Never mind the museums, the designer boutiques, the wonderful wines, the fine cuisine, if a woman fantasizes about submerging herself in a pure French culture experience (bonus: without needing more than bon jour, merci and au revoir in her vocabulary and an index finger for pointing) — she must schedule quality and quantity time in a pharmacie.
After all these years I never tire of visiting “our” pharmacy as well as any I happen to pass in Paris, particularly the old ones which seem to promise secrets of beauty and well-being that might change my life.
As I’ve mentioned, perhaps several times, one has a relationship with her pharmacist. She becomes part of our essential cadre of enablers. She knows our secrets and shares hers. I can’t imagine my life without Christine, Caroline and Sophie, they’re all very girly-girly and have suggestions and counsel for everything from bug bites to beauty sleep. (Caroline will eventell me not to buy something because it’s “ridiculous, expensive and doesn’t work.” Then she’ll suggest some kind of tea — yes, pharmacies sell specially blended purpose concocted teas — to drink instead.)
I imagine I’ll be revisiting this location in the future, but for today, here are a few of my favorite things:
My TOP 10 Pharmacie Favorites:
1.) Roger Gallet soaps. My new favorite and their new fragrance, Bois d’Orange is scrumptious. (I know they’ve been around forever, but I still love them with their color-coordinated plastic soap boxes — perfect for traveling.)
2.) Bioderma ABC Derm H2O the no-rinse cleanser to remove makeup (from the baby shelves), recommended by dermatologists and mentioned on this blog many, many times. It’s miraculous. Another twist on the theme and great for travel plus general convenience, towelettes imbibed with the product — use both sides.
3.) Sanoflore organic rose and cornflower water. Keep both in the refrigerator in the summer. The Eau Bleuet spritzed on cotton pads and placed on the eyes reduces puffiness and is just generally refreshing. Reputedly the Eau de Rose “revives, regenerates and refirms skin” I cannot swear to this, but it’s lovely nonetheless. At the very least both act as pleasant astringents.
4.) Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or. I don’t even know where to begin and since it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary this year you may very well be using it. On any skin, this dry oil makes the complexion luminous and shimmery. You can even put it on your hair. Apparently makeup artists the world over use the oil on their subjects for red carpet moments because of the magical way it reflects light and makes the camera fall in love with almost anyone. . .
5-6-7.) Oh, miracles of miracles, this Flavo-C trio has changed my life. Recommended by a star dermatologist in an interview and used ever since by the interviewer (moi) I cannot rave enough. Really. The cream and the serum in combo, you know that drill. But then there is the Flavo-C Flash (!!!!) this is a Cinderella like product. You use it for big occasions to smooth over and camouflage lines and creases. It creates a film that really-does-work. Here’s the problem, as in the fairy tale, you have a six hour window before your face turns into a pumpkin. (It tells you on the bottle the ruse lasts about five to six hours. I wouldn’t push my luck on this one.)
8.) Avene Gommage, I know I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth talking about again. It’s superb — not too rough, not too blah, just right.
9.) Christian Lenart soothing towelettes for relieving the itch and redness from insect bites and various plant induced rashes. It’s made out of milk and seaweed extracts. Yum. For external use only.
1o.) BicarePlus. This one is kind of silly, but I like the idea. Probably no different from Arm & Hammer soda when we use it for brushing our teeth, this product is made for that purpose, but also sold for that purpose in the pharmacy. I think it’s fun and of course I suppose it does what it’s supposed to do.