Can I just say that the French have the most amazing food. I ate so much that I'm glad I don't own any scales coz I would be too scared to look. My bags home were bursting with cake, brie, crepes, madeleines and pain au chocolat. I'm still craving some authentic French bread and butter. Yummm!
My sister and I carefully planned out our shopping trips and did plenty of research beforehand. As recommended by Lisa Eldridge in her French skin care video our main destination was City Pharma (26 Rue du Four, near Mabillon metro stop). Although you are never more than 5 minutes away from a pharmacy the prices differ widely. I incorrectly assumed that a pharmacy more towards the outskirts of Paris would be cheaper but this wasn't the case. City Pharma is slap bang in the centre but was the cheapest around, however this meant it was rammmmed. I had to side step and squeeze my way through at every opportunity. Wasn't the best shopping experience but the low prices made up for it. Between my sister and I we must have spent around £100 in two separate trips.
This is my little loot
Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution (500ml): The holy grail of makeup removers and the accolade is well deserved. It swiftly removes eye makeup (even waterproof) without a leaving any horrid residue behind nor does it feel drying. I only use this on my eyes not my face but it feels just like water. I bought 3 bottles which were on promotion for 7.50 euros each. Bargain!! I don't want to think about what I'll do when I run out, I can't bear the thought of paying £16 for a bottle off ebay.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent Micro-Exfoliant Lotion (200ml): My first foray into this brand and I am really pleased. I love astringents and prefer them over cleansing wipes. I don't feel like my face is clean enough until I see dirt and this removes a lot (thank you London pollution). This was 8.50 euros and I might buy it again. If it lives up to the claim of tightening and unclogging pores then I'll definitely do so.
Evan Facial Spray (300ml): I am hoping that this humongous bottle will be used if we ever get a summer this year. I have a mini Avene spray which is exactly the same thing but is much dearer. I actually bought this in a large Carrefour supermarket for about 3 euros.
The following creams and ointments were bought out of curiosity after reading Gwyneth Paltrow's list of must haves. I don't have sensitive skin but the Mr does and these are for his benefit more than mine.
Avibon - Vitamin A cream for dry/rough skin and apparently wrinkles?
Homeoplasmine - An antiseptic ointment for skin irritations
Biafine Act - For healing superficial burns and sun burnt/sensitive skin.
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Honey Lip Balm (15ml): A little pot of heaven. I am not easily swayed from my faithful Carmex and I don't usually like honey products but love this! It's preservative free and contains Acacia honey, Shea butter and grapefruit essence - it smells (and tastes *ahem*) so good. It's quite thick and I think this would be perfect for wintry chapped lips. I paid 6.90 euros at City Pharma.
Klorane Mango Butter Conditioning Balm (150ml): The words "mango butter" drew me in. It just sounds so moisturising! It doesn't smell very mango-ey which was a bit disappointing. In my opinion a balm is thick and creamy but this has a thin formulation. I've only used it twice so haven't noticed a considerable different in the texture of my hair yet but hope it works. I think I paid about 5 euros?
Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydration Shampoo & Phyto Phytobaume Hydration Express Conditioner: I've read about Phyto here and there but wanted to try for myself. There was such a wide range to choose from but I think I made the right choice. I normally always opt for hair products catering to dry hair in the hope that they will inject some life and moisture into my despairing barnet. I am waiting to run out of my current shampoo before cracking these open. I have only ever used "drug store" branded shampoos before so have high hopes. I paid 10 euros each.
With the exception of Bioderma most French brands are easily available to buy in the UK. I've included links to where you can buy them from in the titles but they are more expensive. I didn't buy anything from Avene, Caudelie or Liercac because nothing really took my fancy. I'm pretty pleased with my lot and am hoping I didn't miss out on something. What would you buy if you were visiting France?