Operation Desert Rogue Part 4: The Loot! What Did I Buy in Dubai? (Photo Attaaaaack!)

Greetings from under a pile of desert dust and lipsticks, fellow rogues!

Welcome back to Part 4 of the chronicle of this rogue’s desert adventures! This time it’s the big reveal, the grand enlootening (totally a word. Source: because I said so)! If you’re interested in the previous instalments in this series, I have for you:

Part 1, my travel/desert makeup extravaganza

Part 2, my travel/desert skincare tips

Part 3, my Duty Free makeup exclusives photobomb

OK, ok, I know, I’m being a loot tease. I’ve made you all wait far too long for this, the grand revelation of what a rogue does when she’s exposed to reasonably priced makeup and large Sephoras. However, before I get underway with this, I want to clarify a couple of things. Firstly, I’m not calling this a haul, because I’m embarrassed enough already at the fact that I have just bought more makeup in the space of one week than I have in a good chunk of my entire history of wearing makeup. I know I planned for it, and saved up for it, and drew the line well under my theoretical budget, but rogues of Middle Earth are not usually the ones indulging in such pleasurable frivolity. We leave that to the bards, and the paladin when you’ve gotten a couple of strong meads into him. Secondly, I was almost appallingly lucky while shopping – not only was the stuff half the price normally that it is in Middle Earth, but Dubai is/was in the throes of a massive sale *everywhere*, and I met a lovely fellow antipodean amongst the Sephora SAs who gave me her (generous!) staff discount (critical hit!). Seriously, people. I could not have rolled more natural 20s while using my ‘Take My Money’ encounter power, and I am profoundly grateful.

Lastly, almost all of my Dubai makeup shopping intel was provided by the lovely, beautiful and faultlessly generous Stacey from Expat Make Up Addict. Her blog. Go. Now. Enjoy. ❀ ❀

Right, with the chitchat out of the way, let’s get onto the main battle. What did I shake down the Sephora Skeletons, Mikyajy Minotaurs and Boots Bugbears for after the melee was over? (Note: Swatches are coming, but this is such a photo heavy post I wanted to just start with all the items themselves)



Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Behold, The Loot Cometh.


Right, so this is the lot. All the things. Everything I could shake out of the risen dead. I can’t tell if this is a lot by most (beauty blog reading) peoples’ standards, but by golly it looks like half a department store to me. >__< It looks like the floor of our lodgings after we let Sigryn the warrior loose with her savings in The Dwarven Extreme Weaponry Emporium, only with lipsticks and polishes instead of maces and halberds.

Where was I? Oh yes, let’s start with Laura:


Laura Mercier Laura's Secret Volume 6 - Lipstick in Antique Pink, Lip Pencil in Plumberry and Lip Glace in Blush

Laura Mercier Laura’s Secret Volume 6 – Lipstick in Antique Pink, Lip Pencil in Plumberry and Lip Glace in Blush


Laura Mercier was one of the brands that I was most keen to get my rogueish little mitts on, and I was not disappointed. Honestly, I wanted to buy the whole counter. In duplicate. However, I limited (hah) myself to three ‘items’. The first was the box you can see in the first photo – it’s the Laura’s Secret Volume 6 – Pout Perfecting Lip Trio in Creme Pinks (huff, wheeze) set, which includes a full size lipstick in Antique Pink, a mini lip pencil in Plumberry and a mini Lip Glace in Blush. I decided to go for this option because it allows me to try out several of LM’s lip products at once, and I decided to go for this colour set because it seemed eminently wearable. In any case, the only other set they had was one of warm reds, which isn’t really my best shade. I do really like that the lipstick is full size, and I’m not much of a lip pencil wearer at the best of times, so a mini of that is good for me.


Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst and Eyeshadow in African Violet

Go for the eyes, Boo! Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst and Eyeshadow in African Violet


These are purdy. As previously mentioned on Twitter, I blame Sunny for the caviar stick. Wretched adventuress was right about how awesome these are, too. I knew I had to get my hands on African Violet somehow, and although I was tempted by many palettes and sets (African Violet is to LM what Orgasm is to NARS, it seems), in the end I decided to preserve my pennies (er, Emirati fils) and just go for the shadow single. The sales assistant at Galeries Lafayette (in Dubai Mall, wrap yer geography around that one) was incredibly sweet, and tossed in s generous sample of:


Laura Mercier Makeup Primer

The primer! I hear this is all the rage with the kids these days – any thoughts, anyone?


