Not because I’ve worked in the Cosmetics industry for years, but one of my favorite things to shop for when I am abroad is for beauty and care products. Some travelers like going to local markets or supermarkets (which I enjoy too!)… I like beauty shopping.
Not only you can find your favorite products cheaper in their home-country (France, anyone?), but also, you can find great products unavailable back home. Until I get to fly to beauty paradises like Korea or Japan, let me share with you the one beauty paradise I know: Paris.
1/ Drugstore shopping: BeautyMonop’
Monoprix is a local up-scale city-supermarket chain that launched a few years ago a new brand beauty-products oriented : BeautyMonop. Both Monoprix and BeautyMonop offer a wide space with beauty and body/hair care products ranging from Nivea to L’Oréal with French drugstore brands like UNE or – of course – Bourjois and many other niche drugstore brands with a very French lavender touch.
Clean, neat and with lots of testers… If you like hunting for drugstore products, this is your stop!
👉TIP: There’s a conveniently located small and neat BeautyMonop in Montmartre’s Abbesses neighborhood, so plan that trip on your way up to the Sacré Coeur. If you are really into it, sign up for a “Beauty Party”: an evening to try new products while sipping Champagne. Why not?
More info : www.monoprix.fr
2/ Essential Oils Paradises in Paris
In Aromazone you can get your favorite essential oils from a 100+ list, ready-to use natural products OR … you can get everything you need to make your own products. Fancy an argan oil home-made shampoo? Easy: choose the bottle you like, try the oil yourself and pick the shampoo base appropriate for you. If heading to AromaZone be warned: you will spend hours in there!
Another great option would be L’Herboristerie du Palais Royal at the very heart of Paris, not far from the Louvre. Getting into L’Herboristerie will make you travel in time as it is an antique boutique with all the charm of old wooden walls and thick glass jars. Shop for what’s best for you with the savant and professional advice of their pharmaceutical and herborists staff.
3/ Pharmacy beauty shopping
Yes, you are in France and most likely you want to get that Avène sunblock, some La Roche-Posay and the new Caudalie Serum. For para-pharmaceutical beauty products head to…. Pharmacies!
When strolling in Paris you might be surprised by the insane amount of Pharmacies in town. Have you seen how many Starbucks are there in Manhattan? Same here with pharmacies that look more and more like beauty-hunters heaven.
Pretty much every single pharmacy in town will always have some kind of sale going on but if there is ONE pharmacy to hit that would be la Pharmacie Rue du Four. The staff in this giant two-floors pharmacy is multilingual (hello tourists!), they will give you a basket when getting in and be ready to wait in line to pay for your new found treasures. La Pharmacie Rue du Four is an experience on itself. You can find pharma brands like Avène and La Roche Posay to niche (and pricey) brands.
👉TIP : Get there early in the morning before crowds invade the place (legit, the place gets seriously crowded), write down a shopping list before hitting the pharmacy to help you navigate the aisles and leave your partner outside and avoid getting a divorce between Serum and NightCream. #BeenThere
4/ Department Stores
No, you did not come to Paris to lock yourself in a Department Store. Yes, if you are a tourist you will most likely be near, get in, get lost in Galeries Lafayette.
Although it is not my favorite place in Paris (be avoided before Christmas!) if you only get one department pit stop, this could be it. Expect to find Chanel, Dior, Guerlain and ‘big names’ beauty corners.
More info : http://www.galerieslafayette.com/c/beaute
LE BON MARCHE
Even if I don’t like Department Stores, I do LOVE the Bon Marché. Not only because it is located in my beloved Rive Gauche, but because you will find exclusive brands in their Beauty Department. Want to try high-end products? Liking some luxury beauty? Fancy some Laura Mercier while in Paris? Get to Le Bon Marché!
Just walking in is worth the try, as the place itself is gorgeous, so very chic and calm and rarely crowded. If you want to get a bite, don’t miss the salon de thé in the 3rd floor or go to the neighboring La Grande Epicerie. I told you: complete experience!
More info : www.lebonmarche.com
Last but not least, you can also hit the BHV / Bazar Hotel de Ville by the City Hall. Their ground floor has been recently refurnished to offer a modern beauty experience. Along the usual big names you’ll find fancy Nail Bars in a very convenient location. If on a quick trip to Paris with no time for Rive Gauche and trying to avoid the crowds, this is your stop!
More info : http://www.bhv.fr/
5/ Other Beauty Experiences to try in Paris
Not in the categories above but still worth mentioning, I’ll share with you other beauty-related experiences to try during your trip/residence/life in Paris.
Oh My Cream is a super cool concept created by two beauty-addicts who struggled to find their dream products on the French Market. So they decided to open a cozy boutique to sell all their favorite treasures. It a beauty-curated space where you can find on point and edgy products from France and abroad. Supreme love affair with Oh My Cream!
If you are in Paris: why not indulging some luxury experiences? Head to the Guerlain Boutiques for example. My favorite is the vintage and so very chic boutique on the Champs Elysées. Why buying at Sephora when you can dip into this luxurious environment?! And now that we are down to it… try the brand new Lancôme Atelier near the Place Vendôme, a perfect space to try and test products without the whole Department Store hassle. J’aime !
Wanna shop like a pro? Head to MGC, a 30 year-old franchise distributing professional beauty, nail and hair products. Head there for cool and edgy accessories like false lashes, extensions, brushes, cases, hairspray or to shop pro-volume products like your favorite L’Oréal Professionnel Shampoo in a 1L bottle. Yes, you can!
How did you like this guide? Going to Paris soon? Do you like Lavender soap? Share with us in the comments box below !