My French Pharmacy/Supermarket Haul (skincare and more!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 2 - 2013

I spent every Summer in France as a teenager, so it was lovely to be able to rediscover some of my old haunts, particularly down the aisles of the nearest Super U.  My first stop wasn’t for skincare, but haircare.  My obsession with Dop shampoos has been a long-lasting inexpensive love affair which my poor Mother has to tend to every-time she returns to France in the Summer with a shopping list longer than her own!

French Buys_01

This time around I decided to treat my dry hair to some of their more moisturising shampoos in the shape of their Argan-oil and Shea Butter-enriched formulas.  Ignore the 2-in-1 labels, I never actually use these without a separate conditioner.  The bottle on the left is their original formula, I find that all of these shampoos are less stripping than many of their UK counterparts, plus the 400ml bottles last forever!  I paid around £1.40 per bottle.

French Buys_02

For conditioning, I picked up two Le Petit Marseillais products, one enriched with Shea and Argan, and one with Shea and Honey.  Both have been made for dry, frizzy hair-types and cost around £2 / £3.50 respectively.  All of the above I bought at Super U, our local French supermarket.

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Next, I moved on to the pharmacies.  Outside of Paris, there’s less choice in the brands available and they tend to vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.  Our local supermarket has it’s own rather wonderful para-pharmacy attached so I didn’t have to venture too far but I still couldn’t get my hands on any Embryolisse (I wasn’t surprised, I’ve never been able to in the past outside of major cities), or more disappointingly, Avibon – of which I was told they are currently experiencing a nationwide shortage!

I did, however, manage to pick up a tube of Homeplasmine which Mr. L uses on his lips when they’re cracked.  It’s a great alternative for anyone who dislikes the feeling of balms as it doesn’t feel remotely claggy or heavy with more of a matte texture.  It’s also great for sore, post-sniffles noses, and cuts and bruises and is priced at around £3.75 for a small tube.  My final pharmaceutical purchase was for Leila and is something I always get Mum to pick up for me in lieu of Calpol!  Doliprane is France’s generic kid’s paracetamol and dosage is measured by the child’s weight rather than their age, making it far more effective (in my opinion) at bringing down fevers.  It costs around £2 a bottle.

French Buys_04

I bullied myself into trying some new skincare products, desperate though I was to stock up on the old faithfuls.  I’m quite proud of myself that I didn’t come back with more than this!  My skin is still pretty dry and the change of water/travelling has made it quite finickity.  You may notice a bit of a Zinc theme running through my choices, blame my Dad… he’s a bit of a skincare tart (thanks to his eczema not vanity!) and led me in the direction of these tantalising treats.  What a great Dad I have!

I opted for a full set of skincare from makeup removal to cleansing, toning and moisturising.  I’m currently undergoing another round of IPL for facial hair removal, so tailoring my choices for irritated skin seemed like a good idea.

I went for: Uriage Anti Irritation Cleansing Gel (approx. £7.50), Bioderma Atoderm PO Zinc Ultra Soothing Creme (just under £10.00), a supermarket cheapie micellaire for eye-makeup removal in the shape of Mixa Eau Nettoyante Apaisante (£3.00), and La Roche Posay’s Serozinc which I’m hoping will provide additional cooling/calming after my lasering (£5.00).

French Buys_05

As if I could forget the chocolate (or the wine, but that’s a whole other post!)

The French seem to have a greater appreciation for salty caramel chocolate than we do in the UK.  Crunchy, smooth, chewy, silky… all textures are catered for… I reined myself in a little but could have returned with far more than what you see above!

What do you think of my buys?  Anything you’d like to try for yourself?


Allons enfants de la Patrie…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 14 - 2011

…Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

I have strong connections to our neighbours over the other side of the English Channel and I’m not just talking about my love for Steak Frites!  I spent every Summer, the entire 6 week school holidays practicing my rubbish French and playing with the local kids not too far from La Rochelle.  My parents still visit for a few months every Summer and still try to drag me over there for family holidays fifteen years later!

It’s been a good few years since I visited for longer than a day trip, I think the overkill when I was a child/teenager may have put me off a little but the country will always hold a special place in my heart.

