Nordstrom Skincare Sample Pack (April)

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!

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Nordstrom March Fragrance Haul

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)!

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Spotted at Sephora (January)

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!

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Nordstrom Sun Protection Haul

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).

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E.L.F. Cosmetics Haul (50% Off Site-Wide)

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!

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Lancome Skincare Haulage

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.

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Spotted at Perfume & Makeup Exhibition

(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…

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