After exhausting weeks of work and a 15 day Europe trip, I’m back and can’t wait to share my Europe beauty haul! I stopped at London, Edinburgh, York, Paris, and Amsterdam and picked up some beauty products along the way. I definitely plan to do some travel related posts but I haven’t bought beauty stuff for so long, it was exciting!
Paris is where I purchased 99% of the products. Although I didn’t spend enough to get the VAT refund (~20% tax refund for being a non European local,) there were still good savings on same products that could be purchased in Canada.
Caudalie in Paris:
After I finished walking around the Louvre, I was trying to find the washroom at the mall connected to the museum and saw a stand alone Caudalie boutique. I was curious about the pricing and walked in, and came out slightly not empty handed. I got the Caudalie Moisturizing Toner for €13.90 (around $20 CAD) whereas it’s $37 CAD now at Sephora. I love how this one feels on my face and the light grape scent! It used to be $30 CAD so I was a bit shocked that now it’s $37!!
I also purchased this little sample set for €26 (around $39 CAD) which included: full size Tinted Lip Balm ($24 CAD,) Rose de vigne Hand and Nail Cream ($12 CAD,) mini Beauty Elixir ($24 CAD,) and a mini Glycolic peel mask and mini Moisturizing Sorbet.
Lastly, I also purchased a trio of the Lip Conditioner (€9 for 3, which is approximately $14 CAD) whereas it’s $16 CAD for one lip conditioner. Not to mention the additional 12% Canadian tax to pay here.
Even if I didn’t spend €175 to get my VAT refund at Caudalie Paris, the prices were still worth it! Part of me wish I bought more, but the bigger part of me knows I don’t need any more skincare at this point!
Sephora Champs Elysees in Paris:
Soo…I also signed up for a Sephora membership there since they didn’t accept my Canadian membership. The highest tier is being a Sephora Gold member and they get their own checkout line! Everything was so pretty and shiny…but I resisted from shopping too much.
I bought a set of mini amika products for €12.95 (~ $20 CAD) – which included: Sea Buckthorn Berry Nourishing Mask (60mL – $16 CAD) Perk Up Dry Shampoo (43.9mL- $13.50 CAD,) and Bombshell Blowout Spray (59.1mL.) I can’t find the price of the smaller spray; and it looks like these products are the older packaging, but the price in France is definitely better than what I’ve seen in Canada. If you are looking for decent dry shampoos and sprays; I recommend trying amika!
And the crème de la crème is the Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick for €38 (~$56 CAD) with customizable engraving, and a limited edition teal leather case with my name engraved on it for €13 (~$20 CAD.) I reallllllly hesitated on it at first because the lipstick here is $49 CAD; but the sales associate I was talking to convinced me (lol) and that they hand engraved the case in store really made it a nice souvenir. So I got the teal leather lipstick case with my name on it, and the black case has ‘Paris 2019’ on it with a little Eiffel Tower.
a tad quite wasteful though, because you cannot buy a refill of the Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick. If I re-purchase, I will be stuck with a non engraved lipstick case. Nevertheless, I will do a review of the lipstick after trying it out for a bit!
Monoprix Elysees in Paris:
There’s so many drugstores in Paris selling Bioderma, La Roche Posay, etc that it was hard to decide when I want to get some drugstore skincare and from which store. Before I went to Sephora, I stubmeld into Monoprix as they were having 20% of all skincare products. I did a mini haul there as well and bought:
- Nuxe Multipurpose Dry Oil for €10 (€12.50-20%; Canadian pricing: $27 CAD, I paid: ~$15 CAD)
- Bioderma Sensibio Wipes for €5.2 (€6.50-20%; Canadian pricing: $12.90 CAD, I paid: ~$8 CAD)
- Avene Spring Water spray for €2.36 (€2.95-20%; Canadian pricing: $9.80 CAD, I paid: ~$4 CAD ) – I got this as it was 33 degrees in France and it was too darn hot!
- Roger & Gallet Green Tea Hand & Nail Cream for €4.88 (€6.10-20%, not sure what Canadian price is because I haven’t seen it here. I paid: ~$7.50 CAD)
- Roger & Gallet Red Ginger Hand & Nail Sanitizer for €3.92 (€4.90 – 20%, also not sure on Canadian pricing. I paid ~$6 CAD.) – I honestly thought it was a hand cream or I wouldn’t have shelled out $6 for bloody hand sanitizer. I love ginger scented products and saw the word ‘gingembre’ and threw it in my basket!! I regret not reading the whole thing now.
Rituals in Amsterdam:
I feel like Rituals is kind of like The Body Shop, but a bit pricier. The last Rituals store I went into was in New York City, and I had no clue it was an European brand until I got there. My body has been a bit weathered and dried lately, so I tried the The Ritual of Hamman Body Scrub (€17.50, ~$26 CAD) in store and was sold on its warm, gingery scent. It is a hot scrub with sea salt, ginger, and eucalpytus. I just open the tub once in a while to inhale as much of its scent as it’s very relaxing. I will be very sad when I finish using it.
PS- If you spend €50 in the Netherlands, you get your VAT refund, but in Paris you have to spend €175. In hindsight, I wish I bought more Rituals products from Amsterdam and other brands, but I was worried about luggage weight. Turns out I had another 3 kg to spare!
All in all: beauty product shopping is insanely fun in Europe; and certain price gaps between Canada and Europe is pretty big. My passion for talking about products has been rekindled and I can’t wait to be back again on here more regularly!