I don’t want no mediocre
I don’t want no mediocre
I don’t want no mediocre, no
From high-end to drugstore, all the mascaras I’ve been trying seem to be complete misses for me lately. I’m tired of all these mediocre mascaras, so I figured it was high time I just go ahead and repurchase one of my faves, Origins GinZing Mascara (previously reviewed here). At $20.50 a pop (used to be $19.50), it’s not exactly inexpensive, but I’ve spent double (if not triple) that amount already on mediocre mascaras, so I’m more than willing to shell out 20 bucks on a tube (or 2) of my tried and true favorite!
Origins also came out with a whole bunch of Flower Fusion Sheet Masks ($7 a pop) each targeting specific skincare concern and I chose just one for now (Orange Radiance-Boosting Sheet Mask) to try out. It’s not shown because they shipped it separately (and I got charged by Aramex for a whole shipment that only contained a single sheet mask -_-). Anyways, as an added bonus, I got to pick out a handful of samples, including a mini version of Origins GinZing Mascara! I placed this order on December 29 2017 and it arrived shortly after (minus the Sheet Mask which arrived much, much later). The total for this order was $52.26 (about KD 16). Lastly, I signed up for the Origins Rewards Program and apparently for every $1 spent you get 10 points!
My younger brother’s wife found out that she was pregnant and so for her birthday I decided to pick up a Gift Set from L’Occitane that consisted of a few of their bestsellers including the cult-fave Almond Oil. I’m already an aunt (thrice over) to my sister’s kids, but the eldest (whom I took shopping in the previous posts here and here and here and here) just turned 11, and my nephew is 9 and their younger sister is 7, so it’s been a minute since we’ve had a baby in the family. That’s why I’m super excited for the new arrival! I’ve never been pregnant (and don’t plan on getting pregnant, ever, because some people are just not meant to be parents), but most of my friends have popped out several babies at this point, and the one thing they all complain about is stretch marks. As such, I figured this particular Gift Set might possibly help in that department. The Almond Gift Set came with the Almond Shower Oil (250ml) – Almond Supple Skin Oil (100ml) – Almond Hand Cream (30ml) – Almond Milk Concentrate (200ml) all beautifully packaged. I must admit, I gave the testers a sniff in-store and they all smelled lovely! Hopefully, they’ll help keep those pesky stretch marks at bay! The Sales Assistant even tossed in a few samples (as per usual, L’Occitane were very generous with their samples!) that included a Foaming Cleanser – Face Cream – Serum – Eye Balm, and I can’t to play around with them!
I’d finally managed to rack up 200 points on my White Sephora Card, meaning I could finally get upgraded to a Sephora Black Card (full deets here). According to the rules, I’d receive my new Black Sephora Card in the mail. I waited for a full month but nothing was ever delivered to me, not even through e-mail. I waited until I actually had to go to the Avenues for something, and made a quick stop at Sephora to pick up my new Black Sephora Card and “Prestigious Brand Gift“. Along the way to the check-out counter, I was quite charmed by two Sephora Eyeshadow Singles (shown below) so I snagged those two for myself and picked up yet another Dior Addict Lip Glow (previously hauled here) as a gift for my younger sister-in-law.
Once my turn came up, the woman behind the cash register informed me that I was not going to get a Black Sephora Card and that I should just go ahead and download the Sephora Loyalty Program app, instead. I thought that was unprofessional of Sephora. I mean… what if I didn’t happen to physically walk in there and ask for a Black Sephora Card? Would they have somehow contacted me anyway and told me about the app or just left me wondering to myself about the non-existent Black Sephora Card? Also, what if I didn’t happen to bring my phone with me (maybe just left it in the car) or had my phone but didn’t have access to the internet on my phone? As it turns out, I did have my phone and I do have internet on it, but a heads-up would’ve been nice.
Out of the pitiful, ratchet-looking selection I chose the Clarins Beauty Treats Pouch (shown above) as my “Prestigious Brand Gift” (for reaching 200 points). It was either a travel-sized Armani Fragrance… for men, or the Clarins Pouch (stocked with deluxe skincare samples). Not quite sure why it says Feb 16 (16 as in the day or 16 as in the year?) on the receipt, but I actually picked up the Clarins Pouch on Nov 11 2017.
