August 23 2014

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Drugstore Discovery Of The Week: French Pharmacy Finds, Part II


Dear Air France,

Thank you for losing my luggage on that one-hour, direct flight from Milan to Paris. Really, thank you. Having left me without any of my skincare or haircare products—no Morrocanoil Hair Treatment; no Oribe Supershine Light; no travel-sized bottles of NYR Organic’s Rose Facial Wash and Rose Water; no Sonya Dakar Fade Away; no Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Eye Balm; no Clé de Peau Wrinkle Correcting concentrate; no Crème de la Mer!—I was forced to make my pilgrimage to the Paris pharmacie a little earlier than planned this season, and for that, I am thankful. Seeing as how the Monoprix near my hotel was only open for another 30 minutes when I arrived, I tried to get the most functionality out of the fewest products possible to hold me over until—God willing—my bags are returned to me. How’s that going, by the way? Regardless, I’ve included my haul report for S/S 2013 below—with a few helpful additions courtesy of some of Beauty Counter’s friends in high places—for you to have on record:

First stop: Bioderma’s Crealine TS H20 Solution Micellaire. They sell this multitasking cleansing water in the States now, albeit selectively, but seeing Diane Kendal and Lucia Pieroni’s jumbo bottles of the impurity-eliminating wash backstage over the past week was reminder enough that I needed to re-up my supply—lost luggage or otherwise.

As I wear more makeup at the shows than in normal life, toner alone won’t wipe away a day’s worth of foundation, mascara, and the occasional cheek contour. Having grown an affinity for rose-scented products courtesy of my mini NYR Organics bottles that are no more (see paragraph above), I was immediately drawn to Nuxe’s Melting Cleansing Face & Eyes Gel with Rose Petals. The idea of a cleanser melting into my skin rather than stripping it bare of essential oils is obviously appealing and this one does just that, while also boasting a subtle floral aroma.

My skin is parched from all the flying, and while I typically use a day and night moisturizer, I sought out a single, medium-to-heavy alternative in Uriage’s AquaPrecis Intense Nutrition Balm. I discovered this line on my very first pharmacie trip a few seasons ago and was immediately hooked; the amazingly nourishing texture of this thermal water-infused salve only helped secure the bond. Diane Kruger is also a fan of the brand that was recently bought by PUIG (and will hopefully start U.S. distribution in the not so distant future), so…there’s that.

Eye Cream
I need eye cream these days—the better to prep a canvas for the requisite swipes of under-eye concealer I’ve been hiding behind following long nights of jet lag and writing. So I picked up Uriage’s Aqua Precis Eye Contour Care, too—another winner.

BB Cream
BB creams are not typically a part of my daily routine, mostly because I usually have three or four things close at hand that can be mixed together to provide similar results. But as I am currently without said things (see paragraph above), Embryolisse’s SPF 20 BB Cream seemed like the easiest way to get sun protection, hydration, brightening, and a slight tint all in one streamlined tube. The brand’s moisturizers are runway regulars because of their high-performance formulas, and unsurprisingly, this new launch does not disappoint.

Without a skincare arsenal to treat a complexion that has been…not great due to work and travel, I went to Villa IOMA—the skin imaging and facial innovation brand’s flagship spa—post-haste when I got to Paris. After looking at some disturbing close-ups of my visage that showed me exactly where I have fine lines, UV damage, and dryness, my aesthetician sent me on my way with the in-house Beauty Pro Line 5 Absorbent Mask to help take care of a few pesky spots. “Put this on them,” she said of the mask, “and they will be gone in two days.” Will do!

Hair Oil
I bought a tube of Bioprene at la pharmacie, an amazingly retro-looking French hair product that says “sans rinçage” on it, thinking it was a styling cream. Turns out, it’s a macadamia nut-bolstered oil that almost certainly needs to be washed out. A great treatment for dry ends, not roots (I repeat: do not apply to roots or risk the super-slick results), I was still without a post-shampoo leave-in treatment, until I saw hairstylist Anthony Turner backstage at Anthony Vaccarello (more on that in a bit). Turner mentioned that he’d been using L’Oréal Professionnel’s new Mythic Oil on a lot of models with battle-worn strands, and after hearing my tale of woe (see paragraph above), he slipped me a bottle as I was leaving the show. As previously mentioned, this stuff is great.

Sincerely yours,

Celia Ellenberg



  1. Citygirlinred says:

    I am so excited! I love Uriage and Ioma, keep your stories coming!

  2. TessV says:

    the hair product you are referring to is called ‘BIORENE’ not bioprene…and it is simply magical stuff if you have really dry ends or overprocessed hair

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