Hello everyone, and happy Friday! Today I’ve got a fun, frivolous little treat in store. I’ve been going through the photos of my pre-Christmas jaunt to Paris, and, instead of giving you the usual images of quaint cafés and grand boulevards, thought I’d share something a bit different.
Today, I want to introduce you (if you haven’t heard of it already) to your new favourite shopping destination in Paris, and quite possibly my very favourite tradition when visiting the city: City Pharma. As you’ve no doubt heard, French drugstore products are the best in the world, and shopping them when you visit the City of Lights is all the rage. I’m pretty sure this is the most popular GOOP post ever, and I know that the first time I visited this famous drugstore, I was clutching a printout of Gwyneth’s essentials in my eager little hand.
You should know that shopping this pharmacy is not for the faint of heart. City Pharma is a destination for both tourists and locals alike, and the location, at the junction of rue de Four and rue Bonaparte in the heart of St. Germain, means that it’s popular to say the least. It’s always crowded, as in chock full of women on missions, so I recommend going on a weekday and most importantly, leaving your menfolk outside. I’m serious: while Mum and I were shopping here last month, my poor Dad stepped in to take shelter from the cold, and I’m not sure he’s recovered from the experience yet.
Despite that, I rarely make a trip over (or under) the channel without making a stop at City Pharma, whether it’s for a single lip balm or a major haul. This time around, it was closer to the latter, and because I know everyone loves discovering new products, I thought I’d show you what I bought, why, and how much it cost me.
- Bioderma Crealine H2O. Everything that can be said about this cult makeup remover has already been said: it’s gentle, it works perfectly, and once you’ve tried it you won’t be able to live without it. City Pharma do a double pack for €15.50, which I buy about once a year. Compared to £14.50 for one bottle in the UK (available here), it’s a fantastic deal.
- I’ve heard a lot about Caudalie’s Vinoperfect range in recent months, so when I saw it on the shelves, I thought I’d give their Enzymatic Peeling Masque a bash. I wondered if it might be a cheaper alternative to my beloved Dermologica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, and so far, so good. It was a bit of an impulse purchase, but at €19.90 compared to £26.10 here, it’s not going to break the bank.
- Ok, this Caudalie body scrub wasn’t really part of my haul, but rather part of a Christmas gift from a friend I met up with in Paris. I’ve no idea what it cost, but so far I can recommend– the scent is divine and it leaves my skin super soft.
- Emryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré is a cult product if ever there was one. You’ve probably read loads about this ultra-gentle moisturizer before; about how it will turn back the clock and give you baby-soft skin. I can’t promise any of that, but a little bit certainly goes a long way in keeping winter flakies at bay. I bought it for €5.99, while it’s £18.50 here.
- Le Roche Posay Toleriane is another of my favourite moisturizers, for its ultra-calming formula that never irritates my skin. I can normally buy it at Boots in the UK for £14.50, but I nabbed this tube for €11.50.
- I’m somewhat of a sunscreen nag, and as such I’m always rocking SPF, even in the deep dark days of winter. My favourite formula for the face is Le Roche Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Fluide in SPF 50, which just melts into your skin, leaves no white cast and doesn’t interfere with makeup at all. I grabbed two for €7.90 in Paris, while in the UK they set me back £16.50 each at Boots.
- Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is another cult product in France; this beautifully-fragranced oil can be used for the face, body or hair. I bought a large bottle for €16.99, as compared to £28.00 here.
- This time around, I also bought a smaller bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or– the same product as above with a little gold shimmer. Massaged into the arms, legs and decolleté, this slightly bronzed oil is the perfect accessory for a little summer dress. €14.90 at CP, £21.00 in the UK from here.
- My favourite lip balm in the world is Nuxe Reve de Miel, for its ultra-moisturizing properties, delicious scent and matte texture that doesn’t interfere with lipstick. I keep a jar (6.90 in Paris, £9.50 here) at home and on my desk at work, and a stick (€7.49 for three vs. £5.50 individually here) in my purse at all times.
Minus the gifted scrub, this haul set me back a not insubstantial €114.97. When you compare that to what I could have spent on these products here in the UK, however– a whopping £196.10, not including shipping charges – it seems almost cheap.
Hey, and said almost.
City Pharma is at 26 Rue du Four, 75006 Paris. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.