Duty-Free Shopping Guide: Part 1

Something I’ve become more aware of and interested in is duty-free shopping. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this concept: duty-free products are without tax and usually a fraction of the retail price you’ll pay at a shopping mall. These products are found after international flight security and usually include most of your high-end cosmetic and fashion brands. I was most taken by the fact that the majority of international airports have Mac Cosmetics counters where you can purchase duty-free products. Mac Cosmetics is a brand that is very beginner friendly and that most professional makeup artists have in their kits. If given the opportunity to purchase duty-free products I’d recommend focusing mostly on buying from Mac and then gravitating towards the more luxury brands for specific holy grail products. As you can imagine there are a few products I have my eye on and would endorse to others: so here is my break down on shopping duty-free.

Side note: the type of makeup I drift towards is the more natural looking products that give your skin a better appearance.

Mac Cosmetics

Strobe cream in Goldlite. Strobe cream is a magical cream moisturizer which includes coloured reflects of shimmer that gives you a beautiful natural glow. It can be worn without makeup on and is typically just applied to the areas of the face where the light would normally catch but can be applied to the whole face if one wants to do so.

Cream colour bases in Hush and Vintage Rose. Mac’s cream colour bases are versatile and skin-like. Depending on which colour you use: you can wear it as highlight, blush or eyeshadow. It has a glossy sheen and can be applied with your fingers. Hush is a lovely highlighter for those of you that have some warmth to your skin. However, Pearl is a great substitute for those of you who have milky skin tones. Vintage Rose is the perfect blush shade for a natural look.

Lipsticks in shades Viva Glam 5 and Twig. Mac’s lipsticks are definitely crowd pleasers. You’ll no doubt find a shade that best suits you. Their six Viva Glam lipsticks are worth checking out as they are made to look good on everyone and are a great start for anyone’s collection. Twig is a well-known classic but other shades that you could also consider are Brave, Velvet Teddy, Brick-o-La and Ruby Woo. Some of these lipsticks can also be used as cream blushers if you fancy effortless beauty.

Lip pencils in shades Subculture and Dervish. Mac’s lip pencils are iconic and very popular. Their Pro Longwear lipliners have the best consistency and wearability but most of their famous shades come in their original formula. Subculture is a neutral shade that looks good on most people and is a great base for any lipstick and Dervish is a pretty pinkish nude. Their shades that get the most press are Whirl, Soar (one of my favourites) and Spice.

Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle. Mac’s Mineralize Skinfinish’s are alluring highlights that are truly well-loved. Soft and Gentle is their most popular champagne shade, but for the paler lot of you: Lightscapade is perfect.

Powder blush in Melba. Mac’s powder blushes have a great creamy formula and also a remarkable shade range. Melba is a shade that literally looks good on everyone but other shades I’d like to recommend are Desert Rose, MarginPeaches, Springsheen, Style and Sunbasque.

Extended Play Gigablack Lash mascara. This mascara applies like a dream to the lower lashes and is continuously raved about by Youtubers.


Prep and Prime Fix Plus. This product is a necessity in everyone’s makeup routine. It can be used on bare skin before foundation; on brushes while applying foundation or shadows, or to set your makeup for a dewy finish – not recommended for oily skin users.

Loose Pigment in Tan. Mac’s loose pigments are an exquisite addition to an eye look but are also multi-purpose. Tan is a lovely universal shade that suits any eye colour.

Pro Palette Medium (compact). Their palettes are definitely handy if you are purchasing a multitude of their products. A smart and thrifty thing you can do is to buy the pan refills of the products I’ve mentioned (such as the blushes and colour bases) and stick it in a palette – it saves space and money. They have different size palettes and inserts that are useful. Also, this can be done when purchasing many eyeshadows. However, I’d skip the inserts as they take up a lot of useful space.


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