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The French Pharmacy Repurchases

Someone's missing...that Bioderma Hydrabio Lait always checks out on me.


As much as I like to indulge my Product Attention Deficit Disorder, I always keep a few stand-by products handy, just in case things don't work out.  Finding those permanent products can be trying, but when you find one, know that your life is forever changed. *cue dramatic music*

Sometime last year, I fell down the French pharmacie rabbit hole.  Fell is even a mild word -- I tumbled straight head-first and there was no gravitational suspension to keep me from plummeting straight into a German Apotheke (the rabbit hole isn't always directionally accurate, but it's close).

I fell in love with Bioderma Sensibio (as did everyone, their mother and their dog, based on the MakeUpAlley reviews) and its other-worldly ability to remove makeup, correct eye liner mistakes and in a pinch, clean brushes.  I've gone on and on and on about our love affair, so let me focus on its sidekick:  Shiseido cotton.  Yes, it's not exactly French pharmacie.  Yes, I'm paying $9 for cotton.  A little bird told me it will soon be increasing to $11 due to a global cotton shortage...please don't ask me to fact-check that, I'm not sure how I'd explain that on my Google history.  Bottom line, it is the softest, yet most effective cotton I have ever used, and you need to stock up before the cotton shortage takes it away from us.

To throw a wrench into the mix, here's another Bioderma favourite: Bioderma Hydrabio Lait -- it was a Garance Dore-inspired purchase, and I haven't looked back.  This is my cleanser of choice when I've gone through my proper skincare routine the night before.  You know that feeling you get when you are absolutely certain that you've chosen the right products and you wake up with the smoothest, most glowing, most perfected skin you've ever had?  This cleanser helps you retain all the goodness you've put in the night before, but refreshes away all the gunk that's accumulated.  It's that good.

Possibly the most backed-up item in my beauty arsenal is Avene Eau Thermale.  Yes, I occasionally cheat on it with Evian's version, but I always, always come back to this.  It's my toner, my setting spray, and my main hair-styling product in one.  I use it before and after cleansing, after makeup, and after heat-styling my hair.  I have no idea how or why it makes my curls so soft and touchable, but it does.  My best hair tip is to spray a light mist of thermal water on your hair before using a hair oil to seal it in.  Magic literally ensues.

I've been flubbering between moisturisers lately -- it's been that in-between weather where I can't just slick on one of my beloved oils to fight back the intensely dry winter air, but not quite warm enough that I turn to my summer spf-only routine.  What to do?  Remember this combination from last year?  While I can't quite bring myself to repurchase the serum, I did fall in love with Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid.  It's one of those products that you mindlessly throw on in the morning, only to touch your cheek a few hours later and wonder, "Why does my skin feel so good?  What did I put on today?" It's Caudalie, baby.

I've tried for years to convince myself that I don't need an $18 concoction of water, essential oils and grape extract, but I've decided to embrace my Caudalie Beauty Elixir addiction.  This never leaves my purse in the summer -- it calms any motion sickness that arises during impromptu road trips, soothes the irrationally bitter jealousy that arises when people talk about going on vacation, and wards off city grime.  An absolute essential.

I feel like I'm forgetting a few things, so there will probably be a follow-up post to this one, but for now, share your best Pharmacie products in the comments!

28 comments :

  1. Yes those French are on to something. I too posted my French faves & agree staples in my kit.

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    1. Ooh, I'll be sure to check it out! They are great with their products, especially their cleansers!

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  2. I love French skincare too! I need to check out that Bioderma Cleanser when I run out! Right now I'm using one of the Shiseido foaming ones and it's really good actually. And I also use the Avene Thermal Water too. LOVE it.

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    1. It's really nice! It's even gentler than the Sensibio Micellar Water,if you can believe it. I've never tried a Shiseido cleanser, I'll have to look into that.

      Thermal Water rocks my socks!

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  3. Great picks! I love love love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I'm on my third bottle! But I'm on my third bottle because it does use up pretty fast, sadly enough.

    I NEED to try the Shiseido facial cotton - I heard so many good things about this! :)

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    1. Me too! I have a full-size and a travel size version going at the moment. I go through them even more quickly than my Eau Thermale.

      Honestly, it's worth the $9, just separate each piece into two halves and the package will last twice as long!

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  4. I have repurchased Bioderma many times, and I love that Caudalie day cream! It's funny because I was just thinking about doing a post about French pharmaceutical skincare products I have repurchased. My list includes NUXE honey lip balm. LRP Effaclar K, Bioderma Sensibio, Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, Caudalie Vinosource SOS Serum, and Caudalie Divine Oil! I think the pattern tells you I'm a big Caudalie fan ;)

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    1. Ooooh! I've just sent my parents off to get the Caudalie Radiance Serum for me! When are we doing our swap again? =P

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  5. Goddamn, I love the Shiseido cottons SO MUCH. Say it ain't so, not $11!

    I'm on my second travel size bottle of the Caudalie Elixir and loving it a bit more than the first time. Pretty sure that it doesn't seem to do anything for me but it feels so awesome when sprayed on. The scent really grew on me, too - disliked it initially but now it's so great!

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    1. I know right?? Remember when they used to be $8?

      I also don't know that Caudalie Beauty Elixir is exactly a skin-changing product, but it helps my mindset enough that I'm very willing to keep paying for it.

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    2. The cry of pain you heard when the price rose to $9 was from me, lol.

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  6. Oh wow I'm so jealous of every single item!!! I adore all the French pharmacy brands and products xxx


    ❤ www.MissMakeupMagpie.co.uk ❤

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    1. I can't believe it took me so long to try them!

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  7. Great products :-) All these brands are easily available here.

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    1. I knowww, I'm so jealous! French Pharmacie products are really expensive in Canada =(

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  8. I used to buy the Avene Thermal water in bulk until drugstore.com stopped selling the little trio - the trio was essentially buy 2 get one free! I do miss it but my skin seems to be better w/o it?? I have a couple of bottles left, so I need to go back and try it again to make sure...I used to love spritzing it during the day and over my makeup during the day oh and before applying face oils!! LOL so many uses!! Shiseido cottons - LOVE!!!

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    1. Hmmm...I think I could live without Avene Eau Thermale, but I definitely feel like it's a specific treatment my skin doesn't always get. Sometimes if my skin is feeling very sensitive, I'll just spray onto a Shiseido cotton and use it to cleanse my face -- it sound wasteful, but it really does leave my skin feeling hydrated and clean.

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  9. Hahaha--"it's Caudalie, baby"! :P I do that ALL the time when I'm wearing the Day Perfecting Fluid...or any Caudalie product, really :)

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    1. I'm trying the Radiance Serum next!! SO excited =)

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    2. Ooooooh I am SO excited to see what you think. I cannot live without that serum--it's SO amazing!! :D

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  10. Love this post! I love that Bioderma sensibio too! I mainly use it when I have a very light make up or as a substitute of face toner. I love Avene products too, mainly the sun screen! :D

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    1. I have yet to try the sunscreen! I have one stashed away somewhere, I'll be sure to rustle it up!

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  11. I've never tried the Avene water on my hair before, need to give that a go! Thanks for the tip :) x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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    1. It's great for taking down that freshly-styled look that curling irons can give!

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  12. Avene Thermal has been essential to my routine for a few years now. sun burns, rashes, allergic reactions....I use it for everything! But didn't think of hair...must try that~

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    1. It's great for softening curls into waves! Let me know how it goes!

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  14. Oh, I want to try Caudalie Vinoperfect one day. I gotta try your tip about hair care - spray Avene before hair oil. I don't take care of my hair enough!

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