Each time I visit Paris, I make it my mission to find the biggest French pharmacy I can. I spend time wandering the aisles and give the helpful saleswoman a sheepish non, merci when I can still only guess that she’s asking me if I need assistance. My goal is always to pick up products that I can’t get in New York but sometimes I can’t help it and something just looks more appealing on the shelf of the French pharmacy. Here, the five products I bought on my most recent trip.
Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches With Soothing Cornflower – Ok, readily available in the US so we’re not off to the best start. Eye masks are a fairly new obsession of mine so I’m in the gotta-try-them-all phase. I keep a pair in the refrigerator to use on mornings when my eyes feel tired, whether it’s from lack of sleep or too much screen time. The shape is a tad larger than most which I like because all the more room for the soothing effect.
Nuxe Bio Beaute Vitamin-Rich Detox Mask – This amazing mask is only available in France so I’ve learned to stock up and/or have my boyfriend bring me a tub when he visits. Unlike any detox mask I’ve ever tried, it is very citrusy and has a gel texture that turns oily when massaged in and milky when rinsed off.
Nuxe Clarifying Cream Mask – I like to use a clarifying mask every other week or so and this one is much more gentle than my typical charcoal or mud mask. I recently ordered this face mask applicator that will make masks in tubs easier to apply, remove and keep clean.
Caudalie Anti-Aging Face Suncare SPF 30 – I’m saving this to test out once my current SPF is done. I love so many beauty products from Caudalie – face masks, serums, lip balms – so I have high hopes.
Tata Harper Very Bronzing – After thoroughly combing the ingredients list to be sure there was no coconut oil (coconut oil = instant spots on my skin), I was searching for this cream bronzer for weeks and couldn’t find it in stock anywhere. So I thought it was my lucky day when I spotted it at the incredibly chic Oh My Cream beauty shop in the 7th. I’ve used it nearly every day since. Applied with my fingers (my brush of choice the past year or so) on top of BB cream, it’s now my go-to summer makeup.
Face oils have become something of a secret weapon in my skincare. I dipped my toes in with this UMA face oil a couple of years ago and it was a slippery slope from there. Last week I was down to the last drops of two incredible Sunday Riley face oils – Luna and UFO.
Let’s start with the UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil. Meant for spot-prone skin, it’s a dry face oil meaning it absorbs quickly with no greasy residue and layers well under moisturizer and/or makeup. The formula has salicylic acid and tea tree oil, both common in spot treatments. What makes it better is the rest: milk thistle and cucumber seed oil to counteract the drying effects of the acid, licorice to brighten and even out any discoloration from old spots, chamomile and neroli to soothe stressed-out skin. I apply a layer under moisturizer a few nights in a row any time I feel a breakout coming on and it makes everything heal and disappear more quickly. Another bottle of the UFO oil is already en route to my apartment.
I’m indifferent about the Luna Sleeping Night Oil. There’s absolutely nothing I didn’t like about it, but it didn’t have the life-changing effect on my skin that I was expecting. It’s made with one of my favorite skincare ingredients, blue tansy, but I prefer it in May Lindstrom’s blue cocoon balm. As far as retinol goes, it’s incredibly gentle. Sunday Riley balances the potentially aggressive ingredient with soothing chamomile, avocado seed oil and the aforementioned blue tansy. The only reason I’d repurchase the Luna is to keep a gentle retinol in my routine until I’m in need of a stronger dose. If you’re just looking to wake up to miraculously brighter skin, my recommendation is this Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
One of the skills I developed living in New York City is the ability to leave my apartment in the morning with a single bag ready for an array of plans. Things I’ve learned: day-to-night outfits are real, these bandaids replace the need for a change of shoes, and a makeup routine that can last through hot yoga.
I’m not against going bare-faced but sometimes a workout class is followed by brunch or happy hour or something that calls for looking somewhat put-together. And sometimes taking the subway in the summer is about the same thing. It was a happy accident that I discovered this four-step makeup routine that will last through anything.
Here’s what works. I start with this Becca primer which isn’t even advertised to extend the wear time of makeup. Then it’s a layer of my favorite BB cream applied with my fingertips (and a dab of concealer if needed) set with a translucent powder. The key is to seal it all in with a few spritzes of the Pixi makeup fixing mist.