From airport look to holiday outfits, beaches to mountains, restaurants to museums, and even beauty routines – we make sure to keep you updated with the best. But there’s a very enticing thing about going on a holiday, besides the ideas and plans of exploration, relaxation and adventures, which we have missed out on until now. Well, we are talking about the ever so alluring DUTY-FREE at airports. You know, the never-ending aisles of wines and chocolates followed up by the incredibly smelling perfumes and the gleaming beauty section.
Be it slowly meandering through the dreamy beauty section or possibly trying every product available – every one of us has been seduced by that glow and bargains. To be honest, we are really, truly guilty of treating ourselves with the bargains of this tax-free treasure with quite a few of them being absolutely unnecessary. Like that orange-hued lipstick we never used or the beauty balm that just didn’t suit our skin. Therefore, to save you and well, us from the seductions of the duty-free, we asked some of our favourite beauty connoisseurs to share their ultimate make-up and/or skincare buys (and deals) from duty-free. And if you go through their favourites, you’ll realize that the right way to wade through duty-free is only with true cult classics. Other than that you’ll be delighted to know that Giorgio Armani Beauty and Burberry Beauty are exclusively available at Delhi and Mumbai International Airports respectively to satisfy your beauty cravings. Happy Holidays & Happy Shopping!
Nilu Thapa, Content Creator – Big Hair Loud Mouth
“I usually shop for Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (with Pitera) from duty free when I’m travelling because I always find them at a better rate than online and in the countries I’ve visited. I have found Clinique rates to be really good in Malaysia Duty Free. And while SK-II essence was not readily available in Malaysia because of the high demand, but its rate is pretty good in Singapore Duty Free too!”
Akanksha Redhu, Content Creator
“I’m mostly a perfume purchaser at duty free. I always have a Chanel No. 5 lying with me, so whenever its levels start falling below the mid-point, I make sure to pick one up from my next travel. It’s a classic and never goes out of style.”
Lubna Mohsin, Communications Manager – ELC India
“Duty-free and me is the equivalent of a child in a candy store! It’s the best place, in my opinion, to get great deals on gift sets or exclusive offerings. My personal favourite would have to be Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum in a 100 ml size, which is only available at select international airport stores. It’s not only one of my most coveted skincare products but lasts forever too, which is a big win!”
Ambika Muttoo, Editor
“I do a lot of targeted shopping at duty-free, mainly for brands that you don’t get in India. Hong Kong and Singapore duty free is where I will always pick up my favourite Clé de Peau Beauté concealer. I’ll also always look at the Shu Uemura counters, and either pick up the make-up cleansing oil or a new matte lipstick. Another favourite is the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, which is usually available in most duty-free stores. I usually also look out for Sulwhasoo because I love their overnight mask. If I’m travelling towards the East, I’ll usually potter around to try out testers at Fresh, Sisley or Marc Jacobs (if available.) If at Charles De Gaulle (Paris) airport, then I’ll pick up something from Caudalie or the Embryolisse cream.
Natasha Patel, Senior Beauty Editor – Miss Malini
“I usually never buy any product from Indian duty-free. But in case, I do it’s usually drugstore stuff. However, from International ones, I get travel-sized or mini(s), perfumes, eyeliners, and mascaras, especially brands/products that you wouldn’t usually get here. Like I have previously bought Benefit Cosmetics mini(s) of Hoola Bronzer and Benetint, Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, YSL
Volume Effect Faux Cils Mascara and Revlon Volumazing Mascara. And even Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer before it had come to India.”
Armaan Mann, Founder – Dame Essentials
“So, I always pick up my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation at duty-free. Other than that, I have also bought this (hair oil & dry body oil) gift set from Moroccan Oil which is absolutely amazing. And Dubai Airport happens to have a number of limited edition Narciso Rodriguez perfumes such as Amber Musc and Santal Musc, which you normally don’t get anywhere else expect for the Middle East.”
Aanam Chashmawala, Founder & Director – What When Wear
“I always check Dior and Marc Jacobs Beauty products at duty-free. And basically everything we don’t get at Sephora India as of now. Also, fragrances!!”
Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.