Friday, August 28, 2009

A Walking Tour of New York City Beauty Shopping

I'm always getting questions about the best places to shop for beauty items in New York City, and so I've compiled a tour of the city for fellow beauty lovers! Forget the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty--this is the ultimate tour for cosmetic fiends coming this way!

Start out at 26 Grand where you’ll find the quaint Linda Mason shop. She has her own line of cosmetics, including some fabulous cream blushes, all tucked away in adorable packaging. Head North and East further into SoHo for the SoHo Sephora (a very large one), Bloomingdales that has Rock and Republic, Face Stockholm, a MAC freestanding store, Pir Cosmetics (may have moved or closed recently. Call to check) and the absolute must-go huge Space NK store on Greene. There’s also a Sabon (lovely bath and body products), Origins flagship, Korres, Amore Pacific, Red Flower, L’Occitane and Bliss. Lafco/Santa Maria Novella is a bit further east on Lafayette.

Head up to the Village and check out Aedes de Venustas on Christopher. It’s an incredible shop filled with fragrances galore, many smaller niche brands. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly as well. Also check out Makeup For Ever on 8th Street. Walk up towards Flatiron and along the way you’ll hit another Sabon and the wonderful Bigelow Chemists. This has beeen a neighborhood staple for over 168 years and is the oldest apothecary in America. They have their own line of products in addition to several harder to find brands of cosmetics, fragrances and skin care. In Flatiron you’ll have Mac PRO (open to the public), another MAC freestanding store, another Sephora, another Origins, Aveda, and a Jo Malone boutique.

Keep going up 5th to 39th for the Cosmetics Market (discounted makeup), to 47th where you’ll have the Lancome/Kiehls/Shu/Armani outlet (on the 3rd floor of the Loreal building. This is a bit tricky to find as the building is undergoing construction but they often have great deals), then to the 50s and you’ll hit the big time: Saks (50th), Takashimaya (54th), Bendels (55th), Bergdorf Goodman (58th), Barney’s (60th between 5th and Madison/60th and Madison are both entrances) and Bloomingdales (59th and Lex). Head up Lex and you’ll have Laura Geller at 74th. If you go West to Madison you’ll see Clyde’s Chemists, which carries several harder to find lines, many of which I haven't seen elsewhere in the city. The Bare Escentuals boutique is on 65th and 3rd, with Molton Brown next door.

Come West to Columbus and there’ll be a smaller Space NK, Lancome and Clarins freestanding stores, L’Artisan fragrances, another MAC, and Kiehl’s. Another nice Sephora is on 77th and Broadway, as well as by Lush and The Body Shop. The lovely Blue Mercury is on 83rd for Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Fresh, Bliss and more. If you go all the way up to 125th, you’ll find the Carol’s Daughter shop.

Along the way you’ll pass many lovely spas with fabulous gift shops, including several Bliss locations, Greenhouse, Exhale, Ajune, Aqua Beauty Bar, and Jeunesse. There’s also the Perricone store on 67th and Madison, Kimara Ahnert on 85th and Madison (private label makeup studio), Le Labo in Nolita for amazing fragrances, and MioMia (Julie Hewett) and CB I Hate Perfume if you have time to visit Brooklyn. Also make sure to stop into one of the many Ricky’s you’ll pass along the way. You can Google to find the exact addresses and contact info but this should give you a pretty good head start!

If you're visiting Columbus Circle, they have another Sephora, Aveda and Face Stockholm, as well as Crabtree and Evelyn and L'Occitane shops. A brand new Sephora just opened in Times Square, making 2 in 2 blocks! The one on 42nd and 7th carries Illamasqua, Temptu and Lauren Luke.

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