There’s one last stop you must make before leaving Paris – la pharmacie. Forget Sephora, the department store beauty counter doesn’t hold a candle to the everyday French pharmacy. The ones in Paris are extraordinary, but even small town ones will stock all of your must-have beauty essentials – products you can only get in France, and at an incredible value. Here were a few beauty buys on my list:
Life in London wreaks havoc on your skin, so I’m constantly slathering on this hand cream for dry skin. I once read a hand model say she avoids washing her hands except in the morning and night since it’s so damaging to the skin, but I work in an office so I have to wash mine often to fend off bugs circulating in the workplace. Therefore, I keep a tube of this on my desk and use repeatedly throughout the day. It is especially soothing around the nailbeds.
This is right up there with the best luxury brand moisturizers I’ve tried. Whisper-light and instantly restorative – a travel bag staple.
The apricot oil in this lotion leaves my legs polished and shiny – they actually gleam.
This skin cleanser/make-up remover is phenomenal. And so cheap! Dab a few drops on a cotton pad and it strips every last speck of dirt and trace of cosmetics from your skin. It feels like water, but leaves your face squeaky clean.
A gym bag essential. Also great for beachy hair – squeeze the plastic bottle and spray little puffs of this powder onto lifeless or greasy hair. Leave on 2 minutes then brush through. Clean, conditioned hair with a little bit of volume at the roots.
Soothing, indeed – with a slight firming effect, leaves skin dewy. Apply to face, leave on for 10 minutes, then lightly mist face with Avène Eau Thermale (see below).
Sourced from a thermal spring, this water spray is full of minerals which soften and sooth skin. Spritz it on by the pool in the summer heat for a tingly refresh. I would recommend using it after waxing or shaving.
Biafine works with the body’s own natural healing processes to treat compromised skin through macrophage recruitment. I don’t normally get sunburn, but I am highly susceptible to heat rash (prickly heat) on my neck and chest – this cream is great for soothing burns and can clear up redness and bumps. I also dab on the occasional boo-boo as it helps little cuts and scrapes heal faster.
Vanquish dry and chapped skin – great for refurbishing elbows and heels. I also use to lessen redness around my nose.
If you’re traveling by plane, check to make sure products aren’t over the carry-on size. There are no restrictions on the Eurostar that I know of – so go nuts!