Galeries Lafayette, Paris
Bourjois is a French make-up brand that can be found everywhere (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV, Marionnaud, Sephora... and even Monoprix).
Bourjois debut in 1862 was in the Parisian Grands Boulevards area, the Parisian show theater district with the launch of Bourjois fard à joues. Alexandre Napoléon Bourjois was the first ever to create what we know now as "blush powder". For the shows & performance arts... Afterwards, the brand had known developments to be as it is nowadays.
Choose Bourjois for the colours, remarkable colour hold hour after hour, subtle shades. The sight of this vast array of colourful "tomettes" (blush powder pebble-shaped boxes), rouge à lèvres (lipsticks), ombres à paupières (eye shadows) could put the classical ones off.
Looking closely, you'll notice some original (and wearable !) variations in the many classical tones.
Still, "tomette" is only the noun of a Bourjois blush shade but you still could hear some French women talking about "tomette" as fard à joue in general.
So many subtle variations in shades that it could be hard to choose. How many shades of pink blush powders would you have ? Check
Eyeshadows... matte, shiny, sparkling, to be applied wet or dry... every finish possible, you'll have it... and the colours ! .
Lovely packaging as well: colourful round pebble-shaped boxes for eyeshadows, fards à joues, bronzing & compact powders.
Delicious childhood memories. Bourjois loose powder smells the powder of the old ladies whose cheeks I could smell at some occasions as a kid.
Lipsticks come in as many colours as textures. There again: classical Parisian reds (French word for lipstick is "Rouge à lèvres", after all), nude beiges, pinks, pink-beiges (fave of nowadays French women is brun rosé lipstick), bricks, brown (that Rouge Connection n°24!). Those classiques will get along with most funky shades (mostly found in Summer & Spring One-shots).
What to buy: Colours... for classical styles, original moods, funky moments...
- Fard à joues (blush) for the many subtle variations;
- This mono eyeshadow in Khaki étonnant (Stunning kaki) is a blend of olive & tobacco, like a green bronzey shade. Matches the Khaki pants (haha.. easy..) and the tweed vest. This Turquoise ensoleillée mono used to be a one-shot for summer.. but not too much & still gay so that it can turn into a classical, esp. for darker complexions ;-)
- Bourjois trio (three-colour eyeshadow set) is available in the main classical, earthly tones.
As a contact lense wearer, I recommend their eyeshadows for their longlasting hold.
- For blondes, red-haired, brunettes: a universal beige rosé lip pencil. The pink & beige blend is perfect for the much crazed nude look.
- I use to be amazed by the light reflection power of Bourjois Effet 3D lipgloss (3 Dimensional shine). Try it!
- My first loose powder was Bourjois... bought it or the smell... Bourjois's loose powder fragrance is THE powder fragrance, for me.
What to pay: After splashing out at Make Up Forever for their foundations, make-up tools, the pouches, their enlightners, time to let your bank account alone (or almost !). Bourjois products are, for me, the best in mass-market make-up products but a tad more expensive than say, Nivea & Arcancil. One reason to buy Bourjois is the reasonable price given the quality, inventiveness and colour hold of Bourjois make-up range. About 10 euros for mono eyeshadow. 14 euros for 3D lipgloss if I recall it well.
The tip is not about Galeries Lafayette. On the picture, pay attention to the reduction tag :) and not to Laetitia Casta, the French actress- top model... assuming Corsica is French (OK... joking)
Whenever you buy things in department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, present your foreign passport with the 10% discount tag BEFORE the sale is registered.
Plus, Tourist Tax Refund is about 12% at both Galeries Lafayette and Printemps whenever you are resident from outside the EU, buying for 175 euros in the same day. According to Galeries Lafayette leaflet: the export limit outside the EU is 3 months.
Now... where to obtain those leaflets ? I found them at the counters of hotels. I hadn't used it this year but the previous years, my family used the system. If I recall it well, you will obtain the refund once you have left the EU territory & posted some documents to Global Refund &provided them with a EU bank account to which they will transfer the refund amount.
Well-designed, they even have maps at their back. Esp. Galeries Lafayette's has a big map, and two smaller ones: one for the bus net and the other, for the metro net. Both dept stores are on Bd Haussmann.
For both dept stores, the 10% reduction system works for everything except services, food, discs, books and items already presenting an already reduced tag.
What to buy: In Espace Créateurs des Galeries Lafayette: 260 brands to choose from amongst them: 90 newcomers + 180 exclusivity. You'll be spoilt with choice there: whether looking for expensive items & less expensive ones; both colourful or glam attire for day or eve... It is a huge dressing room coupled with a "jeans bar", accessory booth, a creative lab. Plus, an evening corner: where to shop for your "soirées", not that this corner opens at night, they don't do that in Paris. Mon-Sat 0930-1930. Just on Thursdays, Gal. Lafayette opens till 9pm.
Probably, the most exciting stuff: you could hire a shopping assistant while browsing those 14000 sqm. Not your average personal shopper, though. Could be this male model, a fashionista per se ;-). He would be amongst your one-day style advisors.
Now, you are in the city of elegance. That means you can go further in your quest for that allure: subscribe yourself for the bearing lessons, for that haughty allure that will match the most elegant pieces of your closet. OK, I recommended the haughty allure, not being a haughty person ;-)
Printemps is of the same feather, allowing you to attend free fashions on Tuesdays at 10am (7th floor).
See? Shopping in Paris is fun, even for those who are less confident in themselves. There would be always helpful locals to show you, to give you ideas & advices...
You will find numerous designer boutiques and consessions from Yamamoto, Montanta and V.Westwood.
At the same time there's Gap, Agnes B. and the stores own label of goods for women.
