Benefit Perk Up and Away! set

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Benefit Perk Up and Away! setBenefit is a brand that has not been present in force in the duty-free channel for a long time, but it has certainly been investing in travel locations recently with nice counters and special products. This set is one such initiative.

The Benefit Perk Up and Away! set is a nifty collection of best-selling products packaged in a suitcase-style box, not unlike the ones the brand has been using for holiday gifts and other promotions in domestic markets. This one, however, is exclusive to DFS Galleria stores – specifically the ones in Hong Kong.

The set includes a full-size Watt’s Up! highlighter for the face, a full-size box of Dandelion blush, a full-size bottle of Posietint (a multi-purpose product for cheeks and lips), a deluxe sample size tube of the POREfessional primer (7.5ml) and a deluxe sample of the Laugh with LeeLee fragrance (1.5ml).

In Hong Kong, this set retails for HK$680 (about $88), which seems like decent value for three full-size products and a couple of good samples in a cute packaging. Would you buy it?

Click on the image to see it big! I believe this set will be available from next month.

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November 29th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Estée Lauder Portable Makeup Brush Collection

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Estée Lauder Portable Makeup Brush CollectionThis holiday season has been busy with new launches in the duty-free world, and this is one of them. I hope to be able to post more regularly and bring you the other latest products soon!

Estée Lauder has launched this month a travel-exclusive Portable Makeup Brush Collection, featuring what it describes as four “essential travel-sized brushes inspired by global makeup artist-quality brushes”.

These include a foundation brush, a powder brush one for blush and another for eyeshadow, all presented in a blue mock-croc case with golden details, same as the brushes themselves.

Prices vary according to location and I haven’t been travelling recently so can’t update you on that yet, but will edit this post as and when I’m able to. For the same reason I can’t judge the quality of these brushes but imagine they’ll be similar to the ones in EL’s holiday blockbuster sets, which are OK.

As usual, click on the image for a larger version.

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November 27th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection

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Burberry Lip Cover Signature CollectionThe Burberry Beauty range is one of those that achieved immediate cult status after being launched, but I resisted getting into for a long time (mostly for fear of bankruptcy, I must confess).

Because of that, it was only in July that I bought my first Burberry makeup products, and this was one of them: the Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection (purchased in Hawaii but also available at London Heathrow airport and other duty-free locations).

This set features three lipsticks from the Burberry Lip Cover range: Nude Beige (01), a pale nude colour; Blush (09), a lovely reddish rose; and Antique Rose (11), a vintage pink shade. The formula is moisturising, pigmented and lasts a decent time, requiring touch-ups after meals. There are plenty of much better reviews than I would be able to write of these on the blogosphere, so I won’t go into too much detail – I do love these though.

I have no idea how much I paid for this set, unfortunately, but will check when I go through the airport again (soon!) for the UK price of the box. For now, I offer you pictures and swatches, and I beg your forgiveness.

As usual, you can click on the images for larger versions.

Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection  Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection
Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection swatches  Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection swatches

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October 21st, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Dior Eye Designer Eye Makeup Palette

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Dior Eye Designer Eye Makeup PaletteThis little beauty has been in my sights for a while but I haven’t had the chance to purchase it yet, so unfortunately we’ll have to make do with a product shot and no swatches for now.

The Dior Eye Designer Eye Makeup Palette is a travel exclusive that contains three eyeshadows, eyebrow powder, eyeliner and tweezers for a complete eye makeup set, presented in the company’s traditional velveteen pouch. The box also includes a miniature version of Diorshow Extase mascara.

As the shades are neutral this sounds like the perfect work trip palette if your out for a couple of days. It retails on board Singapore Airlines flights for S$74 (about $60), which is pricey but not out of this world for Dior. I’ll report back when I get my hands on it!

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October 20th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

New launch: Osiao skincare range

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Osiao skincare rangeThe Estée Lauder Companies own many of the beauty brands we know and love (including but not limited to MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown and Origins), but they are not averse to bringing up new ones, having even an internal organisation within the company called BeautyBank dedicated to new brand development.