I am mildly primer-impaired (in that they all seem to work about the same on me), but I’m interested to try another one, and of course I am all about the samples (which were not much in evidence in Dubai, truth be told – not that I can exactly complain about the deals I did get!).

Moving swiftly onward, we have the results of an unpanned raid on Boots!


Barry M Dazzle Dust in  #51 Mushroom

Barry M Dazzle Dust in #51 Mushroom.


Can I just say, this was absolutely impossible to capture the colour of accurately. In real life, it’s a bit less grey/purple, and a bit more brown/taupe. Maddening. In any case, I can probably best describe it as a lavender taupe. The name confuses me a bit every time I see it, as I’m stuck on UD’s Mushroom. Still, this looked to good to miss amongst the (frankly) ruins of the drugstore makeup alcoves. Seriously, it looked like a horde of orc teenagers had just passed through. There was a Bourjois alcove, and I wanted to get me some of those new lipglosses so tantalizingly dangled before us by Melissa and Stacey, but the display had been trashed – the only thing left was one sad looking one in a brownish orange colour that I am certain would not have worked for me. Next time!


Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Water

The one. The only. It’s…water? SPECIAL WATER, SYL! MAGICAL WATER!


Come on, I had to. No true fangirl of Lisa Eldridge (*points to self*) can go past a display of these without picking up something! I got the little travel size, partly because the large one is really quite large (given the size of the kitbag I had brought with me) and I don’t yet technically know if it works for me. But I’m super excited to try it, that’s for sure! Interestingly, although they also have the ‘blue’ range from Bioderma (the sensitive one?), the ‘pink’ range is the only one they have the cleansing water for. Random. Funnily enough, this little Boots chest was the first one I opened in Dubai – the pharmacy was at the entrance of Deira City Centre Mall, the first shopping place I visited in the UAE. Awww.

Next! Back in Dubai Mall, we’re cruising past the Inglot store…


Inglot Freedon System two Pan Palette with Blue (#95) and Purple (#99) lipsticks



The INGLOT store in Dubai mall is large, clean and incredibly tantalising. You go in, and immediately feel a combination of ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘OMG I am such a wizard with makeup, you guys, look at all the colours I’m gonna use’. The very versatility, scope and exoticism of the selection makes you feel sophisticated and artistic just for walking in, even as you break into a kind of a fever sweat while deciding what to get. So here’s the thing. In this post, you will see many lipsticks. Many of those lipsticks are an inoffensive pink shade. This is because if I’m going to spend a bit of money trying different (and mostly comparatively high-end) brands, then the stuff needs to be something I can wear every day. The soul of a rogue, however, demands something a bit more daring sometimes. If this thing is bold and purple, bonus points are earned. If you’re gonna get purple lipstick anywhere, INGLOT can definitely hook you up. The result? I chose a two pan freedon palette and filled it with lipsticks #95 (a deep lavender) and #99 (a blurple, more purple than it’s showing here, but still with strong blue overtones). Purple glittery rogue heart = satisfied.

With the purple out of the way (and yes, I tried Illamasqua, but to my great distress, it had been completely looted already – no teal lipstick, no purple, no dark blue left :-(. The SAs were lovely, though) we move on to my forays into local makeup, with Mikyajy and Bassam Fattouh!


Ana Hilwa (Mikyajy) Lipsticks (Al-Ahsa, Dammam, Tarut, Riyadh) and Gloss (Bahah)

Mikyajy loot – Ana Hilwa lipsticks and gloss. So. Excited. About. These. Also, adorably twee heart embossing.


