Brands here in Thailand can be significantly more expensive than in other parts of the world, the U.K. included so I keep a list of products to pick up when I’m in Duty-Free at the airport. My list tends to included staple beauty items that I already know are slightly cheaper to purchase there, as well as things that I want to check out and decide if they’re for me or not! Of course, there are usually a few things that ‘accidentally’ wind up in my basket…
Here’s what I picked up in both Suvarnabhumi airport here in Bangkok and also in London Heathrow on my recent trip home.
This is one of my absolute favourite moisturisers for daytime. It sinks into the skin without leaving any oiliness, creating a great base for makeup. I always put my moisturiser on and then leave it at least 5 minutes before doing my base as I find it really helps it to last longer and not just slide off my face as soon as I step outside into the Bangkok humidity! The only downside to this for me personally is that it doesn’t have SPF in but I tend to add a facial sunscreen if needed plus all my bases contain SPF. I always have this in my stash.
Duty-free price 1,190 THB for 50ml (marginally more expensive than the UK but I had run out!)
I don’t really ever wear a heavier base here in Bangkok, the climate just wouldn’t allow for it plus I find my skin generally thrives in the humidity. I have been using this Clinique CC cream for probably about a year, it has SPF 30 and is pretty much my go-to for day and night. I already have one shade but my face has more colour after a few weeks in Spain so it was not looking at all right, I was looking slightly grey so I picked this shade up for my more tanned days! It leaves a radiant, glowy finish on the skin, completely evens out skin tone but without covering any freckles which I personally like. It also layers really well with other products like my Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow or Smash Box primer when I’m creating a more made up face and with a quick spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter I am good to go.
Duty-free price around £21 (RRP £28)
I used to use this mascara years ago but had moved onto others as you do. I got a mini a few months ago that I had taken on weekends away that reignited my original love for this product. Like the name suggests it gives you pretty dramatic lashes, so if big and bold isn’t your thing you won’t like this. I like how pigmented this is (I wear the black one) and how long it lasts. The brush isn’t dainty so if you prefer a smaller wand, this won’t be for you.
Duty-free price around £16 (RRP £17.50)
I have read so much about this wonder product I had been dying to try it for myself as I’m a great believer in prevention not cure so am trying to look after my skin really well now so it ages slower in the long run – well that’s the theory anyway! This little brown bottle claims to “reveal a smoother, more radiant, younger look. Wake up to more beautiful looking skin every day. Advanced Night Repair reduces the look of all key signs of ageing.” Needless to say, it is really pricey, not pricey like Creme de la Mer but pricey for us regular girls, hence why it has been sitting on my duty-free list for months.
I had planned on buying the 50ml bottle but there was an offer on, one that my shopping demon thought was a great buy. So for £100, I purchased a 100ml bottle, it was a travel exclusive (the largest bottle you can usually buy is 75ml for £88) and should have cost around £120 but there was 1000 THB off if you spent over a certain amount. That is the most I have ever, ever spent on anything and don’t get me wrong it wasn’t an easy purchase but I reasoned you need so little of the product (two drops from the pipette) it really was the most cost-effective way of buying it (again, that’s my theory and I am sticking to it…). I’ve been using it at night under my moisturiser for a week so not long enough to give any solid feedback but my skin is feeling lovely and I think looking more refined too.
So disclaimer before we get into this: I ended up with both bottles mistakenly. I put the black box in my basket and it was only when we were back in the UK I realised it had the pink bottle in (I was doing a supermarket sweep so was clearly not concentrating). So my husband bought me the pink box with the black box in as I much prefer the Eau de Parfum in term of lasting power and it has a slightly heavier scent which I love although truthfully they smell pretty similar; they are both rich and fruity yet woody and musky creating a really iconic scent.
Duty-free price Eau de Parfum £51 (Boots price £59) Eau de Toilette around £42 (Boots price £51)
I cannot live without these curlers, dramatic I know, but true. I think they’re a lot like Havaiana flip-flops; once you’ve tried them you can’t go back. Anyway, these are one of the few things that are cheaper here as standard but I knew they were even cheaper in duty-free so I waited. And it was worth it, I got a travel exclusive set of 2 curlers for 1100 THB (just less than £24, RRP for one pair £19.50). Serious bargain.
These were not on my list. But now that I have a daily need for decent sunglasses, these were a purchase I didn’t really have any moral issues with (my bank account might have felt differently). I was drawn to this particular pair as they were a tad quirky and a bit different to my other shades, I do look slightly like Willy Wonka!
Duty-free price £175 (RRP £218)
So there you have it – my duty-free purchases laid bare. The list already has a few things on for next time I fly out internationally… What things do you always pick up in Duty-Free?