My two month stay in France was more than just a cultural exchange on my end. I took it as a chance to learn about the French way of life, and that included studying how effortlessly beautiful French women are and how they achieve it, and applying the things I’ve learned into my lifestyle as well. Honestly, I don’t remember a time I ever came across a French woman with bad skin. They always looked so fresh and clean, even glowing, and thick makeup is almost a non-existent occurrence on their faces. They don’t need any of it! Their skin is almost always perfect, they always looked so darn classy and effortless and I wish I was exaggerating. (Of course, I sound like I’m stereotyping, but I’ve met a lot of French women during my 2 months in France and each time I’m floored by how beautiful they are!)
While in Paris Gab and I took a break from exploring the city and we made our way to Citypharma on 26 Rue du Four, despite the sudden rain and getting lost, we soldiered on. All for the love of French skincare. You can actually find majority of these skincare brands in the pharmacies around Paris or around France, but Citypharma was like the mothership for all French skincare. I kid you not, October wasn’t a terrible tourist season for Paris but Citypharma was packed… It’s a definite stop for beauty addicts — I even bumped into one of Preview magazine’s beauty writers named Belle, we both found bumping into each other quite hilarious because we’ve never seen each other in Manila (considering how small Manila can be, especially for both of us in the creative industry) but we bumped into each other all the way in Paris — and at a pharmacie. Thankfully, I had Gab with me and he helped look for certain products I wanted, which made the entire thing quick and easy. Yay for thoughtful boyfriends <3
From left to right (top row):
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Retinol Connexion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, Homeoplasmine
From left to right (bottom row):
La Roche-Posay Tinted BB Cream, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, Bioderma Crèaline H20
I also did my fair share of Googling and reading through various beauty sites for the best and favorite skincare products of models, French celebrities, professional makeup artists, etc. and I made sure I picked the ones I thought would fit my skin type best: dry skin. So if you ever find yourself in Paris, you’ll get a general idea of what to pick up if you’re looking to invest in taking care of your skin too, especially if you have dry skin like me!
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is a multi-purpose face, body and hair oil suitable for all skin types. I especially love putting it on my skin after a nice shower, as well as spritzing it on my fingers then rubbing it on my hair. It is also scented, and although I dislike the scent from the bottle (reminds me of old lady perfume), it works well with my body chemistry. Everytime I use this on my body, Gab always compliments the way I smell, so that leads me to believe that it mixes well with my skin. The week I left for my Eurotrip was when this brand was made available locally in the Philippines. I believe you can find Nuxe at Rustan’s and Beauty Bar, and the best part is they sell it around the same price you can get it in France! I absolutely love this product, and I would definitely buy it again.
Bioderma Créaline H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanser is a miracle product. This is a cult favorite and is what a lot of professional makeup artists swear by because it takes off makeup in one swipe. I love how I can use it on my eyes without risking stinging. It’s highly effective while being completely gentle on your skin. Sometimes I don’t even have to wash my face anymore, I just use this product entirely. I regret not stocking up on this product more because I’ve heard that although it’s available locally, they cost twice than they usually do in France, which is disappointing.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Creme works to reduce the look of expression lines and deep wrinkles, which I have a lot of in the undereye area due to excessive eye scratching/rubbing as I was growing up. Retinol is apparently the best ingredient to fight signs of aging, my only issue is, it’s quite strong for the undereye area. After using this product for a few nights, my undereye started to get dry and patchy, so I’ve resorted to applying the creme, waiting for it to dry and then placing Nivea Creme on top of it to help moisturize. I realize this makes a huge difference and so far I don’t get patchy dry skin under my eyes anymore. I’m not entirely sure how effective it will be now that I’ve introduced Nivea Creme to help ease the dryness, but hopefully it will still work.
Homeoplasmine is an ointment made for skin irritations, containing extracts of plants and an antiseptic. It’s mostly used by nursing mothers for chapped nipples, but it’s a great remedy for skin areas that get dry and chapped too — like your lips. I have perpetually dehydrated lips and this product has helped hydrate my lips so I can put on lipstick better. Gab also gets extremely dry skin on his hands that get red and itchy, and I’ve used this product on his hands to help soothe them and they work almost instantly. It’s been argued that it’s basically Vaseline, but I will have to disagree completely. I’ve used Vaseline before and it has never helped hydrate chapped lips or help with dry skin patches… It always just leaves me gross and greasy! Homeoplasmine is something I would recommend and another product I would gladly buy again, but I think this one will last me at least more than a year, thankfully!
Caudalíe Beauty Elixir helps smooth, hydrate and tighten your pores with the help of 8 essential oils and is apparently inspired by the ‘Elixir of youth’ used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary. Knowing this little tidbit makes me imagine I’m a queen as I spritz it on my face after cleansing. It’s also great for setting makeup, or using as a midday spritz on your face to refresh your skin. I love how it comes in a 100 mL bottle so I can easily travel with it.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré … where do I begin? I love this product so much that I tend to only use it for special days like big events, date nights, before photoshoots for work, etc. I would use this everyday if it was easily available here, but unfortunately I can only get this in the US or in France, so I’ll savour it. It’s a great makeup primer and moisturizer in one, and while the website claims you can use it as makeup remover, I think that would use too much product and therefore would be a waste! My only issue is the packaging, which is like soft metal, so when I squeeze the packaging to get the product out it leaves a dent and so it’s stuck in this irregular shape, and I’m sure when I’m about to run out it’ll be hard to thoroughly squeeze as much product out as I can.
La Roche-Posay Tinted BB Cream with SPF… I was never a fan of tinted moisturizer or BB Cream (mostly because I can never find a good one?) but this one is now a favorite for days I don’t really want to bother with makeup. It helps even out my skin tone, and although I got the wrong shade for my natural skin, it works wonders for my fake tan which I’m planning to keep for a while. If you know where I can get La Roche-Posay products locally, please direct me to the right place! I’m fairly certain I’ve seen it here before.
Klorane Dry shampoo with oat milk is actually for the hair, so technically not a skincare product, but it’s so good I thought I’d include it anyway! If you didn’t already know, I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week for hair health reasons, depending on how often I go out. Dry shampoo has been a lifesaver for 2 day old hair and giving it some life and texture. Ever wonder how French women always manage to get that nice tousled ‘I woke up like this’ hair? Dry shampoo, my friend, dry shampoo.
Some of these products I’ve been using since October, and others I’ve been using since December. I’m thinking I’ve spent around Php 7,000 – 8,000 on these skincare products alone and I honestly have no regrets. I never thought I’d spend this much, but when it comes down to it, your skin is something you need to take care of because it affects your overall well-being too. My perpetually thirsty skin has looked healthier and better since, and even my makeup looks smoother and application is easier. I’ve gone bare faced more often in the last few months, just because my skin on its own looks and feels great.
I’ll probably do a follow up vlog in a few months to talk about my overall experience with each product and see if I still feel the same way I do right now. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find better alternative? I’m still keeping my mind open to try other products, but I’m definitely forever sold on the idea that the French know skin care, and they know and uphold quality in their products. I can actually trust these brands to do what they say their products do. French skin care is all that it is hyped up to be. :-)