I’ve written about beauty for longer than I often care to confess. So I couldn’t possibly count how many products I’ve recommended over the years — but I’m pretty sure the majority of them would hail from France, it being the global beauty capital, after all. The following are ten that I tend to go on about more than most, as recommended for two recent beauty interviews, one with Beauty Crew, the other Mecca Cosmetica.
Guerlain L’Heure Bleue
I’ve been going back to this classic perfume for years now. Dating from 1912, it was concocted to capture the alluringly moody, misty essence of Paris at twilight (‘blue hour’), and has an exquisite powder-soft sparkle to it, with a musky sillage (fragrance trail) that takes you well into the wee hours.
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
Long before we started obsessing over highlighting and strobing, this finishing lotion was the sole go-to for igniting a facial glow. I still think it’s the crème de la crème because it gives you a healthy, dewy style of illumination, rather than the faux sparkly kind.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Makeup artist Elsa Morgan got me onto this moisturiser when she began doing the Paris shows — it was all anyone used for prepping the models’ skin for makeup. And as a makeup base it’s incredibly efficient, yes, but I also love how it delivers a gorgeous dose of hydration that keeps skin feeling pampered and plumped-up all day long.
Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask
This divine mask, which is both soothing and anti-ageing, is a splurge, sure, but it leaves your skin looking as luxuriously luminous as you’d expect.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution
I’ve been hooked on this cleansing water since a soignée, perfect-skinned Parisienne let me in on her beauty secret, long before I’d heard the now-common term ‘micellar water’. It thoroughly cleans my rosacea-prone skin, without any fuss or flare-ups.
By Terry Baume de Rose Face Cream
The rose is my ultimate Parisian bloom, and this is my crème de la crème of face potions. Gorgeously pampering, the sensuous cream reminds you that skincare shouldn’t just be about anti-this and correcting-that—it should also be about pampering indulgence.
YSL Touche Éclat
I know, I know… it’s such a cliché to name this as a favourite. But clichés are usually so because there’s truth to them, and this is a seriously good classic. Dark circles are my personal pet peeve, and even on my most wide-awake mornings concealer doesn’t quite cover all it should. So that’s when I go in with my Touche Éclat, adding a light-reflecting layer over my regular concealer, to deflect attention away from any lingering shadows.
Codage Serum No.7
Redness is my other beauty bugbear, and because I don’t like wearing foundation, I’m always slathering on soothing treatments to keep my skin tone as uniform as possible. This anti-redness concoction is a great one.
By Terry Crayon Khol Terrybly Colour Eye Pencil
Every Parisienne swears by a soft black eye pencil she can quickly smudge along her lash line. What I also love about this particular range is the selection of jewel shades, which can be worn subtly for an eye-opening effect that is both glamorous and grown-up (a rare feat in the world of coloured eyeliner).
Éditions de Parfums by Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose
As I mentioned, the essence of rose is for me Paris in a bottle; it makes me think of pink macarons and rose-drenched florists and so many great Parisian perfumes. But this one is not your usual rose—more how rose would smell if encapsulated in the formulation of a vintage lipstick. It’s sweet and powdery and artistic and alluring and totally unique. I don’t often wear lipstick myself (even though painting on a scarlet lip would be so à la parisienne of me) so this is my next best thing.