There's only so much you can fit into 8 or so suitcases when you're moving across an ocean. A lot of space in my family's luggage was taken up by clothes for all four seasons, toys that my kids couldn't live without (which turned out to be a lot), and lots of kitchen paraphernalia, because I couldn't live without them. In the end, there was very little space, or rather weight, left for beauty supplies to come back with me. Luckily, I ended up squeezing in some things that I couldn't bear to part with, and lucky for you, I was able to find most of them available in the States!
This is a dry oil, which means it moisturizes but also absorbs very quickly. You can use it on your body, face or hair, but I tend to only use it on my body. I have the floral fragranced oil, which smells very nice, but because of the scent, I use it sparingly, usually for my "self-care" nights. It is pricey, but I've had mine since October 2019 and still have two-thirds of the bottle left. I especially liked to use it on my tummy right after my third baby was born.
After I moved to Paris I was stressed out because I didn't know anything about the culture and language, plus I had two small children to navigate through the city with, and I was also starting to notice little wrinkles around my very tired eyes. My sweet American friend bought me a little gift set that included this eye-contouring dispenser. I use it every now and then when I feel like the dark circles under my eyes are too dark. I really like the cooling effect of the applicator.
This was a gift from my mother-in-law and I love it! It costs about 7 euros in France. It's nice and thick, almost like a wax, but not too sticky, and it also has a nice honey scent.
This is a thick, ultra hydrating lotion that people go crazy over! It absorbs nicely and doesn't feel too greasy. It's gentle enough for the whole family, including baby, to use.
The day before we flew out of Paris, I bought this eye cream on a whim. The pharmacist told me it's a really good product, and I have to say I agree with him. I use a little bit of this cream under my eyes, both morning and night. It's a tiny bottle, but I've been using it since June and I think I'll be using it for another 4 months or so. It was about 19 euros and only costs $25 in the States. For me, it's worth the price tag.
This face wash came with the eye cream above, but I still haven't tried it out yet. It has good reviews on Amazon though.
This is a light-weight sunscreen that is also ultra portable. I have to admit that what I like about it the most is the small bottle it comes in and that it comes from a highly touted French brand. I have two bottles—I keep one in my purse and the other in my diaper bag. I would probably buy this again, but I'll wait until my next trip to Paris. I couldn't find the exact same product online, but the one I linked below seems similar.
4. Christian Lenart
This lightly rose-scented water is used in morning and night time routines before and after taking off makeup. The rose allegedly helps reduce redness. I rarely use this, but I have kept it in my refrigerator and pulled it out when I fell like adding a few extra steps to my nighttime routine. It's only $7 and would be a great, inexpensive way to bring a little Frenchiness into your self-care routine.
If you haven't heard of micellaire water yet, let me tell you, you are missing out. Just kidding. But I really do love this item. I have a 500ml bottle and it lasts me forever; that being said, I don't wear a lot of makeup. It both cleanses and moisturizes, making it a great makeup remover or a simple cleanser before or after washing your face. The two biggest brands of micellaire water are Bioderma and Garnier, but the Garnier brand leaves behind film I don't like. I use this every day, sometimes in the morning and always at night, making it an indispensable item in my makeup bag.
We bought this after the pandemic started and were washing our hands like crazy. This hand lotion is lighter than the Laroche Posay lotion above, but still very moisturizing.
Another pandemic purchase. This is a lip cream, so it feels like you're putting lotion on your mouth. After it sets in for a minute it has a nice plumping effect, but that might just be on my super dry lips.
Okay, okay, I know MAC is an American company, but what is a girl without red lipstick in Paris? And these were gifted to me in Paris, worn in Paris, and brought home from Paris. I adore this particular lipstick because it's easy to apply and dries with a matte finish. I've also found that you won't need to reapply frequently and it doesn't smudge easily. BONUS! It's on sale right now at Nordstrom!
This is your basic red. I use it on a more day-to-day basis by dabbing it on my lips to get a lighter color, and then go heavier when I'm going out on the town (rare!).
If you're interested in some tips about how the French do their makeup, including how to choose a red lipstick, check out this interview I did with professional makeup artist, Renee Loiz.
*** Products I use everyday
** Products I use as needed
* Products I rarely use