So, in honour of Bastille day and the fact that ordinarily (were it not ‘weigh in day’) I would be stuffing my face with Brioche and Pain au Raisin to mark the occasion, I’m gonna pay tribute to some awesome and lesser-known French brands that you ought to know more about!

1.  Darphin – Hailing from Paris, Darphin is a professional, botanical skincare line that takes a more holistic approach.  Priding itself on its aromatic, plant-based formulas, the latest addition to the line: Melaperfect* is an Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Treatment designed for skin with hyper pigmentation.

2.  Rouge Baiser – This French drugstore brand is best known for creating the first ‘kiss-proof’ lipstick in 1927.  I own #405 L’Authentique… isn’t the packaging to die for?

3.  Nuxe – Born out of a small laboratory in Paris, Nuxe is now one of the best-selling brands in pharmacies today.  Another brand firmly based in natural origins, their dry oils have a global fan-base.  Apply a few spritzes to your skin, face, hair… anything that could do with a gentle golden shimmer!  The Huile Prodigieuse Or* is an iconic holiday essential.

4.  Payot – Created in 1927, this Parisian (I’m sensing a theme) Spa brand offers a huge range of products and spa treatments.  The philosophy of the brand is also heavily invested in massage techniques and facial exercises, practically pioneering beauty rituals that are still used in spas today.  The Payot Lift-Performance Firming Remodelling Care has been put to work on my (many) wobbly bits in the hope of some remodelling of my own!

5.  Caudalie – Born from French vineyards, the philosophy behind the brand is based in the anti-oxidant properties of the grape and the grapevine polyphenols.  The Caudalie Beauty Elixir promises to tighten pores and provides an instant burst of radiance to the skin.  I’m a long-term fan of the Grape Water spritz as an alternative to my Avene in hot weather so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can achieve any ooh la la miracles with the power of wine grape.

6.  T. LeClerc – The T. LeClerc line is steeped in heritage and prestige, best known for the iconic T. LeClerc powders in various correcting shades.  One day, I will get my hands on Banane but as things stand, I will make do with my blush and lipstick in all their beautifully packaged glory!

7.  Bioderma – You can’t enter a French pharmacie without being greeted by the same staple lines: Avene, Vichy, Bioderma, La Roche Posay and Biotherm to name just a few.  Of course most people know about the Bioderma Crealine H2O by now but the brand make some other lovely products too!  Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel is a gently foaming wash for combination skin that doesn’t strip my face of moisture.  I’m getting my Pharmacie dealer (a.k.a Mum) to bring me back some more Pharmacie goodies this Autumn!

8.  Parfums D’Empire – My most expensive perfume purchase to date is Ambre Russe from Parisian fragrance house, Parfums D’Empire.  The most decadent combination of rum (though I think I’m supposed to smell vodka), amber, leather, tobacco and tea that catapults you straight into the grand corridors of an imperial Russian palace of yesteryear.  It’s completely over the top and a love it or hate it scent.  Can you tell I love it?  Love.  It.  Next on my list is Cuir Ottoman… just as delightful.

.

What are your favourite French brands in honour of Bastille Day?

* press samples

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Monsavon au lait

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 29 - 2010

Soap.  In all it’s soapy glory.

When my parents make their annual French pilgrimage, Monsavon au lait (made since 1925) is one of the items on the (long) list of shopping requests that I send with them.

Inexpensive (well under 2 Euros a bar) and easy to get hold of over there, Monsavon au lait is simply one of the few soaps that doesn’t dry out my skin.  It’s not flash and it’s not glamourous… but it’s a bathroom essential for me with a comforting, soft scent that lingers on my skin.

[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Ingredients” ccolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa” cbgcolor=”778899″]Sodium Tallowate (so not suitable for vegans) – Sodium Cocoate – Sodium Palm Kernelate – Aqua – Glycerin – Parfum – Coconut Acid – Sine Adipe Lac – Sodium Chloeide – Titanium Dioxide – Linalool – Lanolin – Coumarin – etrasofium EDTA – Citronellol – Tetrasodium Etironate.  Equivalent of 1% milk.[/stextbox]

Do you have any favourite soap bars?

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