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).
I don’t normally shop at Carrefour at the Avenues, but I do tend to park my car in their designated underground parking area quite often. Quite frankly, the Avenues is huge, which makes it easy for people to get lost (just me? okay!) in the underground parking area. That’s why I prefer having someone else (anyone else, really) take me to the Avenues rather than driving myself there. Even after all these years, I still can’t remember which escalator leads up to which area of the mall. They all look pretty much the same to me. That’s why, when I’m not parking outside (Ikea parking or Forever 21 parking), I’ll go for the underground parking at Carrefour. I know what to look for (shopping carts on a flattened escalator), I know where it takes me (to Bath & Body Works and Boots facing Carrefour), and I know how to get back to my car (using the Carrefour escalators as a focal point lawl). In addition to all that, using my phone, I’ll snap a photo of the number on the column (just to be safe). You might think that’s overkill but I actually got lost down there once (whilst wearing uncomfortable shoes). It wasn’t pretty. It felt like I was in Mad Max and it was survival of the fittest! After going around in circles for what felt like hours (30 mins in reality), and when I couldn’t walk any longer (I was dying!) I gave up and plopped down on the nearest sidewalk and prepared my goodbyes. My mom told me to quit whining (no sympathy whatsoever) and get back home because it was getting late. Luckily, they’ve got a protocol in place for this sort of thing at the Avenues. The security guys roaming around the underground parking area have these little golf carts that they can drive you around in, until you find your car! So… anyways, I don’t normally shop at Carrefour but this time instead of zipping past it (on my way to Bath & Body Works and Boots and such), I had time to kill so I decided to browse around for a bit. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting but I did come across Essence in their makeup section, which I thought was pretty cool!
I’ve only ever heard horrible things about Charmel in Kuwait; things like they are shady, sell expired products, sell knock-offs as the real thing to unsuspecting buyers, etc… Supposedly, this one girl got a nasty eye infection after purchasing DUO Lash Adhesive from Charmel and that’s only one of the many, many horror stories circulating about the Kuwaiti Branches of Charmel. Personally, I try to stay as far away as possible from any brand that seems remotely Arabic, just to avoid any funny business. I might’ve been coerced into getting my makeup “professionally” done at Charmel Salon (way back when I was a kid, it was a disaster, more on that below) but I can’t confirm if the two are affiliated with each other or not. I was at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (Mishref Fair Grounds, October-November) when I came across the Charmel booth. I’ve never ever purchased anything from the infamous Charmel before (neither the in-house brand products) or anything else they sold. As such, I decided to pick up a few things at their booth. I ended up getting a stunning pigment from the brand Make-Up Atelier International Maquillage Paris in the shade SL02 Blanc/Bleu, another adorable EOS Lipbalm in the flavor Pomegranate, the cult classic Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder and lastly a gorgeous Anastasia Glow Kit called That Glow.
I had to check out the Dior counter when I was at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (that takes place twice a year at Mishref Fair Grounds). Lancome as well as Dior were some of the first makeup brands that I cut my proverbial teeth on, so those two brands will always hold a special place in my heart. Dior specifically (I’m pretty sure it was Christian Dior back in the day), always held my interest (when I was much, much younger) with all their beautiful Eyeshadow Quints (5 Color Eyeshadow Palettes), fun lipgloss offerings (at one point, I even had a sheer green glittery DiorKiss gloss that had the flavor and scent of green apples!), absolutely fantastic mascaras (DiorShow), and their intoxicating perfumes (Dior Addict reviewed here)!
I’m not quite sure why, but I’m no longer as obsessed with Dior as I once was. I’ll stick pick up the occasional tube of DiorShow Mascara every now and again, or purchase a random item that might’ve caught my fancy for whatever reason, but that’s pretty much it. Maybe it’s because on the rare occasion that I do visit a Dior counter, the sales assistants are more interested in showing me what they would like me to buy, rather than showing me what I asked for? Maybe it’s because I’ve discovered other inexpensive alternatives? I mean quality-wise drugstore products nowadays are practically on par with most high-end products and they cost considerably less. Maybe it’s because now that I’ve grown older (and hopefully a smidge wiser) I no longer feel the need to purchase every single thing that is released by Dior? Maybe it’s an accumulation of all the above?
