When I travel, I will happily spend hours walking through grocery stores and pharmacies looking for that country’s miracle beauty products. In Montreal this weekend, I found some new beauty items that I just adored. And luckily, four of my new favorites are available in the U.S..
Dry shampoo is a struggle for me. I have brown hair, so I need one that doesn’t look dusty. I also need one that won’t give me itchy scalp if I need to reapply midday. Such is the trouble with bangs, they often need touchups to stay oil free.
Pssst has been my go-to for years when I travel (Drybar dry shampoo foam when I’m home), but I used the last of it on the first day in Canada. I stopped at a pharmacy to pick up a replacement, and found Cake’s Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($9). Phenomenal.
I spritzed it on my oily roots and they were instantly dry, no powdery look, no itch. Five hours later, still no oil. The spray gave my hair a light lift at the roots without being sticky or tacky. Nothing stinks more than when your dry shampoo causes tangles or that “rat’s nest” feeling the next morning. But this spray seems to have none of those issues.
I stopped at the pharmacy on my last day in Quebec to buy three more cans.
Fun masks are my skincare obsession. “Oh, what does this one do? What about this one?” This Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask ($15) is crazy fun, it also gets your skin really clean.
If you buy this mask, it feels gooey when you take it out of the jar. And you need to apply it fairly quickly, because it starts to foam when applied to air. But once you get it on, whoa. The entire mask foams and bubbles, which leaves your skin feeling very refreshed.
I usually use heavier clay masks for detoxification, but this one offers similar results. It also doesn’t overdraw my skin, and leaves my complexion looking more even. My one criticism is that is you’re not careful, you’ll end up with mask in your eyes and nose, so leave plenty of room to allow the bubbles to form.
The older I get, the drier my skin gets. Sometimes, the area around my nose looks like I’m molting. Andeven when it’s not peeling, my skin doesn’t look dewy or fresh, so much as sallow and pale. Not pretty.
When I mentioned to the woman at the pharmacy counter that I needed a moisturizer with oomph, she took one look at my skin and said “You have acne scarring?” in a French accent that made it sound almost charming. I nodded. “You need Cicaplast,” she said as she slapped a box into my hand.
La Roche Posay Cicaplast ($15) is not a traditional moisturizer. It’s a balm designed to stimulate cell recovery following laser peels. It’s billed as the perfect thing to heal dry, chapped skin and soften acne scarring. Sure, why not?
One application, and my nose was essentially healed. My skin was moisturized it looked like I’d slept, even when I hadn’t. And just a little, dime-sized dot was enough to cover my whole face. I can’t wait to see what my skin looks like in two weeks.
Primers. Ever since NARS discontinued Pro Prime, I have been at a loss when it comes to primers. I find good ones, but no great ones. The makeup is either too dewy, too matte, doesn’t hold, or looks fake because the primer won’t let it blend. Well, no more.
This Vasanti 2 in 1 Primer ($24) gives a natural finish with enough oil control that it won’t be shiny. As an additional bonus, my makeup never looked cakey or crepe-y, even in the cold. And if you have oily eyelids (me!), this primer will also help your eye makeup stay in place. It’s not quite as good as the Urban Decay I usually use, but it’s good enough that I won’t have to pack two primers when I travel.
What are your favorite foreign-made or internationally sold beauty products? Sarah swears by a Lancome mascara that never smudges, not even in a Norwegian sauna, but can’t get FDA approval.