Dad Shoes You Will Actually Want to Wear

Dad Shoes You Will Actually Want to Wear

Dad sneakers are here to stay. We've now seen them in the streets, on the runway and on the covers of our favourite glossy magazines - the iconic 90s sneaker is not going anywhere, anytime soon. And there is a reason why getting your hands on a pair of Louis Vuitton Archlights or Balenciaga Triple-S in London is near impossible, these days. Both trendy and comfortable, the dad sneaker is the perfect shoe to jazz up a simple jean and T-shirt combo, a Cher Horowitz-inspired co-ord or even a little floral dress. 

Modern and yet incredibly retro at the same time, these are the chunky sneakers you need to add to your wardrobe, right now : 

A French Girl's Guide to French Beauty

A French Girl's Guide to French Beauty
Like many other French girls, I am obsessed with skincare, haircare and the idea of "effortless beauty." Of course, we all know there is no such a thing as effortless beauty and that your favourite French girl crush most likely didn't wake up like this. Still, no trip back home is ever complete without a visit to my local pharmacie and a suitcase full of my all-time favourite beauty essentials. 

And you're in luck because today, I am sharing with you the products you need to pick up next time you find yourself in France. If my passport wasn't enough to qualify me for the French cool girl card, maybe the content of my beauty bag will? You tell me.

Eau Démaquillante au Bleuet, Klorane :  Put down the Bioderma and pick up this Klorane cornflower-infused makeup remover-meets-toner instead. Cornflower water is known for its soothing and decongesting properties, making this a great product to use on tired, irritated skin and eyes. It's also mildly astringent, meaning it will help tighten your pores and brighten your complexion at the same time when used as a toner. (Available here and here.)

Eau de rose, Sanoflore : A French girl's essential, rose water is great to sooth any skin irritation and calm the skin - it's no wonder Glossier uses it in their now infamous Milky Gelly Cleanser. At around 6€99, it is also ridiculously inexpensive here, so make sure you grab a bottle next time you find yourself near a French pharmacie. (Available here and here.)

Crème lavante Cleanance Hydra, Avène : This cleanser is incredibly gentle, which is probably why most French dermatologists will recommend it to patients who have undergone chemical peels or  any other form of invasive skin treatments. If the regular gel version is easily available in abroad, I have yet to see this mild, hydrating formula anywhere else. I personally use this morning and night and couldn't recommend it enough.  (Available here and here.)

Spray Serozinc, La Roche-Posay : A lot of my friends swear by this facial mist and use it daily, in place of a more traditional toner. Loaded with zinc sulfate, it is a bit of a miracle product for acne-prone skin types since zinc is known to sooth and purify the skin, help fight acne, prevent scaring and tighten pores, while stimulating collagen production and tone down redness at the same time. (Available here, here and here.)

Masque Crème Fraîche de Beauté, Nuxe : This is my all-time favourite hydrating mask, but in fact, I'd highly recommend you check out whole Crème Fraîche de Beauté range next time you're in France. The instructions do say to leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off, but I also like to use mine as a sleeping mask if I'm on a plane for an extended period of time. Just don't forget to wash it off before you land. (Available here and here.)

Lait-Crème Concentré, Embryolisse : This rich, thick moisturizer needs no introduction, but it's good to know that it is generally much, much cheaper on this side of the Channel. It's usually under 12€ here, as opposed to £20 in Boots. Not bad, eh? (Available here, here and here.)

Argile Blanche Surfine, Cattier : I always recommend people pick up some Cattier clay masks when they visit France. At about 3€50 a pop, they are ridiculously cheap, yet extremely effective. I particularly like the pink and white clay version, which are much more gentle than the traditional French green clay most other brands use. And the best thing? These masks now come individually packaged in powder form. Just add warm water and voilà! Perfect if you travel quite often and want to keep on top of your skincare.  (Available here and here.)

Polyphenol C15 Huile de nuit détox, Caudalie : If you're looking for a night oil that will make your skin look brighter and smoother, don't look any further. Once again, it is one of those products that is much cheaper on this side of the pond, so you might also want to stock up. (Available here and here.)

