I Lived Like a French Girl for 7 Days, and It Changed My Skin

Hallie Gould

For my first trip back to Paris in six long years, I planned every detail ahead of time. Believe me, "type A" doesn't even begin to characterise the lists I made and pre-planned outfits I brought.

Just kidding.

I flew to Paris a month ago with absolutely zero plans. I didn't have a place to stay until the day before, I packed in a panicked frenzy (don't even ask how many bags I checked) and arrived at Charles de Gaulle without a single skincare product to my name. I'll wing it, I thought to myself, fantasizing about the French pharmacies on every corner and the natural glow of muses like Jeanne Damas, Louise Follain, and Lou Doillon.

I arrived at my Airbnb in the Marais and muscled my bags up the tiny staircase to my (adorable) apartment. I breathed a sigh of relief when I opened up the door to find a quintessentially Parisian setup, complete with a balcony and huge white windows. I made it, I said out loud, to no one, and poured myself a glass of wine. Within minutes, I was in full planning mode. What I lacked in strategy leading up to my trip I made up for in determination at that very moment. I searched for quotes about the most ubiquitous French drugstore products—the ones all Parisian models and celebrities tout as necessities—and made a list in my phone. I poured myself another glass of wine, vowing to hit the pavement after a few more sips.

Eight hours later, I woke up (jet-lagged) and stepped out for a croissant and noisette, ready to take on the day and purchase a few life-changing products. My disposition was as sunny as the weather—I was in Paris, after all—as I strolled down the street toward the nearest pharmacy. But the need to wash my face was real.

Looking for more French beauty secrets? Peep which foundation French girls hate (that you love).

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