10433062_10152299497517997_359059107288549355_nOh Paris, why are you so fancy? Everything in Paris is so wonderful that there is a whole bestselling genre of advice books on how to be cool like a French girl. But while Chanel and Dior would have us believe otherwise, the people of Paris are not universally covered in high-end beauty products.

Here are some excellent items you’ll want to try, which have the added benefit of being able to make you sound like a devastatingly fancy jetsetter.

“Oh this?” you’ll say. “I don’t know if you can get it here. I get it from the most wonderful little pharmacy in Paris.”

(Don’t actually say that, though. You’ll sound like a tool.)

1. Avene Thermal water

10433062_10152299497517997_359059107288549355_nI’m going to be honest, I use this twice a day and I do not really know what it is. I think it is just spring water in an aerosol can. It feels good to apply, though, and it seems to be great as a follow-up to washing your face if you have hard water at your house.

2. La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

P013_bigI picked this up by accident one day because I realized I had left my normal eye makeup remover pads at home and had no way to get rid of my mascara at the end of the night, so I grabbed this off the shelf of the nearest open pharmacy. Turns out it’s great. It removes makeup without your having to rub at your eyes too hard. Also, I love that you have to shake it up before using it. I don’t know why, but it’s just kind of fun.

3. Embryolisse

392402_in_ppSometimes it seems like every single model and makeup artist swears by this drugstore moisturizer, and I can see why. It is a thick, creamy, wonderfully moisturizing face cream. It’s exceptional under makeup, too. If you apply this before foundation, you get a much smoother application and the makeup won’t sink into lines and pores as much.

4. Avibon Vitamin A Cream

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.09.05 PMGwyneth might be annoying, but she has amazing skin, and she swears by this product. Vitamin A is an excellent anti-aging product (Retin-A is vitamin A) and in France this one is available over the counter. Pick it up to fight fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.

5. Caudalie Beauty Elixer

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.13.17 PMThis toner is refreshing and moisturizing, and it smells wonderfully of rosemary and orange blossom. Use it before moisturizer, or just shoot yourself in the face with it during the day when you get bored, it will pick you right up.

6. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

fp-nuxe-huile-prodigieuse-100ml-34-2014-04I have exceptionally dry skin, but I hate applying body moisturizer so much that I’ve been known to skip showers because I didn’t want to have to deal with the whole post-shower song and dance. Rather than do that, try a moisturizing oil. You can drop a bit in the tub so it will be on you when you leave, and if you apply it to damp skin it absorbs right away and you don’t have to deal with that annoying “everything is stuck to me” phase that goes along with traditional body creams. You can also use it on your hair and face.

7. Bioderma Crealine

31j-rHjWBDLNeed to get that sunscreen and makeup off, and your normal cleanser won’t cut it? Try this water-based cleanser for sensitive skin. It will get rid of all the daily junk you put on your face, without leaving you feeling stripped and tight around the eyes.

8. Klorane Dry Shampoo

500Everyone loves Klorane Dry Shampoo. if you want to add volume to your hair (or just make up for having not washed it in a week), try this dry shampoo made with oat milk. If your hair is oily, there’s a variety made with nettle just for you.

9. Biafine

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.31.45 PMThis stuff is wonderfully soothing on any kind of skin damage, like a sunburn or that regrettable rawness after an overly enthusiastic dermabrasion. It’s particularly popular for scrapes and scars.

10. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen

883140500162European sunscreen is excellent, and everyone seems to love this one best of all. La Roche-Posay has several different sunblock varieties–my mother likes the SPF 15 that is tinted so it isn’t so white–so there’s one for you whether you’re looking for heavy protection, light protection, mineral sunblock, moisturizing, or mattifying sunblock.

11. SamPar Prodigal Pen

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.43.31 PMI do not normally go in for essential oils or aromatherapy, but I have never in my life met a more effective spot treatment for acne than this wonderful smelling little rollerball pen. I carried one with me all through high school, and on the rare occasion I would wind up with a serious pimple or breakout, this fixed them right up.