So last year I was walking the streets of Florence and came across a Sephora. There was no way I wasn’t walking in. Italian Sephora’s are just like the Sephora’s in the states, the people working are in the same uniform, ladies are getting makeovers, the music is peppy and the store smells like amazing goodness. The one difference was that Italian Sephora’s carried several different lines that you won’t find in the states. Brands like Chanel, YSL, Dior, La Mer, Versace and Moschino are in these European Sephora’s and guess what- they’re CRAZY discounted! So last year, I splurged on a couple YSL lip creams, a Moschino cologne for my hubs, a Versace perfume for myself and three Chanel skin care products. I walked by the Chanel aisle and remembered that Huda Beauty had once reviewed the Chanel Le Lift and reviewed it as one of her favorite face creams. So the Chanel Le Lift Crème Fine retails in the US for $165 for 1.7 ounces. I bought it for $99 for 1.7 ounces. Around this time last year, I had dry patches under my under eyes and the beauty advisor really recommended that I use the Hydra Beauty Gel Eye Crème. This retails for $68 in the US but I believe I paid no more than $38 for it in Florence. The last product I bought was the Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Balm which retails here for $50, but I paid around $20 something.
I have been using these items on and off for a year now but I can’t say I’m smitten. The crème fine face cream is a little drying. I read through the ingredients and noticed that alcohol is an ingredient and that definitely helps in drying your face. I will say that it helped my skin a bit in the summer when my skin texture changes, but nothing too major where I can see noticeable results. The crème fine does have a fragrance to it- which I know some people don’t prefer when it comes to a night time skin routine. The hydra beauty gel eye crème definitely helped the dry patches under my eyes. It however did not make my dark circles any lighter. Lastly the hydra beauty nourishing lip balm- I can’t say I was a fan of this product. It doesn’t really stay on too long, isn’t very nourishing and has a really sterile taste. I honestly prefer other lip balms over this one (The Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing and Plumping Balm in my opinion is unbelievably better, you can’t even compare them on the same level).
Would I re-purchase these? Probably not. If they change the formula omitting the alcohol, I might give it another chance. Also, if you find yourself in Europe wanting to splurge, don’t forget that you can get a VAT tax refund if you spend a certain amount when you’re shopping. This tax refund will work at Sephora, retail stores, tourist shops and so many other places. You will have to bring your passport along and they will give you a detailed piece of paper that you present to the Italian customs department (or any other country in the EU). Customs will stamp it and you are responsible for mailing it when you go home (the postage is pre-paid). A few weeks later, you receive a tax refund for the items you purchased in the EU.
Another tip- any skin care item labeled “lotion” in Europe is actually toner. I was about to buy quite a few for gifts because of how cheap I thought the Chanel lotion was until I opened one up and it was a hefty bottle of blue liquid face toner lol.