Saturday, July 15, 2017

#FrenchFriday : Scouting Niche Brands at Cosmoprof


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Earlier this week, I was at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas for work. If you've never heard of the event, it's the biggest professional trade show for the beauty industry in North America. I know, lucky me! Besides being on my feet all day working, and averaging 16,000 steps daily according to my fitness tracker, I also had a little bit of time to wander around the show floor, looking for interesting French brands that I could present to you guys. So here we go, prepare to discover cool niche beauty brands you most likely never heard of!


Studio Harcourt


You may actually have heard of Harcourt before, especially if you have an interest in photography: Studio Harcourt is a photography studio founded in 1934 in Paris, specializing in black and white portraits. Their distinctive style is very 1940's, glamorous, and using lights with strongly contrasting shadows in a way that is reminiscent of chiaroscuro.

Because brows are so important to frame the eyes and structure the entire face for a portrait, Studio Harcourt opened a high-end brow salon in Paris, and launched a small range of products to shape and perfect brows: from stainless steel tweezers to pencils, brow comb, stencils, powder, fixing serum...

The brand is currently not available in the US, but you can see all their products on The Beauty Lounge website - I believe that you can order from there for international delivery. Overall I had a very good first impression of the brand, the products seem high quality, the packaging is simple and elegant, and of course the affiliation with the iconic photo studio gives it a prestigious background.


Féret Parfumeur


Completely different in style from the previous one, this brand has an even longer history: it was founded in 1865 and is still managed by the same family. The vintage yellow packaging is based on original designs, and will appeal to lovers of retro beauty.

The small range of products includes multi-taskers, the kind of products that anyone can use regardless of age or gender: Hyalomiel jelly for the hands that I tested, very refreshing and moisturizing, The Balm, The Lotion, etc. They look old-school and remind me of the no-nonsense products that my grandmas used, yet the textures and scents didn't feel old-fashioned at all. They're also made from natural ingredients such as honey, plant extracts and essential oils.

The brand is sold in a handful of independent beauty and concept stores in the US, so it's very elusive for now. I have found this Canada-based website that sells some of their products, but I have never ordered from them and cannot vouch for their service. You can take a look at the rest of the products on the brand's website.


Blancreme


Blancreme is where French gastronomy meets skintertainment. Presented in jam jars and mini lemonade bottles, the colorful products all have yummy scents, from mojito to strawberry, cotton candy and chocolate. The range comprises bath and body products as well as face masks, all offering a unique sensory experience.

The highlights include body scrub jam jars in incredibly mouth-watering scents, cute bath foams, and the Sweet Massage Gels, a decadent gel with a warming effect activated by friction that is also edible... You can see all the products with a description in English on blancreme.com .

Packaging is adorable, the products are really attractive and intriguing, and the playful aspect reminds me a bit of some Asian beauty brands - except, with a decidedly French risqué twist. In France Blancreme is available at high-end retailers, and you can find it in a handful of stores throughout the US, see the list on the brand's website. Addresses don't include the state, forgive them for they do not know it's important here.


Christian Breton


This niche high-end skincare brand specializes in treatments for sensitive areas of the face, particularly the eyes. Best-sellers include the Eye Care Anti-Fatigue gel and Infinite Lashes lash growth serum.

The range of product offered by Christian Breton is huge and also includes some makeup and fragrances. I haven't had a chance to explore it at all, but the brand's website should give you an idea (not fully translated). The products are also available on lookfantastic.com


Doux Me


Founded in 2002, Doux Me is an organic skincare brand with the Ecocert certification. The products are formulated with natural and gentle ingredients, and without GMOS, animal derivatives, alcohol, mineral oils, silicones, phenoxyethanol, PEG and parabens. The brand also does not test on animals (animal testing is now prohibited by European Union laws), which makes it cruelty-free, as well as vegan.

The small range of products is made to be used in simple, easy routines, starting with the cleansing milk, followed by a face mist, and ending with a moisturizer. Intriguing products include the rose and the orange blossom face mists as well as the Cleansing Milk Mist. The original product names in French are rather poetic and evocative, such as Infinie Sagesse, or infinite wisdom, for their anti-aging cream. More info on the brand's website.


Végétalement Provence


Far from being just another provider of lavender scented stuff from the Provence region, VP is a unique brand of hair and skin care products with a strong commitment to sustainability. From the formulation of their products to the shipping supplies or the heating system in their headquarters, everything is made to reduce environmental impact while improving quality.

Contrary to the other brands I've showed you, VP is a professional brand used in salons, and they have a beauty academy training hair stylists. Your typical hair product is loaded with chemicals. It might not be a big problem for you because you are only exposed to small amounts, but it can be a health hazard for hair stylists who drown in the stuff all day, every day. VP formulates professional hair care using natural, safe ingredients and they are cruelty-free.

Their best-sellers include hair mist, mousse and balm, as well as beard grooming products. The packaging and visuals the brand use are in line with its values: inspired by nature but luxurious, with wood, brown bottles, distinctive fonts and design.

VP is only available in a handful of very exclusive salons in the US, but hopes to develop in the near future. You can read more about the brand's philosophy on their website.


Sophie La Girafe


Every hipster baby's favorite giraffe is now making skincare for kids! Okay I'm cheating just a bit here: the company that owns the license for the skincare line is not French, but Finnish. Still, Sophie is such an iconic symbol that I had to include it. I had a Sophie, my cousins had Sophies, everyone I know in France had a Sophie, long before she swam across the Atlantic and invaded millennial households - since 1961 in fact.

As you would expect, Sophie La Girafe Baby line is formulated for sensitive skin, and certified organic by Ecocert. The range comprises hair and body wash, bubble bath, face cream, body lotion, a repair cream, baby oil and a gel toothpaste for toddlers. Everyone can use those products, from infants to adults with reactive skin.

According to the brand's website, the products are supposed to be available at Anthropology stores, b-glowing.com and beautyhabit.com, but I've only found them at beautybridge.com



I hope you enjoyed this trip through the Cosmoprof trade show with me, discovering French brands that are not yet well-know on this side of the ocean. Seeing anything that appeals to you?



I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!


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