There’s something somewhat lust-worthy about a French beauty brand. The French pharmacy market has taken the UK by storm over the last couple of years, providing a rather exotic alternative to the British brands that have been part of our repertoire for years. Although I’m a firm believer in supporting homegrown talent and British business, there’s nothing quite like popping on the Eurostar for a little indulgent shopping trip in ‘Gay Paris’. French women carry themselves in a completely different way to us Brits, relying on their glowing natural beauty rather than applying a mask of makeup or sticking on false lashes before a night on the town; they invest in their skincare regime, have a dermatologist on speed dial and believe in the power of a nude lipstick over a bright blue eyeshadow. Our high streets are bursting with Boots, Superdrug, Space NK and department stores, but in Paris it’s all about the local ‘pharmacie’ and an indulgent trip to Sephora. If you fancy channeling your inner Parisienne, then here are my top five beauty brands to pick up the next time you’re in the land of macarons and extra strong coffee.
Makeup artists and bloggers alike used to flock over the Channel just to stock up on Bioderma micellar water before it became available in the UK; the product that single-handledly started a trend is still a firm favourite. Although you can pick up micellar water over here relatively easily, the French pharmacies offer huge sizes and multi-purchase savings that are worth stocking up on. Think double the quantity and half the price, so if you’re a fan of Bioderma micellar water get thee to Paris. If you’re not, you need to experience the gentle cleansing power of a product that’s gentler than actual water.
2. LA ROCHE-POSAY
Another brand that’s become famous in the UK over the last ten years, La Roche-Posay formulates effective and gentle products that really do make a difference. They’re effective and caring, targeting everything from fine lines and dullness, to acne, large pores and very dry skin. The SeroZinc spray helps to reduce oiliness, mattify skin, reduce the appearance of pores and prep skin for makeup, while the Anthelios SPF is hardworking (SPF50 for the face) while providing wearable protection that doesn’t overload the skin.
A mothership in its own right, Sephora is a hub of beauty that offers every brand you can imagine in one place. However, it’s their own brand that’s well worth a look (and cheeky purchase.) From their affordable and super effective nail tools (their nail buffer and cuticle trimmer are to die for,) to their plethora of scented body products (toffee, caramel, blueberry…) and makeup that’s affordable yet professional quality, I can’t step into a store without coming out laden with bags. Considering you can only pick the brand up in France and America, that’s a reason in itself to make the most of the opportunity.
The soothing, anti-irritating properties of Avène Thermal Spring Water were discovered in the 1700’s. Three hundred years later the same spring water is used within all the Avène products to help treat dry skin, breakouts, dullness and irritation; my boyfriend and best friend rely on the brand to keep their skin looking great, while the stories I’ve heard from others have left me wondering what the magical secret behind the spring really is. Again, the brand is available in the UK, but while in Paris it’s worth stocking up on super sizes and discounted products – as well as getting your hands on any newness before it hits Britain.
5. YVES ROCHER
Positioned along the Champs-Élysées is a treasure trove of affordable makeup, skincare and body products. Yves Rocher are the French equivalent of Avon, providing fun and innovative products that are all about a moment of indulgence – rather than hardcore results. I love their makeup remover, body scrubs, lipbalms and hand cream… All of which you can pick up for less than a fiver. It’s so easy to waste an hour or two looking at all the different colours, flavours, scents and formulas; cheaper than Sephora but just as fun, Yves Rocher is well worth a look.
If that’s whetted your appetite for a little Parisienne-style shopping, then you’re in luck – because Leisure Jobs are giving away a trip for two to Paris so you can do just that! The weekend prize includes your flights, accommodation and a Michelin starred meal, so you can rejuvenate and relax after a long day perusing the shops of Champs-Élysées. All you have to do is enter the competition here and you could be jetting off to the streets of the French capital, stocking up on all your favourite beauty products while you’re there. What are you waiting for? Give it a go…
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Leisure Jobs; all opinions are my own.
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.
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