I haven't done a haul post in ages so I thought I would do a little show and tell on what I picked up recently when Sarah and Aimee were staying with me in Dubai, with some swatches and reviews to follow.
One of the questions I get asked the most is what brands are available in Sephora in Dubai that are not in the UK. So I thought in this post I would touch on what you can get here in Sephora that is not so accessible in the UK. There is a Sephora in every big mall in Dubai, the biggest being Dubai Mall but it is also by far the busiest. My favourite Sephoras are Dubai Marina Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
Sephora of course stocks its own brand make up which you can get shipped to the UK from the US website but in Dubai you can swatch and feel the texture of different products. Sephora items I would highly recommend are the sheet masks, the make up removing wipes (which I use for touch ups only, not actually removing make up), the matte lip creams and the individual eyeshadows. I also really like the chunky eyeshadow crayons and the Formula X nail polishes.
Sephora also stocks all the mainstream make up brands-Givenchy, Guerlain, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Dior, Armani, Clarins, YSL, NARS, Benefit, Too Faced etc etc BUT it is more expensive than the UK.
Dubai has recently introduced a couple of more cult US brands such as Kat Von D and Anastasia but currently the stock levels are quite poor. Also Make Up For Ever is a very accessible brand in Dubai. Marc Jacobs Beauty is also in all Sephora's here.
The brand I always recommend people check out in Dubai is the Gucci make up line. I really like their bronzers, the single eyeshadows and their lip products.
There are a few Dubai based brands also worth checking out-Huda Beauty lashes (and I assume shortly the lip contours) are in all stores but stock can be a little hit and miss-the Marina Mall usually has the best stock levels I have seen. A brand I learned about last week is Pinky Goat lashes-I still don't know a huge amount about them but I bought a ton of them on Sarah's recommendation so I will get using and reviewing them asap. They are not sold in Sephora but are stocked in a store called Wojooh (there is one in every mall) which is another 'make up' department store who also has their own in house make up line. I haven't really tried anything from there so can't recommend anything.
We also have plenty of MAC standalone stores and concessions and we do tend to be a few weeks behind the UK and US launches so on the odd occasion you can stumble upon a sold out collection in your home country here in Dubai. Inglot also has some standalone stores here-I know there are definitely ones in Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
And of course Bath and Body Works is everywhere in Dubai if you want to stock up on candles and smellies.
I was recently contacted by Jessica from the US who asked what brands she could get in Dubai that weren't so accessible in the US-the ones that sprung to mind were the Gucci, Huda Beauty, Burberry and Pinky Goat but also Bourjois as I know you can't get that in the US. Also in the pharmacies here, they stock a ton of french pharmacy brands-it's actually quite fascinating what you can pick up but off the top of my head they stock things like La Roche Posay, Nuxe, Bioderma, Avene, Filorga, Institut Esthederm. I don't know how accessible french pharmacy skincare is in the US these days but there is a huge array of brands here.
Brands that you can't get in store in Dubai that I am often asked about-Tarte, Bite, Buxom, BECCA (but I learned this weekend it's coming very soon!), Josie Maran, Tatcha, Boscia, First Aid Beauty, Fresh, Cover FX and Elizabeth and James. Actually we don't get any of the rollerball perfumes in Sephora in Dubai.
I hope these snippets of info are useful and if you are visiting Dubai and have any questions you can always contact me for more info.
On to my haul.....
OK so I don't know what happened with my photography but I seemed to photograph this in two parts.
Starting from the left, I picked up two Sephora essentials-the Express Eye Makeup Remover wipes which come in individual packets and are perfect for clearing away mascara smudges around 4pm. They're gentle but effective. The only downside is that the packaging does look like a condom so it can look slightly dodgy carrying these in your handbag. Just saying...
The second is the Targeted Eye Remover Swabs. I can assure you that these pre-soaked cotton buds do not actually remove your eye but are great for clearing up any eyeshadow/mascara mistakes. But your eyes will remain intact.
I picked up 3 more pairs of the Huda Beauty lashes-this is becoming an expensive addiction. I bought another pair of Giselle which are my favourites, plus a pair of Samantha (which Aimee wore and you can see them on her instagram and they looked fricking amazing) and a pair of the Farah mink lashes. Dubai Mall definitely has the best range of lashes but the lowest stock levels.
The lipgloss which is stood up is another of the Sephora Matte Cream lip stains and this is in the shade Pink Souffle. I really like these lip stains-they're comfortable and long lasting and don't flake off my lips (I'm looking at you Anastasia liquid lipsticks).
The other Sephora product is the MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio in the shade Light 01. I bought this for my god daughter Leah when she was visiting me in Dubai recently and I really liked the way it swatched so I went back and got one for me. It's highly unlikely I will use the individual shades in this palette-I will just stick a fluffy brush in, swirl around and apply to my cheeks.
I picked up the newly formulated Dior Forever foundation. I remember really liking the old version and this seems to be doing the rounds on youtube at the moment and looks to be a relatively full coverage, buildable, matte-ish foundation which is pretty much where my heart lies.
There's also an Essie polish snuck in there-it's from the cashmere matte collection and is called All Eyes on Nudes. This is the only matte polish I have over owned and I actually like how chic this looks on the nails without looking like I have Tippex-d them.
Two 're-stocks'-the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel which is a HG product for me and the Sephora Colorful Eyeshadow and Liner stick in the shade Taupe. I recently included this in my current favourites post and it's an amazing crease-proof eyeshadow stick that I use almost daily.
In the middle you see the much coverted and hard to come by Huda Beauty lip liner in the shade Icon. Sarah, Aimee and I tried to get these in 3 different Sephora's when they launched to no avail. We were casually browing Sephora Marina Mall when we saw a sales associate walk across the store with 4 of these in her hand, followed by 3 Lebanese girls. I swear I swooped in, literally plucking three from her hands before anyone could stop me and victorious, I marched to the counter proclaiming to Sarah and Aimee I had got us all one. We didn't even swatch it lol! The shade is actually a very wearable deep nude/berry. I'll get a review up asap as I know there is a lot of hype around these at the moment.
Another re-stock is the Sephora Express Nail Polish remover which is one of those 'dip your finger in' nail polish removers. I have been having a lot of gel manicures recently because they're so fuss free but they're really bad for your nails (plus I own about a million nail polishes) so I am trying to get back into doing my own nails. But I needed a refill on nail polish remover and I really like this one.
I had swatched the Burberry Eye Colour Contour stick in store and fell in love with Rosewood-even though it is the exact same shade as the pressed powder eyeshadow in the same name (which I own) The eye colour contour stick is the same concept as the By Terry Ombre Blackstar/Trish McEvoy 24hr Eyeshadow and Liner stick/Laura Mercier Caviar Stick style of cream eyeshadow sticks and the formula of this is quite nice. I don't think the shade is actually anything special on my eyes though. I wore it recently when we went for a swanky afternoon tea but I didn't honestly love it.
Lastly I picked up 3 more Sephora single eyeshadows, yes yes I am a little addicted. This started because Kirsty bought and swatched Fashion Blogger on her blog and that immediately went onto my wishlist, and then when I was in store I ended up throwing two more in my basket. It's easy to do. I love the formula of these and have a Z palette full of them. They're really good value, the colour pay off and longevity is excellent, they're super easy to depot-and the pans are magnetised so literally pop straight into a Z palette or similar.
So that's my latest purchases-what would you like to see reviewed first?
Let me know if you've been to or live in Dubai and I have forgotten any of the brands that might be of interest to make up loving visitors!