On September 28, Mera came over and brought lunch. Afterwards, I got dressed in my H&M Grey Mom Jeans (hauled here) and we went to The Avenues.
We were going to check out the new Hilton Garden Inn (which had just opened up at the time), because we were thinking of taking the kids and spending the night there. We wanted to pretend we were traveling abroad (because traveling for fun wasn’t a thing anymore, on account of the pandemic).
The rooms were pretty basic and the view was abysmal (you can see the room and what I was wearing, here) so we opted out. Instead, I suggested we make dinner reservation at Trapani, one of my favorite restaurants in Kuwait.
While we waited for them to call us for our reservation, we browsed around the mall. We hit up Boots (tiny store), but didn’t get anything from there. Then we went to Etude House, which I knew had opened up some time ago, but had never gotten a chance to visit.
The place looked like it had been ransacked! Shelves were half-empty. Everything had been picked over. Just what exactly had happened here? Undeterred, I managed to snag a few items.
After hitting up Debenhams (here) and Bath & Body Works (here) and The Body Shop (here), I finally made it to Sultan Center.
Between my brother and his wife’s weekly visits to the local co-op, and my online orders from taw9eel.com (My Pantry), we were all set on groceries.
So, this haul was mostly snackage (stuff I couldn’t find online) and personal care stuff (face wash, cotton pads, etc…)
– Kilian Black Phantom (Memento Mori) Body Lotion
– Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum Intense (arrived already opened)
– Maison Lancome Oud Bouquet Eau de Parfum (x2 travel-size)
While I busy at work not working, I noticed that Nordstrom were now selling my beloved Black Phantom (Memento Mori) (haulage here) as both a Body Lotion and a Shower Gel! Also new to Nordstrom was the latest take on the infamous Black Opium, which was Black Opium Intense. I was still debating whether I should purchase yet another Body Lotion and Perfume, when I happened to notice that the travel-size version of the ever elusive Oud Bouquet was back in stock! That settled that!
As soon as I got home, I hurriedly placed my order. As per usual, there were a ton of Gifts with Purchase and Samples that came along with the order, and everything arrived safely (not a thing was damaged)!
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.
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 spotted an entire display of Bling Pop (which is a brand that seemed to specialize in Sheet Masks made in Korea) at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (here). All of them were quite cute! I was down to my very last dinar (I was carrying cash instead of plastic… like a “G” lol) and after asking the sales assistant manning the nearest booth, she said that the bottom row (of the display) had been reduced to KD 1/000, I figured it was “meant to be”. Out of the Aloe and Lemon and Pumpkin and Peach, I didn’t think twice before snatching up the one in Pumpkin.
(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?
I was stalking Zara at Souk Sharq for a particular item (the SA assured me it would be there by the 2nd day of Eid, as if I was supposed to just drop everything and go shopping lawl) and of course I made a quick stop at Sultan Center. Right off the bat, I spotted the Scratch & Win display. Basically, for every KD 4 purchase of Johnson’s products or Neutrogena products or Clean & Clear products, you qualified for a Scratch Card. The featured product seems to be the somewhat new Neutrogena Hydrogel Face Sheet Masks. I took a few photos of some random personal care items too, but I was haaangry so I didn’t take that many photos.