Micro Mini BeautyBlenders (4 piece) retail for KD 8/500 (Limited Edition)
GlamGlow SuperCleanse mud to foam Daily Clearing Cleanser 150g retails for KD 14/000 (discontinued)
GlamGlow PoutMud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment 25g retails for KD 10/000
Benefit ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color (with brush) retails for KD 9/500
Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara (mini) retails for KD 4/500
Sephora Outrageous Volume – Dramatic Volume Mascara retails for KD 3/250
Sephora Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in the shade 03 Strawberry Kissed retails for KD 6/000
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Berlin retails for KD 7/500
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in the shade Perversion (not shown because I started using it immediately and consequentially forgot to include it in this post) retails for KD 7/000
I was at The Avenues with my younger brother’s wife when we (and by we, I mean me) decided to stop by a Sephora (I say a, as if we have more than one Sephora in Kuwait lawl). I was dumbfounded by my sister-in-law’s maturity (I’m pretty sure I’m at least 6-8 years older than her) because she exercised such restraint (masha’allah) and only purchased a few items, and even then, they were only things she would actually use, as opposed to myself randomly grabbing products left and right (just kidding, they were all “necessities”) and tossing them in my shopping basket (that they hand out at the entrance to Sephora). Even at the zigzag-y queue leading to the check-out counter, she showed little to no interest in all the ridiculously adorable minis! I was starting to suspect that she wasn’t really human (because how could anyone not be enticed by those cute minis at the zigzag-y queue?) and so as a final test I pointed out the GlamGlow PoutMud, mumbled something or other and tossed it in my shopping basket, to which she exclaimed that she was interested in trying it as well, and tossed one in her own shopping basket. Success! My adorable sister-in-law had succumbed to the cuteness of a Lip Scrub which meant she was a red-blooded human being (not an Alien life-form impervious to human wants like “makeup-y bits”) after all!
I was only passing through Harvey Nichols to get to the rest of the Avenues) (I still don’t know my way around the underground parking lot) but ended up getting a few bits along the way from Givenchy and Nars and Laura Mercier and Chanel (despite the Sales Assistants being snooty and quite frankly, unhelpful). I spent KD 92/250 (exactly $307.91 US Dollars) at Harvey Nichols and all I got as a gift with purchase (gwp) was a makeup bag (that I’ll probably never use). For that much money, you’d think I’d get a handful of samples (at least), but I didn’t get a single sample (not even one those ubiquitous single-use perfume samples). That would’ve been fine if the service was great, or at least decent, but all the Sales Assistants were pretty much… a nightmare (they acted as if they were doing me a favor). To add insult to injury, one of the items I got was a dried up mascara (from the Givenchy counter) but they gave me such a hard time about returning it (the very next day) even though I had the receipt with me and everything. Over all, I had such a horrible experience at Harvey Nichols (so very different from the wonderful experiences I’ve had at Jo Malone Boutiques here and here and here) that I don’t think I’ll be returning to Harvey Nichols any time soon, if ever.
I rarely stop by the Phase I or Avenues I branch of Boots (wedged in wall-to-wall with yet another Starbucks). Normally, I’d visit the Phase II or Avenues II branch of Boots (because it’s one store over from Bath & Body Works which is my usual haunting ground). However, I’ve been hitting up pretty much every single branch of Boots that I can think of, in search of Batiste Dry Shampoo – A Hint of Colour Medium & Brunette (featured here) because it seems to have vanished, country-wide (which makes me very, very sad). It had the nicest scent out of all of them, and the powder was tinted (matching my hair perfectly). That stuff was my favorite! So, if anyone happens to know where I can find it locally, please do share. I’d be much obliged to ya! Anyways, I was at Boots and opposed to just the Buy Two Get One Free deal that they’re usually promoting (which forces your hand into purchasing more stuff), they actually had a legitimate Sale going on (25% off most items), so I stocked up on a few “necessities”.
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.