The French are beautiful. An irritatingly, naturally beautiful species that seems to exist with little to no fuss regarding their primping regime. While the rest of us around the world seem to need the minimum of an hour to get ourselves ready in the morning in order to deem our appearance 'appropriate', the French just seem to roll out of bed, shake their hair about a bit and then walk straight out the door and somehow look superhuman. Maybe this is much deeper than a beauty regime (I can't for the life of me figure out how the French stay hydrated...seems like nothing but coffee, wine and very tiny glasses of water) and a greater question about an overall way of being but honestly, I don't have the brain power to even begin to contemplate that at the moment. But what I can tell you is that they take beauty very seriously and that involves the care in which goes into oneself and much less about the care taken to disguise what we really look like.
My whole point is really quite superficial after such a psychological view of beauty. French pharmacies are mind-blowing. Yup. That's basically what I've been trying to say. You see, when I myself, an American who loves to shop and goes into some kind of brilliant daze when entering a Sephora, think of a pharmacy, I think of something a bit low brow. Aisles of everything you never knew you needed and don't actually need at all. Cheap fixes to whatever ailments you may have with some half-assed beauty products thrown in.
BUT NAY. NOT IN FRANCE. If you are a fan of CVS or Duane Reade, it is my job to tell you right now that you better get the f**k out of dodge. French pharmacies do, in fact, sell you things to help you with your health issues but if you think you're just going to pop in and get some cheap face wash on your way home from work, the answer is 'hell no'. Skincare especially is incredibly important to the French and that shows here. Some of the finest brands you can find are lining the shelves and employees are on hand to make sure you are buying what you need and not something to just do the job.
I went into my local pharmacy today to get some shave gel (look elsewhere, they won't have it) and ended up with a moisturizer and lip balm that have already turned me into a new person. Honestly, my other lip balm has been no help to me whatsoever in a time of need for the last few days and one application of the new guy and BOOM, my pout is back and ten times better than before. An extra note, yes, you will be spending more money than you usually would at a pharmacy but it is still reasonable for the products you are getting and they will be totally worth the price of admission. The only bother is...where will I find my very French products back on American soil?!