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Beauty products you just want to try!

MyFrenchLife™ - beauty productsThe reasons why French women remain slim and beautiful despite their smoking, eating and exercising (or lack thereof) habits are a source of constant speculation from envious North American women – myself among them.

I suspect there isn’t just one answer to the age-old question about the French je ne sais quoi. But what I’ve learned spending time in France is that the beauty products available on the French market certainly can’t hurt; they are par excellence. The Lancôme that you buy at your local department store is nothing compared to what they sell in France – the ingredients are different, and once you’ve had the real thing, you’ll notice.

For your shopping convenience, I’ve compiled a list of my top French beauty essentials.

1. Garnier Ultra Doux soin sans rinçage à l’huile d’avocat et beurre de karité

This lightweight leave-in conditioner makes even the most stubborn, tangled hair smooth, easy to comb and – dare I say it – shiny. You need only a bit, so a bottle lasts ages. (I’ve had mine for over a year, and I use it weekly.)

2. Yves Saint Laurent French manicure – Kit 2 stylos

The most user-friendly at-home French manicure kit available. The pen-style brush allows you to draw even white lines on your own nails – and the pale pink top coat dries quickly, so you can have perfectly done nails in the time it takes to fly between Paris and London.

MyFrenchlife™ - beauty products3. Diorskin Airflash brume de teint

This is an aerosol foundation. Forget blending and blotches. One quick spray in a circular motion in the general direction of your face, and you’ll have flawless coverage all day.

4. Guerlain Météorites poudre pour le visage

Blush and all-over-shimmer in one, these gorgeous little pearls will give you a rosy, natural glow that somehow only improves as your day goes on.

5. Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll eau de toilette

With notes of gooseberry, wild rose and grenadine, this sweet floral scent is distinct without being overpowering. It can easily transition from day to night, and works well as a signature scent.

6. Bourjois ombre à paupières

These petite round eye shadow pots are easy to transport and perfect for everyday wear. Beige rosé is an essential neutral; it works well as a base shadow, too. Noir précieux works well as powder eyeliner and can be used to create a sultry smoky eyes look.

MyfrenchLife™ - beauty products

7. Lancôme mousse radiance

This is the only facial cleanser I will ever use. Light and foamy, it leaves skin smooth, even-toned and blemish-free. There is nothing else like it – beware of imitations.

8. Sephora lait corps

A light body lotion, in fun scents like gooseberry/blackberry, vanilla crême brûlée and lemon meringue, that rubs in easily, leaving skin smooth but not sticky.

9. Lancôme mascara Hypnôse oynx

Forget layering multiple mascaras to get the eyelashes you long for – this mascara is all you need. Your lashes will look visibly longer with every coat, and this version of Hypnôse contains a subtle sparkle for that je ne sais quoi we’re all after.

10. Kerastase Shampoo and Conditioner

MyFrenchLife™ - beauty products

No matter what type of hair you have, Kerastase has a line of products that will force it to behave the way you’ve only dreamed it might.

11. Sephora Lait démaquillant

This type of product is only starting to make its way to North American shores, so when you’re in France, stock up. Imagine make-up remover that doesn’t require any scrubbing. Just rub on the moisturising cream and wipe with a cotton swab. Voilà, make-up free skin ready for cleansing. Best of all, it isn’t liquid, so it can take off waterproof mascara.

12. Chanel Lèvres scintillantes – Brillant à lèvres éclat intense

Shiny but not sticky, this lip gloss proves that even after 100 years, Chanel remains an arbiter of all things fabulous.

You can find these products, and lots of other exciting stuff, at Sephora locations in France. Most are also available at French beauty purveyor Marionnaud.

What are your favourite french beauty products? Share with us in the comment box below!

Image credits:
1. Manicure by Kittynailpolish via flickr
2. Baby Doll by YSL by Colette Ngo Ndjom via flickr
3. Bourjois eyeshadow via Kiss and Makeup
4. hair care by Pete Scott-Hubbard via flickr


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1 Comment




  1. Femme Francophile
    8 years ago

    Could not agree more regarding the Kerastase. I will have lots of additions to my next Paris shopping list thanks to your advice. Thanks for the tips.