What you see before you, fellow adventurers, is possibly one of the most exciting parts of my entire loot collection. One thing I really wanted to do in Dubai was find some more local makeup. Sure, I was gonna raid the Sephora for all the brands that don’t exist/are unaffordable in Middle Earth, but I really wanted to see what the Emirati girl on a budget was packing! Mikyajy is a makeup store decorated in candy coloured stripes that stocks several different ‘lines’ of makeup. For example, there’s one called 24K which is the ‘luxury’ end of their stock (although still at an affordable price point in general terms), there are a couple of others that didn’t excite me, and then there was Ana Hilwa. The name means ‘I am pretty’ (essentially) in Arabic, and everything comes packaged in very solid, rather nice acrylic. Basic, but with crystal clarity and it actually has more heft than a Chanel lipstick! They were having a sale: 5 items for AED 49 (~USD 13, NZD 15, ffs…), so I snapped up four lipsticks and a gloss. They also had foundation (guaranteed not my shade, as is to be expected for a non-vampire country), eyeliners (heavily pillaged – Emirati ladies know their eyeliner, dammit), and blushes (meh, I’m a lipstick rogue!) that I could see. I grabbed the colours that I thought might suit me; the items are all named for Arabian cities, and I have: 01 Riyadh, A medium bright pink, 03 Dammam, a deep berry pink, 13 Al-Ahsa, a red pink, 14 Tarut, a warm pink, and 08 Bahah, a hot pink translucent lipgloss with a troll-load of really quite large gold/iridescent glitter *and* fine shimmer. Rockin’ the glitter like it’s 1999, baby!

Progressing up the higher end of local makeup, we make a foray into Bassam Fattouh…


Bassam Fattouh Lipstick Rosa Antico

A Bassam Fattouh lipstick – some of the nicest packaging I’ve seen in a while, this brand has (#unintentionalyodamoment).


I’d like to take this opportunity to give Bassam (who is a gentleman, a lebanese makeup artist to be specific) full credit for the packaging of his makeup line. It is to local cosmetics what theBalm or perhaps Benefit is to America – lovely artwork, although leaning toward dreamy ’30s arabesque rather than sassy ’40s-’60s. There is the usual assortment of lipsticks, eyeliners, blushes etc and you can find some rather nice looking eyeshadow quads. The only problem I had was that every counter I visited was *deserted*. The BF MUA (OMG? SRS.) always seemed to be ‘on break’ for some reason, even though every other counter in the store (Debenhams) was manned (or womaned), by someone. I managed to coerce a Dior MUA into helping me out (man was she ever reluctant – I don’t think they get the comission if it’s not their brand or something), and escaped with one lipstick – Rosa Antico. Now, there’s something rather nifty about these lipsticks…


Bassam Fattouh Lipstick Rosa Antico

Surprise! Usually things popping open in unexpected ways is bad news for adventurers, but here it’s only profit, people.


…the top of the lipstick cap pops open to reveal a mirror and some lip balm! SO CUTE. I love things like this, seriously. Although I have yet to test the lip balm, and although the mirror is *miniscule*, I still love this concept. But you want to see the actual lipstick right? Here she is:


Bassam Fattouh Lipstick Rosa Antico

Yes, another inoffensive pink. There was an awesome bright shade (called Chicago, I think?) but it was out of stock…


Even the lipstick tube has pretty, girly patterns on it. Sometimes, amidst the hoards of (admittedly sleek) plain black or gold packaging, you just want a candy pink lipstick tube with butterflies and flowers on it. Well, I do, anyway. Then I can go back to my INGLOT industrial chic ;-).

Speaking of Debenhams:


Nailstation Paris nail polish in First Dance

BlurrrrrrrSPARKLE! πŸ˜€


What you see in this rather shamefully blurry photo is one third of the first true cosmetic impulse purchase of my life. When I was getting my Bassam Fattouh lipstick, there was a large display of Nailstation polishes near the cash register. They were on epic sale (I think AED 25 each?), and although I knew (and, frankly, still know) absolutely nothing about the brand, I grabbed the first three my eyes were drawn to: First Dance, a Mentos purple with turquoise microshimmer, Coeur de Paris, a HOT pink (almost neon, but not quite), and Cocorico, an eggshell blue with very, very faint white pearl. Colours I wouldn’t actually normally buy, but that captured my guilty, impulse-buying little heart. I should mention here that I don’t regret anything except the terrible blurriness of the photos I took. You can see them in the first photo, and you will be able to see the other two colours in the polish photo below, but I will take new, better ones for the actual review post, I promise.


