Friday, June 6, 2014

French Pharmacy Magic

I'm finally starting to recover from an enormous case of jet lag.  It didn't help that this week involved delivering a high-intensity program for a client.  Nothing like a hard re-entry to get you back up to speed.

Anyhow, I had a great time on vacation, and made a bit of a discovery.  The French Pharmacy.  I had NO idea how great they were.  I suppose I hadn't really thought about going in to look for beauty products before--it just never crossed my mind.  But after a quick internet search, I soon learned about what I was missing!  French women typically look great and polished, but not "overdone" with makeup.  Skin looks fresh and healthy.  Well, clearly because they have some good stuff going on at the pharmacy to help.

I stocked up on some products to try, based on some suggestions and research.  I've used a bit of all of them at this point, so thoughts below.


Avene

Thermal Water:  This stuff is great--I know, I know, just spray water?  Seems to moisturize and refresh and will be great in the summer.

Cold Cream:  high quality, thick hand cream.

Eluage eye and face:  Night creams for both eye and face from their anti-aging line.  Thick, but not heavy.

Some random sample:  no idea what this is or what it does.  We'll see.


Vichy

Cellu Destock:  Vichy cellulite ads are all over pharmacies in France.  This one has ball rollers and caffeine to reduce the look of lumps and bumps.  We'll see.

Normaderm:  the anti-acne line, a mattefying lotion and scrubbing cleanser (although those beads are supposed to be bad for water supplies!)


La Roche-Posay

Serozinc:  I love LRP sunscreen, so I picked up a random spritz cleaning solution (no idea) and Cicaplast, which is apparently a healing cream for "post procedure".  Probably should have read the box better, but I was excited.  Side note, I also just got back from Toronto and picked up more LRP products to be discussed later.


Klorane

Dry Shampoo:  Highly recommended by bloggers, I picked up the spray and the powder (which I haven't yet figured out how to use).


Bioderma

Crealine:  Holy cow this is really good to remove mascara...especially if you have sensitive eyes.  Awesomeness.

A travel pack with Atoderm:  It was a slickly-packaged travel pack.  I'm a sucker.  Shower gel is nice so far, and can't go wrong with a mini lotion.


Nuxe

Huile Prodigieuse:  Last, but certainly not least, this stuff is AMAZING.  Goes on face, body, hair, wherever, and leaves it softer and smelling nice.  We stayed in a hotel with a Nuxe spa and it was awesome, so I had no doubt.

Reve de Miel lip balm (not pictured): Wow.  Creamy awesomeness in a container.  Spendy as it is, it's the best lip balm ever--matte, rich, feels like it actually WORKS.  I dig it.  I also bought it in stick form in Toronto.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chamonix Mont Blanc

A hike up Plan Praz on a gorgeous day.
Chamonix, France, is a great mountain town.  After a quick stop in Annecy for lunch, we made our way to Chamonix for a few days--since the weather was going to be ok.  This vacation was essentially going to be a follow the weather/wind type of vacation since we wanted to paraglide and hike (aka hike-and-fly) as much as possible.

Our first few days were windy.  A combination of Mistral/Foehn winds were making their way around Europe, which resulted in gusty weather, but some warm sun as well.  We ended up hiking the first day in a half-hearted attempt to climb Plan Praz, one of the paragliding launches that during season, has a cable car that goes up to the top.  We were not in season.  And we both had colds...mine received after reuniting with my partner in crime, shockingly, not by an airplane.
Half way up Mont Blanc

We were able to manage a flight from Plan de l'Aguille (the first stop on the famed Aguille du Midi cable car up Mont Blanc) and it was spectacular.  The winds were light to nil, and we had a bit of a run off the east facing side, but the reward was amazing.  Somewhat of a sled ride into town, we caught a bit of lift here and there, but took a short, gratifying flight.  Turns out we were really lucky, as the weather and launch conditions on the rest of the trip didn't bode well for tandems.


A great flight

A celebratory lunch.