Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

By Lulle, France, Local Contributor

Lulle was born in France, and she says she came to life so hungry that she was trying to swallow her entire first–and the fondness for food never went away! She wasn’t obsessed with makeup as a teenager or young adult. At 25, she moved to Instanbul, Turkey, where she lived for five years, and this is where the beauty addiction started. When she wandered through duty-free shops while traveling, she discovered a whole new, glamorous world.

Lulle is easy-going, loving, and spontaneous; she loves to enjoy every moment of life. Check out her blog, Beau Miroir!

Life-Changing Beauty Products from France

A few products that changed my life, and the best tip I ever got from my Grandma!

Cicabiafine Crème Hydratante Corporelle Anti-irritations (about €15) doesn’t have sexy packaging or an appealing scent, but believe me, it’s worth a thousand tequila-marshmallow-flavored moisturizers. If your skin is desperately dry in the winter, to the point where it becomes itchy and uncomfortable, this body cream will save your life like it saved mine. It works like magic to relieve extreme dryness and irritation without being too heavy or greasy.  It is unscented, paraben- and coloring-free. Without this Holy Grail, I would have lost my sanity last winter, when the skin on my legs felt like the Siberian desert.

One of the very first pieces of advice I was given at my beauty salon was “Sop using a scrub on your face–it is too harsh–use a gentle granule-free exfoliator instead!”  I wasn’t really convinced, but I bought a tube of Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Crème Douce Désincrustante (around €30) to try it out. I’m glad I trusted my beautician! This gentle purifying cream absorbs impurities and all you have to do is massage it on your face until it thickens and then rinse it. It leaves my skin feeling soft, perfectly clean and refreshed. Since I started using this exfoliator instead of mechanical scrubs, I have noticed that my face looks healthier, clearer, and less oily on the T-zone.  Obviously, aggressive treatments were just harming my skin, which led it to produce more sebum as an attempt to protect itself. This exfoliating cream has been the biggest revelation in my skincare routine since I discovered soap-free cleansers!

Caron is not only one of the greatest Parisian parfumeurs–the brand is also a master in the art of face powder. Their loose powder La Poudre Libre Caron (€44) was formulated in the 1930s, yet it is still the best face powder on the market! The metal box looks luxurious and can easily be manipulated and transported (no mess in your weekend suitcase) thanks to the screw top hidden inside. The powder itself is lightweight, very finely milled, and has a rose scent. What makes it so amazing for me is that it delivers excellent coverage but still looks very natural on my skin. I love the slightly powdery finish that keeps my face looking matte and polished all day long! I wore this powder on my wedding day, and I had a lot of compliments about my flawless, radiant skin. I don’t think I will ever be able to use another loose powder without being disappointed!

When I was a teenager, my grandmother gave me a tip–very simple but extremely efficient and gentle–to exfoliate lips. You want to get rid of dead dry skin and have perfectly soft and smooth lips before you apply your favorite lipstick. All you need is a cotton pad and warm water! Soak your cotton pad in the water for a moment, press it between your fingers to remove excess water, place it between your lips and “bite” for about a minute. The warm wet cotton will soften the dry skin. Then, rub it gently on your lips to remove the dead skin and immediately apply a moisturizing balm. Voila!

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14 thoughts on “Life-Changing Beauty Products from France

  1. Marie

    These products are available in the United States?

  2. Becca

    I’m going to France in two weeks for 3 months and this was very helpful; I will definitely look for these products when I am there. Where could I buy the exfoliator?

  3. AmyD

    merci, lulle! le poudre caron sounds so lovely and intriguing!

  4. My first with Caron pressed powder during the late 80’s…which cost $10.50 at I’Magnins in SF…now where Louis Vuitton is. I still have the black plastic compact…Then I went to NYC about 8 years ago and visited Caron on Madison Ave…the boutique had all the enamel design perfumed bottles….the 12 or so large perfume dispensary of the fragrances….the Caron face powders like the above in loose or pressed. Then I went to Bergdorf Goodman and bought a Caron perfume bottle with the antique style pump…which the design was laced in 24 carat liquid gold…cost me an arm and a leg….I love Caron…and all the French cosmetic companies that no longer sell in the U.S…..I would pay more for French products over the China products any day…French products have colorful history as my makeup collection is memorable for me.

  5. Chiara

    I use Esthederm’s product too, and it’s fabulous!
    It leaves your skin soft, smooth and clean.
    Love it!

    I really recommend it!

  6. Mandy C

    I could not agree more about the Caron powder. I’ve been using it for years as my daily foundation. It’s not easy to get in the states as only one place carries it, but definitely worth hunting down.

    • Caron powder can definitely replace foundation! May I ask which place carries it exclusively in the USA?

      • See my comment above. You can go online to Caron. The Madison store is no longer available but you can buy it at this salon on 715 Lexington Avenue in NYC. The Madison boutique had all those glass perfume in a distillery like containers….At the time I went there, there were two types of pressed powder, loose powder, color powder all had rose scent and plus foundation…..plus all the beautiful enamel perfume containers….Such a treat to go there. Get the 800 number and you can order. Love love love Caron and anything French. Merci.

    • sylvia

      what store/website carried it in the US?

  7. Asleyh

    Merci! Peux je achete La Poudre libre Cabon en Suisse?