Technically, it was a few days before Valentine’s Day, but the title sounded nicer this way! I was actually on the hunt for some Herbal Tea (as much as I enjoy them, my pseudo-coffee drinks, they weren’t much help in the sleep department) which was the main reason why I hit up several branches of Sultan Center (Promenade – Salmiya – Souq Sharq)… on the same day… back-to-back (totally sane behavior).
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
I visited both the Souq Sharq branch and the Promenade branch of Sultan Center on separate days during the month of September, but decided to group them together for this post.
Basically, I keep running out of either the Chunky Salsa (Medium) or Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips (which is all I’ve been craving recently). As long as it’s not Hot (which makes my nose run, eyes water, ears turn red, tongue swell up and lips feel like they’re on fire) nor Mild (which is tasteless), I’m not picky about which brand of Salsa I get. My only prerequisites are that it’s Chunky (with veggies) and Medium (has a kick to it), which is generally easy to find at any branch. Sadly, the Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips are less easy to find (they appear in and out of stock at random), which is why I’m always on a scavenger hunt of sorts (because I never know if they’re in stock or not) at Sultan Center.
With that being said, I’m happy to report that I spotted those delicious Chips Ahoy! Brownie Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies (reviewed here) in all the branches! I didn’t get any, because like I said, I’ve only been craving Tortilla Chips and Salsa recently. However, it’s nice to see the Chips Ahoy! Brownie Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies available in large quantities. Plus, Chips Ahoy! even partnered up with Microsoft to come up with a little promo featuring one of the games (Sea Of Thieves) on Xbox One. I’ve never heard of that game before, but still, what a fun idea!
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 visited Sephora again (seriously, they need to move the store to a more accessible area of the Avenues already, like maybe switch out Sephora with Next so people can access Sephora both from inside and outside the mall for quick drive-bys. I mean their current location is so out of the way from everything else!) and also, because I still didn’t get my Brand Gift (for reaching 200 points) even though I’ve already received the e-mail from the Dubai branch of Sephora. While there, I spotted several new displays (as shown above), new products and new brands!!!!
For starters they had a Mini Mania display (sooo cute!) mostly of cult fave products available in mini-sizes separated into 4 categories (all of which we’ll be taking a much closer look at, below) ranging from Speedy Sport – Sunny Beach – Trendy Work – Funky Party.
So unbeknownst to me, the ban had been lifted, and apparently I could order from http://elfcosmetics.com/ again!
Back in the day, I used to order from ELF (Eyes Lips Face) pretty regularly. To the extent that I actually remember when they only had the Essentials line (everything from Makeup to Makeup Brushes and Tools, even an Eyelash Curler was only $1 and came in flimsy white packaging). Then, they branched out into the Studio line (slightly pricier trendy makeup with sleek black packaging). Then I believe they came out with a mineral range (around the $5 mark and above, with sturdy beige packaging) called Beautifully Bare. Looking at the photo (above) of the haulage, based on the packaging, you can sorta’ tell that a few items are from the Essentials line and a few are from the Beautifully Bare line, while the rest are mostly from the Studio line (black packaging). With that being said, it seems that ELF no longer categorizes them as such, because everything was merged together on their website. If not for the packaging and the price point, I wouldn’t be able to tell which was which.
My first ELF purchase was actually from drugstore.com (around 2007 or so) and it was a bunch of their lip balms in little square tins, lipgloss in littly click-y pens, small circular blush and bronzers, tiny eyeshadow quads, white makeup brushes and even a body lotion, to name a few. Once I figured out I could order directly from the the ELF website, I went ham and ordered every new product they came out with (and they came out with new product pretty regularly!) to the extent that I’m still working my way through all my ELF stuff!
More often than not, some of the products would arrive damaged or literally break apart in my hands, but because of their low price point, I just brushed it off. Also, because twice a year, ELF would have a 50% discount on all their products! If I’d been eyeing up anything from the Studio Line or expensive Beautifully Bare line, I’d wait for the 50% discount because that would be the time when I’d purchase them (way more affordable). Heck, even the $1 line would only cost $0.50 per product! That said, it seems that ELF have increased the price point of their Essentials range by a dollar, which means everything in the Essentials range goes for $2 now. So, it’s safe to assume that they increased the prices for all the other lines as well. Regardless, their products are still extremely budget-friendly! In fact, the total for my entire order was only $109.96 (technically $140 with a $39 discount plus $8.96 for tax).
For whatever reason, I couldn’t order from the ELF website anymore, so I stopped. I’d still try my luck every few months or so, on the off-chance that my order would go through. I was dying to try out some of their newer stuff! I really wanted to get my hands on those stunning Makeup Brushes from the Beautifully Precise line, in particular. Thankfully, after about 2-4 years, my order finally went through!
I was only passing through Harvey Nichols to get to the rest of the Avenues) (I still don’t know my way around the underground parking lot) but ended up getting a few bits along the way from Givenchy and Nars and Laura Mercier and Chanel (despite the Sales Assistants being snooty and quite frankly, unhelpful). I spent KD 92/250 (exactly $307.91 US Dollars) at Harvey Nichols and all I got as a gift with purchase (gwp) was a makeup bag (that I’ll probably never use). For that much money, you’d think I’d get a handful of samples (at least), but I didn’t get a single sample (not even one those ubiquitous single-use perfume samples). That would’ve been fine if the service was great, or at least decent, but all the Sales Assistants were pretty much… a nightmare (they acted as if they were doing me a favor). To add insult to injury, one of the items I got was a dried up mascara (from the Givenchy counter) but they gave me such a hard time about returning it (the very next day) even though I had the receipt with me and everything. Over all, I had such a horrible experience at Harvey Nichols (so very different from the wonderful experiences I’ve had at Jo Malone Boutiques here and here and here) that I don’t think I’ll be returning to Harvey Nichols any time soon, if ever.