...AND, you can take in one one of their fashion shows every Tuesday and Friday! :o)
Mon-Wed & Fri-Sat 9:30am-7pm,
The "Galeries" have opened a new building in the Boulevard Haussmann, opposite the original one. The Galeries have a name for elegance and this new building is light airy and beautifully decorated.
Here you can find the "home and decoration" department - which includes the Gourmet Food section.
A great deal of this is fresh food, including ready made dishes from the Middle East, from India, from Mexico, from the Far East etc.
Galeries Lafayette is similar to Macy's in my hometown of New York City, only GL has a great atrium and a spectacular view of Paris from the roof. when the weather is good you can get access to the roof from the top floor of GL and it's free. so after you're done shopping and have something to eat head up to the roof and take in the view.
The two "grandes dames" of Parisian shopping are next to each other on Boulevard Haussmann. Both are enormous. Both are rambling combinations of buildings and both are worth a visit.
Both will also have desk to help you with your VAT refund and often have special "deals" for foreign visitors.
The new pictures are of the dome at Galeries LaFayette and the main shopping floor from above.
What to buy: It works best if you choose one or two departments to "shop" -- perhaps cosmetics? housewares? lingerie? Otherwise you will be overwhelmed. It is also a good idea to have a conversion table for sizes if you are from the United States or United Kingdom.
Here is a link to a chart for clothing and shoes:
What to pay: The regular price unless you hit during one of the twice yearly sales.
At the backside of Opera Garnier at the Boulevard Haussman you can find one of the great department stores of Paris, the Galeries Lafayette.
In the mainbulding you can find a enormous choice in woman fashion, but also cosmetics, jewelry, books, toys and much more. In the other buildings and parts of the huge complex you can find man fashion. There is also a food plaza with all kind of different fresh products, where you can take also your quick lunch.
It can take some time before you will find your way. It's a paradise for shopping, but also for only looking around. Anyway don't forget to have a look at the stunning colourful stained glass dome !!
Carries nearly 80,000 fashion labels under its roof. Along with the world's largest perfumery, the main store has the "Espace Lafayette Maison," a huge Yves Taralon-designed emporium dedicated to the art of living à la française. There's also a gourmet food hall, a separate men's store, and a sports shop. Be sure to look up at the ceiling- it is quite spectacular.
What to buy: Accessories. Lingerie. What not to buy in Paris?
Open: 9:30am to 7:30pm daily (closed Sunday). Some days they are open until 9pm.
What to pay: If you spend more than 175 euros in the same day at Galeries Lafayette, you are eligible to receive 12% off of the total amount of your purchases through the Tourist Tax Refund service.
The Galeries Lafayette is more or less the main shopping area along Blvd Haussmann that contains not only the major department stores, but also some of the more exclusive clothing / fashion shopping.
During the Christmas time the department stores will have their window displays in full force. If you can get close enough to them you will likely see a sign that says "Now don't you feel silly, standing outside a store window filled with cuddly toys, while you're slowly crushed to death by all the people behind you who are also trying to look at the toys, while they gently slip their hands into your back pocket to lift your wallet".
There are some amazing boutiques in le marais, but if you want great selection without having to visit a zillion stores, head straight for galeries lafayette across from the opera. This 'mall' has the latest and greatest in fashion design and the range in price goes from affordable to astronomical. Even if you don't want to buy a thing, it's worth a look at the French estethique. And if you hop across the street to the new store you can find home and kitchen accessories--great for gifts because many things you won't find at home!
I've written about the architeture on another page.
This is a tip written by shopaphobic who had to visit Paris with a Shopaholic.
1) It sells tons of perfume on the ground floor - see tip on local customs
2) You can escape the shop for a while by going to the roof for a great view of Paris
3) There are a number of restaurants, canteens and a McDonalds in which you can hide for a while
4) It has a 'tourist' section where you can by all your crappy souveniers in one place.
5) It has a nice staircase.
Oh, and tons of stuff to buy if you like that sort of thing.
It's got something for everyone! Even if you go just to look at the amazing architecture, the ceiling has to be the best part. Stained glass and one of the most amazing ones I've ever seen!
What to buy: The Jewellery is simple outstanding, the clothes are gorgeous, there's just too much to choose from!
What to pay: It is quite expensive, but not too bad, about the same as any city really.
Galeries Lafayette has a beautiful glass and steel dome, and Art Nouveau staircase built in 1912 by the architect Cahnautin. The store - all 10 stories of it - is classified as an historic monument.
What to buy: Men and women clothes, gifts, jewelry, bath and beauty, home furnishing, sporting goods, food and drink
I stumbled across the Galeries Lafayette near the old Opera one morning while looking for something to pass time. Little did I know that I was going to find a seven-story behemoth of a "department store." It had everything. I know Paris is known for fashion, but this was kind of ridiculous. I went up and down the escalators looking for men's stuff... and didn't find any. I came to find the men had their own building, albeit not as grand as the women's building. If you're into shopping, you've got to pay homage to this place.
For me, the best part of finding this mall was seeing the stained glass domed roof and the fantastic terrace on the top floor of the women's wing. Luckily it was an absolute gorgeous day out and I got some good panoramic views of Paris.
What to buy: Galeries Lafayette is for the fashion conscious. Bust out the Visa 'cause you're going to be feeling a bit out of control.
What to pay: Typical fashion prices.
Galeries Lafayette is a Paris must see. It's a busy department store with the choicest selection in fashion and accessories. Not only is the shopping fabulous and you can't get out of the store without a handful of bags, being under that beautiful roof was unbelievable. Imagine seeing all the goodies around you only to look up and find an even more amazing sight.
What to buy: clothes, shoes and bags