IdeaBank, a division of BeautyBank, has partnered with other Estée Lauder personnel in Asia and globally to create a new skincare brand targeting what the company describes as “the unique needs of Asian skin”. That new brand, Osiao, will be launched this month in Hong Kong (exclusively in Lane Crawford stores).

The reason I am posting about this (as it’s not technically a duty-free exclusive) is that a selection of Osiao products will also be available on board Cathay Pacific Airways’ Hong Kong flights from mid-October.

According to Estée Lauder, the brand was developed by experts in traditional Chinese medicine, dermatology and product formulation science, who together formed the Osiao Asia Skin Institute to focus on “the science of skin light”. In order to do that they conducted in-depth analyses of the skin of thousands of Asian women in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, which resulted in “a unique understanding of the mechanisms of skin and how to restore skin’s natural radiance”.

They also added the following:

The scientists and dermatologists of The Osiao Asia Skin Institute created a complete protocol for optimum skin analysis: The Osiao Diagnostic Method. This proprietary diagnostic approach accounts for influencing factors both inside the skin and on its surface. The Osiao Diagnostic Method measures an unprecedented range of parameters related to a woman’s life, health and beauty, including age, lifestyle, environment, stress, fatigue, body condition, skin condition, exercise and diet. Now, for the first time, a specific recommendation of care can be assigned according to an individual’s unique Skin Constitution, along with a customised treatment plan, to reveal skin’s true radiance.

The full range includes 19 products designed for topical application and complementary oral use, including the Inner Radiance Concentrate, a serum; Inner Radiance Essence Lotion, a watery lotion; and the Inner Radiance Beauty Tablets. Additional products include a collection of moisturisers, cleansers and a mask, with suggested retail prices ranging from HK$350–1480 (about $45–190).

I don’t have any plans to visit Asia in the near future, unfortunately, so won’t be checking these out in person. If you do, though, get in touch and let us know what you think. Also, click on the image above for a larger version.

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October 4th, 2012 at 10:08 am

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick Trio

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Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick TrioChristian Dior has been keeping quiet about its duty-free exclusives recently, but a bit of research has revealed one of its latest offerings to the travel-retail market: the Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick Trio.

This one is tricky though, as it offers different colours based on the region the product is being sold in. Example: in  Germany’s airport shops, the set contains Dior’s moisturising lipstick formula in 536 (Lucky), 356 (Cherie Bow) and 667 (Avenue). However, on board Korean Air flights the shades change and only Lucky is in both sets – the other two shades are 336 (Saint Tropez) and 366 (Pink Icon). These variations obviously reflect local and regional best-sellers as these sets tend to go with colours that are popular where they are sold.

Prices are also slightly different, once again based on local retail prices. While the German duty-free stores sell the set for €74 (roughly $95), Korean Air prices the trio at a slightly cheaper €69 ($89). Considering these retail in the US for $30 each, the sets don’t represent much of a saving (and in the German case are actually more expensive) compared with buying the individual lipsticks. However, in the UK they are sold for £24 each (around $38 in today’s exchange rates), so you’d be pocketing quite a significant amount by getting the set.

Click on the picture to see a bigger version – this one represents the Asian version of the set (in theory).

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October 3rd, 2012 at 11:49 am

L’Occitane Smiling Lips set

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L'Occitane Smiling Lips setFrench brand L’Occitane has a well-loved range of skincare products, and it is from its portfolio of best-sellers that it draws the items to include in its travel-retail range. The L’Occitane Smiling Lips set is one such example, featuring four moisturising lip balms from the brand’s collection in one place.

The set comes with four 15ml/0.5oz tubes of lip balm in the following varieties: Moisturizing Lip Balm (the traditional one, with 10% shea butter and no flavour); Desert Rose Lip Balm; Hibiscus Flower Lip Balm; and Cocoa Flower Lip Balm. The three scented varieties are limited editions and come in colourful packaging, as you can see in the pictures.

