Think what you will about busy Frankfurt (and I’ve been known to bitch about the city where I moved to some years ago), but the shopping opportunities are quite good. Beauty shopping in Frankfurt mainly takes place in four areas of the city centre, so I’ll take you there today and tell you a bit about each shop and the area where it’s located.
Skyline Plaza (Europa-Allee 6)
Let’s start with the area around the yearly book fair (and other trade shows). Frankfurt is mainly known for its airport (we’re getting there later) and the book fair, which takes place every October and is huge. In former times the area was a bit of a wasteland, but now it has its own shopping mall, the Skyline Plaza. It’s not exactly big nor fancy, but quite nice for a bit of beauty shopping. You’ll also find a lot of chains of bigger brands there which I like, because it’s mostly less crowded than their stores in the city centre.
Kiko – Frankfurt’s only Kiko store. The Italian brand offers great products with great prices – if you don’t know their products, you’ll definitely have to try out their eyeshadow sticks, nearly every eyeliner and lipliner, and their cream eyeshadows. Their range (and price!) of nailpolishes can’t be beat.
Etre Belle – mid-prize range, offers makeup and skincare. I don’t know much about the brand, but it doesn’t hurt to try something new from time to time, huh? I’ve heard good things about their mascaras and hyaluron range.
Lush – This is my fave Lush store in Frankfurt – don’t bother with the one on Zeil. It offers the brand’s trademark soaps, bath bombs, hair and skin products and cosmetics in a nice atmosphere with usually nice staff.
Brocks’sche Apotheke – pharmacy with a good selection of French Pharmacy brands, plus Skinceuticals, Weleda and Dr. Hauschka. And don’t worry, even I can’t pronounce their name without sputtering either.
What else: Go up to the rooftop terrace to enjoy the view over Frankfurt! If you want to eat there, Coa is a small Asian chain that offers decent quality matched with decent prices. Great for a quick refuel during shopping. As a sweet treat, get some donuts from Happy Donazz in the food court. Don’t get your coffee at Skyline Plaza. Sure, there’s Starbucks, but head outside to Espressionist (Europa Allee 29) and have one of the best coffees Frankfurt has to offer.
The main shopping street. It’s no different than any other Western shopping street with the usual selection of brands like h&m, Mango, Zara etc. It’s also nerve-wreckingly crowded on Saturdays and has the worst street musicians ever. It also has the most stores for beauty lovers in Frankfurt that range from drugstore to high-end.
Let’s start with The Body Shop that is technically at Börsenplatz (Schillerstr. 4). There’re more branches throughout the city (at Skyline Plaza and NordWest Zentrum for example), but I like this one the most. It feels a bit cramped but the staff is nice.
Coming down from Börsenplatz to Hauptwache, there’s the one of the traditional perfumeries in Frankfurt, Kobberger Parfümerie (Zeil 123). Here, we have high-end and luxe makeup and skincare brands with some niche fragrances. Kobberger also carries A4 Cosmetics whose products I like and which is a bit hard to find.
In one of the side streets (Große Eschenheimer Straße 39) you’ll find the trendy and hip clothes store Kauf Dich Glücklich. Besides clothes, accessories and some bric-a-brac they also carry hard to find niche brands like LA Bruket, Stop the Water, House Doctor, and Dr. Bronner’s (you know, great for washing brushes!).
Douglas (Zeil 98-102) – one of the biggest German branches of the well-known beauty store. It has four floors and is absolutely massive. In the makeup department the biggest counters are MAC, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, Benefit, Armani, Chanel and Dior. There’s also BareMinerals, Laura Mercier, YSL, Givenchy, Guerlain, Estée Lauder, Sisley, Lancome, Smashbox, IsaDora and Clinique. It also carries Nyx and Zoeva brushes. The main attractions in the fragrance department are a big Jo Malone counter and counters with the exclusive fragrances of Chanel, Dior, Armani and Guerlain each. It has a lot to offer, but is usually crowded, and service is so-so.