Righty ho, adventurers, we’re pressing ever onward, entering the dark realms of…Sephora… (actually the store is quite brightly lit in the Dubai mall, and open on two sides, but work with me here). First up is some more polish:


Nailstation Paris nail polish in coeur de paris and cocorico

Formula X by Sephora polish in Magma, and the other two Nailstation polishes I mentioned above!


Before I get into the Formula X polish, let me just mention that you can see the other two Nailstation ones here – the pink Coeur de Paris and the blue Cocorico. Neither has photographed quite true to colour – I suspect Coeur de Paris is the kind of hot colour that will never photograph quite right, but hopefully next time I will capture the slightly more dreamy, eggshelly quality of Cocorico – it’s looking rather plain here!

Anyway, back to the Sephora stuff: first stand inside the door was the huge, new, brightly coloured Formula X one, and I was drawn to it like a magnet. After all the awesomeness I had seen on Temptalia, I knew at least one would be coming home with me. To my own surprise, the shade in question turned out to be Magma (I *defy* you to say that in your head without it coming out in Dr Evil’s intonation) – I passed over pretty turquoises and hot glittery pinks to settle on a textured, gold shot orange. What can I say? I’ve been lusting after an orange polish for a while, and Chanel Holiday is more expensive and less sparkly ;-).


Sephora Magnetic Travel Brush Set

Sephora Magnetic Travel Brush Set Thingy – the shaft pulls apart and re-stacks much like those multi-colour/multi nib pencils you had as a child did…


I felt I really needed to invest in at least one brush while I was in the land of affordable cosmetics, but my natural stinginess in that area led me to opt for a multi-brush (even though I have no idea how good these brushes are, relatively speaking). What they are, however, is affordable, cute and varied. You get an angled liner brush, a snudge brush and a crease brush. I don’t have *super* high hopes for the crease brush (it’s soft but quite skinny compared to things like the MAC 217), but the angled liner and smudge brushes look rather spiffy. You can stack them up in any order you like, so you can hold the whole thing instead of the little individual segment. Full disclosure: I did spend an almost indecent amount of time fondling the beautiful, soft and dense kabuki and blush brushes at Sephora, but just couldn’t pull the trigger for some reason. Next time!


Sephora Colorful Matte Eyeshadow in Cashmere Coat #50

Mmmm, taupey brown. Exciting! ^_^


Next up is a Sephora brand eyeshadow single in #50, Cashmere Coat. It’s a matte, cool, taupey brown shade. I can hear you aready: ‘SYL! Where are the shimmering turquoises and vibrant purples?! You got off to such a promising start with African Violet, and now look at you…’. Fear not, friends, I have not abandoned my love for bright, shimmery eyeshadows. In fact, I’m not really interested in this as an eyeshadow at all. I want to try it as a contour! I’m super pale, I’m cool toned, and I don’t have access to Nyx Taupe or Illamasqua Hollow (yep, out of stock). I thought: why not? If it doesn’t work as a contour, my eyeshadow life can only be fortified by a matte taupe basic shade, right?



Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara Waterproof

Mascara! That is all.


Staying within the Sephora brand, we have their Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara in (Black) Waterproof flavour. As I have mentioned previously, mascara and I have a ‘meh’ kind of relationship. I do genuinely appreciate its qualities, but I’ve never been precisely wowed by one so it’s not something I invest in, usually (I survive mainly on free samples). However, my mascara (sample) ran out while I was in Sharjah, so I seized on this as an affordable replacement that would be interesting to try. I shall let you know shortly how ‘extreme’ it turns out to be!

Now for the big guns…


Lancome Lip Lover in 321 Rose Contretemps, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #17 Rose in Tension, Givenchy Le Rouge in 302 Hibiscus Exclusif and Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in 108 Have We Met?

Lancome Lip Lover in 321 Rose Contretemps, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #17 Rose in Tension, Givenchy Le Rouge in 302 Hibiscus Exclusif and Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in 108 Have We Met?

I listed the shades in the caption, so all I really have left to say is HNNNGHRGH!

