Duty Free Shopping – captive in the departure lounge

Being an expat sees me traveling on planes quite a lot as I move between the sandpit and the U.K, visiting family and friends. Also, being into makeup, perfumes and cosmetics, spending a lot of time waiting for flights means a lot of time browsing (buying) said makeup, perfumes and cosmetics in Duty Free. However, is Duty Free a makeup lovers haven, or is it a no mans land of cute little travel sized items that we actually never really use in our daily routine? A question I feel it is time to attempt to answer.

So today, as I handed over my boarding pass at terminal 3 of LHR and passed through the magical security doors into my duty free state of euphoria, I paused and decided to actually think before I dropped my hard earned cash on another Benefit mini or MAC travel palette. I made a list of products I actually want to purchase from seeing reviews and ‘looks’ online, and decided to stick to the list. If duty free didn’t have the product, I wasn’t buying it. Granted, my husband rolled his eyes at my declaration at 4.30am in the taxi, but I was adamant this was happening.

Rounding the corner into the departure lounge I came face to face with my friends of old … Dior you tantalizing creature, luring me in with your sparkling gorgeousness. Next door, Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle tempting me with its little bow and sleek loveliness. Nope, not today. Not even a glance … well maybe a little spray just to take the edge off.

I had 4 things on my list, and by golly I was going to get them.

First stop, Benefit. I have read so much about the Hoola contour stick and I have the traditional Hoola bronzer, and love it. It is a daily go to for work. Adds just the right amount of bronze, and contouring with it is pretty fool proof. I could only imagine that the stick will have the same amount of coverage and colour pigmentation but with the creamy texture that I am currently enjoying with the Iconic London pigment sticks. I have a few of these and love them. Working with a cream contour can sometimes be a little tricky if you are not used to it. It can be unforgiving when blending if you put too much on, but the pigment sticks have more control I find. It is just like using a giant crayon to colour your skin in. I love it! So, my excitement to try the Hoola in a stick was palpable. Number 1 on my list purchased and I know I am going to use it. Granted the sales assistant did her job and I nearly ended up with some mascara and a brow kit (I have microbladed brows, so we know that would never be used). I will use the Hoola stick and post on its progress in another blog.

Second stop on my list was NARS. I really wanted to get my hands on the Man Ray Veil Cheek palette. However, this shopping list item was sadly not to be. Those of you that have been through terminal 3 at LHR recently will know they are refurbishing. So some of the concession stands aren’t available at present. One of them, being NARS. So no palette for me. Yes, I drifted past the Urban Decay stand and eyed a couple of their palettes. The Heavy Metals one caught the magpie eye in me. My husband usefully reminded me at this point of my 4.30am declaration in the taxi. After thanking him sweetly, I backed away, mentally storing the palette in my brain to furiously google on YouTube later. I am not sure if I need so much metallics in my life at this point, I’ll keep you posted.

So onto number 3 … MAC, here I come. I feel quite a home amongst the monochrome packaging, I know what I want in this shop and all I need to do is steer away from the pretty glittery Holiday 2017 collection packaging and focus on the items I have on my list. The MAC Nylon eyeshadow. A little tiny pot of highlight sweetness that I want to use on my brow bone and corners of my eyes. I’ve also seen seen one of my favourite YouTubers using it on the tip of her nose and cupids bow. It’s a lovely sheen and leaves your skin with a glow that can work in your daily routine. I’m looking forward to trying that out in one of my looks really soon. I’ll post some photos on Instagram (@lifebeginsatbeauty). The other item I really want to try from MAC is their lipstick in ‘really me’. It’s a gorgeous neutral/nude shade in the MAC rich and buttery formula. I have to make a disclaimer at this point and say that the stone lip pencil was also purchased to accompany the lip stick. So, technically I deviated from the list, but it was to enhance the lipstick choice and for that I’m not sorry.

That’s it! My list, bar the NARS palette is purchased and I am happy as I know I’m going to enjoy using them. I’m also going to enjoy sharing my looks created using them.

Overall my experiment with duty free paid off. My next move is to go through my makeup drawers and extract all the rubbish duty free makeup purchases and see if I will ever use it. I think we all know the answer to that one.

Have a great day!