It's Bastille day, which gives me the perfect excuse to talk about my love of all things French, such as cheese, pain au chocolat and a nice cold glass of Picpoul de Pinet.
Of course wine and pastries aren't the only things our French friends have to offer the world, they've also got some of the most sought after beauty products at their fingers tips, and I'm not talking about the luxury ones, I mean the pharmacy brands.
Some, such as Vichy, La Roche Posay and Nuxe have been available in Ireland and UK for about 10 years now, and it seems hard to remember living without them, others such as Bioderma are only hitting our shores this year. The good news is that you don't necessarily have to board a plane to get your hands on these beauty gems anymore, so, without further ado, I'm going to launch into things; with my favourite French beauty buys:
- Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Cleanser: Probably the most famous micellar water in the world, this is a firm favourite of super models, international make-up artists and beauty fanatics alike. The gentle formula is suitable for all skin types but was originally created for dermatologist use so is particularly good for sensitive skin leaving it feeling refreshed and clean. (€11.50/250ml)
- Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré: A favourite in France for over 60 years this is another dermatologist created product that has won the hearts of women all over the world. The lightweight cream is primarily known as a moisturiser but many find that it works well as a primer for make-up too thanks to the velvety finish and ability to rebalance/hydrate and refresh skin. (€17/30ml)
- Institut Esthederm Osmo Cellular Care L'Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser: I was introduced to Institut Esthederm about 12 or 13 years ago when I started working in a shop called Nue Blue Eriu, which was sort of like Space NK. One thing I learned very quickly was that the brand had/has a very loyal following so when I got the chance, I tried out as many samples as I could and was soon part of the fan club. The L'Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser is one of their most popular products and one of my personal favourites too. (€38 with Feelunique.com)
- Thalgo Absolute Hydra Marine Concentrate: If your skin is need of some TLC then look no further. I only recently discovered these vials and am more than a little obsessed with them. You get 7 in a box and each one will last about 2-3 uses. The secret to them is that the lightweight concentrate contains two kinds of hyaluronic acid, the first to instantly plump up surface cells (I noticed a difference in about 15 minutes) and the other to work on the deeper layers of skin. (€38)
- Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream: Anti-aging, nourishing and non greasy, this is one of my favourite products from Caudalie along with their Beauty Elixir Facial Mist (€12.95/30ml). The hand cream formula is enriched with almond powder, rose water and orange so as you'd imagine, it smells absolutely divine. Aside form smelling good this also performs some serious magic on tired, over worked hands, cuticles and nails. (€13.50/75mls)
Are you a fan of French pharmacy brands? Tell us your absolute favourites!