Yes, that is the noise I make when I have luxury lipsticks to try. It is not an elegant noise, so I try to internalise it, but the lovely Sephora SA could see the manic gleam in my eye. It’s honestly unreasonable how excited I get about nice lipsticks. I don’t even want to own every shade of a line, I juat want to bask in the tactile and aesthetic pleasure of a lovely lipstick. Schmancy packaging is also appreciated, so high fives to all four of these companies for buttons, filigree, leather and all manner of embellishment. I would like to state here that I blame Christine for the Givenchy and the Marc Jacobs particularly, and Sunny again for the Lancome. But fret not, ladies, it’s a big balloon of blame filled with love and appreciation for your beautiful, comprehensive and drool-worthy reviews πŸ˜‰

Going off on tangents again!! Here are the bullets (the lancome is a gloss the same colour as you can see on the front of the packaging – a peachy pink with superfine gold sparkle):


Lancome Lip Lover in 321 Rose Contretemps, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #17 Rose in Tension, Givenchy Le Rouge in 302 Hibiscus Exclusif and Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in 108 Have We Met?

Marc Jacobs Have We Met? and YSL Rose in Tension


Have We Met? is a peachy pink with fine gold microshimmer (are you noticing a trend here?), whereas YSL Rose in Tension is a deep, plummy pink. I actually went to the YSL counter with a coral or a nude pink in mind, but fell in love with this one after randomly swatching it. I confess, I also wanted to get the purple one (#1..?_, as I was impressed by how purple it actually is, but even in Dubai, even with Sephora staff discount, YSL lipsticks are still pretty darn expensive ;-)) Next time, I will have it – I have a purple lipstick collection to maintain, after all!


Lancome Lip Lover in 321 Rose Contretemps, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #17 Rose in Tension, Givenchy Le Rouge in 302 Hibiscus Exclusif and Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in 108 Have We Met?

Givenchy Hibiscus Exclusif. Feast your eyes, adventurers.


GORGEOUS CORALNESS. In all honesty, I’m in two minds about the whole ‘leather’ packaging thing. On the one hand, it’s nice that if you buy an expensive lipstick, you get a little more than black plastic, and the design is very chic. On the other hand, I’ve never felt that lipsticks really needed *leather* jackets, and the very thin layer here dings up something wicked if you’re not careful. But all random niggling aside, I don’t want anything to detract from the GORGEOUS CORALNESS, so… uh yeah. CORALNESS.

Now, on the subject of big players, I made one last purchase at the very end of my trip – in Dubai Al Maktoum airportlet Duty Free, as a matter of fact. I hadn’t intended to buy anything more (despite being under budget, as it were), but when I realised that with Dubai Duty Free prices, these three cost essentially the same as ONE does in Middle Earth, I knew it was finally time for my introduction to…


Guerlain Rouge Automatique Travel Exclusive Set (Nahema, Roselip, Champs Elysees)



Yes, that is a set of three full size Guerlain Rouge Automatique lipsticks. I was idling by the tiny Guerlain shelf (it’s a small airport, not the main one), and this set caught my eye. Then the price did, and said eye widened in astonishemnt. Then the eye wandered over the word ‘Nahema’, and the deal was done. I’m forced to send yet another (heart filled, of course) blame balloon to Sunny for making the coral beauty of Nahema famous to me. But where are my manners? The actual lispticks, of course:


Guerlain Rouge Automatique Travel Exclusive Set (Nahema, Roselip, Champs Elysees)

Top Left: Nahema. Top Right: Champs Elysees. Lower: Roselip


There’s not much more to say really. The gorgeousness in the photo pretty much says it all, and this is the end of my epic loot post! Stay tuned for swatches and reviews to come (any opinions on that, by the way? One giant full swatch ‘sneak peek’ post and then individual reviews, or just swatches in the individual review?). If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over in this corner, surrounded by lipsticks, ceaselessly opening and closing the absolutely spiffing Rouge Automatique packaging. Better that bubble wrap, these…also, I’m sure there’s a ‘Rogue Automatique’ joke to be made in the forthcoming review post. Remind me, won’t you?


Did you make it to the end? Congratulations! Yours is truly the fortitude of the seasoned adventurer! So – do you have any of these? What do you think about the loot I ended up with? What would you have splurged (or saved!) on?

