Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Updated Walking Tour of NYC Beauty

My very first post last August was a Walking Tour of New York City Beauty. With new stores opening and others closing, I thought it was time for an update!

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 a Space NK inside, Face Stockholm, a MAC freestanding store, Fresh, and the huge Space NK store on Greene. There’s also a Sabon (lovely bath and body products), Origins flagship, Korres store, Amore Pacific, Red Flower, L’Occitane and Bliss. Lafco/Santa Maria Novella is a bit further east on Lafayette. Bond No. 9 is close by in NoHo.

Head up to the Village and check out Aedes de Venustas on Christopher. It’s an incredible shop filled with fragrances galore, including 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 been 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, hair care and skin care. In Flatiron you’ll have Mac PRO (open to the public), another MAC freestanding store, another Sephora, another Origins, Aveda, Three Custom COlor Specialists, and a Jo Malone boutique. There's also an Essentials that carries that largest NYX collection I've seen.

Keep going up 5th to 39th for the Cosmetics Market (discounted high and low end makeup. Stock changes frequently), to 47th where you’ll have the Lancome/Kiehls/Shu/Armani outlet which is open to the public (on the 3rd floor of the L'Oreal 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). Bond No. 9 is right next to Barneys. Head up Lex and you’ll have another Sephora, and 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. Eve Pearl is on 3rd between 49th and 50th and both she and her staff are incredibly nice and helpful.

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. The Lancome store is particularly nice and they offer spa treatments as well as brows. 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, Apthorp Chemists, 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.

If you're going to be in Penn Station, they happen to have one of the biggest and nicest Duane Reades in the city. For some reason this location always has the new drugstore collections and the products tend to be untainted. There is also a Sephora and Bare Escentuals boutique nearby in case you have a long wait for your train. Grand Central has an Origins, MAC store, and Aveda.

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. Also in Times Square is a new MAC store and Inglot. This is the only place in the US you can buy the line and I highly recommend checking it out. It's very reasonably priced and high quality.

It's a pretty well kept secret that NYC does have Cosmetic Company Stores. These are exactly the same as the CCOs but are "by invitation only." If you work near one, chances are your company ID will get you access as an invitation is simply your employer being on their list. There are quite a few, including in the Met Life building, 100 Church, the GM building, in the little tunnel world beneath Rock Center, closest to 787 7th, 1 New York Plaza, and the building on the corner of Pine and Pearl.

Don't forget beauty supply stores like Alcone on 49th between 8th and 9th, and Makeup Mania on Orchard on the Lower East Side.


  1. Nice list! Sadly, Taki is closing (or may already be shuttered). I would also add to your list the Cosmetics Show at 150 East 55th Street, where you can score some amazing deals. The Bathroom (94 Charles Street) is a gem of a shop in the West Village with many exclusive brands. And New London Pharmacy (246 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea) is just heaven...niche perfumes and high end beauty merch. BTW, my g/fs and I are doing bruch at Juliette and perfume sniffing at CB's I Hate Perfumes tomorrow (Sunday)...come and join us! SusanW

  2. Hi, Susan! You're right about Takashimaya--I totally forgot! I've never been to the other places you mention but I'll have to check them out! Your plans for tomorrow sound like so much fun! I've always meant to go to CB, in particular to try the beach scent, but haven't made it out there. Unfortunately I have family plans or I'd love to go--I hope you get some great stuff!

  3. Some really interesting places to see. I wish London had such good beauty stores.

  4. Thanks so much for posting this! I can't wait go on this tour, especially to see the smaller, niche brands.

  5. Excellent and informative blog. Thanks for posting this. I’ve already bookmarked it. I’ve been reading many blogs related to this topic. But I feel your blog tops them all. Thanks
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