Editors' Tips on How To Shop a Foreign Pharmacy

Editors' Tips on How To Shop a Foreign Pharmacy

Fashion and beauty editors are slightly obsessed with foreign pharmacies. From hidden gems in Rio de Janeiro to every street corner in Paris, each is stocked with local finds, in often charming packaging, that used to be impossible to find stateside. Thanks to the Internet, however, it’s becoming increasingly easy to score Japan’s best mascara or France’s top makeup remover from the comfort of your couch. We asked three frequently-flying editors to share what they’d buy on a trip around the world, above.

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    Erin Flaherty, Beauty Director, Marie Claire

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    Santa Maria Novella Sapone a Base di Latte Gardenia ($54, for 3); Florence

    “I've been to this ancient Italian pharmacy three times and it's probably my favorite in the world. I love, love, love everything about these soaps: the vintage packaging, the milky formula, and the subtle scent of gardenias is heavenly. I stock up and buy tons for my bathroom and to give as gifts.”

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    Tiger Essential Balm ($10); Beijing

    “Chinese pharmacies are a beauty and health junkie's dream thanks to all the crazy herbs and ancient medicine remedies. I picked up a bunch of mini jars of this menthol and clove-laced cure all to use on my aching temples during long-distance travel.”

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    Boots No 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum ($20); London

    “I was in London in 2009 when this came out and basically caused a stampede at Boots (following a Manchester University study that said it really works!). It was a hot item to bring back to New York and I still pick some up whenever I'm in Jolly Old.”

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    Rooibos Deep Cleansing Facial Wash ($20); Capetown

    “South African women all swear by this gentle cleanser made of rooibos tea.”

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    Lauren Sherman, freelance writer at Elle, The New York Times, Fashionista.com

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    Embryolisse Lait-Crème ($16); Paris

    “This is the number one thing editors buy in Paris. Now it's available on Amazon! I still buy Embryolisse products when I'm in Paris for the experience of it—and because they're reasonably priced and work really, really well. I've never used a moisturizer that was so soothing without leaving a filmy residue. I put it on my face, but also on my elbows and legs when they're really dry.”

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    Granado Manteiga Emoliente ($20) in Pink; Rio de Janeiro

    “I visited Granado while I was in Rio de Janeiro, where it was founded in 1870. Each store exclusively carries Granado products, all done in cool art deco packaging. This particular body butter has a really clean smell that reminds me of bar soap.”

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    Avibon ($35); Paris

    “Gwyneth Paltrow uses this stuff, and I went nuts one year tracking it down in Paris. It's kind of like a mild, over-the-counter form of Retin-A, but it's an emollient so it doesn't dry out your skin.”

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    Fiberwig Tiny Sniper Mascara ($12) in Pure Black; Tokyo

    “The last time my husband was in Tokyo I had him pick up this mascara; it's great for getting to the little lashes in the corners of your eyes.”

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    Alexis Wolfer, founder and editor, TheBeautyBean.com

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    DHC Olive Oil Swabs ($6); Tokyo and London

    “The individually wrapped, olive-oil saturated cotton swabs remove even the most stubborn eye makeup for precise touch-ups. I always load up on them when abroad. Sure, you can DIY it with some olive oil, Q-tips, and a plastic baggie, but that’s not nearly as glamorous!”

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    Coarse Korean Bath Sheets; available throughout Asia

    “Available in bright colors (and cheap!), these coarse bath sheets brilliantly exfoliate your whole body.”

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    Bioderma Crealine ($35); Spain and France

    “It feels like water (making it ideal for sensitive skin!), but still removes even the most caked-on makeup in a single swipe.”

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    Dr. Jackson's Natural Products 01 SPF 20 ($120); London

    “It's one of the only sunscreens I've tried that feels decidedly unlike a sunscreen and more like a luxe face cream. And it's all-natural, too!”

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    Santa Maria Novella Sapone a Base di Latte Gardenia ($54)

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    Tiger Essential Balm ($10)

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    Embryolisse Lait-Crème ($16)

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    Granado Manteiga Emoliente ($20)

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    Avibon Face Cream ($35)

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    Fiberwig Tiny Sniper Mascara ($12)

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    Alexis Wolfer

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    DHC Olive Oil Swabs ($6)

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    Bioderma Crealine Micelle Water ($35)

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    Dr. Jackson's Natural Products 01 SPF 20 ($120)

EXPLORE: Santa Maria Novella, Tiger, Boots No 7, Rooibos, Embryolisse, Granado, Avibon, Fiberwig, DHC, Bioderma, Dr. Jackson's, Skin, Erin Flaherty, Alexis Wolfer, Lauren Sherman


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