a guide to french beauty...
It's been a week since my trip to gay Paris and finally the ominous jet lag has worn of... well hallelujah because I've been dying to write this post regarding all things French beauté.
Just to set the scene: my husband and I stayed in a boutique hotel in the center of the Latin Quarter in Paris. This area was PRIME for people watching because of it's proximity to the Sorbonne, among other French schools. We would set up shop daily on one of those quintessential, Parisian wicker chairs outside of a local cafe, down some serious café au laits and just STARE... usually with our mouths wide open, and without a word whispered between us for hours. It. Was. Heaven. I have to say, I noticed a marked difference between American and French women. French women seemed for sure more laissez-faire when it came to their demeanor and beauty sense. There wasn't a "blown out" head of hair in sight (gasp!) and their make up routines appeared au natural. I also noticed there was a lack of botox and filler in the women that passed me by but my husband assured me that Europe was a leading consumer for such anti-aging technologies. Maybe this young, carefree generation of French filles just don't need much help from Juvederm, or, could it be that the Kardashian craze hasn't left a lasting impression? Because I am indeed a beauty blogger, I needed to investigate the coveted French beauty rituals and products... thank the good Lord my sister, Amy, was accompanying me for part of my trip to help with this important portion of my research. We gathered info (aka spent beaucoup bucks) at multiple French pharmacies as well as at "Oh My Cream!.. an upscale French skincare store. Below is a list of my favorite, French beauty must-haves:
Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray: Every Pharmacy I entered in Paris had bottles and bottles of this stuff lining it's shelves, and for good reason: this spray has been around for centuries (yes, CENTURIES!) and is sworn to calm, soothe and soften skin. I tested it out on my 8 hour + plane ride back to the homeland and boy did it deliver a hydrating boost to my face. Nowadays, I douse my face with this on the regular POST- makeup, to give my foundationed skin a much-needed punch of dew.
Embroylisse: Ok, so I first heard of this cream from Khira, a friend and a well-informed local makeup artist. For a photo shoot on one occasion, she prepped my skin with her own precious stash that she had bought in Paris. I loved it so much and drove my husband absolutely batty trying to find it in Paris (little did I know you could buy it from Dermstore in the good ol' U S of A). This milky cream provides a serious emollient to your skin and leaves it feeling majorly plumped. It absorbs well and is something I can't seem to live without these days when priming my skin for an important event... and by important event, I'm alluding to Friday nights spent in my favorite crevice of my couch stuffing my face with all things in sight. At least I look like a bonafide homecoming queen doing so.
Nuxe: (Disclosure: this European cult favorite hasn't won over my very picky sister as of yet. She lives in Italy and claims to be "so over this crap.") I, on the other hand, am obsessed. The greatest thing about Nuxe oil is that it is a multitasker. You can use it as a hair mask or to smooth dry ends. It is intensely hydrating for all of your skin needs... head-to-toe and it doesn't leave a gross residue. I was most attracted because of it's scent. It's light and sensual and makes me feel especially Euro chic.
Klorane Dry Shampoo: This French dry shampoo has been receiving well-deserved praise for years and as soon as my feet hit the French tarmac, I was super pumped to find it and try it. Klorane, as a brand, was in abundant supply at every single pharmacy I walked into. My sister swears by their shampoo and conditioner and after one enchanting whiff, I was for sure going to buy their dry shampoo. There are a few versions of Klorane's dry shampoo, and since I'm a huge fan of powder, I naturally snagged that... OMG is this stuff heaven! It's a "clean" product, that absorbs well into the scalp, doesn't leave a residue or nasty build up and best of all- won't make the people around you want to run and stick their heads out the window. This stuff is just so pleasant all around, and this coming from a girl who's never used the word "pleasant." I've come to discover that Klorane is sold at multiple sources in the US, I'm dumbfounded I had to travel thousands of miles to actually try it.
In the more upscale skincare stores, there was so much overlap of what we have here at home. I did learn about some upcoming Danish and Australian brands which I'm excited to explore more in the future. Skinceuticals and Dermalogica are the best sellers for Parisians not unlike us across the Atlantic.
C'est tout mes amis... I ADORED Paris and it's joie de vivre beauty vibe. It was minimalistic, individualistic and less fussy than I'm used to seeing over here. Considering I take a sweat pant approach to my wardrobe, I'd like to adopt the French way when it comes to my hair and makeup. Unfortunately friends, if I let this beastly mane of mine "air dry", I might be mistaken for the original material girl, crimped hair et al. and something tells me that was only cool three decades ago.