Kaufhof (Zeil 116) – this department store has an usually big Armani counter and small Mac, Bobbi Brown, Clinique and Benefit counters, and also carries other brands like Dior, Lancome, Estée Lauder, Guerlain, Chanel, Lancome etc. It also has a small Rituals corner, fragrances and nailpolishes. Lindt has a huge corner in the food department – for all of you chocolate lovers!
Karstadt (Zeil 90) – the other department store. It has a better offering of beauty brands than Kaufhof and I also like the atmosphere a lot more. It has huge Benefit and Kiehl’s counters, and offers MAC, Clinique, Estée Lauder, Dior, Guerlain, Chanel, Shiseido and Clarins as well. Also tucked in the back you can find Calvin Klein cosmetics, Rituals, some drugstore brands, but also some mid-range brands like ArtDeco, SansSoucis and nailpolish brands Mavala and LCN.
There’s a branch of Parfümerie Albrecht inside the futuristic MyZeil (Zeil 106) (first floor). They have three stores in the city centre. This one is bigger than the other two branches, but lacking in charm instead. Each branch is a bit different – they don’t carry everything at each store. Every branch carries niche perfume, high-end skincare and makeup, but this one here concentrates mainly on perfumes and makeup. Perfume brands are (among others) Amouage, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Bond No 9, Byredo, The Different Company, Frederic Malle, Keiko Mecheri, By Kilian, Maison Francis Kurkdijan, MartinMargiela, Paper Passion, Il Profumo, Penhaligon’s, Rance, Pobert Piguet, J. F. Schwarzlose Berlin, Serge Lutens, Ormonde Jayne. Noteworthy is also that you can still find Diane Brill makeup here, and also Eyeko. Other brands include Kure Bazaar, Face Stockholm, Kanebo, La Prairie, By Terry and candles, also by Diptyque. Albrecht still has a house brand of perfumes whose names are all related to Frankfurt.
Make-up Artist Store by Ursula Haas (Brönnerstr. 11) – Primarily a store for makeup artists, here you’ll find Ben Nye, Kryolan, Grimas, Dermacolor, Golden Rose, some bits and bobs of Make Up For Ever, Joe Blasco, and various brushes from their own brush line and by Royal & Langnickel.
dm – the most ubiquitous German drugstore chain. On Zeil, there’re three branches (Zeil 123, MyZeil, Große Friedberger Str. 7), all quite big. In every one of them you’ll find the typical brands: Essence, Catrice, P2, Maybelline, Manhattan, L’Oreal, Max Factor, Essie and Astor. For skin- and haircare, there’s dm’s own brand balea and everything else you’ll need – L’Oreal, Nivea, Aussie, Dove, Garnier, John Frieda, sebamed etc. You’ll also find some organic brands.
What else: There’s a nice little farmer’s market at the Konstablerwache on Saturdays. Try some waffles, Bratwurst and the local speciality Ebbelwoi (apple cidre) there! If you find yourself at Hauptwache and in dire need of some food and drink, skip the Starbucks and the tourist traps but go to tiny Frankfurter Pause (Roßmarkt 10). You’ll get the best sandwiches and cheesecake there. They also have some soup and coffee if you’re in need of something warm.
You’ll find nearly all luxury brands in this little street, starting with Louis Vuitton at the beginning of the street at Goetheplatz and ending with Burberry at Opernplatz. Between those two you can find everything your luxury loving heart will be pleased with – Tiffany, Chanel, Gucci, Armani and a lot of shoppers laden with bags. For beauty lovers, there’re three main locations:
– At Hermès (Goethestraße 25), you’ll find not only their more common perfumes, but also their exclusive fragrances. Staff is a bit snooty, but don’t let that deter you!
– At Burberry (Goethestraße 26), there’s a tiny corner on the ground floor dedicated to their recent beauty releases, mostly their seasonal collections. Sad, really, that they don’t have the whole lineup, but that’s as good as you’ll find in Frankfurt, as we don’t have a Burberry counter at Douglas.