Swear to God, my experiences at Sephora keep getting weirder and weirder. I was dressed in jeans, a basic white tee and flats. I had no makeup on (not even lipbalm) and my hair was tossed in a messy bun (freshly washed hair tends to be more pouffy, so a bun keeps it in check). I happened to be carrying my Black Box Backpack on my er, back (strapped around both shoulders as opposed to just one, so as to keep it out of the way). Nothing about me made me look like a Makeup Artist or Sales Assistant… and yet some girl approached me out of nowhere and started asking me questions about a certain product (I got paranoid for half a second and thought that she had somehow pieced together the fact that I run LuLu ♥’s Makeup). I explained to her that I didn’t work at Sephora… and then proceeded to help her anyway lol
As for myself, I picked up a few random tidbits such as the a Travel-Sized Waterproof Too Faced Better Than Love Mascara (which made me die laughing because it’s actually called Better Than Sex world-wide, but I guess they had to “clean it up” for us uptight Arabs) and Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara (which is overtly sexual – going by the description alone – lol) and 2 Urban Decay Liners (1 being specially formulated for the Waterline which I thought was pretty cool!) and a Sephora Honey Lip Scrub. I was only browsing around but also managed to find something I’d been lusting after for so long (Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in the shade Solstice)! Also, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the Limited Edition GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment (Sonic Blue – Collectible Edition)!
Further disproving my “Samples Theory”, they gave me some Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer Card Samples (because I purchased x3 items from Urban Decay) and several Clarins skincare samples (because… I don’t know). The total for all of the above was KD 48/000 which means Sephora Black Card, here I come!
Origins came out with a nice little Gift Set for the Holidays called Go Ginger (that included one of the products I’d been dying to get my hands on for years, but never could, due to shipping restrictions and such). I’ve said this numerous times before on my blog but the best time to invest in Gift Sets is during the Holidays, because every brand releases all kinds of Gift Sets; some that include a few of their best-sellers (in a variety of sizes), some focused more on new releases and Limited Edition products, others with the aim of getting you more bang for your buck (Value Sets) and other still include a combination of all of the above. Plus, you get to try your hand at things you normally wouldn’t try because you would never purchase them on their own. As soon as I spotted the Go Ginger Holiday Gift Set, I added it to my online shopping cart. I also got a cute Facial Brush (yellow) that bumped up the total of my order, which qualified me for free shipping (to my U.S. mailbox, only) and a free Canvas Tote Bag and some samples (x4)! With that being said, Origins come out with new promotions and such pretty regularly (spend X amount and get this and that for free, or spend X amount and we knock off a percentage off your total, etc…) so it’s worth waiting for a deal that appeals to you, before placing your order.
At the Avenues with my darling sister-in-law (my younger brother’s wife), I popped into The Body Shop and picked up these 2 Eye Creams. I was so impressed by the Oils of Life Sleeping Cream (hauled here) that I wanted to try out something else from the Oils of Life range, which happened to be the Oils of Life Eye Cream-Gel. While there, I was also quite charmed by the Unperfumed Eye Gel (which happened to be on sale) so I got 2 of that, as well; 1 for my sister-in-law and 1 for myself.
Normally, I tend to avoid the perfume and makeup aisles at Debenhams (Soug Sharq) due to the overly aggressive sales assistants. The makeup people will literally yell out to me, from behind their designated booths, rattling off a list of things that I have no interest in, whatsoever. Even after politely declining, they’ll still keep going, completely disregarding my lack of interest. You might think, what’s the big deal? After declining the first few times, if they still continue, just ignore them. However, one of them (Filipina sales assistant) actually kept following me (from booth to booth), trying to convince me to go back to her counter. In the past, I’ve gotten so annoyed by this behavior that I’ve actually stormed out (without purchasing anything).
The perfume people aren’t any better. They keep shoving perfumes in my face, regardless of my preference. It’s more about them selling perfume from the brand that they’ve been assigned to, rather than what I’m actually interested in. They even interrupt and talk over each other in trying to get my attention. I just find this behavior so uncivilized and unsettling. Honestly, it makes me feel like I’m at some sort of street bazaar rather than a department store. As such, I tend to avoid the perfume and makeup counters at Debenhams.
So I was at Debenhams looking for a new swimsuit (but gave up after not being able to find anything cute enough) when I decided to check out the makeup department. It’s been forever and a day since my last visit and I was kinda’ curious to see what was new. I wasn’t planning on getting anything, really, but then I spotted some new Maybelline Baby Lips. I figured I could just get them later on from somewhere else, like Boots (they tend to have Buy Two Get One Free deals on Maybelline every now and then). However, once I spotted the Farsali Unicorn Essence, I knew I was going to end up doing some damage. There weren’t any deals going on at the time so I justified my purchase by only getting things I truly needed (lawl).