Category Archives: Health

FRENCH PHARMACY SHOPPING – CITY PHARMA

City-Pharma-Rue-du-four-french-shopping-pharmacy-brands-paris-beauty-shopping

Last Friday I was lucky enough to get to go to Paris for the day with work to do some beauty product scouting. I ticked off nearly every Parisian beauty destination and thought I would do a series of posts about the best places to beauty shop in Paris. First up, City Pharma.

City Pharma generally tends to be the number one beauty destination for us hardcore beauty addicts when taking a jaunt to Paris. You’ll find it on Rue Du Four with the nearest metro stop being Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It’s about a minutes walk. It’s very easy to spot despite not having ‘City Pharma’ written anywhere on the outside of the building. But you’ll notice it for the flock of women gathering inside and the bright green pharmacy cross. Unlike most French pharmacies it doesn’t shut at 2:30pm, it’s open until 8pm most nights.

Be warned if you do go in, it’s VERY cramped. I went in first thing in the morning and it was still busy. Compared to how big I thought it would be, it didn’t live up. It’s quite small, with narrow aisles and can feel quite claustrophobic. You’ll be saying ‘pardon’ a lot to other customers to get past them.

If you persevere though you’ll find a mecca of French skincare brands all housed under one roof. La Roche Posay, Avene, Filgora, Lierac, Caudalie, Bioderma etc – they have the lot. They’re also competitively priced compared to other French pharmacies so my advice is to wander round the smaller, quieter pharmacies first, scout out what you like, note it down then go to City Pharma armed with your shopping list. They like to do promotions too so expect products clumped together on deals and offers etc.

The staff are the epitome of Parisian chic all dressed in their immaculately white uniforms with stereotypical glowing French skin. These women know their stuff and most speak English so just explain (in French) you don’t speak the language and they’ll flip to English immediately. Use their knowledge, they work with these products every single day and if their skin is anything to go by, they certainly know their stuff. It’s not like Boot’s where the sales assistants are stacking shelves or behind a till (I’d know, I used to be one), instead their sales assistants are actively helping customers the whole time and advising on what they recommend. Personally I think it’s a lesson other stores can learn from (apart from you Space.NK, you fab bunch).

My top piece of advice is go prepared. Do your research beforehand. Go armed with a list, pick up a big red basket at the doors (you’ll need one) and if you can’t find something ask one of the many of assistants dotted about. I think that’s about everything but if you have any questions or there’s something I’ve missed and you’d like to know the answer to just let me know by leaving a comment below. Bon magasinage!

Rebecca

 14 things I learnt about beauty in 2014

1. Avoiding fragrance and essential oils in my skincare products has worked miracles for my complexion. Big shout out to Paula’s Choice for helping me see the light!

2. A couple of drops of Clarins Radiance Booster drops can make me look more alive, and less corpse, like in a few hours.

3. Mineral foundation is far quicker and easier than using liquid foundation and powder. It’s especially good on a cold and grey morning when you want some extra kip.

4. Co-washing is not for me. Hello greasy hair after two hours.

5. A skin fast (not applying anything after cleansing and toning) actually does wonders for my skin once in a while.

6. Salon-like shellac nails are achievable with the help of the nifty little kit from Sensationail.

7. There is no way you #wokeuplikedis

8. Coconut oil is AMAZING and can be used for so many different things. Hair mask? Check! Cleanser? Check! Cuticle balm? Check!

9. Whilst we’re on coconut oil, oil pulling is foul and not an experience I’d like to go through again.

10. Exercising might be good for you, but so is an extra half an hour in bed, especially if you’re already sleep deprived as it is. It’s all about balance.

11. Orange lips are surprisingly easy to pull off.

12. Your face mask can make a really effective cleanser.

13. Clinique will always be the queen of mascaras in my eyes (pardon the pun). Countless tubes of Lash Power and Feathering mascara were purchased in 2014.

14. Nail cleanser can add days to the longevity of your manicure. Formula X do an awesome one.

Butter London Cuticle Miracle Kit

 I’ve mentioned recently how my nails have been experiencing a bit of neglect. They all broke off when moving silly, heavy boxes when moving into my new flat and I was left with short, stubby stumps. Not a good look. In a bit to rescue them I’ve been putting the butter London cuticle miracle kit to the test.

First of all, how lovely is the packaging? It would make a beautiful Christmas present for someone if you were feeling generous. Id love to open it up on Christmas.
Melt Away Cuticle Remover
I’ve always pushed my cuticles back with some cuticle oil then snipped them off with cuticle cutters but with this product, I haven’t felt the need. Applied to your cuticles and left for a good five minutes it breaks down and softens the dead skin cells that the cuticle is made up of. This makes it so easy to push back and leaves you with lovely looking cuticles (if there is such a thing!)
Handbag Holiday
This, for me, is the star of the kit. I can’t even begin to tell you how good this smells. One whiff and your whisked away to a holiday paradise with a piña colada in hand. Heavenly. It’s now found a firm spot in my handbag and I massage it in every time I get on a bus. It contains some cuticle loving ingredients to leave you with health, nourished nails.
Overall I’m super impressed with this amazing duo. Like I mentions earlier, they’d make a wonderful gift. If you fancy picking one up for yourself or someone you know you pick can one up from Amazon here.
Rebecca