Listen: I thought I knew all there was to know about buying things at the airport: in my book, all money spent once past security is basically sin-free and therefore something I heartily indulge in each time I travel. And as a relatively frequent flyer I considered myself fairly conversant with what The Loop at Dublin Airport had to offer. Turns out I didn’t know the half of it.

Here’s what I picked up at travel retail shopping grinds.

1. You can shop beforehand

Should you decide that the extra half hour you normally allocate to shopping would be better spent in bed, then you can do your shopping 48 hours ahead of time on and pick it up when you get to the airport. It’s not just Dublin you can do this in either – Cork and Shannon also offer the service. In the interests of research I did some educational shopping beforehand. Just to see, you understand. I found the service to be vay good. *doffs science cap*

Lancome at the Loop

2. It’s cheaper

It really is: fragrance is typically 20% cheaper than you’ll pay in a regular chemist or department store and skincare is at least 15% less. But you’ll find discounts of up to 40% too.  That’s not just off the odd thing or old last season stuff – all new launches cost less. So that means that yup, you can indeed buy that Alber Elbaz mascara for Lancome you wanted. Yay!

Clarins offers

3. Special offers

So you can save cash – and then you can save even more: there are loads of special offers running across brands. Like, for example, these two Clarins dealios, currently available. The Baume Corps is just €20, while the handcream is a mere €10. Snap ’em up, I say.

Estee Lauder Travel Retail

4. Travel retail, baby

Oh boy oh boy, who doesn’t love a bit of travel retail? Special flyzone-only kits and exclusives that no one else will have. I mean, what’s not to like? Yup. Nothing. Nada.

Clarins Treatment Room at The Loop

5. There’s a Clarins treatment room

No, I did not know this. Did you know this? Located at the back of the beauty area in T2 is a small little oasis of calm where you can get selected Clarins treatments like a 20 minute mini-facial treatment with the purchase of three products, one to be a face product. Nice one.

Jo Malone at T2

6. Jo Malone

Jo Malone, like. Jo Malone. For less money – quite a bit less: a bottle retailing at €90 downtown costs €72 here. And coming up to Christmas there’ll be a special travel retail set available, featuring three of the brand’s scents and unavailable elsewhere.

The Loop Kurt Geiger

7. It’s not just beauty

Nu-uh. There’s that Kurt Geiger store I always make a beeline for and even more so now that they’ve thankfully stopped making stripper shoes. Sing hosannas! Plus, there’s electricals, jewellery, bags, a big huge bookshop and the obligatory trip to Wright’s of Howth to pick up the black puddin’ to take to the relatives in London. Or um, maybe that’s just me.

Lanson Champagne at the Loop

8. Re: point 7: see also booze

Mmm. Delicious booze. Obviously if you are flying outside of the EU zone you can buy alcohol a lot more cheaply because it’s VAT-exempt, but it’s still cheaper to buy it here and there are a number of decent offers on multiple purchases plus some interesting brands I hadn’t come across. Like Dingle gin. So I bought a bottle. What? It was research.

9. You can Shop and Collect

If you’ve bought online or if you’ve shopped in real life human form, you don’t actually have to take your purchases with you – you can choose to use the Shop and Collect service, whereby your shopping will be held for you until you complete your return journey. If you want to opt for that for your online purchases, there’s a validation process to go through, so make sure you read the deets on that here, or ask The Loop guys on @theloopshopping.

Clinique popup at T2

10. Popups

This is an interesting one and something the peeps at the airport are going to be doing more of, with Estee Lauder up next and Chanel in for Christmas. Beauty popups are now a feature of the main floor outside the retail area. Last time I was through Clarins was in situ, right now it’s Clinique, which is showcasing the new iteration of its Dramatically Different Moisturiser.

Clinique computer at T2

Aww, and lookit, they’ve even brought out the Clinique Computer for old time’s sake!

So, these are my extensive learnings about airport shopping. What about you? Something you love to do before you fly or something you’re not fussed about? Leave me a comment and let me know.