In any case, I found myself at the Dior counter and for old time’s sake, picked up a Mascara (yet another reincarnation of an old favorite, DiorShow) on my first visit and a Lipbalm (which was another product from Dior that I used to be quite fond of) on my second visit. DiorShow Iconic Overcurl Mascara cost KD 14/240 and Dior Addict Lip Glow cost KD 13/500 but because I purchased them at the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition I also got a little discount (about KD 1/000 off of each item), so that’s something, I guess.
Pink Shock (Fushcia), Fierce n Tangy (Yellow), Berry Bomb (Purple), Oh! Orange! (Orange), Minty Sheer (Green), Strike a Rose (Coral)
As let down and disappointed as I was, with the original Maybelline Baby Lips (reviewed here), I couldn’t resist picking up every single Maybelline Baby Lips from the Electro Pop collection (purchased online at Drugstore.com). Except for the graffiti-esque font which was different on each lipbalm (to match the product inside) the packaging was all black (which made all the colors pop and appear more vivid against the darker background), so cool! They were several newer additions to the shades as well (with correlating scents, of course) that included a gorgeous Coral and a beautiful Orange. Slightly more unique, were the Yellow and Green shades that strongly reminded me of the Nivea A Kiss of Milk & Honey (Yellow) and Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon (Green) which were also quite sheer upon application. Best of all, in my humble opinion, is that none of these had any shimmer to them (which is why I totally skipped Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal and Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue which were the two collections that followed Maybelline Baby Lips Electro Pop). I’m not quite sure if it’s my imagination playing tricks on me, or if it’s just because I knew what to expect this time around, but I honestly felt that the lipbalms in the Maybelline Baby Lips Electro Pop range didn’t feel quite as thick on the lips as the original Maybelline Baby Lips. In fact, I could almost swear that the Electro Pop balms were more emollient, absorbed faster, and just felt all-around nicer upon application.
As a devoted lover and collector of lip balm, I was pretty stoked to try out Baby Lips by the brand Maybelline. I know I say this a lot but… I’d been dying to get my hands on Baby Lips, ever since they first started being featured all over YouTube and the blogsphere. What with Kuwait being Kuwait, I had serious doubts about seeing Baby Lips in stores here (locally) anytime soon, if ever. I did the next best thing and stalked Drugstore.com until I finally got my hands on these babies. Let me tell you, it was no easy feat. They kept running out of stock (almost as soon as they arrived) way before I could place my order. It was incredibly frustrating! Meanwhile the hype surrounding Baby Lips grew and grew! Eventually (around the summer of 2012) I finally managed to purchase Cherry Me (red), Grape Vine (purple), Peach Kiss (shimmery nude) and Pink Punch (pink) from Drugstore.com. I passed on getting Quenched because it was clear and Peppermint because yuck. I found even more shades at Watsons (their version of Boots) in Thailand, while I was there on my honeymoon. My friend got me Baby Lips (in a shade completely new to me) from India while she was there on her honeymoon. I guess each region has not only different variations on the packaging and the names, but also their own versions of shades (and accompanying scents) such as Lychee Addict, Watermelon Smooth, and Mango Pie. Years later (possibly 2014?), Baby Lips started appearing at Maybelline stands in Boots Stores all over Kuwait.
Blistex Blissful Butters is a super-smooth, super-creamy, blissfully rich balm.
Luxurious Feel: A velvety smooth balm with rich, long-lasting moisturizers delivers an indulgent, pampering experience.
Triple Butter Blend: A soft creamy formula, enriched with Shea, Mango and Tucuma butters, plus vitamin E, leaves lips deeply moisturized and completely hydrated.
SPF 15 Sun Protection
I picked up Blistex Blissful Butters awhile ago at Sultan Center (hauled here) after missing out on purchasing it from Drugstore.com after they closed up shop.