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided! All images and text on this blog are the property of The Painted Rogue unless otherwise stated. If you purloin anything, all your lipsticks will get sweaty and slimy. If you don’t wear lipsticks, then your undies will. Permanently.


60 thoughts on “Operation Desert Rogue Part 4: The Loot! What Did I Buy in Dubai? (Photo Attaaaaack!)

  1. OMG, this all is so gorgeous, well I’m not too much makeup person, but let’ me say, I envy you.
    Particularly lipsticks; transparent case of Ana Hilwa lipsticks, cute and the Bassam little mirror with bonus lip-balm ah gorgeous! Also three Guerlain at price of one, congrats! πŸ™‚


    • Hehe, thanks πŸ˜‰ The Bassam mirror/lipbalm thing is just TOO CUTE. I mean, I was already kind of sold on the ‘local makeup’ and ‘pretty packaging’ angles, but as soon as I saw the extra gadgetry, I was all “MUST FIND A SHADE!” πŸ˜€


  2. This is perhaps the most epic non-haul haul post I’ve seen. I don’t even know where to begin. Do I want to see swatches of everything and see more pretty pictures – YES! I am also now crazy interested in Bassam Fattouh. I must learn more about this brand!

    Eighteen lip products, five eye products, four nail polishes, and not a single blush. You’re a rogue with priorities.


    • What can I say? To thine own self be true, as Polonius advises. πŸ˜‰ Definitely check out Bassam Fattouh though! I wish I could have gotten a bit more of that line, but every lipstick I was intrigued by was out of stock except this one!

      Not gonna lie, my loot is all still grouped together on the table, and every time I look at it I get a combined feeling of ‘happy loot butterflies’ and ‘mild guilty overindulgence nausea’. Obviously, the happy butterflies win, but I’m more used to ‘one lipstick ‘hauls”… πŸ˜›


  3. Eeee GREAT haul, Syl! I have some pieces here, and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!!! I can’t wait to see the new Givenchy Le Rouge shades. I have spotted some CORALS in the line-up that I might need πŸ˜‰


    • OMG, the corals. Interestingly, not all the new Givenchy shades that I saw Christine review appeared in the Givenchy counters in Dubai…I’m not too familiar with the brand, so I could be missing something, but I was expecting more corals to be there than actually were!

      I’m already loving Amethyst, and just as soon as my cold/sinus infection is properly over, Nahema and I will be spending some quality time together… πŸ˜‰


  4. Aaahhh, I’m overwhelmed by all the pretty! Especially that Bassam Fattouh packaging. I’d never heard of the brand, but I think it rivals Paul & Joe for utter loveliness. The illustration on the box reminds me of ’60s book covers! And the mini mirror and lip balm–too cute. <3_<3 Other favorites: the Inglot purple lip palette, the set of Rouge Automatiques (Champs-Elysees looks like the perfect red-pink), and the sparklicious Ana Hilwa gloss. Obviously I zeroed in on the lip products, but you know what that's like. πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I thought about picking up a Barry M glitter pot when I was in England! I decided my lifestyle wasn't glittery enough to warrant it, but I was sorely tempted.

    As for organizing the swatches…hmm. Of course I'd love to read individual reviews with swatches, but that would be a lot of work! I suppose the posts could be grouped by brand or type of product, though.


    • That’s why I thought I might do a swatch post, then full reviews for each (with things like the Ana Hilwa lipsticks as a set, etc). I don’t want to burn through all by blog fodder in one go, but I don’t want to string people along endlessly! Oh the trials of blog scheduling… πŸ˜›

      I knew you would understand my lipstick fetish *tips hat* Also, no-one’s life (except possibly Elton John’s) is glittery enough. I can’t recommend the Dazzle Dust until I’ve actually road tested it (blogger – and academic? – integrity!), but I’m always of the view that more glitter can’t be bad. πŸ˜‰

      Aha! Paul & Joe. I knew there was another brand I was thinking of!!


  5. Holy Mega Haul, what have you done to yourself! Hahaha. Actually it didn’t surprise me at all. I knew it was going to be epic!!!

