In a desperate attempt to emulate some of their natural beauty, I hit up a couple French pharmacies and stores.
In the end, here's my modest haul - I only have so much space left in my suitcase after stocking up on German chocolate and beauty for the past four months:
I wasn't planning on buying Caudalie's Beauty Elixer, but after seeing it cheaper in a pharmacy, I couldn't resist. It retails for $18 in the US, but I found this bottle for around 9 Euros, which is roughly $12. I really enjoyed using this last summer and I really felt like it made my skin more radiant. I didn't use a set time of day - sometimes I used this in the morning as my toner, sometimes at night, but definitely throughout the day to freshen up.
I also bought a travel size of Bioderma! I honestly have no idea how to use this, as I'm quite content with my Clinique Take the Day Off cleanser, but I have heard so many raves about it I decided to pick up a small bottle.
The next item is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. This was a must-have on my list for Paris, as Bourjois is not available is not available in the US and I had also heard so many good things about it. I picked up the shade 53, which is a little bit light for my skin tone, but at least it has a yellow undertone. I have a number of foundations a little too dark, so this will be good to mix with. I've only worn it for one day, but I like the semi-matte texture it has. I was out and about all day yesterday when I wore it though, so I didn't really check the lasting power. I didn't notice that I got too oily with it, so that's a good sign!
Yves Rocher is also a brand I had only heard of vaguely before going to Europe. There are a few Yves Rocher stores in Berlin, but I had never entered any of them. Curiousity got the better of me here and I walked into it. It reminds me of a bath and body works with its bath and body products, but with a smaller range. They also had a pretty big makeup collection, but none of the items really interested me. I picked up a Malaysian Coconut body lotion in a travel size perfect for Barcelona, and a Strawberry body spray.
I'm usually not interested in fruity body sprays at all, but as soon as I smelled the strawberry, I could not stop sniffing it. It's slightly sugary and over-saturated, but sometimes you just have to indulge your inner 5-year old. I think I'll love wearing this in the summer when I just want something fresh and simple.
The Coconut body lotion screams beach to me - it has a pure coconut smell that lingers for awhile after the lotion absorbs. It's also simple, but sometimes simple is best.
Although I didn't pick up very many products, I'm happy with the selections I made. I was able to resist makeup (except for the foundation, an essential, I'd say) and I picked up products I cannot find in the US. Here's to hoping I become even one bit like a Parisian.