The four come in a transparent zip-top bag that can double up as a travel case for your liquids or a makeup pouch for your handbag. Pricing varies according to location, but in Asian airlines you can find it for about $48. As usual, you can click on the photos for larger versions – I didn’t do swatches as they are all transparent. :)

L'Occitane Smiling Lips set  L'Occitane Smiling Lips set

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June 23rd, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Chanel Préférence eyeshadow palette

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Chanel Preference eyeshadow paletteChanel is a beauty brand with a clear focus on the Asian market, and in duty-free it is no different, with several products launched exclusively in that region. The Chanel Préférence eyeshadow palette is one such item, and as far as I know is available only on board selected airlines serving the Asia/Pacific region (I purchased mine on a Singapore Airlines flight but know Cathay Pacific and Korean Air also stock this product).

The palette follows the brand’s recent format of five colours displayed vertically and in parallel, and is officially part of the Ombres Perlées de Chanel series. The five shades are a pearlescent light pink, a pearlescent silvery taupe, a metallic gold, a complex olive-y green and an almost black with finely-milled blue/purple sparkles.

Unfortunately, while the shades look very pretty on the pan, only the last two are any good – the first three are gritty, patchy and do not apply evenly either with fingers or with a brush. I had trouble getting enough pigment on my arm for the colours to appear on the swatch pictures, which is a terrible shame as the two darkest shades (the green and the black) are gorgeous, pigmented and satiny.

You can judge by yourself from the swatches, but in my humble opinion this feels like the Jekyll and Hyde of palettes! Considering it cost S$80 (roughly $63 by today’s exchange rates), it is certainly a disappointment and not something I would recommend for purchase.

Chanel Preference eyeshadow palette  Chanel Preference eyeshadow palette
Chanel Preference eyeshadow palette  Chanel Preference eyeshadow palette

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June 17th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Givenchy Les Mini Prismes

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Givenchy Les Mini Prismes The latest Givenchy travel-exclusive offering is an unusual one: a towering palette! Givenchy Les Mini Prismes looks more like a tiny jewellery box than a cosmetics product, but that adds to its appeal, I think.

It features a top-opening compartment with a mirror that houses an eyeshadow quad (Le Prisme Yeux in Purple Show 71) and three like drawers: the top with a face powder (Le Prisme Visage in Beige Mousselline 84), the middle including a blush (Le Prisme Blush in Vintage Pink 22) and the last housing the applicators for each of the three products in the other compartments.

I’m afraid I did not purchase this so I didn’t get the chance to swatch it while going through the airport (I spotted this one at London Heathrow), but I took pictures of each of the sections open to give you a better idea of what the palette (if I can call it that!) is like – apologies for the shadows but the lighting in-store was pretty harsh! When I have the cash to spare I’ll definitely get it as it looks like a unique and interesting product! :)

As usual, click on the images for larger versions. Givenchy Les Mini Prismes was priced at £36.50 ($58), which I think is pretty reasonable when you consider all it comes with. Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Givenchy Les Mini Prismes   Givenchy Les Mini Prismes   Givenchy Les Mini Prismes

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March 31st, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Clinique Lashes Top to Bottom

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Clinique Lashes Top to BottomClinique has launched this month a travel-retail set dedicated to making (all) your lashes look great. The Lashes Top to Bottom kit (not to the confused with the Rethink Lashes Top to Bottom set available at Sephora, which comes with a mascara for top and one for bottom lashes) includes two tubes of High Impact Mascara (tubing, hence waterproof) and a free promotional-sized tube of Bottom Lash Mascara.

According to the supplier, High Impact Mascara adds colume and length to each lash while Bottom Lash Mascara has a brush specially designed for small lashes and a formula that resists smears. The goal, of course, is to pair the mascaras for the desired effect.

This set is exclusive to duty-free locations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas from this month and will only be available for a limited time, Clinique said. It retails in German airport stores for €29.50 (about $39) but prices will vary according to the location.

Click on the image for a larger version.

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March 28th, 2012 at 10:48 am