    You really saved the best for last, didn’t ya Syl! THAT Guerlain Rouge Automatique lipstick set!! OMG! I WANT!!! What a great deal! I’m super jel right now! 😦

    I want to hear your thoughts on them of course, and on the LM Amethyst! I’ve been using mine like every single day seriously. I can’t get enough of it.


    • I couldn’t resist experimenting with the Amethyst, after what you all said about it, and I love it πŸ˜€ All thoughts will be aired in the coming weeks!

      I nearly fainted when I saw how good a deal that Guerlain set was. I mean, I knew things would be better over there, but some of the price differences just really hit me! I’m still kind of in shock, though. I really never bought that much…well, of anything really (except maybe fruit…or throwing daggers) at once in my life!


  6. As a former academic brat, I really do understand the shakes a young academic feels any time she deviates from the abstemious life of coffee and a stack of university library books–with one single book buried in the stack just about to be overdue (reminding you once again that you really ought to devise a system to keep up with books to be renewed). So, with this in mind, I wanted to point out that I was struck by how thoughtfully-chosen these items are. They all look like colors and products that you will really use.


    • Aww, thanks πŸ™‚ You hit the nail on the head with the academic abstemiousness! You really feel (or, I should say, are trained to feel) that you should be ‘above’ all that consumerist nonsense (unless, perhaps, there’s new lab equipment in the offing). But then I see purple or coral lipstick and my eyeballs turn into cartoon style pulsing love hearts, and I remember that ivory towers are terrible things, really.

      I tried to be quite careful (even with the $3 Ana Hilwa stuff!) to get things that I knew I would be able to use, because I *cannot stand* having stuff collecting dust. The only thing I really just ‘collect’ (in the sense of not using it very often) is purple lipstick, but there aren’t so many of those in the world to worry about, and, like the YSL one I held off on, there’s always another day πŸ™‚

      Also, you just reminded me that I do indeed have a book about to be overdue, so thanks! πŸ˜€


      • Glad to have reminded you of the library book: in parochial school, I kept out a copy of Jane Eyre for nearly two years–couldn’t stand the thought of parting with Jane, despite mounting fines. (Thank goodness for an understanding English professor mother who well knew the dangerous grip by the Bronte sisters on the female adolescent mind.) So, if I keep others from my poor example… On a more cosmetic note, I think you’ll find the Laura Mercier stuff serious workhorses, truly earning their keep. The Beauty Professor and I once eulogized over LM’s discontinued Baby Lips lip gloss. Every LM piece I’ve ever had I’ve used up to the last particle, no hyperbole.


      • I’m certainly loving what i’ve tried so far! It’s almost a ‘this is amazing! …dammit’ situation – in a weird way you almost don’t want it to be so awesome because you know it’ll be hard to get if you use something up and want more…

        You know, I never read Jane Eyre (was more of an Austen child) until a year or so ago! The only Bronte I’d read was Villette (for an essay on the gothic novel), but then I went after a whole bunch. I think the biggest jolt was actually Wuthering Heights – I’d always had the impression of it being ‘dramatic’, but I had no idea that the main characters were such utterly awful people πŸ˜€ Great story, mind you!


  7. Woah!! Good job Syl! I am so proud of you! πŸ˜€ Such an amazing loot!! The guerlain lipsticks are so pretty! God they are so bloody expensive I cannot even think of getting those but just look at the bullet! just look at it! GORGEOUS! I have Amethyst from Laura Mercier and its a very pretty complex color! and so great for traveling! I hope Ill get my hands on the formula X nail colors in Sephora at Spain! These look really really pretty! πŸ™‚



    • The Formula X range has a really nice selection!

      Hehe, yeah. I feel like i will never need to buy makeup again! It ‘s actually a nice alternative to the usual ‘can’t have it because it’s too expensive’ schtick. ‘I can’t have it because holy crap look at all the things i need to get through’ is a luxuriously unfamiliar sensation!


  8. Holy smokes :-O Now THIS is what a call a haul, damn girl! You really went all out. I LOVE everything you got seriously. I know you wanted to get even more, but still, what you were able to find is pretty damn awesome πŸ™‚ And you got your hands on Inglot, aaaaaah! We just got our first Inglot store here in Switzerland so it’s just a matter of time until my first Inglot haul πŸ™‚ I’m actually posting an Inglot-related article tomorrow.


