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A passport won’t just get you to that ‘fly and flop’ holiday resort you’ve been daydreaming about, I’ll have you know. It’s also your warrant to wangle some of the world’s best beauty products; the gems that simple aren’t available to the general public. The beauty utopia I’m talking about are the fragrant, gleaming aisles of duty-free, and if you have a tendency to dash past it or doubt its glory at the airport, stop right there. Most of us are aware that we can pick up our regular beauty haul at discounted price points in duty-free, but the extent to which beauty brands are innovating and designing covetable, high performance, prestige products specifically for the duty-free market is impressive enough to make the average woman browse the stellar offering until the very last, final, ‘about to remove your baggage from the cargo’ boarding call. To ensure that you actually make it onto the plane, I’ve edited down the makeup exclusives that passed the Maniac approval programme with flying colours...
Wherever your holiday base, your actual base will be primed to bright, dewy, poreless perfection thanks to these ‘little goes a long way’ minis. As far as travel sized products go, Benefit always in excel in teaming up hard-working products that require minimal faff or tools, take up next to no space and despite their borrower proportions last for the long-haul, and beyond. I took a mini Porefessional primer balm to Barcelona last October and it kept up the good work until December, so for cost per wear a set like this is a steal. I’m not sure about the ‘flirty’ aspect, but the combination of Total Moisture Facial Cream to soothe parched, post-sun skin, Porefessional to blur imperfections, That Gal Brightening Face Primer to add radiance, Watt’s Up highlighter to allow you to get your strobe on, Dandelion Face Powder to add soft, youthful colour and Benetint to create a lip stain that’s going nowhere is, indeed, first class.
Benefit First Class Flirts, £20.80, available at World Duty Free
Gone are the days of the hefty travel makeup palette that comes complete with an electric blue eyeshadow, off-brown lipstick and garish blusher that takes you back in time, and not in a good way. The modern travel makeup compact is a marvel to behold; it shrinks your favourite makeup into miniature with no dodgy hues or unwanted bells or whistles. This Givenchy set is particularly futuristic, sleekly equipping you with three ‘floors’ of beauty: the top layer for a glowy base featuring Le Prisme Visage Powder and Le Prisme Blush, the second for ‘come hither’ holiday eyes courtesy of seven mini Le Prisme eyeshadows and the third for definition and finishing touches thanks to sized-down versions of Magic Khôl, Noir Couture Mascara and Lip Gloss. There’s a generously sized mirror in every layer too, so you don’t have to flick between floors. Pure Givenchy genius.
Givenchy Glamour on the Go 3 Step Makeup Palette, £49.50, available at World Duty Free
As previously, classic, simple and purposeful products without any frippery, yet that you can’t acquire anywhere else, are the most in-demand beauty free wares, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this particular set was sold out on your duty-free flight trolley. Makeup oracle Bobbi has streamlined the sexiest eye makeup look known to woman (and man- this would be right up Johnny Depp’s street) into three sooty, intense products, and thrown in a gentle yet efficient Instant Long-Wear Eye Makeup Remover into the mix to save you lugging a vat of less effective stuff with you in the hold. Create dark eyes for hot nights with Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Shadow, Smokey Eye Kajal in Noir and Smokey Eye Mascara Plus, or skip the liner or shadow for a smidge of smoke.
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye in Seconds, £41.65, available at World Duty Free
I’d say that this travel palette is probably the most retro of the bunch, but don’t discard it on account of the less than subtle pink leather wallet case; what lies within is very modern and versatile indeed. I find lipstick the easiest travel and holiday beauty update- short of using the kit mentioned previously, eye makeup can seem a bit fiddly compared to the sudden, complexion enlivening impact of a bright lip. This kit has no less than eight to choose from, saving you from lugging individual bullets around, and the lip brush within ensures that you achieve flawless application whether you opt for a tan-boosting fuschia or day-tripping nude. Add a bronzer and mascara and you’re all set. Talking of bronzer…
YSL Extremely YSL for Lips, £49.70, available at World Duty Free
Speaking of bestsellers, there are no duffs in this duty-free mani medley either. A classic line up graduating from café au lait nude to deep mulberry, the petite sizing of these polishes doesn’t make them any less sophisticated. From a French finish to a gothic, glossy paint job, you can’t go wrong with any of these time-honoured shades, and you also can’t come by this expert edit anywhere else but airside. Suitable for all tastes and skintones, these will go down as well on a beach as they would in a boardroom, and the dainty brush makes for mess-free results. Basically, you shouldn’t leave this passport at home either, for grooming’s sake.
O.P.I Passport to Colour, £16.35, available at World Duty Free
A shattered bronzer on arrival is a devastating beauty calamity. Don’t let it happen to you. Keep your travel glow giver intact by opting for a tube applicator such as the enclosed Star Bronzer Intense, which is essentially a magic wand given that it also has an inbuilt brush through which a sheeny golden powder is filtered onto your face. The ‘Intense’ nature of the bronzer means that it’s deep enough to create a ‘two weeks in Tahiti’ effect for lighter skins and gleaming enough to act as a highlighter for darker skintones. Buff it over your back and boobs too- it’s an all-rounder. It’s beautifully set off by a spangly but not too sparkly, rose gold Gloss in Love lip glaze. Brush on both and saunter into the sunset.
Lancôme Travel Bronzer Makeup Set, £44.95, available at World Duty Free
Whether or not you're turning left on the plane, this travel clutch exudes pure luxury and class. I can envisage it being the go-to post-flight reviver for old skool film icons and yacht-hopping glamazons, and the white leather bag itself is a very chic accessory to accompany you on sultry evenings. The star of the show is a 100 ml Sì fragrance, which is also helpfully bang-on for the liquids allowance on your further travels. Sì is accompanied by a day-to-night neutral eyeshadow quad and a ladylike lip gloss to enhance your god given beauty. Those Italians are always impeccably flattering. It’s undeniably spendy, but the treasures within are all full-size, and keepers. Timeless, you could say.
Giorgio Armani Si Eleganza Timeless Set, £118, available at World Duty Free
Taking off to Paris, New York, Hong Kong or returning to London? Clinique have curated destination themed travel capsule collections to suit. Cheeks, lips and eyes are all catered for in different colourways- thinks a bright pink Cheek Pop for the Hong Kong set and a bold, blood red lipstick to evoke the romance of Paree. Each set features a unique All About Eyes Quad and everything you need to define your eyes, flush your cheeks and add life giving colour to lips, all in tones to reflect the prevailing aesthetic in each city (any surprise that the London eye palette goes heavy on the rainy blues and greys?). Each arrives in its own locale themed purse, and all products within are bestsellers.
Clinique Travel Box, £55 each, available at World Duty Free
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