Photo courtesy of Camille Yolaine
We’ve discovered many of our favorite beauty essentials in French pharmacies over the years. Of course, as we’ve cleaned up our beauty routines, our favorites have changed (indeed, we wrote a French pharmacy roundup back in the early days, and exactly one of the products in it meets our standards for clean today). But our love affair with French beauty–whether the products are actually French or simply give off that ineffable air of both mystery and common sense–remains as passionate as ever. From a velvety orange skin balm and a rich, elegant cream infused with resveratrol (the French Paradox antioxidant compound found in red wine) to a styling cream for the shiniest, smoothest hair ever, our French-pharmacy-inspired obsessions are all clean–and best in class.
This skin-brightening gel-serum combines active ingredients found in wine (including resveratrol, the antioxidant of The French Paradox fame) with salicylic acid, rose water, and essential oils. It hydrates, brightens, and evens skin, leaving it smooth, refined, and glowy. The serum feels refreshing and sinks right in, and the dewy finish works beautifully under makeup or on its own.
Lift Instant Firming Serum
This raspberry-colored exfoliating cleanser brightens and hydrates like a dream. It’s made with pumpkin, bamboo powder, salicylic acid, and papaya to gently sweep away all traces of dirt and makeup, as well as squalane to help replenish skin lipids. It also doubles as a hydrating face mask.
Beaute Majestique Cleanser
ANTIFRIZZ STYLE CREAM
This French-girl secret weapon for hair from the Paris salon of legendary hair colorist Christophe Robin gets rid of frizz and nourishes your hair, leaving it smooth, silky, and shiny. Use it on wet hair to moisturize, prevent frizz, and protect against both heat damage (during styling) and color fade. On dry hair, you can use it to smooth away even the most stubborn frizz or split ends, redirect a cowlick or baby hairs around the hairline, and add gorgeous French-girl texture. (Bonus: The frizz protection lasts forty-eight hours.) Whether you’ve got major frizz or just love a never-fails touch-up, this brilliant, life-changing botanical formula is a huge step forward in clean hairstyling.
Anti-Frizz Rescue Milk with Shea Butter
This micellar-water-meets-essence sweeps away dirt and light makeup, leaving powerful botanicals behind to work on skin. It clarifies skin as it cleanses and tones, making it the ultimate multitasking product, and looks gorgeous in its towering column of a bottle. Made with organic ingredients hand-harvested on an incredible 800-acre estate in Sicily, it’s something you’ll use multiple times a day–it’s such a pleasure–and your skin will be the better for it.
Acqua Serena Micellar Cleansing Essence
Made with Epsom, Dead Sea, Himalayan, and of course French sea salts, along with moisturizing coconut oil extract and essential oils of jasmine, rose geranium, and ylang-ylang, this easy spritz infuses any hair type with sexy French-girl texture. Spray it in wet or dry hair for tousled, effortless beach hair that looks great with practically any outfit, not to mention a subtle, lingering scent that is just exquisite.
Jasmin Sea Spray
SHORT RED-POLISHED NAILS
The classic French look is best rendered in polish that’s super shiny, incredibly long-lasting, and chicer than chic. And use the orange-peel-scented, acetone-free nail polish remover pads to gently remove polish and cleanse nails with incredible ease.
Nail Polish (No. 36)
This rich, velvety orange skin balm combines sea buckthorn, carrot, and tomato-seed oils with willow bark, pomegranate sterols, and bisabolol to supercharge skin with moisture and antioxidants, leaving it supple and incredibly soft. The whipped, weightless, skin-coddling formula melts right into skin, smells faintly of vanilla, and–most incredibly–works as a moisturizer, an eye balm, a face mask, and when mixed with water, even a cleanser.
Our favorite at-home temporary color (also from French hair-color star Robin) sidesteps most hair-color problems: It’s made without PPD, one of the most common–and potentially most dangerous–chemicals in hair color, and it contains no bleach, so you avoid the damage that overcoloring typically causes over time. The formula also blends imperceptibly, looks as natural as the color Robin would give you if you flew to his Parisian salon, doesn’t smell, lasts for seven shampoos before fading, comes in four shades, and feels more like a hair treatment than hair color.
Temporary Color Gel
ESSENTIAL EYE CREAM
This French gel-cream is full of antioxidant resveratrol, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and vegan collagen to firm and depuff. Made with quinoa extract and peptides to lift and smooth the undereye area, the rich but delicate cream also works on dark circles for a well-rested look.
Lift Eye Firming Gel Cream
BIPHASE FACE OIL
This face oil, shake-activated to combine two concentrated formulas (a water phase and an oil phase), results in an absolutely exquisite texture, and it supercharges skin with moisture and treatment ingredients. Each phase is packed with rejuvenating organic botanicals, nutrients, and antioxidants that help fight free radicals, brighten, deeply hydrate, and plump skin.
Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil
Scented with organic rose otto, peppermint, and rose geranium, this super moisturizing lip rescue leaves skin smooth, plumped, and deeply hydrated. A mix of shea butter, olive oil, rare botanical waxes, and sugar gently removes dry skin and smooths the surface for your healthiest, prettiest lips ever.
Rose Lip Polish
This was already a cult-favorite supermoisturizer with amazing results–and now it’s clean. It’s thick and rich and skin-coddling, and it plumps, smooths, softens, and deeply hydrates your skin. Made with argan, avocado, and evening primrose oils to replenish skin; omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants to help fight free radicals; and a groundbreaking ingredient complex called TFC8 containing amino acids, high-grade vitamins, and synthesized versions of molecules found naturally in skin, the cream addresses everything from fine lines and wrinkles to elasticity. It’s especially brilliant for dry skin and harsh, arid climates–smooth it on both day and night for ultranourished, silky skin.
The Rich Cream
This glorious one-of-a-kind face mist is made with botanicals grown on an organic farm in Italy, three different molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and rose water. It’s both soothing and moisturizing–spray it on before you smooth in face cream or oil for skin that’s radiant, plump, and totally hydrated.
The Dew Mist
This daily-use, highly active pore-refining treatment made with detoxifying malachite plus glycolic, phytic, and fruit acids helps clear pores and refine texture. Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, and mineral-rich deep-sea water from France help replenish and soften skin, and over time, pores appear tighter and skin appears visibly more clear and radiant.
G.Tox Malachite + AHA Pore Refining Tonic
goop, $75/$68 with subscription
This brush (also from Robin) makes shiny, bouncy blowouts at home incredibly easy. Brilliant for medium to long hair, it has twelve rows of natural boar bristles–all curved to easily glide through hair, add body, and create loose, large curls with the addition of heat. The lightweight, ergonomic design makes maneuvering and styling super easy.
Pre-Curved Blowdry Hair Brush 12 Rows
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