– And then there’s Parfümerie Albrecht (Goethestraße 27). That’s the mothership of the branch in MyZeil. Its history goes back to 1713, and Goethe is said to have bought his cologne here. I enjoy the branches in Goethestraße and Große Bockenheimer Straße 37 (which is only a few steps away) the most. Both branches offer makeup and perfumes, while the latter concentrates also on skincare. You’ll find lovely and knowledgeable sales assistants here. Noteable skincare brands are (amongst others) 3Lab, Carita, Dr. Sebagh, Erno Laszlo, Korres, Ligne St. Barth, M2Beaute, REN, Revitalash, Rodial, Snowberry, SBT.
What else: window shopping at every luxury brand store.
Rossmann (Roßmarkt 10) – another drugstore chain. Here you find Sally Hansen, Rival de Loop and a lot of other drugstore brands. Rossmann has always some discount going on, so make sure to check!
MAC (Kaiserstraße 13) – my favourite MAC store. Mostly knowledgeable and friendly MUAs.
Muji (Kaiserstraße 12) – our all-favourite container store.
L’Occitane (Kaiserstraße 14) – Frankfurt has three L’Occitane stores and various counters in department stores, but this one is my favourite of the French cosmetics brand.
Rituals (Kaiserstraße 12) – again you can find Rituals at a lot of other locations in Frankfurt, but I like this one for its unhurried atmosphere.
& other stories (Steinweg 5) – a relatively new branch of the brand. It’s famous not only for its clothes, but also for jewellery and cosmetics. Astrid likes the glosses especially!
What else: for a glimpse of the real Frankfurt, start at the main train station and walk the whole Kaiserstraße from start to finish at the Hauptwache. You’ll see the dingy red-light district at the main station (don’t worry, it’s not dangerous during the day and if you don’t stray into the little side streets), cross the bank towers with their sleek design and cafes full of hurried people until you arrive at the main shopping area around the Hauptwache.
A charming street in the Sachsenhausen district of Frankfurt, famous for its museums and drinking holes. It also features a branch of Müller Drogerie (Schweizer Straße 33-35), the only one in Frankfurt. Beauty-wise, you’ll find the usual suspects there, both high-end and drugstore. I’ll always have a look at the Misslyn display – I love their nailpolishes!
What else: Have a look at TeeDeum (Schweizer Straße 54a), one of my fave stores in Frankfurt. They’ve got a great selection of specialty teas, oils, vinegars and cute little knick-knacks. La Maison du Pain (Schweizer Straße 63) is a great French boulangerie, and if you’re visiting Frankfurt, Zum gemalten Haus (Schweizer Straße 67) is a must. Local cuisine and a rustic atmosphere make it a special experience.
NordWestZentrum (Limescorso 8)
Cheap thrills: The shopping mall features Frankfurt’s only tkmaxx (I can’t ever find anything decent there) and a flormar store. Not exactly recommended, it’s quite far from the city centre and has nothing to offer that you can’t find somewhere else.
Oooh, Duty Free Stores, how I love thee! Frankfurt Airport is one of the biggest airports in Europe, so you definitely won’t have any problems to find something nice there. Heinemann is a chain comparable to World of Duty Free that you can find in various European airports. If you want to maximize your savings in their already quite good duty free prices, get their loyalty card! That means that you’ll be able to get an extra 10% off once every month, an extra coupon for your birthday and so forth. I love to get some luxury items like Guerlain’s Rouge G lipsticks there – you can’t beat the price with their extra savings. (That’s not in the public area of the airport though but you’ll have to pass security for that.)
Their perfumery department is huge, while they skimp a bit on makeup. With skincare, please remember that they sometimes don’t carry the whole line-up of a brand. Makeup brands include Artdeco, Clarins, Clinique Estée Lauder, Dior, Givenchy, Guerlain, Helena Rubinstein, L’Oreal, La Prairie, Lancome, Sensai, Shiseido and Sisley. Notable skincare brands are Biotherm, Clarins, Clinique, Dior, Estée Lauder, Guerlain, L’Occitane, La Mer, La Prairie, Lancaster, Lancome, Molton Brown, Nuxe, Ole Hendriksen, Origins, Rituals, Sensai, Shiseido, Sisley and The Body Shop. A word of caution though: The offerings differ between terminals.
What else: Well, it has a lot of planes… 😛
If you have any questions about Frankfurt or shopping in Frankfurt, I’ll be happy to answer them!