Homéoplasmine : This multi-purpose balm is an absolute must-have for many professional makeup artists and beauty junkies around the globe. Not convinced? You can use it on your lips, on your cuticles and even on your brows if you ever run out of brow gel. It also makes for a great eyeshadow base or highlighter but my favourite way to use it is as a hair pommade. It helps achieve that oh-so-French piecey look while protecting the hair. (Available here, here and here.)

Spray Idéal Soleil, Vichy :  We all know sunscreen sprays are not the most reliable form of sun protection, however this is my favourite product to use to top up throughout the day. It is incredible gentle on my sensitive skin and doesn't leave any tacky, white residue. In fact, the whole Idéal Soleil range is what (sunny) dreams are made of. (Available here, here and here.)

Anthelios 50 Minéral, La Roche-Posay : If you are incredibly sensitive to chemical and hybrid sunscreen, you might want to pick this up next time you are in France. As a matter of fact, this 100% mineral sunscreen relies mainly on titanium dioxide to protect your skin against the sun's harmful rays.. It also layers remarkably well under makeup for a mineral sunscreen and doesn't give off any white cast (on my skin tone at least.) Yes, the other La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreens are much easier to find abroad, but trust me, this is the one you need. (Available here, here and here.)

Biafine : Most French households will have a some form of Biafine in their bathroom cabinets. This over the counter healing balm works wonders on cuts, rashes and burns and especially sunburns so repeat after me : "Bonjour. Un tube de Biafine, s'il vous plait." (Available here and here.)

Huile Bronzante visage et corps, Nuxe Sun : If oils are more your thing, then I cannot recommend this Nuxe tanning oil enough. With an SPF of either 10 or 30, this oil is light in texture and definitely helps make the most of the sunshine while still protecting your skin. I personally always carry a bottle in my beach bag. (Available here, here and here.)

Cicabio SPF 50+, Bioderma : Cicabio is a very popular healing cream often prescribed by dermatologists to patients who might have just undergone a laser treatment or a chemical peel for example. This newly released version with added SPF50+ is also perfect for anyone who uses strong retinoids for example. (Available here and here.)

Huile lactée capillaire, Nuxe Sun : Sun exposure, chlorine and even sea salt can all be pretty damaging to your hair so it's important to keep it protected, especially in the summer months. You'll find many French products claiming to do just that but this Nuxe Sun milky hair oil is by far my favourite.  (Available here and here.)

Cleanance Solaire, Avène : Formulated especially for acne-prone skin, this hybrid sunscreen is still very gentle on the skin. And because it doesn't rely on mineral filters to protect your skin, it is incredibly easy to blend and layer under makeup. The fluid, mattifying formula is also perfect to top up throughout the day. (Available here, here and here.)

Masque détox cuir chevelu, Cattier : If you ever felt like your scalp needed a little TLC, then you must pick this up, next time you're in France. The pink clay and lemon-extract in this mask are gentle enough not to disrupt the natural balance of your scalp, while still deep cleansing the skin there. (Available here.)

Shampoing au lait d'avoine, Klorane : Somewhat of a cult product in France and oversea, the Klorane oat milk shampoo is probably the most gentle of its kind. It's especially great if you have bleached or damaged hair. I also highly suggest you pick up the matching conditionner while you're at it. (Available here, here and here.)

Crème d'exception Phytokératine, Phyto : One for colour-treated hair, this creamy serum works wonders on weak, damaged hair. And like most Phyto products, it is a little bit cheaper in France so definitely check it out next time you're visiting. (Available here and here.)

Pâte lavante volumisante, Christophe Robin : I'll be honest here, this cleansing paste by Christophe Robin is nothing but a luxury version of LUSH's Big Shampoo but the smell alone is well-worth the extra euros. It also uses clay and rose extract to lift the roots instead of sea salt, which is a lot more gentle on the hair. If you can't treat yourself on holiday, when can you? (Available here, here and here.)

Bain de brillance haute hydratation, Phyto : Many French women swear by this hair treatment - me included. With a special blend of castor oil and sage, rosemary, juniper and lemon extract, this product leaves your hair shiny and softer than ever. It's definitely something worth picking up if you ever find yourself in France - just don't blame me when you get hooked and end up buying it from Sephora despite the ridiculous mark-up. (Available here and here.)

Masque ultra-réparateur Phytokératine, Phyto : Those who know me will know I am quite partial to the Kerastase Masquintense Riche hair mask, however, this deep-repair mask by Phyto comes in a very close second. (Available here, here and here.)

