Saturday, January 3, 2015

Beauty: French Pharmacie & Korean Skincare

How about new skin for the new year? The whole appeal of the French Pharmacie brands are that they're a slice of luxury but without the high-end prices. They've been quite trendy in the past year and have been available in various pharmacy chains in Australia for the past year or so.

The French woman is often idealised as a flawless, natural beauty with a je ne sais quoi. In the international market, the allure of these brands is that you can have access to what a typical French woman use. Among the cult classics of the French pharmacie are Avène, Bioderma, Nuxe, Klorane and La Roche Posay. Caudalie and Vichy are ones I have yet to find in store but are sold in online boutiques.

I've only tried the products that have gained a lot of hype amongst makeup artists and beauty bloggers alike. Most of them work just fine but there are cheaper copy-cats out there that work just as well or alternatives that suit me better, or that it just doesn't seem necessary. For me, the only thing I would not be without is the Nuxe potted lip balm ('just right' formula for me). As for the others, they're nice to have but I'm probably going to go for the alternatives.

A few years ago, I dipped into the Korean skincare/cosmetic fad and while I still continue to use some Korean skincare, the overall experience was lukewarm. Generally, you get what you pay. I've had good experiences with Laneige and Missha because I find they aren't as heavily fragranced. Cheaper brands such as Tonymoly, Etude House and Skinfood are brands I have found to be quite gimmicky. They offer cute packaging but a lot of the products I've tried from them just don't cut it for me.

The French pharmacie brands are now more accessible to me than the Korean brands, thanks to the pharmacies that stock them now. Korean brands, however, are easily accessible online. 

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