I was lucky enough to spend the summer at at a friend’s apartment in Paris (thanks, Meg!)I conducted some personal research on what was on the market in terms of French health, lifestyle, and beauty products. Here are my favorite beauty souvenirs to buy in France.
French Beauty Souvenirs - tonics, skincare, “secret” remedies.
Homeoplasmine - I'm obsessed with this multipurpose salve. It’s on many “makeup artist’s favorite item to stock up on in Paris” lists. It’s like Vaseline with homeopathic ingredients that reduce inflammation and help heal small wounds without scarring. It's the best for lips, dry cuticles, and scratches. Great for adding shine to your face so you can contour with light. I also love it for that glossy look on eyelids, my favorite way to do an evening eye is to smudge some pigment up from the lashline and then dab Homeoplasmine onto the center of my eyelid. You can also use it as the top layer of your skincare regimen overnight to seal in the effects of whatever serum or cream you're using.
Biafine Cream - Great multipurpose cream. I use it more for my body than my face on dry spots or for overall moisture. It smells light and green, like the OG Aesop.
Delarom Oxygenating Balancing Aroma - I love this stuff. I was turned on to it by an employee at Pharmacie des Archives. It's a bit more expensive than some of the other brands in the Pharmacie, but it's all natural and IMO worth it.
Caudalie Mask Creme Hydratant - Great moisturizing face mask, and Caudalie is way cheaper in France than it is in the states. This mask feels so nourishing.
Micellar Water - might not qualify as a deep cleanse, but it does the job quickly, and without residue. I like this one by Bioderma.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse - smells like summertime and makes your skin look alive. I don't think many women over the age of 18 use the gold shimmer version. I, however, love vulgarities.
Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre
might not be the most deeply nourishing but it leaves the best finish and serves as an excellent primer for makeup.
Embryolisse - is considered a "cult classic," a makeup artists’ fave. I think of it as a great moisturizing primer. It leaves your skin with a velvety finish that is unlike anything else I've tried. On a good face day, I often wear it alone.
Vegetal, beautifying herbal teas & "Tisanes"
You can buy a variety of “tisanes,” made with natural ingredients for beauty that you don't see in the same way as in the US (yes we have Kylie Jenner's solution to a full colon) but these are herbal and actually lovely solutions for things like slimming, reducing sugar cravings, etc. Look for words like “drainant” to release water weight and bloating, with ingredients such as artichoke (artichaud) fennel (fenouil) and “extrait de vigne rouge” if that's what you're into. I got them at my fave pharmacie: Pharmacie des Archives. This is one of the most delicious teas I've ever had. The same company sells a "melange drainant" too.
Tonics made by local pharmacies
So few people seem to know that most pharmacies in France produce their own herbal tonics aimed at different things such as improved circulation, releasing water retention and bloating. These tonics are a closely guarded secret, and I'm convinced that it's the one Americans have been searching for! You might have to ask the Pharmacist multiple times in order for them to share; often they will keep the tonics behind the counter. They are consumed either upon waking or before bed, with water.
I had two, one was for circulation with vigne rouge which I would add to a glass of water in the morning. The other was made with artichoke which helped counteract my eager consumption of cheap, beautiful wine and salty charcuterie.
Do you have any favorite beauty products or items you stock up on when you're in France?