Eau thermale, Avène : Although not a toner like some claim, many French girls like to use thermal water sprays to cool down and refresh their makeup in the summer months - me included. I particularly like the Avène one, but if you're on a budget, most French supermarkets will also carry their own version for a euro or two. (Available herehere and here.)

Levure de bière : French girls have been using levure de bière a.k.a. brewer's yeast to help boost hair growth, strengthen nails and keep their skin looking healthy from the inside out for years. French beauty is all about fuss-free products - the shorter the ingredient list, the better -, so it comes to no surprise that we love this 100% natural supplement filled with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and proteins. (Available here)

Progieux, le parfum, Nuxe : This is one of my favourite summer scents and definitely one I don't really see that often in the UK or abroad. If you like sweet, summery scents, definitely give this a smell next time you find yourself in a French pharmacie. (Available here, here and here.) 

Lotion hydratante pour les yeux, Innoxa : According to French magazines, these blue eyedrops have long been used by models and celebrities when they want their eyes to appear brighter. It's definitely something fun to try if you're ever in France and want to feel like a 90s supermodel. (Available here and here.)

Crème pour les mains, Caudalie : This is one of my all-time favourite hand creams, along with the crème pour les mains et ongles Nuxe Rêve de Miel. You'll find little sets with one of those hand creams and their matching lip balm for 5€ or less in most - if not all - French pharmacies and parapharmacies*, which are perfect to keep in your bag at all time. (Available here, here and here.)

Démaquillant yeux précision, Sephora : These cotton swabs are pre-loaded with makeup remover and perfect to use on the go. They've saved me and my winged eyeliner many, many times before. I heard they'd been discontinued in the US but luckily, they're still available in France. If you like them as much as I do, you might want to stock up then! (Available here.)

Baume pour les lèvres Rêve de Miel, Nuxe : This thick, matte lip balm has become a bit of a cult product in the past few years, so much that it is now available pretty much anywhere in the world but it is still a lot cheaper to buy in France. Just make sure to get the one the pot - yes, it might sound a little unhygienic, however, the stick form is nowhere near as good and greatly overhyped in my opinion. (Available here, here and here.)


Collosol : a milky cleanser and toner hybrid, which is said to be behind Alessandra Steinherr's flawless complexion. I have yet to try this, but if it's good enough for Alessandra, it's good enough for me. (Available here and here.)

A313 Vitamin A pommade (previously known as Avibon) : Many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, have gone on the record calling this retinoid cream their holly grail so if you were looking for a cheap alternative to all those retinoid creams and serums, this is it. Why spend over $100 on the Sunday Riley Luna Oil or other retinols when you can find something just as effective for less than 3€ in French pharmacies? (Available here and here.)

Klorane oat milk dry shampoo : Once again, this is a bit of a cult product - both in France and abroad -, but it is in my opinion, greatly overhyped. Still, for a few euros, there is no harm in trying it out and see for yourself. (Available here, here and here.)

Sweet Almond Oil : Most French households will have a bottle of sweet almond oil on their bathroom shelves. It's great to use on your body, your hair, your cuticles or any other dry areas and costs next to nothing in pharmacies and parapharmacies. (Available here.)

Crème Hydratante Ultra-Confort, Rogé Cavaillès : a rich and soothing body butter, which dries almost instantly and doesn't leave any sticky residue. (Available here and here.)

Gels douche Le Petit Marseillais : Maybe not one to necessarily bring back with you, but definitely one to try while in France. These shower gels all smell incredible, are gentle on the skin and only cost a couple of euros at most. (Available here and here.)

Couldn't find anything for you in this list? Check out my previous French beauty round-up here

What products do you swear by? I would love to know what your staple beauty products from your country are!

- Elodie x


* For those who are wondering, there are actually two types of places where you can find your usual French beauty brands in France : pharmacies and parapharmacies. Pharmacies sell pretty much everything - from skincare to over the counter medicines, prescription drugs, plasters, etc. As for parapharmacies, they only tend to sell skincare, body care, haircare, essential oils and health supplements. You'll only find non-prescription products in there. Some of them also sell makeup, but not always and when they do, it's usually nothing to write home about.