UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

August 20, 2016

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

one little vice beauty blog

Last week I went away to Paris with my boyfriend. It was a brief city break but we got a lot done during our trip. I love visiting Paris in August - it's much quieter than the rest of the summer, and the weather isn't usually too stifling. On the first day of our visit we happened to be walking by City Pharma on Rue Four (the biggest, and most affordable, pharmacy in the city) and together we popped in to pick up all the products on my French beauty wishlist.

I think that's the best advice I can give you - write a list of what you're looking for before you visit City Pharma. Even during our trip, when the city was much quieter than normal, City Pharma was positively packed full of people. It's a busy, crowded store where you won't get much personal space or quiet-time to make purchasing decisions. I found the whole visit so overwhelming that I really didn't stray from my wishlist at all, and even finding all of the items I wanted turned out to be a bit of a challenge!

I wrote my wishlist based on about twenty online articles/blog posts that I'd read featuring recommendations of fellow beauty lovers. There were a few notable brands (namely Vichy, La Roche Posay and Bioderma) that I decided to avoid because their products are now so readily available in the UK, but if you're looking for something specific than you can get some great bargains in most French pharmacies. Everything that I finally picked up was either from City Pharma or Carrefour - a French supermarket - as I found that some of the more affordable "drugstore" brands weren't available from City Pharma.

What I bought at City Pharma

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse | €16.99 

I'm a big fan of Nuxe's dry body oil, and in City Pharma I was able to scoop up a 100ml bottle at approximately half the price that we have to pay in the UK. In retrospect, I should have picked up more than one of these as this was a fantastic bargain! If you're keen to try a product from Nuxe then I'd highly recommend this one. It's a very effective body oil that absorbs into the skin almost instantly, leaving skin feeling smoother and perfumed with a warm musky scent.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Cattier Rose Clay Face Mask | €3.95
Cattier Yellow Clay Face Mask | €3.99

I only initially planned on buying the rose clay mask but once I was in City Pharma and saw how affordable these face masks were - especially as they're certified organic and cruelty free - I couldn't help myself from picking up a second tube. I've used the yellow clay face mask three times so far and  I've been impressed by how gentle this is on the skin, whilst still making a noticeable improvement to my complexion. The consistency of the yellow clay mask is quite thin and watery, so application can be a little messy! However, I'm really glad that I picked these up and I think they represent very good value for money.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul
Rouge Cavailles Velveting Shower Oil Enriched with Argan & Almond Oils 500ml | €10.69
Rouge Cavailles Invigorating Shower Oil Enriched with Sesame & Citrus Oils 250ml | €6.99

If you're a fan of L'Occitane's Almond Shower Oil then you may well be interested in trying Rouge Cavailles Velveting Shower Oil as it's not only a very similar product but it also has a rich, warm almond fragrance. Whilst I was shopping in City Pharma I was also persuaded into buying a smaller bottle of the citrus version, which I thought might be a more suitable choice for the warmer months. I've got high hopes for both of these, and I think the prices of both sizes are really resonable.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Topicrem Ultra Moisturizing Body Milk 200ml | €5.99

I'm not ususally one to buy this sort of moisturiser (especially as it contains ) but I'd read some very positive reviews of this product and I was tempted. It must be a popular product because in City Pharma there were a multitude of different sizes of bottle with two whole shelves dedicated to the product. I played it safe and opted for one of the medium sizes, but for another €4.00 you could get twice as much product in a handy pump bottle - so there's something for everyone.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for Brown to Dark Hair | €6.99

I have somehow misplaced my photo of Klorane's dry shampoo, but it's a pretty well known and popular product to pick up whilst holidaying in France. Due to the location of the stand in City Pharma, I found it difficult to comfortably and calmly browse Klorane's product range. So if you're planning to shop this brand you should definitely make a note of the products in which you're interested.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Sanoflore Aluminium Free Deodorant | €5.99

I've been using aluminium-free deodorants for about a year now, but I'm still on the hunt for the perfect deodorant for me. I read a couple of positive reviews of this Sanoflore Deodorant, and although it's a little bit pricey there were discounted multi-packs containing two or three deodorants, so you can save a little bit of money that way. I'm particularly excited to try out this product - good everyday essentials can be hard to find.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Embryolisse Lait Creme | €11.99 

I feel that this is a pretty standard choice when it comes ot Parisian beauty shopping. I've Embryolisse for sale in the UK and haven't been tempted, but somehow seeing this on the shelves of City Pharma really made me want it. I plan on using this as a day cream / make-up primer, and if it lives up to the hype then I'll definitely feature it in a future blog post.

What I bought at Carrefour

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Le Petit Marseille Pêche Blanche & Nectarine Gel Doouche Extra Doux | €2.40
Le Petit Marseille Lait d'Amande Douce Douche Creme Extra Doux | €2.40
Le Petit Marseille Framboise and Piovine Douche Creme Extra Doux | €2.47

I read some great things about Le Petit Marseille's range of body washes and was sad that I couldn't find them in City Pharma. However, if you can find a Carrefour (they're scattered around Paris) then pretty much every store, even the really small ones, sell at least some of Le Petit Marseille's range. I couldn't decide between these three fragrances so I decided to be ridiculous and buy all three. Once I finish them I can definitely see myself keeping and re-ising the bottles, I absolutely love their aesthetic.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Le Petit Marseille Huile Sublimante | €5.86 

This multi-purpose body oil was a spur-of-the-moment purchase, encouraged by it's seriously affordable price tag. I use body oils every morning so I'm always interested in trying new options. Not only does this give a generous 150ml of product but I also really love the spray applicator, it makes applying body oils so quick and easy. I've used this a couple of times so far and I'd say it's good but not great, but it gives a totally reasonable performance given how little I had to pay for it.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul
Ushuaïa Aluminium Free Mini Deodorant Spray in Pomegranate | €2.77

This was another last minute choice, based purely on the bright packaging. This is another aluminium free deodorant, but this time in a handy spray. The fragrance is absolutely beautiful, and I'm already regretting that I only picked up the small bottle! This is a product that I know I'd like to repurchase in the future, so if you're into fragranced deodorants then I'd highly recommend it.

French Beauty Products: Paris Beauty Haul

Mixa Hand Cream | €3.40

Last but very much not least, I'm happy to introduce you to one of my favourite French bargain beauty buys. I saw Mixa's hand cream recommended in a couple of online articles but didn't really expect all that much from such an affordable product. However, I'm very happy to tell you that this hand cream is really lovely. The texture is gorgeous and sinks into the skin pretty quickly, leaving behind a subtle, thin film of protective goodness. I really love everything about this, and I'd definitely buy it again in the future.

I know it's a big beauty haul, but it isn't everyday that you get to go to Paris and experiment with new brands. I'm excited about everything I bought and so far I've been really impressed with the products that I've tried. If you have any French beauty recommendations then please do leave them in a comment, I know that I found comments really helpful when I was researching what products I wanted to buy during my trip.



  1. Le Petit Marseille body washes and Embryolisse were my two holy grail products when I was living in Paris! I feel like my skin hasn't been the same since I ran out, and it's so hard to get in Australia!

  2. I always think french beauty looks rather clinical and I can never tell whether that entices me or puts me off! I like the sound of the Embryolisse cream!


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