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.
My skin was being weird which was annoying! Even if your makeup skillz were next-level (which mine clearly weren’t), having skin issues just ruins the over-all effect! I figured I should look into this whole chemical exfoliating thing, because clearly physical exfoliating just wasn’t cutting it.
That’s why I set out to Sephora to purchase 2 things, only. I wanted to get the Pixi Glow Tonic (possibly in the travel size, just to try) for my skin and the Brigeo Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo for mah hurr, but ended up getting everything else shown (mostly skincare) as well, including some “Beauty Friday” stuff (discounted items). I believe most of the stuff was included in my latest Spotted at Sephora post (here), but if not, I’ll link each one individually, just to make sure. Also, as a result of this KD 80/000 haulage, I ended up getting the 12pc Festive Gift Box (full deets, here), which was pretty suh-weet!
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.
For centuries, a natural water spring has been running at the heart of the Provence mountains, collecting rich minerals and rising up at the Réotier Spring. Thanks to its high calcium content, this incredible water helps skin maintain its hydration barrier and retain moisture. L’Occitane has paired this powerful Provence water with Hyaluronic Acid in an ultra-hydrating skin care range, for healthy-looking skin.
Discover our NEW thirst-quenching, water-based Aqua Réotier Collection, uniquely formulated with 3 powerful ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, and calcium-rich Réotier Spring Water derived from the mountains of Provence.
I was literally bouncing in place with excitement when I spotted the water-based Aqua Réotier Collection! This collection (the one I hinted at, towards the very end of my previous L’Occitane Samplage post) was the whole reason I was practically stalking L’Occitane every other day! The Aqua Reotier Collection finally arrived to Kuwait (and it only took about… a year since it was released worldwide lol)!
Let’s just get this out of the way first. How pretty is the packaging and the presentation (I mean, that ring of water is absolutely stunning)! Everything is all blue and transparent and just very, very pleasant to look at! And don’t even get me started on those micro-bubbles (so cute, I die!) in some of the products! Okay, now that that’s out of the way…
After begging Boots to bring back Batiste Dry Shampoo in the shade a Hint of Color – Medium & Brunette (because I couldn’t find it anywhere in the country) and then later on, any Dry Shampoo from any brand (it’s like all the Dry Shampoo in the country just disappeared), Boots finally brought back not only Batiste Dry Shampoo, but they even brought out their own (in-house brand) Boots Dry Shampoo! LOL
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…)
The last time I actually purchased anything from Bath & Body Works was almost a year ago (haulage here). I’d still pop in for quick peek, from time to time, but most of the releases were quite underwhelming (leaving me less than impressed).
So when I walked into the Mishref Co-op branch of Bath & Body Works that day and spotted both the Water Collection (in-depth deets here) and Sea-Tox Collection (in-depth deets here) I was delighted to find that everything (from the light and fresh scents that were absolutely perfect during hot and stifling weather, to the feature ingredients being Hyaluronic Acid and Seaweed, to the pretty and playful packaging, to the inclusion of fun products including Hair Mists and Facial Mists in addition to the Masks and Scrubs) was ridiculously appealing!
Even better was the fact that Bath & Body Works had an awesome promo (full size items for KD 2/750 and travel size items for KD 1/250) regardless of the sticker price, on both of the newer collections! Has someone at Bath & Body Works been reading my blog? I mean, I’m constantly complaining about new items not being included in any sales or decent promos, so this was quite a nice surprise! Obviously, I had to take advantage of the sweet deal and stock up!
Here’s an in-depth look at all the products in the Water Collection! As I mentioned earlier (here), they had a promo going on and despite the sticker price, all full-size items were on sale for only KD 2/750 which was a total steal! I’ll be going over the products below in more detail.
Everything about the Water Collection just appealed to me so much, from the name and theme, to the blue packaging, down to the star ingredient (Hyaluronic Acid)! In fact, it strongly reminded me of my beloved long-discontinued Lancome Aqua Fusion Collection and Limited Edition MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection and even the E.L.F. Hydrating Water Collection, basically any Water-Themed Collection. Worthy of note, this is the very first collection from Bath & Body Works to feature Hyaluronic Acid! The fact that the Water Collection was released during a time when I happened to be struggling with dry skin was quite lucky!
The scent on all the products in the Water Collection was fresh and just so lovely (kinda’ like the CocoaShea Cucumber Really Refreshing Foaming Scrub (haulage here), only much lighter! Even though Bath & Body Works love making stuff up for their descriptions, I’ll leave you with their official description.
A clean, lightly fragranced splash of crystal-clear H2O
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.