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…)
Yours when you spend $125 on Beauty or Fragrance. Enjoy travel-friendly samples from Charlotte Tilbury and Bobbi Brown and Supergoop! and more.
Towards the end of June, Nordstrom came out with x2 more Sample Packs. One, was the Fragrance Sample Pack (dis) which was very enticing! The other was a mix of Makeup and Skincare which wasn’t particularly exciting.
Still, it came with a cool Makeup Bag and a Sheet Mask and deluxe sample of the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment (in the shade Rosé) and x3 Fragrance Samples, to name a few.
Free 16pc Natural Beauty Gift with Purchase (a $188 Value) with any $125 Beauty or Fragrance Purchase
I contacted Nordstrom through their Live Chat App (up on their website) to double check something on a recent order (couldn’t remember if I’d used the code or not, but turns out that I did), when I was informed that I also qualified for the Natural Skincare Sample Pack, before they promptly sent it over. They had this whole Natural Beauty Event (eco-friendly, vegan, etc…) going on during the month of April and the Natural Skincare Sample Pack (as shown) was the Gift with Purchase during that month.
I’d like to say it was “free”, but they sent it over separately, which meant I had to pay extortionate shipping charges (from my U.S. Aramex mailbox to Kuwait) for one measly pack… of samples lol I understand that it’s not possible for them to group all the items into a single shipment, but I sure wish it was! To add insult to injury, everything arrived sopping wet (something had spilled in transit). It was my first real “incident” with Nordstrom, whom my experience with, has been nothing but perfect, up to this point. That said, there was a bunch of cool stuff in the Natural Skincare Sample Pack!
– 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 finally caved and decided to buy Kilian Black Phantom (Memento Mori) Eau de Parfum (purchased for a whopping KD 116) (mentioned here), rather than continuing to lust after it from afar (here). The fact that the sales assistant (stationed at the Lancome Fragrances) was such a sweetie was also a major factor! I mean… homeboy hooked it up!
He drowned me in Black Phantom (literally dousing me with the stuff!) and willingly filled up several of those little vials for me (with scents that I chose) and gave me several more fragrance samples that he thought I might enjoy and gave me a Dolce & Gabbana Duo Set (Perfumed Body Lotion + Lipstick) and gave me an Estee Lauder Cosmetics Bag (which was filled with a mish-mash of Travel-Size Estee Lauder products and an actual Travel-Size Armani Perfume that he’d stuffed in there for me)!
He did me right! Enough to where I felt obligated to purchase something from his station! So, I picked up another Perfume that I’d been lusting after, which was Lancome Tresor Midnight Rose Eau de Parfum (purchased at a more reasonable KD 43)!
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.
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!
I was literally bouncing in place with excitement when I first 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 had finally arrived to Kuwait (and it only took about… a year since it was released worldwide lol)!
I had an entire post featuring everything found in the collection, including lots of photos of the absolutely stunning display (here)! During that same visit, I actually purchased the Aqua Reotier Discovery Set (yellow box) which came with a handful of deluxe sample size products and was given even more samples (everything else surrounding the yellow box) by the accommodating sales assistant! You won’t believe how much the Aqua Reotier Discovery Set (travel size) cost!