KILIAN created MY KIND OF LOVE, an entire new fragrance collection for young lovers: five scents inspired by moments of seduction without inhibitions, audacious declarations of love and the will to love freely.
I was pretty much stalking Sephora ever since I discovered Black Phantom (Memento Mori) by Kilian, which was how I stumbled on them setting up the display for the new Kilian Perfumes! They had cute packaging and absurdly long names, but were considerably less expensive than Kilian Perfumes from previous collections. Sadly, as you can see, not all 5 made it to our little Kuwait, but hey, 3 is better than none, amirite or amirite?
I also spotted the “gender neutral” Fragrance brand called Commo̲dity (pics below) and last but certainly not least, they’ve finally started selling Farsáli at our local Sephora!
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.
ELF (Eyes Lips Face) were having a 20% off $20 and 30% off $30 and 40% off $40 and 50% off $50 promo going on (the promo excluded the newest of new releases though), towards the end of November and start of December. I jumped on that deal and ordered a few things that based on my previous experience, probably wouldn’t survive shipping during the Summer (it can get up to 50 Celsius/131 Fahrenheit over here).
Despite being billed for them and also redeeming my “Beauty Points” (part of ELF’s loyalty program) several items were missing from my order. I didn’t bother contacting ELF though, because even if they did ship the missing items separately, the shipping itself would cost more than the actual items. It just wasn’t cost effective.
Regardless, I managed to get my hands on some things that I’ve been meaning to purchase for a good long while now, but was holding back because of the price. I got some Skincare and Foundation (in several shades), Brow Stuff (in several shades), a few Lip Things and even fewer Makeup Brushes and a ton of Blushes and Bronzers and Highlights all for half price! The total was $132 which is slightly more than I would’ve preferred to have spent, but I also feel like I saved more in the long run (logic)! I kinda’ went crazy (which is usually the case when ELF knocks their prices down to half off), but 50% off was just too good to pass up!
(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 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.