For the final post in my series on the Paris Beauty Tour I offer you the piece de resistance...Galeries Lafayette. For any serious shopper a trip to Paris is NOT complete without a stop at this mega Department Store; its like visiting New York and going to Bergdorf Goodman. You can even do all of your souvenir shopping here and head to their dedicated tax refund office (if you spend over 176Euro in the same store on the same day you receive a 12% refund on your purchases) so you can avoid the long lines at the airport.
As part of the Paris Beauty Tour we got a VIP beauty tour of Galeries Lafayette; that's our group entering through the VIP entrance and receiving a VIP Guest card, which extended a discount to us through the rest of 2014.
That neon sign hanging from the beautiful Galeries Lafayette stained glass ceiling changes regularly. For Christmas an Christmas Tree will be hung upside down and a Noel Monster will decorate the ceiling.
We had a private session with Dior Beauty where we learned about some of the exclusive scents available only in Paris.
We met with the lead rep from Sisely who shared with us that the company is still family owned, a common theme in the French Beauty industry. Each counter we visited had prepared gifts for us including deluxe samples of their most popular products.
Our rep from YSL talked to us about the most popular makeup shades worn by French women... bright red for the lips and dark black around the eyes. We all left Paris wanting to wear thick lines of kohl eyeliner.
My hands down favorite beauty counter we visited on our VIP tour was L'Artisan Parfumeur. We learned about all of their intoxicating scents as well as their unique amber balls. I found my signature scent here...can you guess what it is? (Leave your guess in the comments)
Galeries Lafayette allows upcoming designers to showcase their pieces in Labo Mode (Style Lab) and if they are successful they will get their own in-house boutique. I wanted to blow all of my cash on some of these pieces...imagine buying a Marc Jacobs piece when he was an unknown!
There is even a museum inside of the grand magasin. Its a peaceful place to rest in between shopping and there are some great tongue-in-cheek art pieces featuring fashion and household items.
And then there is the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette with its specatular views of Sacre Coeure, the Paris Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.
We were very lucky to be visiting Galeries Lafayette on the week their foodcourt and homegoods store was opening. These were previously two separate stores, but have now been combined into a massive department store of their own filled with macaron stands, sit down restaurants and counters to buy everything from fresh butter and loose spices to knifes and ceramic dishes. There was even a stiletto made of chocolate!