Does Expensive Skincare Make You Feel Fancier?

A luxury lady, I am not. While I appreciate expensive wine and fancy cheese, I don't enjoy indulging in those things anywhere that forbids me to enter wearing jeans and sneakers. Being a beauty editor, however, means I occasionally have samples fall on my desk that are, well, of a slightly higher class than I'm used to, and I have to set aside my anti-anything-lavish views in the name of testing new products. The launch of Dolce & Gabbana's Skincare line was one such occasion. With prices hitting up to $129 for a single face serum, this stuff better give me the skin of a newborn princess.

D&G first delved into skincare this past summer, releasing two collections: Essential and Aurealuxe. The first is made up of face washes, toner, makeup remover, and sunscreen — all the essentials everyone should be using on their skin. The second is for anyone looking to get even fancier with their skincare rituals by adding serums, eye creams, and face masks to your weekly routine. Sure, sure, sure. That all sounds nice and lovely and good, but will using it all make me feel like a proper grown-up? A proper grown-up who has several mansions filled with white, long-haired cats who have their own iPad collections? Let's see.

1. Essential Cleansing Oil

Essential Cleansing Oil, $50, Nordstrom

Much to the shock of my natural beauty-enthusiast friends, I was only introduced to the idea of cleansing oils earlier this year. "But, isn't the point of washing your face to get all the oils off?" you may be wondering. Sure, but if you have flaky skin that's the envy of all your neighborhood snakes, you don't want to be stripping out too much moisture.

The instructions on this particular cleanser sternly told me to emulsify the stuff with water until it became a "milky texture." Yep, it looked super weird, and getting it to that consistency wasn't exactly easy. Would a royal duchess put this sort of elbow grease into her skincare routine?!

After the first time washing, my pores were super obvious. Not exactly my favorite look, but I took it to mean that the oil was getting deep inside my skin and pulling out all the gunk that had built up inside (that's a good thing). Plus, my face didn't feel tight after I patted it dry, like it often does after I cleanse. My skin felt as comfortable Kanye West reclining in his private jet.

My boyfriend insisted he get to try out the fancy stuff too, but his review after he rinsed off the cleanser? "I just feel oily." Anyone else who doesn't suffer from bone-dry skin, take that as a word of warning.

2. Aurealux Eye Gel

Aurealux Eye Gel, $74, Nordstrom

Enough with the basics! Essentials are for peasants! I only want potentially superfluous things from here on out! On to the even fancier Aurealux collection.

First off: The instructions that come with these things are so specific. Is this because D&G assumes rich people don't like to have to figure things out on their own? "Break the gel on the back of your hand before applying to eye area," the packaging advised. OK, wise nanny I never had. Princess Kara will do whatever you say.

I get that super sexy, puffy, purple-rimmed look around my eyes anytime I haven't slept at least eight hours, haven't had enough water, have had any caffeine, have had any salt... basically any time I'm awake, I guess. So I'm a massive eye cream fan. The gel texture of this one was a bit stickier than I usually like the area around my peepers feeling, but it was ultimately pretty nice and lightweight.

3. Aurealux Cream

Aurealux Cream, $129, Nordstrom

In real life, I would never be able to spend over $100 on a face cream, which means I am gonna be extremely sad when this sample runs out. This was by far my favorite D&G skincare product I tried: The formula felt like rubbing silk sheets all over my face. Plus, it comes with a little spoon-like applicator, which added an extra layer of luxury — as if I was a tiny princess who's too delicate to use her own hands.

Please don't choose this lotion over paying rent or eating for a week, but if you do have the means to drop triple digits on a facial cream, this is the one to do it on. I've tried a lot of ~$100 lotions that felt about the same as something in the $30 range, but the D&G cream is something else. Lightweight, but super moisturizing — I noticed a difference in my skins texture pretty much the second after I slathered it on with my fancy spoon.

So the final fancy verdict? Though I'll probably still be showing up underdressed to most occasions, at least my ~glowing skin~ will trick everyone into thinking I'm someone important.

Images: Brent Karwatowski (4); Kara McGrath (1)