There's a certain fascination sparked by the effortlessly-cool 'French girl' that seems so aspirational to us other girls. Any Instagram addictee could vouch for the allure of this particular vibe, and the awe-inducing fact that their appeal all comes down to one thing: simplicity.
This classic and clean approach extends to all parts of life in France, particularly skincare, where the beauty routine is kept to a minimum with a small number of products and obvious lack of fanfare. French beauty products are known for simple, effective ingredients that feel high-end... without the luxurious price tag.
Thanks to the web we now have plenty of French pharmacy products at our fingertips, and plenty of these are stocked in local Australian pharmacies such as Priceline and Chemist Warehouse. Take a look at some of our favourite products below.
1. BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution 500 mL
$29.99 | priceline.com.au
This classic cleansing water is a staple in makeup-artist's kits around the globe. In case you haven't heard of the product, it's a frangrance-free micellar solution that cleanses and removes make-up without altering the skin's natural balance. Simply pour a few drops onto a cotton pad and swipe across your face and neck - no rinsing required!
This product works for all skin types, including oily and sensitive skin, though the brand offers different versions with added ingredients if your skin requires extra TLC. There's the BIODERMA Hydrabio H2O Micelle Solution 250 mL for sensitive skin ($19.99) and the BIODERMA Sebium H2O Cleanser & Make Up Remover 250 mL for combination oily skin ($19.99).
2. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi Purpose Dry Oil 50ml
$19.99 | chemistwarehouse.com
This holy-grail oil can be applied to your face, body and hair and provides intense hydration plus an enviable glow. Two things we're definitely here for! This almost-entirely natural product contains seven different oils including tsubaki oil, sweet almond oil, camellia oil, borage oil and macadamia oil.
3. Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo With Oak Milk 150ml
$14.99 | priceline.com.au
In Australia, this product errs on the pricier side for a pharmacy dry shampoo, but it's certainly worth the extra few dollars! The multi-use product cleans dirty hair, adds volume to fine hair and can be used to help hold styled hair. It doesn't leave a chalky residue on your strands, plus it's hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive scalps. What's not to love?
4. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm 40 mL
$15.99 | priceline.com.au
This multi-purpose balm is one of the most popular products, by one of the most popular French beauty brands. The rich, soothing balm is suited to sensitive skin and can be applied to the lips, the body or the face to soothe everything from redness, to dry patches, to cracked skin.
5. Caudalíe Beauty Elixir 100 ml
$76 | sephora.com.au
In Australia, this product is less of a pharmacy favourite and more of a luxury spray, but it deserves to be included because it is a French cult-beauty classic.
Found in the beauty bags of top makeup artists and your favourite models (including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), this 'elixir of youth' provides instant radiance and tightens pores. The 99% natural product includes rosemary leaf oil, grape extract, orange flower oil and glycerin to name a few ingredients, so the smell is quite unique. Some people love it, others may take some adjusting!
The half-water, half-tonic combination can be sprayed to tone skin after cleansing, to prep skin for makeup and to refresh skin throughout the day.
6. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate 75 ml
$35 | adorebeauty.com.au
Another sensitive-skin-approved product that makeup artists swear by, the milky concentrate was developed by a Parisian dermatologist 60 years ago. Shea butter, soya protein, aloe vera and beeswax are among the ingredients that will leave your skin feeling silky smooth. It can be applied in the morning as a priming base for makeup, or at night after cleansing.
7. Avène Thermal Spring Water 300 mL
$20.79 | priceline.com.au
Perhaps the most famous product in the brand's extensive range, this thermal spring water can be sprayed directly onto the face at any time of the day to instantly soothe and refresh tired skin. It offers relief to irritated skin, and can be used to tone even the most sensitive skin. It's ideal for application after excercise, or sitting in the office air-conditioning all day.