    • So exciting! Hehe – Inglot snap! Wish i could have gotten a much bigger palette with all the green and blue lipsticks too, but since I didn’t know if I’d like the formula I thought it best to be conservative and stick with purple! (What an odd sentence that is – conservative purple lipstick!) πŸ˜‰

      And yes, although there’s always more I would have liked to get, I think doing so would have actually caused me to implode with shame πŸ˜› And imploded rogues are messy to clean up, you know.


    • Aren’t they gorgeous? One part if me wants to hate them for making it look like play makeup, but then the rest of me tells her to stop being a grinch and bask in the cute πŸ˜€ and yes, I can’t go past a great MLBB pink, much as I love my bright purples!


  9. Eep! I don’t even know where to start. Love the look of the local makeup. Have you seen the piece on Into the Gloss about makeup from the Doha Souq? So much insight.

    Arrrrrgh that Formula X!!


    • I know, right? I kind of just like to stare at it, and turn it over and over in the light. What can I say? A rogue and her sparkly things!

      I have not seen that article! I must find it! I remember taking an interest in the makeup stalls in the local market in Fes, Morocco. That market is the real deal, the raw, crowded, beautiful chaos where the locals shop. The makeup was fascinating, especially the rouge and kohl, but I was too nitpicky about sanitation (not exactly factory-packaged, heh) to buy anything. I regret it, actually – even if i didn’t use the stuff, it would have been interesting to have!


  10. So many goodies! I sense a strong leaning towards lippies, and I would do the same πŸ˜‰ I look forward to the swatching, show-offing, and further envy-inducing posts! πŸ™‚ I have had that same LM caviar stick in my sephora online bag, waiting for that next purchase! Maybe I should add african violet too. Enjoy all the fun!


    • Hehe, thanks! I am enjoying myself immensely πŸ™‚ hopefully I’ll be able to help you decide about Amethyst and African Violet ( although I’m hardly the first to post about them) when I get mah swatch on!

      My love for lipsticks knows no bounds. I think they’re the easiest, best and most comfortable kind of makeup to wear!


    • Hehe, it certainly was exciting to be able to try so many things, and see so many things, and know that I actually stood a chance of taking some with me, LOL! Swatches are in the works – part of the problem with being a lipstick addict is that you (well, I) can’t really do epic swatching sessions to make things faster, because it absolutely destroys your lips! πŸ˜›


  11. Ugh, Syl, I am dying of envy as I’m reading thru this post. You got the best loot here! African Violet, Givenchy, Guerlain. I can’t wait for your thoughts on these!


    • Hehe, thanks! Don’t die though! Your recent blog posts on that MAC alluring aquatic stuff were doing the same to me πŸ˜‰ I might not be a huge fan of MAC< but that packaging was really to die for!


    • Indeed it is! I’m working my way through reviewing and swatching things properly, so everything is still in a glorious but guilt-inducing pile on my table. πŸ˜‰ Pleasingly, things have been just as great/wearable as I expected so far!


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  22. Heyyy I just found your blog I lived in Dubai for a while, i had to get souvenirs before i packed up and out. It’s too freaking hot in June or July whenever you went, it hope it wasn’t during Ramadan that’s just my opinion. I thought it was hilarious the cheapo makeup had names… I got a Dubai and sharjah blush and a heap of lipsticks too I doubt I’ll ever use! I got two of those bassam lippies the same one you got and one called Haifas lips, I think they were 100 Dhs each. I never saw first dance though but sad I missed the sale lol!


    • Hi Malia! Welcome to the Painted Rogue!

      It was during June that I was in Dubai, and it was indeed hot! It wasn’t humid though, so I’ll quite happily stand outside in the heat, in full covered clothing. I have an interesting body thermostat, in that sense. As soon as it’s humid as well, I die!

      I wanted to try the Hiafa’s lips shade, but sadly it was out of stock where I was! I’m still getting around to trying my Bassam lipstick – curse of the blogger is that you want to photograph it while it’s still pristine!


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