I live on a road with a fantastic pharmacy located about 20 metres from my front door. This is bad, very bad. For my bank balance that is. For my skin, it's brilliant. It's looking better than it has done in months.
At the pharmacy near me they stock Avene, La Roche-Posay, Phyto, Dr Hauschka, Lierac and Nuxe- all brands you've probably seen raved about on beauty blogs from here to eternity. I've discovered something about them recently and it's something I think you'll like. But first, here is what I actually bought on a recent trip down the road:
Avene Cold Cream- This is a massive staple in my winter skincare routine. It's unapologetically thick and rich but sinks in very quickly and leaves just a slight layer of moisture. I use it to remove make up in the evening with a warm cloth and then reapply a little bit before I go to bed to moisturise. It retails at about £9 for 100ml.
Phyto Paris Phytokeratine shampoo and Phytobaume Reparateur conditioner: I've recently run out of the huge stock of Aussie I accumulated as an Aussie Angel (I recently decided to hang up my wings, *sob*) so I decided to treat myself to an expensive new haircare set. Well, £10 a bottle in my book is expensive but I know some would disagree. This Phyto range is made for damaged hair as the added keratine is there to resurface and restructure the strands apparently.
Firstly, it smells amazing! Like a spring garden just after the rain but if you don't appreciate similes, then it's just very fresh and natural. It's a thick shampoo and takes a while to lather but it washes out easily and leaves my hair feeling smoother straight away. I use it every other wash, mainly because I don't want it to run out, but also because I don't think my hair needs it every time.
The conditioner on the other hand, I am not a fan of. It's very strange. Thick again but this time it says on the back of the tube to 'wash out immediately'. Strange for a conditioner, non? Anyway, I've followed this a couple of times and washed it out quickly and thoroughly, but each time I've dried my hair afterwards there is very noticeable residue. I'll probably give it another go, but to be honest it's too much faff.
Anyway, the whole point of this post is that every time I've bought something from this pharmacy, they've heaped samples and trial products on me. Whether I've spent a fiver or £30, I've been allowed to help myself to a basket of generously-sized Avene mini's and have recently been gifted with two 15ml tubs of Lierac's Coherence Anti-aging Infra-red Moisturiser when I spent £10 on a cleanser. This retails at £66 for 50ml. This means that I've effectively been given £39.60 worth of free product plus all of the other bits and bobs.
I'm dreading the day I run out of this cream because, yes, I'm only 26 but I have some pretty deep laughter lines due to generally loving life (and*cough*beingasmoker) and this product has made a considerably big difference to them. As in, half an hour after I've applied it, they've almost disappeared. Crazy stuff.
Now obviously, my local pharmacy may just have very generous staff, but I genuinely recommend getting to your local ASAP to see if it's a nationwide phenomenon. I'm assuming all stockists of these brands are sent a bulk of samples so it just depends on how the shop want to distribute them. This is also one time that shopping locally in-store, rather than online, is more beneficial and allows you to invest in your community.
Let me know if you find similar and also, have you found any great beauty freebies recently? They make great stocking fillers for Christmas!