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All hail the French pharmacy. Not only can you find medications for headaches, fill prescriptions, and solutions for any ailment, but also, beauty products. I remember asking Sarah what I should do if I ran out of my favorite moisturizer. “I’m sure there is a French brand you could become addicted to…and then never find again.” (Hilarious…but, sadly true.) While I hope that a lot of these products don’t fit into the latter category, they certainly fit into the former.

The French take their skin care routines very seriously, we know this. They have beautiful glowing skin. However, what exactly are they using? I may have stalked followed some girls just to see what they were buying. (Sometimes in bulk!).

These products represent a treasure hunt. They might not have the fanciest packaging, but they are well tested. During this trip, and over the years, I have come to regard these as some of my absolute favorites!

1. Labello

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Quite simply one of the best product lines for lip balm. It’s so creamy, and feels wonderful. The classic one is perfect under bright lipstick or for bedtime. The cherry is a fantastic color reformulated and the color is not as dark. It’s flattering on everyone. The day I saw a French girl at a soirée in Paris pull this out of her pocket, I was beyond thrilled. The olive and lemon is an addictive scent, and I often wear it alone just because of the way it smells. Bryan brought it from Germany and I’ve never seen it since! And the pink pearl and shine is great to wear alone, over other lipsticks, and bonus, an on the go highlighter…just enough light catching-not glittery. 🙂

2. Bourjois

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No matter how many mascaras I try, (and since they have to be replaced every four months…) I always go back to Bourjois when I am here. This particular one was not my usual, but more of an ‘impulse buy…near the register’. However, I love it. Volume, non-gloopy, and a great brush! They used to sell this line of maquillage at Sephora, and it was a sad day for me when it vanished.

3. Bioderma Créaline H2O

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Since becoming a fanatic of the new eyeliner by Nars, I had not found a product that was successful at removing it. There had to be a product…so I did some research. Apparently, this is a cleansing water for sensitive skin that is also an excellent make-up remover. It’s revered by make-up artists who need to change looks for runways or photo shoots without irritating the skin. I love it because it really works, it’s cheap, it doesn’t irritate my eyes. 🙂

4. Le Petit Marseillais

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Just a small selection of the best bodywash on the planet. There are so many different scents, from flowers to citrus, or the ones more geared towards men, which I happen to also really like. The formulas do not really linger, so I never really feel competition with perfume. And yes, it is worth buying a bunch and shipping them home. 🙂 Cent percent.

5. La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche

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This company is really wonderful. There are very few additives, and it is designed for sensitive skin. This is soothing protective cream, and it really does an amazing job at moisturizing. Plus, I think they sell it at the drug stores back home. 🙂 Love!

6. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Riche

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Same company, different product line. The Hydreane line is really great for super dry areas, if your nose hurts because you have a cold, or windburn. Since Clinique stopped making Comfort on Call, I needed a new sensitive skin healer. This is working great, and I know it will be come in handy with all that pesky wind on Lake Shore Drive.

7. Klorane Dry Shampoo

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It took me a long time to get on board with this idea. I know all of the drawbacks to daily hair washing, but wasn’t really interested. I woke up one day and had a leisurely morning. Made breakfast, watched some TV, and just relaxed. Well, when I had decided what I wanted to do that day, I went to take a shower and the water was shut off. As this is Paris, one cannot go out looking like a slouch. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, bien sûr. Needless to say, I was stuck inside until 5pm. Never again. This is an amazing product, and actually gives my fine hair more volume than it has the first day of styling. Fantastic!!

8. Boiron-Homéostick

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Yes, another lip balm. 🙂 This one I feel is more of a lip treatment. You can put it on whilst getting ready, and by the time you want to apply lipstick, it’s completely revitalized your lips. Especially important lately with all of the on trend dark lipsticks. Bonus: it’s the only lip balm I can honestly say that upon application, there will be no red wine stains on les lèvres. 🙂

9. Avène Eau Thermale

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Perfect spray that is designed to soothe skin that has been irritated for a variety of reasons. It’s also a great pick me up in the afternoon. Works wonders to set make-up too. And Thermal Spring water from France, oui, bien sûr!

10. Avène Eau Thermale – Très Haute Protection

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Since I have a great enjoyment of ‘Café-life’, and walking like un flâneur, I go through a lot more sunscreen than I used to. (Sleeping during the day.) A lot can be said for many types of sunscreens. I personally really like the Neutrogena Dry-touch, but alas, I have found another product to love whilst I am here. 🙂 And again, the thermal spring water…how refreshing. 🙂

There is un pharmacie on almost every street or two, and in every neighborhood. They all have their own charms. Some are quite small, with limited selection, others very large. The things they have in common are the pharmacists who work there. Everyone I have met is incredibly friendly and helpful. They are all eager to assist you to find the right product.

The two that I enjoy the most, if I had to choose:

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Pharmacie de la Marie
6 rue des Archives, 4th
Metro: #1 Hôtel de Ville

Not only are the shelves stocked to the ceiling with every product line, they also have a huge selection of miniatures or travel sizes of most of their best sellers. You know I love that!

City-Pharma
26 Rue de Four, 6th
Metro: Saint-Germain des Prés

This place is an always crowded Mecca of discounted products. There are also value packs of almost everything! Great value in Saint-Germain, especially after €5,50 Café Crème at Café de Flore. 🙂

I hope this was entertaining. I love products, and to quote my mother, “Kate, no one is this ugly.” But it’s certainly fun to experiment. And who doesn’t need more thermal spring water in their lives? 🙂

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