At some point in the future, I will write in detail about my system for traveling with just carry-on baggage. Never having to check a bag for a flight means an airline can’t lose my luggage, I never have to wait at baggage claim, and I can get through immigration and out of the airport much faster. Only packing what I can easily carry also makes rail travel, walking to accommodations, and lugging my stuff up subway stairs so much easier.
Traveling light also means that buying souvenirs is a no-no. I already gave away 99% of my stuff before I embarked on this adventure. I don’t want to acquire more!
If I do buy a non-food item, here are the rules: It has to be something I’ll use every day or something that serves a vital need. If it doesn’t do either of those things, it has to be really, really tiny. Like my tiny randoseru charm!
A randoseru is that classic backpack carried by every Japanese child in grade school. This charm is supposed to help the owner be successful in her/his studies, and I bought it in Kyoto to help me be a good student of life during this journey. I love my tiny randoseru!
There’s also one other thing that I’ve allowed to take up valuable luggage space — skin care products from other countries. I don’t go for the high dollar stuff, but I like to find out what the popular, best-selling drugstore brands are in each country I visit. In Japan, there’s a popular cleanser called Perfect Whip, and I love it!!! It’s much better, and much cheaper, than the Kiehl’s stuff I’d been using by default. It also lasts forever. You can use a pea-sized amount and still get lather like this:
In Paris, I found three best sellers at the pharmacie. From left to right:
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is a moisturizer that beauty bloggers describe as fantastic at hydrating and plumping your skin … and that makeup artists swear by it. I haven’t used it very much yet, but it does seem to do a nice job of moisturizing, and it’s not greasy.
Next, there’s the Bioderma Créaline H2O. This stuff is fantastic (!!!), and it quickly knocked Perfect Whip into second place for best cleanser. This is a make-up remover/cleanser that you use instead of soap and water because, as I read, French women believe that water dehydrates the skin. I don’t know if that’s true … or if that’s what French women really believe … but I LOVE this product, and it’s the reason I haven’t had much chance to try the Embryolisse. My skin no longer feels tight or dry after cleansing, so I don’t feel the need to moisturize.
Finally there’s Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. It’s an oil which, apparently, French women use to moisturize everything from their bodies and faces to their hair. The scent is distinctive and — to me— almost too strong, so I’m still figuring out how to work this into my routine.
So, voila! There you have it … a few fun pharmacie finds that won’t break the bank and could make your skin look and feel even better.
My next stop is Italy. I can’t wait to see what I find there!