Things You Should Stock up on Before Moving to France
In honor of all the ladies who are heading off for their study abroad programs this fall, I thought I'd put together a little list of things that I wish I'd packed more of before moving to France. Most of the study abroad in Europe sites advise you to pack as little as possible, because "you can buy everything you need when you get there!"
While this is true, you're also a student. I'm just guessing that you'd rather spend your money on cool experiences or on actual French products, rather than on things that you can buy back home for a 1/4 of the price.
1. Metal Free Hair Ties
They are expensive here and suck. If anyone knows where I can buy cheap, metal-free hair ties that last more than a few weeks and don't rip out your hair in France, please, please share.
2. Chapstick or Burt's Bees Lip Balm
It's more expensive. They don't have the same brands here, and many balms tend to leave a thick waxy feeling on your lips that just tastes horrendous. Even some of the expensive pharmacy lip balms have left me really disappointed. If you're picky about lip balm bring a few from back home.
So far, Labello has been my favorite, but even that brand leaves a lot to be desired.
I'm begging my mom to send me a ton of this in my next Christmas package. Imagine paying $20 for drugstore mascara. That's seriously how much Covergirl and Maybelline cost here. It's almost as expensive as the brands you buy in Sephora.
4. Nail polish
Limited colors and sky high prices. You know those Sinful Color nail polishes you pay $2 for? How would you feel about paying $8 a bottle? Nail polish prices are insane.
Shoes are often painful to wear and crazy expensive here. Even "cheap" shoes are about $25, and you can expect them to break within a month. I also know that girls who are larger than an American size 9-10 having trouble finding shoes.
To give you an idea of the quality vs. price dynamic, basic Converse shoes are $90 a pair.
Nothing they have ever offered me in a French pharmacy (without a prescription) has ever helped me sleep quite as well with a cold as Nyquil.