I’m not a particularly superstitious person but I like the logic of routine and over the years I’ve developed a series of little steps I do before or during every trip.
For example, I always buy a new shower gel from the Body Shop to take with me. I eat the same chicken sandwich and drink the same lemon mineral water from the same cafe at the airport before I go. I take a roll of Hydralyte tablets with me. If there’s a Sephora where I’m going, I’ll always buy one of those tubs of sleeping mask and carry it along wih me to use in different cities. These aren’t big things by any stretch, but they let me settle into travel and being in new places.
The other thing I do on the way home from (nearly) every trip is buy a Chanel nail polish at duty free.
It started 12 years ago when I took my first international holiday. I was at Kuala Lumpur airport browsing through a wonderment of high end beauty brands at reduced prices. So many lovely things to buy. I settled on a Lancome Juicy Tube (but of course, this was 2007) and a sparkling pink lip gloss and shimmery black eye shadow from Dior.
I was also obsessed with a shimmery maroon Chanel nail polish that I’d seen previously only in the pages of magazines. It was limited edition and seemed so incredibly chic to this country kid who owned Chanel nothing. The shade was called Tulipe Noire – even the name was fancy – and I had to have it. The deep berry and gold colour was elegantly beautiful and it is still one of my most favourite nail polishes I own.
That purchase sparked a long line of future Chanel nail polish buys. It was such an easy and fun way to mark the end of a tour somewhere and I’ve accumulated quite a few over the years. I also have some that were bought for me, some that marked other events in my life, and some that I bought simply because the colour was so gorgeous.
I still don’t own a lot of Chanel but I treasure my collection of polishes. They might only be small but in nearly every case, they represent a big adventure.