J’aime Bien Le Shopping! French Beauty Haul

Sephora and two French pharmaciesIt might have been a short holiday; it might have been a family holiday; but we were in La Belle France, so obviously, there was going to be le shopping! Allow me to present: the French Beauty Haul …

Never get a migraine in Disneyland Paris: you can’t find painkillers for love nor money! The upside of an emergency dash for practical purchases? The Forum Santé pharmacy in Val D’Europe was my first, unplanned French shopping experience.

Forum Santé Beauty PurchasesMy son grew so bored watching me circle the shop-floor with my eyes saucer-sized that he actually fell asleep in a handily placed chair. Mr Beheld had counselled that I should only buy what I could carry in my hands, but this plan was scuppered as a) I can carry an awful lot in my hands, and I can balance stuff all the way to my chin and b) the lovely friendly staff appeared with a basket, just as I could carry no more. Perfect timing, as I had chosen :-

– Avène spray and milk sunscreens, both 50+, and both costing less than I’m used to paying in London for boring brands and lower factors.

– I’ve wanted to try Eau Précieuse lotion ever since BeautyMART began stocking it, so I was pleased to find a bottle for sale that was sweetly petite.

– Two Caudelie shower gels – these were on offer: buy one, and get a second for just one euro more.

– The small box of Coup D’Eclat Ampuoles Lifting makes a very affordable gift, and accordingly is now in the hands of The Belle of Brockley.

– I have been obsessed with jambes lourdes ever since the Youngest Great Beauty became a martyr to hers, so leapt at this 2-for-1 deal on Jambes Légères from RAP Phyto.

René Furterer Forticea. This small shampoo is a chance to try a brand that’s intrigued me for some time.Sephora haul

Is it possible to visit France without visiting Sephora? Not for me … I hit the Val d’Europe branch en route to La Vallée Village outlet centre, absolutely determined to keep the Sephora spend to a minimum. But these are the products that intrigued me so much I had to buy, and why:

Sephora Bubble mask detoxifying and oxygenating. I often want to feel oxygenated, and to that end, have toyed with buying the Bliss range that promises this, but it’s just that bit too pricey for me. This Sephora mask isn’t!

Sephora Pearl Mask. Pearls and beauty go together for me in a way that diamonds and beauty never have and never will. Diamonds: hard and glittering vs. Pearls: soft and lustrous. I’m hoping this mask will leave my lovely visage soft and lustrous: we shall see …

Sephora Pore Clarifying mask (duo). Looks nice and basic, and I could do with giving my pores a bit of a clear-out. I’m going to use this to stop me raiding The Youngest Great Beauty’s Glam Glow.

Sephora Upside-Down Mascara. It’s upside-down! What more do I need to add? It promises volume, curl and length, and can’t be matched for an intriguing premise. Obviously, I’m hoping to look like Nico from the Velvet Underground after applying this …

Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara (mini). It was by the till! And it’s tiny! And the packaging is fab: short, squat and and with a quilted, beehive look; very handbag friendly.

– Sephora Make-Up Palette. Again, it was by the till! And it’s tiny! In fact, it’s the perfect size to re-purpose as a luxe and convincing shopping bag for a fashion doll, if you have sons or daughters that enjoy such things. Inside (unbelieveable, but true) are four eyeshadows, two lip-glosses and a blusher; all very small, naturally, but looking very wearable.

– Sephora Three Eye Brush Wand. This clever tool is a liner brush, crease brush and smudge brush in one. Perfect for travelling light, if it works…

Sephora pencil sharpener. I have unopened mini eye-pencils from Sephora in New York, that can’t be used as they are too tiny for big old English sharpeners, so this was the only MUST-BUY on my list.

Sephora nail varnishes with free-with-purchase stand. Although I’d specifically told myself I wasn’t buying nail colour, this was just too cute to resist. A permanent reminder of the joy that is Sephora. French pharmacy shop

This final Paris pharmacy shop was totally impulsive and carried out in about five minutes.

Bourjois deodorant. I will buy any Bourjois body care product that I can find, as they are so hard to get hold of in England, and so very prettily packaged.

– I love the gold packaging celebrating 65 years of  Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré, but had held back from buying in the UK as £20 is quite a splurge when you already have a tube and a bit of the stuff. But it was discounted in this little pharmacy, so The Youngest Great Beauty can have my unopened one, and I shall Go Gold!

– It’s not really possible to have too much Savon Marseille, is it? One violet one is for me, one for The Belle, and I’ll be using the citrus one to soften up new leather sandals this summer.

Papier d’Arménie was a surprise find. I chucked it in just because the packaging is so lovely, thinking it was some kind of papier poudre, but it is actually paper you burn in order to scent your home. I’m a little nervous of trying this,  but with two stinky cats at home, it could be my best buy ever.

Those generous people at Avène gave the big brown travel bag in the top photo away with any two purchases, and I used that to carry this lot home.

I like to think of myself as someone who can bargain herself into bankruptcy, and it has occurred to me that if I hold back on UK purchases for a while (and let’s be honest, it’s been all-buy-and-no-try for some time now, so I have a stash-and-a-half to shop), then I could afford to take the Entente Cordiale miracle that is the Eurostar under the sea to avail myself of French beauty superiority more often … Who’s with me? We have nothing to lose but our credit rating!