I can’t lie. I’m a francophil. Thanks to my parents, I heard French at home and learned to speak it as a kid. I could live on a diet of cheese and wine. I listen to French pop music, read French authors, and I absolutely love French style. When I was a teen, I dragged my mom around Paris searching for Chanel and oogling all the clothes I was determined to buy when I was “older.”
Today, I’m older and I’m sharing a few of my favorite French beauty and fashion items.
French pharmacies are AMAZING. Well, depending on which one you stumble in to. Some have more selection than others, but in general, they carry brands that are only to be had at Sephora at home. I could spend hours looking at everything, but I doubt the pharmacists would like that. They tend to want to help and solve any problem I may be having. Browsing doesn’t seem to be a thing they understand.
L’Occitane. This line is now available in the US and has its own stand alone shops in Paris, in addition to being in the pharmacies. I adore the smell of Shampooing Réparateur and the Aprés Shampooing. Plus, it leaves my hair shiny and silky soft.
Phyto. Paris water is very drying. I’m not sure how that works exactly, but it’s true. Liam, the hairdresser with mesmerizing chest hair, ordered me to get hair oil and explained that I must stop washing my hair everyday. Since taking his advice, my hair feels and looks so much healthier.
Before coming to France, I was already a fan of their Smoothing Mask which I liked to leave on overnight, but I’d never considered leave-in hair oil before. Phytolisse is amazing. It smells nice, can be used on damp or dry hair and keeps all the frizzy, dryness at bay.
I love La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60. It’s one of the nicest, lightweight, non-greasy sunblocks I’ve ever used and I’m trying to figure out how to keep myself in supply once back in the States.
Repetto is my downfall. Some women love Christian Louboutin, but I love Repetto because it’s less “statusy” if that makes sense. They also make toe shoes for ballerinas which, I think, is why my high arches fit so easily in their shoes. I went a little crazy the other day and bought all of these:
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single shoe shop that would stretch them because they are “too delicate.” As soon as Bug took the box out, the clerks would shake their heads. However, BHV (a great department store in my neighborhood) has a crazy shoe repair department and Bug was able to buy high heel stretchers. We’re about to see if my time managing a shoe department back in college will pay off 😀
Chanel. Every year (except last year when he was enthralled with his bitchtress), Bug brings me back perfume from his fall trip to Europe. Always Coco Mademoiselle. Yes, I know it can be bought in the US, but I love the presentation of it when you buy it in Paris. And I love Coco.
While in Paris, I’ve also picked up Chanel cosmetics. I don’t know why I’ve never tried them before, but I’m very impressed by the lipstick. It stays on all day and through a well-dressed salad. I bought Rouge Allure in Excentrique which is a gorgeous tangerine color and when I wear it, I’m frequently asked about it.
This summer, I had been wearing OPI A Roll in the Hague, a yellow-ish orange (seeing a theme here?) that I loved for its cheery brightness. But then I discovered Chanel’s Blue Rebel and it was GAME OVER. A nail polish that looks like dark denim? YES, PLEASE. Even better, it goes on evenly with two coats.
Myla and Wolford Okay, so Myla is British and Wolford is German, but I’m going to include them here because French women speak my language. As in, we love pretty under things. Even before I was a stylist, I preached the importance of nice foundation pieces – both for support and creating good lines, but also to just make yourself feel a little sexier. Someone once asked me if Wolford stockings and tights were worth the investment, to which I said, “Hell, yes.” They feel amazing on, are super soft, stay up, and never bag out. Of course, they do make insanely sexy leg wear that I’ve seen women here wearing during the day. I doubt anyone at home would dare wear bondage inspired tights out of their house – or to the office.
As for Myla, I think every woman should have at least one pretty thing to sleep in. It doesn’t have to be super sexy, and I think Myla does a nice job balancing comfort with pretty.
Let me know if you have any favorite french products, I’m always looking for more 😀