It’s always a treat going to Paris, but on my third visit to the city (shameless brag) I had the extra treat of visiting Europe’s first ever Birchbox shop. From a tiny subscription box to their second brick and mortar store – now that’s a pretty big deal. (In fact I used the same words when first seeing the news of its opening too!)
As a Birchbox subscriber from 2014, I felt it was my duty to give the Birchbox store a visit. Although one is partial to bit of beauty shopping anyway, especially when one is in Paris! So for any subscriber or non-subscribers out there who might be interested in just how a beauty subscription box has flowered into the physical retail store, here’s a bit of a run-down.
Where is the Birchbox shop in Paris?
Even I was impressed when I realised the Birchbox shop in Paris is located in the 1st Arrondissement. Sitting in a trendy shopping area on Rue Montmartre, the Birchbox shop won’t be the only shop you’ll want to have a look around in the area as it’s in quite a trendy spot.
The nearest metro stations are Marcel Etienne and Les Halles, that are both on line 4. In fact, as always in Paris, you are never far from some art and culture too; Centre Pompidou is just a 5/6 minute walk away. C’est bonne!
What is in the Birchbox shop?
The exterior of the shop certainly suits its surroundings (in other words; it has a Parisenne style to it.) The interior has a welcoming ambience, with an open layout and classic ‘clean’ decor. It could easily be mistaken to be one of the classy French pharmacies I love dipping into whenever (and wherever) I am in the country.
There’s a lot of white, with a splash of pastel colours in places, with wooden shelving and floors. Non-surprisingly, it feels quite ‘on brand’.
What’s in the Birchbox shop?
All of the brands we’ve seen neatly packed into our Birchbox adorn the walls and shelves in the shop, but all in full-size of course. Although there are some other brands too that we may never see in our subscription (namely Lancôme, but this is a French brand and I was in France, so I guess this makes sense.)
Towards the back of the store were sweet dispenser-like storage boxes that were filled to the brim of more beauty samples! This is where you can create your own Birchbox in store – a temptation I didn’t resist and I just love the way this was presented.
Creating my own Birchbox
How could I not delve in and pretend – quite literally – that I was a kid in a (kind of) candy shop. For €15 I jumped straight into making my own box, which consisted of 5 samples (as usual) to be handpicked by me! Each category (face, body, hair, make up and surprise) had a choice of three items to choose from.
As is tradition when I write Birchbox unboxing posts, I give a lowdown on each product I received. Here’s the items that stood out for me (and those I took back home to the UK!):
- Face choice: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I’d never tried a cleansing oil before, so this sample caught my eye immediately. As expected it leaves my skin feeling quite supple and lovely.
Other choices: An anti-ageing cream by Huygens or a cream for sensitive skin (brand forgotten – sorry!).
- Body choice: L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream
L’Occitane’s hand creams are an absolute dream. I was lucky enough to receive another one in my Birchbox subscription, but I wasn’t to know that yet.
Other choices: I think I remember seeing a Spectrum Wonder Sponge and sadly I can’t recall the other choice!
- Hair choice: Minu Shampoo and Conditioner
This was an easy choice for me! This is where I think I got more ‘bang for my buck’ as I could pick two items for one category. Minu aren’t a brand I’ve heard of but I’m looking forward to trying these out.
Other choices: Baptiste Dry Shampoo for Brown hair (not my hair colour) or a Jeff Parlor spray (I had already received).
- Make up choice: Ciaté Nail Varnish
This choice nearly had me stumped, but I’m a sucker for glossy reds and so I had to pop this nail varnish into my box. (And lucky I did too because I received the other items anyway!)
Other choices: Paul & Joe Hydrating Primer (I received here) or Eyeko Fat Eyeliner (I received here).
- Surprise choice: A scarf
In an attempt to pull off Parisienne style, I had to go for the scarf. I’m not usually a scarf wearer but I thought it’ll always remind me of Paris. (Ahh…)
Other choices: Some badges or toothpaste.
Where next for Birchbox?
It’s clear to see I enjoyed my Birchbox Paris store visit! At the time of writing though of course there is a Birchbox shop in London now too, which announced its opening just as I returned from Paris!
The Birchbox shop in Paris is permanent, however the Birchbox London store won’t be around forever and is currently only a pop up shop (open until Thursday 29th March 2018). I am hoping this will either be extended (again) though, or decide to stick around more permanently. Especially as I’m yet to make a visit too!
Have you been to the Birchbox shop in Paris or London? Tell me your experiences in the comments below!
I have not been asked to write this blog post, as I said, I just wanted to check out the Birchbox shop while I was in Paris!