Ah, the French. American women are utterly fascinated with French women for their personal style and beauty routines. We just can’t wrap our heads around the fact they get to drink wine and eat a diet rich in butter and cheese and look like they do — in marinières with horizontal stripes no less — while claiming to despise exercise. Life is just not fair.
I, too, love the French aesthetic. After returning from my last visit to Paris, I felt much the same as I had after my first visit years before: That I wear too much makeup and my hair looks too “done.” French women just look so perfectly put together yet imperfect at the same time, it boggles the mind.
And while this American mutt will never be French, I can at least spend all my free money on their beauty products, trying to replicate that je ne sais quoi however I can. Since entering my 30s, I’ve found French skincare products seem to agree with my skin the best. At least for now…
It was hard to narrow it down, but this month’s 5 Great Buys features some of my favorite French beauty products, the ones I keep repurchasing again and again:
Nuxe Shimmering Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse®
Body oils were never my thing. They often broke me out or just seemed to sit on top of my skin, making me feel greasy all day. Then I found this bronze French beauty and I’ve never looked back. The seven oils is this blend — sweet almond, camellia, borage, hazelnut, macadamia, argan and tsubaki — are seriously nourishing to the skin. I often use this alone to hydrate my arms and legs in the summertime to give them a gorgeous glow. It smells fresh but the fragrance isn’t too heavy, so I can also where a perfume if I wish.
Kérastase Styling L’Incroyable Blow Dry
My former hairdresser back in the states first introduced me to the thicker balm version of this blow dry lotion and it’s been a favorite ever since. For me, French hair has movement and never looks heavy. This lotion helps smooth frizz and gives me a gorgeous blowout every single time without weighing it down, even when I use it roots to ends. I’ll often put it on and let it soak into my hair for a couple of hours before I blow dry it, then I can avoid too much time with the flat iron or curling iron.
The best spot treatment. Hands down. I’ve talked about this product many times on this blog (like here and here) and it’s simply because this inexpensive French pharmacy staple just works. If you have cystic acne, this one is a game changer to reduce inflammation and speed healing. I recommend it over and over again.
Biologique Recherche Lait U
This cleanser is another one I’ve talked about at length (see here and here). It’s a very gentle cleansing milk that beautifully preps your skin for treatments. I started off using it at night to remove my makeup and I can tell you it’s excellent as a first cleanse. Lately, I’ve been using it in the morning to avoid stripping my skin. I recommend using a clean, damp muslin cloth to remove it.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I didn’t see the point in face mists until I started using this one. Spending so much time indoors over the past year has left my skin pretty dehydrated. Misting this magical French potion on my skin a few times a day helps to refresh my skin. The scent also gives me a burst of aromatherapy when I’m feeling sleepy or stressed. Once we re-enter the world, I’ll definitely buy another small bottle for my bag.
See last month’s 5 Great Buys here.
How does Hexomedine compare to Complexe Iribriol?
Complexe Iribiol contains salicylic acid and can be used all over as a serum. Hexomedine is an antiseptic spot treatment. For me, Complexe Iribiol is better for daily care and/or maintenance while Hexomedine is for occasional use when you have a blemish.