If there’s one thing to soothe the pain of coming back from holidays, it’s getting to crack into all the lovely bits and pieces you bought in duty free before and after you left. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that I have not been commenting as much as usual recently, and there is good reason for this: I have been enjoying beautiful Gran Canaria for the past few days. (I made sure to have a nice stock of posts scheduled before I left so that everyone wouldn’t forget me while I was gone, haha.) I’ll have a full post about my experiences there shortly (spoiler: they were amazing), but first let’s take a peep at what lightened my wallet as I passed through duty free, shall we?

First thing’s first: I have a warning. According to weird duty laws, The Canary Islands are apparently “not part of the EU”. According to Wiki, the islands “are outside the European Union customs territory and VAT area, though politically within the EU”. The consequences of this for beauty-fiend travellers wanting to stock up at aiport prices means that you cannot avail of the airport’s Shop & Collect service if you are going there. (Shop & Collect is only available for inter-EU return trips. You can’t use it going to America, either.)

I got a terrible shock at the desk when I was told “The Canaries aren’t part of the EU”, and began  frantically questioning if I ought to have changed money before going there, because, you know, how can they be outside the EU if they use the Euro? On that front I was safe enough, though: their currency is the Euro, but their duty laws are their own. Bonkers, I know, but something to be aware of if you’re going there! Fortunately, I was, for once, travelling with checked luggage and was able to bring everything back easily enough, but I would have been up the creek with only my giant bottles of liquid for a paddle otherwise.

Anyway, here’s what I got:


From top: Benefit Dandelion Blusher, Creme de la Mer Oil Absorbing Tonic*, Creme de la Mer Radiant Infusion, Clinque Line Smoothing Concealer in 02 Light, Clinique Lash Power Mascara in Chocolate Brown, Lancome Absolu Au Natural palette. The first three were purchased in Dublin on my way out, and the last three in Las Palmas on my way home.

*I have just now realised that instead of the Oil Absorbing Lotion, the saleslady gave me the Oil Absorbing Tonic. Disaster! They’re not the same thing at all. I will have to call up The Loop tomorrow and see if anything can be done about it. I’m quite put out about this because I know I said lotion quite clearly, so I assume she just grabbed the wrong bottle (since they both have “oil absorbing” on them) and since she brought them to the checkout, I didn’t think to check them until just now. Both of us at fault, alas, though I don’t know if anything can be done about it. Will let you know how I got on with my call tomorrow.

A slightly more detailed shot of the makeup elements:


I’ll do a full product experience post on all of these as I use them more, but these are my initial thoughts:

BENEFIT DANDELION BLUSH: I’ve been wanting a full-size/portable Dandelion blush since I got their Feeling Dandy kit a while ago. I’m a big fan of kits and palettes in general, but my sole gripe about that one is that the blush (my favourite part of it) can’t be removed and the kit itself is a huge cardboard affair that doesn’t exactly fit into a makeup bag. This one I can carry about with me, though, and it’s got a nice little plastic cap to keep the powder from going everywhere along with a little brush inside it. Super handy!

CLINIQUE LINE SMOOTHING CONCEALER: I don’t know why Clinque doesn’t get more attention from the beauty blogging world, but I think it’s a terrible shame. It was one of the first brands I came to when I started looking at makeup some years ago, and it’s still one of my favourites. Their products are generally solid, reliable, and low-flash, all of which I like. They’re also not so big into the limited edition and seasonal stuff as other brands, which is another plus for me personally (but which I recognise might put some others off). However, if you’re into concealers, this stuff should probably be your holy grail. It feels light, but has epic coverage powers. It even covers freckles! Considering I just came back from the sun, that’s a huge plus for me.

CLINIQUE LASH POWER MASCARA: I’m going to be honest, I bought this just because I wanted a brown mascara and this was the only one I could find. My eyelashes are really long and very thick, and sometimes when I wear mascara, they can look a bit too much for my preferred natural look. I wanted something that had less impact than something like my beloved Benefit They’re Real but which also wouldn’t smudge, so I’m going to give this a try. More thoughts on it as I use it over the coming days and weeks!

LANCOME ABSOLU AU NATURAL: This one was a pressie from Mummy, and I can’t even bring myself to remove the plastic wrapping on this one, it’s so lovely, so I have no real thoughts to add, as yet. As mentioned above, I’m a big fan of kits/sets, and this looks like something small enough to take with me, but with enough options that I wouldn’t need anything else. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of all palettes? I think it is. Whether or not this actually stacks up is another question, though, so I’ll have to try it out a few times and see how I get on with it, so expect a product experience post on this one coming soon.

Are you a duty free fiend like me? Have you ever had a wrong-product nightmare discovered after returning home from your hols? Have you tried any of the above products? Drop me a line and let me know!


  1. Posted April 13, 2014 at 17:48 | Permalink | Reply

    Lucky you!

    • Posted April 13, 2014 at 18:02 | Permalink | Reply

      I had the most lovely holiday. 😀 Very excited to try out all my bits and pieces properly and see how they work out for me. Thank you for commenting! ❤

  2. Posted April 13, 2014 at 22:18 | Permalink | Reply

    I’m glad you had a good time! Looks like some nice things. I haven’t tried any of then before but I have tried a Clinique mascara sample that was quite nice.

    • Posted April 13, 2014 at 22:48 | Permalink | Reply

      I have a little Clinique one, too –I forget which one– that I use to take out with me, and it’s marvellous. I love sample size brushes– they’re so much easier to wield than the ones with the longer handles. Thanks for commenting! ❤

2 Trackbacks

  1. By DUTY FREE DISASTER UPDATE | stuff nez likes on April 15, 2014 at 21:26

    […] kudos to the folks at The Loop who were incredibly helpful in getting this sorted out for me after the mistake made during purchase. I called this morning, and was told there was absolutely no problem, and that I had 45 days from […]

  2. By DUTY FREE DISASTER UPDATE on September 18, 2015 at 23:30

    […] kudos to the folks at The Loop who were incredibly helpful in getting this sorted out for me after the mistake made during purchase. I called this morning, and was told there was absolutely no problem, and that I had 45 days from […]

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