Now that our time here is all-too-quickly drawing to a close, I'm making a special effort to enjoy those things that I know I'll miss most - fresh croissants, quality wine, cool weather. But there are a few things I like about France that I'll be able to bring back with me...like beauty products.
French women have quite the reputation for beauty, style, and elegance. Even after living here for six months, I still don't quite have the knack of emulating their look entirely. As Carrie Bradshaw famously said, "I will never be the woman with perfect hair who can wear white and not spill on it." These beauty products, however, are a good start. They've all been major lifesavers, and I'll definitely be stocking up before I return home.
1 // Biotherm Creme Solaire Anti-Age. I found this little guy by accident. Even though it was still chilly in April when we moved here, I still managed to get sunburnt on my face while touring Chateau Chenonceau for a few hours. After awkwardly miming with the sales girl at Parashop, I wound up with this. It's both a face cream and a good quality sunscreen - often a hard combination to find. It's incredibly silky and it blends really well. Plus, it's lightly scented, and I think it smells really good. Hands down, this is my favorite product and my new go-to for a face cream/sunscreen combo. You can find it on Amazon.
2 // L'Occitane Creme Mains. So this one isn't exactly a new discovery. I had been using these hand creams before moving to France, but of course they're cheaper here. I immediately picked up a tube of Pivoine Flora after finishing my existing one. These lotions are not greasy and they absorb into your skin really well - I can't stand having slippery lotion hands, and this brand is one of the best I've ever used for that purpose. I like the Pivoine Flora, but my favorites are the two rose scents. You can find L'Occitane products at Sephora (or, if you live in Greenville, the L'Occitane store right beside Sephora at Haywood Mall).
3 // Caudalie Divine Oil. Also not a new discovery. I had received a tiny sample of this in my Birchbox, but couldn't really justify paying the $35 for it in America. However, in browsing through Parashop, I noticed the same size was only 14 euros here - a bargain. And so it came home with me. The air is really dry here - nowhere near as humid as South Carolina - so this lightly floral scented oil is a lifesaver for arms, legs, knees, elbows, and anywhere you're plagued with dry skin. When my cousin-in-law came to visit I got her hooked on it as well, and as I was writing this post I received an email from her asking me to bring her back a couple of bottles. It's that good. This can also be found at Sephora.
4 // Klorane Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair. My roots tend to get oily very quickly, but I only wash and dry my hair every other day to keep the ends healthy. Ergo, dry shampoo is a must-have in my bathroom cabinet. Klorane is my new favorite brand because they make dry shampoo for brunettes. Standard white baby powder-looking dry shampoo is really hard to rub into my extremely dark hair without the dreaded skunk stripes. This stuff, however, sprays easily and absorbs quickly. Brunettes, rejoice. Just shake it really well, spray on oily areas, let it sit for 10 minutes (while you do your makeup, perhaps?), and then massage it in to blend. Voila. Bonus points because it's a spray, not an actual powder - it's easier to target certain areas and avoid dumping powder everywhere. You can find this at Sephora as well (can you tell I love me some Sephora?).
5 // Avene Eau Theramale. This is the most bizarre product but I love it. If you boil it down to the lowest common denominator, it is spray water. Water in a can. That's it. But it obviously has some kind of mineral or goodness in it, because it's incredibly soothing. I sprayed B and I both with it very well after we fell asleep on the beach in Spain and got sunburnt. We both healed quickly with minimal peeling. It is especially great on sunburns, after shaving or waxing, or to refresh your skin after air travel. Apparently it also helps with diaper rash, face redness, post-surgery, and more (check out the link for details). This is an easy and inexpensive way to (somehow) keep your skin fresh and healthy. A mystery in a bottle - sold.
So these are my favorite French beauty products. Do you use any beauty products that are French in origin? I'd love to hear other favorites!