The best beauty shops in Paris offer a wide range of shopping experiences, from the super chi-chi Chanel-ness of the brand’s dedicated shop in the Marais to the actually quasi-violent daily scrum of CityPharma. What are you in the mood for today?
A couple ground rules: You’ll find all the usual suspects in Paris, including standalone shops from Kiehl’s, Jo Malone, M.A.C., and plenty others. These, of course, must be ignored in favor of France’s famous pharmacy brands. And though CityPharma is the destination shop, most any Paris pharmacy will offer a wide range of skincare products. Most are exactly what you’d expect of a French product: subtle and un-dramatic. If you’re looking for pots of neon glitter eyeshadow, look elsewhere: Here, you’re more likely to find gentle toners, serums, cleansers and creams, as well as industry-best (i.e., non-clogging) sunscreens.
These are my five favorite, but I also like the beauty department at BHV (my favorite department store in Paris) and Le Bon Marché (the one in the women’s clothing department upstairs, more than the ground floor).
You’ll find at that and more at these, the best beauty shops in Paris. Geddit done!
For completists, this Marais shop—with the entirety of the brand’s perfume, skincare, and cosmetics lines, plus sundry accessories—is a must. Otherwise, you may feel more freedom to spritz at a department store’s Chanel counter: The hovering is intense here. 40 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003. Metro: St-Paul. chanel.com
Half the experience at this Left Bank institution is the aggravation: It’s claustrophobic and crowded. The other half is the huge range of “French pharmacy” skincare labels, from Avène to Vichy to Phyto to La Roche-Posay, some of it significantly discounted. Try to come in the morning, or on a rainy day—and prepare nonetheless to battle for your spot. 26 rue du Four, 75006. Metro: St-Germain-des-Prés. pharmacie-citypharma.fr
You already know the label—this is the birthplace of the super-expensive candle line. Baies and Feu du Bois are the classics. Also on offer: various gels and lotions for face and body. (Stick with the candles.) 34 boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005. Metro: Maubert-Mutualité. diptyqueparis.com
This New York brand with the French name hand-mixes all of its fragrances on site, which accounts in part for the prices. Come to the Marais boutique for Vanille 44, the blockbuster Paris scent—a “city exclusive” only available here, except for one September week when it’s available at Le Labos worldwide. 7 rue Froissart, 75003. Metro: St-Sébastien-Froissart. lelabofragrances.com
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OH MY CREAM
Like a French version of Blue Mercury, Oh My Cream offers local labels like Chrisophe Robin and Les Huilettes alongside international stars like Ren and Tangent GC (Sweden), Girl Smells (Germany), Antipodes (New Zealand)—plus U.S. brands like Tata Harper, Dermalogica, and Burt’s Bees. Body treatments, manicures, and “coaching beauté” are available at some boutiques. 17 rue Debelleyme, 75003. Metro: Filles du Calvaire. en.ohmycream.com