I was looking for a gift for a friend who’d just found out she was preggers and usually L’Occitane has what I’m looking for, but this time, the products I had in mind were only available in a travel-size set (and were consequentially much cheaper), so I ended up getting her something else, from somewhere else. However, I did end up hauling some more of that divine Verbena goodness for myself to use during the upcoming Summer!
Longtime readers of my blog, already know that I stan the L’Occitane Verbena range hard! And to think… it all started when I raided the bathroom amenities at a certain hotel abroad (reviewed here) lol Like I said, the scent was fresh, crisp, citrus-y, uplifting and most definitely unisex! As such, I’ve been a big, big fan of the line ever since! They had other Larger Gift Sets and Smaller Gift Sets and even Travel-Size Gift Sets and everything in-between, but the ones shown (pic, above) were the ones that appealed to me the most.
The only reason I placed this order, was because I noticed that Nordstrom was selling Maison Lancôme Ôud Bouquet Eau de Parfum… in a travel size version!!!! I’d been obsessed with Oud Bouquet for quite some time now (spotted here and later here) so finding a smaller and consequentially cheaper version, online, was kismet! Sadly, it kept going out of stock, almost as soon as it’d appeared online. So, I patiently bided my time and waited for it to come back in stock.
That said, my previous Skincare Haul from Nordstrom (haulage here) had included several chemical exfoliators and as such, meant I needed to invest in some decent Sun Protection (mainly the blue Shiseido one, which I’d been eyeing for a minute now). So, I figured I’d purchase some Sunscreen/Sun Block/Sun Protection (while the weather allowed and was still cool, enough not to damage or alter the contents being shipped) and snatch up the ever elusive travel-size Lancôme Ôud Bouquet Eau de Parfum while I was at it!
Again, several of the brands had really cool Gifts With Purchase! Not to mention the Winter Beauty Bundle (20pc deluxe samples) with every $125 spent on Skincare! Once Oud Bouquet popped back up, I placed my order immediately (literally 5 days after my previous order with Nordstrom), making sure that I qualified for most of the Gifts With Purchase (as you can see in the photo below).
Basically, Oud Bouquet was the main reason I’d placed this order, but sadly it went out of stock again and was canceled from my order. On the bright side, at least they still sent over the Lancome Gift With Purchase, which was nice! Plus, the fact that I only purchased 5 items (1 Mascara + 4 different types of Sunscreen) and managed to accumulate a whole bunch of other stuff, along with them, was pretty suh-weet! The subtotal was $169 (around KD 50) but with $15 (KD 4/500) for tax, ended up being $184 (around KD 55).
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!
At the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (here), I just had to hit up the Beidoun booth! Aside from offering fragrances from all kinds of different brands (as you can see in the background of this photo), they also ran the Lancome booth. Usually, every time I shop at the Beidoun booth (I’m talkin’ decades here), my experience is always a rather pleasant and positive one. The sales assistants are always lovely (non-aggressive and quite helpful), knew what they were talking about (well-informed on the products they were selling) and also quite generous with samples! Unfortunately, this particular visit was quite… unpleasant.
(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…
On Halloween, I found myself at Sultan Center (Souq Sharq) with a few friends, because we needed stuff… for stuff, y’know?