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Thursday, March 08, 2012

French beauty secrets at the Pharmacie

Who can resist a new face cream or great new conditioner?  Many of the top French brands [Nuxe, Caudalie, La Roche Posay] have mainstreamed into stateside drugstores or departments stores, but in France, you can get these brands- and many more- and your corner para-pharmacie or pharmacie.  [Note:  A pharmacie can fill prescriptions and dispense medications, and sells some beauty products as well.  A parapharmacie sells only beauty and skin care products- no medications.]  You can also enjoy some great soins [treatments] at these brands spas- the Nuxe spa in Paris is a hidden gem, and the Caudalie spa (outside Paris, near Versailles) is mini-escape in a gorgeous setting.  [Addresses listed below]

What to buy at the French pharmacy?  Gwyneth Paltrow's now famous list of fave French products appeared last year in her newsletter Goop.  This list is a great starting point for many cult products- feel free to ask advice of your pharmacist as well- they are pretty knowledgeable about most of their products.  [Be sure to ask politely if they speak English first, or you won't get any help at all!]  

City Pharma [pictured] is the hot pharmacy at the moment- the multi-lingual signage and lines out the door will let you know that you've found it. They've recently doubled their space, due to popularity.  This place stocks complete selections of tons of great brands, and the discounted prices have many a fashionista trekking across town to stock up.

My other new find is the brand Etat Pur, which offers reasonably priced serums ["actifs purs"] plus treatments to create a truly individualized skin care regime.  At the moment, their website is only available in French, but their concept store in the St. Germain area should be able to help you out in person.  [Address below]

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