said, I wasn’t sure that Aramex would even deliver some of the skincare items, especially the sprays (due to shipping restrictions) so just to experiment (test the waters), I ordered a full sized 3.38 fl. oz. (100 mL) Cleanser and a full sized 2.70 fl. oz. (80 mL) Setting Mist, both of which actually made their way to me (yay)!
So now I know… and knowing is half the battle (Yo, Joe!)
Since my previous order (haulage here), about 4 months ago, ELF had come out with a bunch of new products (including 4 new Makeup Brushes). At the time of this order, they had a promo which included a Free Plump It Up Gift (3pc) with any $25+ order, in addition to a Free Sample with every purchase. I’d accumulated enough points (you get 50 point just for signing up) to pick out a Free Gift of my choice (from select items). I figured it was worth placing an order right then and taking advantage of all the deals and promos and such. Mostly, I just wanted to give those Makeup Brushes a try!
Generally, I try to stick to a budget of around $100 (otherwise it’d be too easy to go overboard without even realizing it). The subtotal for this order was $100 (minus the $8.87 sales tax), which I felt was close enough to my personal target.
Makeup (Eye Stuff, Lip Stuff, Face Stuff, geddit? ELF lawl)
Tools (Makeup Brushes, Sharpener, Tweezers, Lash Curler, etc…)
As you can see, it clearly states “Buy 2 Get 2 Free” and also “Mix & Match“. However, just to be 100% sure, I asked the nearest SA and she also confirmed that I could in fact mix & match (each item could be from a different brand and I’d still qualify for the Buy 2 Get 2 promo), store-wide. I knew Kuwait all too well, so I was skeptical (because it sounded too good to be true). However, I went along with it and filled up my shopping basket anyway. I wasn’t that interested in anything (bad mood) up until I spotted the St. Tropez display, which showcased all kinds of new products from the brand!
I mean… they had the Gradual Tan 1 Minute Everyday Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse (which you’re supposed to wash off after literally just 1 minute!) and the Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse (Bronzing Water! I die!) and the one in the gorgeous oil-slick packaging is the Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse. They also had the rest of the St. Tropez range (about 3 rows of the stuff) including the Bronzing Lotions and Facial Oils and even the Tan Applicator Mitts!
Ouai Dry Shampoo retails for KD 9/250
Urban Decay Grindhouse Double Barrel Sharpener retails for KD 3/750
Urban Decay Sabbath 24/7 Glide-On Pencil retails for KD 7/750
Too Faced Melt Off Waterproof Mascara Remover retails for KD 7/250
Sephora High Speed Color Hit Nail Polish retails for KD 2/500
*Updated Packaging* Sephora Winter Spirit Color Hit Nail Polish retails for KD 2/500
*Updated Packaging* Sephora Sweet Summer Tan Color Hit Nail Polish retails for KD 2/500
*Updated Packaging* Sephora Winter Spirit Color Hit Nail Polish retails for KD 2/500
Tony Moly Mini Green Apple Lip Balm retails for KD 2/500
Urban Decay Distortion Stash Bag (gift with purchase) contains:
Vice Lipstick (sample card) – Perversion Mascara (sample) – Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid (sample card) – Eyeshadow Primer Potion (sample card) – All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (sample)
Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara (sample)
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r #340 Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (sample)
Kat Von D Trooper Tattoo Liner (x3 samples)
According to my Sephora App, I only need 15 more points to reach 200 again, and qualify for the next “Brand Gift” (full deets here) or whatever it’s called. Also, I’d just received a text from Sephora that said, “Free Gift with every purchase for Eid“. Plus, the last time I’d been to Sephora was about 6 months ago (free Sephora Birthday Gift, here), so it has been a minute. I figured I might as well pop in to a Sephora, check out what’s new (photos here), grab a few things so I could reach 200 points and get some samples and a “Free Gift” out of it, in the process. All signs were pretty much pointing to… Sephora.
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!