Turning French on you, part III - Beauty department

October 02, 2012

For the third and final installment of my French series, I will be talking about the French approach to beauty and some of the essentials that make French women so irresistibly beautiful.
In France, there is no such thing as a drugstore à la CVS where you can find about anything, from medicine to groceries to cigarettes and alcohol. Maybe this is because beauty must be minimalistic and customized. There are pharmacies, much smaller than in the US, where you can buy medicine, weight-loss products and vitamins, skincare products and make-up from a specific brand or two. Then there are the beauty stores or parfumeries (Sephora, Beauty Monop', Marionnaud) where you can find most US drugstore brands and, depending on the store's size and scale, the pricier brands.
In any of those places, however, you're never on your own, like at CVS or Target. It's practically like Sephora; a beauty assistant comes to you and helps you find exactly what you need (well, sometimes they tend to be a little pushy) and gives you advice on how to use the products you're buying. The French approach is all about less piling on, and more prevention: you're encouraged to treat whatever skin or hair problem you're having at the core, rather than hide it and temporarily fix it. Beauty becomes a way of life: French women tend to have a long beauty routine, and when you live in Paris I can guarantee your bathroom will be overcrowded with dozens of "essential" products.

Nivea creme: the legendary blue tin box contains a multi-purpose cream that the French are extremely excited about (you should see Nivea's French website). It is insanely hydrating and soothing.

La Roche-Posay Mela-D Serum: French women age beautifully, and that's because they take excellent care of their skin very young. This anti dark-spot concentrate helps fade acne marks and scars to obtain a clearer, unified complexion.

Phyto Phytodensium Anti-Aging Hair Serum: This serum protects hair from aging (yes, it ages!) and helps keep its vitality.

Mason Pearson brush: A timeless quality investment, this brush leaves hair shiny and soft.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: I discovered Huile Prodigieuse at my local pharmacy, as it was on sale there. As the French media raves about it, I gave it a try. You can use it for the skin, the hair, the nails, and it smells wonderful. Truly prodigious.

Korres blush: This Greek brand is much more easy to find in Europe, and many of the beauty stores I went to carried it. I love their approach to beauty, which is simple, pure, and natural. This blush gives a just hint of rose on your cheeks, as they would look after a long invigorating walk.

Guerlain Météorites: I absolutely love the Météorites because they correct the complexion and bring a glow to your face without making it look like a disco ball. Also, the violet scent: a winner for me!

Lancôme Nail Polish in "Joli Jardin": A French woman's nails are always perfect. Many prefer to go for the natural look (which has nothing to do with the porn-star two-inch-long French manicure this side of the ocean). The advantage with this colour is that it's natural but slightly darker than usual, and it is long-lasting and chip-free.

Clinique BB Cream: The Japanese BB Cream sensation has been having enormous success in France; it's all what is talked about. I mean, an alternative to foundation that does so many more things (correcting, evening, hydrating, etc...).

L'Oréal Volume Millions de Cils Mascara: There wasn't one beauty store (even Sephora!) where an adviser hasn't recommended this mascara to me. I've tried it, and I loved it! Definitely a favourite.

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1 comment:

Lo Kelly said...

Oh gosh, this was such a fun post! I must get that huile, as I've been meaning to get it for a while now....

Merci beaucoup.

A la prochaine,

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