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August 22 2014

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3 posts tagged "Homeoplasmine"

Beauty Throwdown: Battle Imported Multitasking Balms

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Multipurpose salves are top of mind for most beauty fiends, but few carry the cache of Homeoplasmine. The French pharmacy staple that was originally developed as a nipple cream for breast-feeding mothers has become a cult-favorite balm for everything from chapped lips and cracked elbows to diaper rash and dry cuticles. The fact that it is touted by fashion’s favorite face painters—and regularly spotted behind the scenes at fashion week—certainly hasn’t hurt the traveling tale of its supremacy. But across the channel in London, another nipple cream has become the discerning shopper’s do-it-all skin saver of choice: That’d be Dr. Lipp’s original balm, which conveniently just launched at Sephora. Which one reigns supreme? Read on below.

The Original: We were first tipped off to Homeoplasmine by makeup artist Tom Pecheux, who told us that his celebrity clients are always asking him to bring back a bounty of the stuff as souvenirs from Paris. After watching him use it backstage at shows from Doo.Ri and Peter Som to Marni and Balmain, we made acquiring our own a top priority when we started covering the shows in Paris. Part of the product’s appeal is its pared-down, pharmaceutical-grade graphic design and old-school squeezable aluminum packaging. But it’s what’s inside that counts—and the clear, unscented balm is amazingly adept at relieving dry skin on contact. There is a major con, though, in that it’s extremely hard to come by stateside, save for at the well-stocked niche local drugstore.

The Challenger: Dr. Lipp’s incarnation possesses a similarly clear, unscented formula that also happens to be 100 percent natural, boasting medical grade sheep’s wool lanolin. The British brand has upped the ante in the packaging department, though, sporting a flashy, Sephora-fied design. The mini dark gray tube with hot pink accents is more easily totable—and reliable than the French mainstay, which can easily bend in the wrong places and ultimately leak.

The Bottom Line: Both are hypoallergenic, versatile ways to treat a laundry list of ailments. But our loyalties still lie with Homeoplasmine (and its nostalgic aluminum tube), which spreads a little easier and leaves a slightly less sticky finish than Dr. Lipp’s. That said, until it too turns up at Sephora, or a similarly accessible beauty emporium, we have full intentions of stocking up on Dr. Lipp’s while we wait for the next round of European shows to commence.

Photo: Courtesy of

Drugstore Discovery of the Week: French Pharmacy Finds

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In France, where good skincare trumps expensive makeup—there’s more of a “solve the problem, rather than cover it up” mentality—the pharmacy is king. Sure, there are loads of Sephoras from which to procure your favorite upmarket, niche cosmetics, but the regular old drugstore has a wealth of options to keep your complexion blemish-, wrinkle-, and oil-free. And thanks to the wonder that is globalization, many of the country’s best-kept skin secrets have been imported to the U.S., making Avène, Nuxe, Biotherm, Lierac, Klorane, and La Roche-Posay nearly household names. Others, however, remain without distribution deals, rendering them that much more coveted a souvenir.
While in Paris for the shows, I headed out to La Pharmacie on the corner of Rue du Four and Rue Bonaparte right off Boulevard Saint-Germain on the recommendation of a friend who called it “the best-priced beauty pharmacy in town”—which, for the record, must be widely known; at 10 a.m. on a Monday, the place was packed with locals and tourists alike. In a painfully anglicized accent, I asked a saleswoman to direct me toward “Les choses que ne puis pas acheter en Les États-Unis” (high school French coming through!) and subsequently test-drove a lion’s share of new brands. Here, the report from my haul.

What: Bioderma Solution Micellaire Créaline TS H20

Why: This is the makeup remover of choice not just for Parisiennes but for the world-class makeup artists that pass through their fine city during PFW. Lucia Pieroni does not go to shows without it, and that’s all the proof I need of its efficacy.

Meh or Yeah: Yeah. It’s great at removing eye makeup without leaving behind an oily residue, so if you can only remain conscious for a single part of your skincare regimen after a long day of shows, you won’t go to bed with greasy skin. It’s less effective at removing lip stains because of it, but I reserve the hard stuff for that job anyway.

What: Avibon Vitamin A Ointment

Why: A publicist friend said that this is a must-purchase while in Paris and that her middle-aged father swears by it for keeping his wrinkles at bay. An emollient retinol, it also helps boost clarity and hydration. And Gwyneth is a fan.

Meh or Yeah: Yeah. The ointment is super-thick and yellow and therefore super-questionable at first. But I slathered it onto my face anyway and when I didn’t break out, I kept using it to the tune of smoother, softer skin. It also seemed to help minimize some unfortunate pigmentation issues I’ve been having on my forehead, which is a huge bonus.

What: Rogé Cavaillès Soin Hydratant Corporal

Why: I ran out of body lotion in Paris and since I got into the habit of taking baths every night at 3 a.m. (damn you, jet lag), getting something to replace my Kiehl’s body cream was essential. I liked this one because its packaging reminded me of Queen Helene Cocoa Butter, which I love.

Meh or Yeah: Meh. It’s not nearly as emollient as Queen Helene and its fragrance is really overbearing—which in my mind equals skin-irritating. This one is worth passing on.

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Makeup Bag Must-Haves From Fashion’s Front Lines

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After reporting on consecutive seasons of backstage beauty, there are certain things that you start to notice in one makeup artist’s kit after the other—and we’re not just talking about an overabundance of eye shadow pots and lipstick tubes. Perhaps more interesting are the things that every face painter—no matter what brand they’re working with at any given show—simply must have in order to operate at full tilt. Once beauty editors get wind of these professional secrets (and subsequently blow up their collective spots), mainstream success stories tend to follow—just look at L’Oréal’s Elnett hair spray and Embryollise, the popular French pharmacy brand whose extra-emollient moisturizers were such a mega-hit backstage you can now find them readily no matter what country you call home.

With a week left of Fall shows, we’ve got two more tricks of the trade that are worth getting hip to post haste. First up is Homeoplasmine, another French drugstore staple that Tom Pecheux keeps at the ready whether traveling to New York, Milan, or Paris. “It’s a nipple cream,” he told us backstage at Doo.Ri, where he explained that Frenchwomen realized that the magical salve that heals dry, cracked skin irritated from nursing could work equally well on dry patches located elsewhere. “I use it on lips,” Lucia Pieroni told us this morning at Rochas, where she too had a tube lying amid her collection of Shiseido and Clé de Peau skincare products.

Pieroni reminded us of another makeup artist must-have that Val Garland revealed last season at Malandrino: Egyptian Magic. The all-natural, olive oil, royal jelly, honey, beeswax, and bee propolis cure-all can be found at your local Whole Foods and happens to be the more consumer-friendly way to get the glossy eyes we’ve been seeing on the runway of late. Slather a little onto bare lids or on top of a brown pigment for a dewy, glistening finish in lieu of heavier clear lip glosses. “That’s really just for shows,” Pieroni says of the sticky stuff—which may be best left to the professionals.