Saturday, July 21, 2012

Travel Part 2: Abu Dhabi Duty Free Haul

I did a Part 1 post here elaborating on the whole move to Saudi Arabia but because we flew via Etihad Airways (United Arab Emirates), we had a 4-hour layover at the Abu Dhabi International Airport before our flight out to Dammam, Saudi Arabia. And that meant duty free shopping! I have travelled on several occasions before but never bothered with duty free shopping as I never knew what the heck it really was. Plus, I wasn't old enough to really care that much anyway. But this time I promised myself I would hit up the duty free store and purchase a thing or two for A) the blog and B) as a souvenir of some sort. Turns out, tax/duty-free shopping is pretty awesome and many duty free shops even have Duty Free exclusives which are not sold in stores.

Unfortunately, my camera's battery died before I could take *proper* pictures so here are some quick-n-dirty shots of whatever I could capture before my camera went kaputt.



I really wish I had a chance to capture the Guerlain section of the store because they were selling a boxed trio of Rouge Automatiques (one being my favorite, Chamade) which came out slightly cheaper than buying three individually. I believe they came to around 350 AED (approx. $95 USD). And as with most duty-free shopping you had to show your boarding pass/passport in order to purchase.

Here is what I picked out...

1. Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) 'Rouge Pur Couture' Glossy Stain in #13 Rose Tempera ($32.00/6ml) and a
2. Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #143 Nahema ($35.00)

Did I mention how much I love gold packaging in makeup? YSL and Guerlain definitely know how to do 80s glam. And I had been meaning to try a YSL Glossy Stain for a while while also being on the hunt for a cantaloupe-y/coral-peach color for the summer. Perfect buys? Spot-on, actually. 

YSL's #13 Rose Tempera, exclusive to Nordstrom, is a bright vivid fuchsia shade and something I had been on the search for for a long time. Basically, my lips are super pink and the best my-lips-but-bitten-and-flushed colors tend to be the ones leaning fuchsia pink. And this? Is it. This lasts more than 6 hours without drying out my lips and can be layered on for maximum opacity or dabbed on for a just-bitten look (my preferred method). The packaging is a gold tube with a doe foot applicator. I also love the clear slot to preview the color. Perfect for those that plan on buying more than one, ahem. I need a few more immediately because I am in LOVE with the formula, wear (lasts through a hot shower + the swatch below was a PITA to remove), color and the fact that it doesn't dry out my sensitive lips. It has a slight rose scent to it which I love but know many usually hate. 

Guerlain's #143 Nahema, my second Rouge Automatiqe (but my Chamade needed a friend, y'know?), is described as a "bright coral sheen". I remember swatching this at the Abu Dhabi Duty Free shop and  it being more creamy-opaque and thinking "the shade is perfect but I'll probably have to blot at every application" but can now blame that on the tester probably being a bit melt-y. I forgot that like most of the Rouge Automatique range, this was also on the sheer-sheen side. I'd describe this as a perfect summer shade because of how wearable and brightening it is. A great beginner coral-peach shade for those that don't want something uber-opaque. Nahema looks superb applied lightly or layered on for a brighter color. I seriously think everyone needs to try this at least once to see how the color wears. If you're a fan of the formula, you'll soon find that this might become a staple. I love it that much. I have no shame in admitting I kiiiind of was staring at my lips frequently the day I wore this. V.V

I also made a mental note of picking up a coral-peach cream blush to accompany the lips. Perhaps Illamasqua blush in Rude or Becca's Beach Tint in Watermelon

More about the duty-free experience/pricing: in Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) the YSL Glossy Stain came to 120 AED (approx. $32.68 USD) and the Guerlain Rouge Automatique 136 AED (approx. $37.00 USD) so the prices weren't necessary cheaper (in fact, sliiightly higher) but then again, everything is cheaper in America and I will miss that very much. =( One brand in particular which was priced much higher was Shiseido. A blush came to 155.00 AED/$42.00 USD when typically it costs $30. Everything else was either a few cents cheaper or higher so would be your best bet to shop tax-free.

(Side note: this is my first time buying duty-free so I was surprised to know your nationality, flight number, destination gets printed on the receipt...)

And of course, here are swatches. Both taken without flash under indoor lighting. Both are very true-to-color, IMO. 

Bottom line: you need both in your life. The end. 


  1. OMG, this is making me lightheaded with excitement! :)

    1. Hehe. A makeup store with all that selection is pretty exciting. And that too in a place like Abu Dhabi.

    2. Quite an understatement, Maria!!! I would go into serious debt!! What an amazing adventure you are on! I really enjoyed your Travel Part 1: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia post-- I hope that you do lots of posts like this-- it is absolutely fantastic! xx

    3. Thank you so much! I'll def. do an update sometime in the future. <3

    4. I will really be looking forward to it, Maria!! I just wanted to let you know that I received a Liebster Award, and am now nominating you and your fantastic blog as well! Your blog has quickly become one of my very very favorites! xo

    5. LOLA! You are beyond sweet for the kind words and for the nomination. *squishes* I can't wait to fill out the questions and do a post of my own. TYSM! <333

    6. It is all true, Maria! Big squishes back!! I can't wait to read what you write in response to the questions!!!!!! You are so so welcome-- you were such an obvious choice for me! xoxox

  2. I can't wait to read your next installment!

  3. You know, the only 2 RA's I own are Chamade and Nahema!!! And since Nahema is not available where I live (Mexico), I had to ask a friend who went to the US for it... Anyway, I definitely agree with you, Chamade needs a friend and Nahema is a great one.

    I really hope you installement in Saudi Arabia goes well.



    1. Ana,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! And indeed, Nahema and Chamade are great starter Rouge Automatiques. I have 2 more on the way, hopefully. *fingers crossed*

      p.s. I adore the name Ana, regardless of the 50 SoG relation. =P >.<

  4. Howdу! Ӏ'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!
    Here is my site : candles online

  5. I love YSL glossy stain. Great Haul!

  6. Look forward to the next instalment. Your makeup knowledge is sound, illustrated by your.GS comments also. Im a new follower :-)