• Laurie Geary

Indie Beauty Expo and Beauty Trend Shopping in the Big Apple

New York City is synonymous with cool so the Jacobs team scoped out some of the hottest beauty spots in NYC to see what’s next.

Spoiler alert: we found that for the beauty-obsessed consumer, carrying great products was the price of admission. Retail today is not only about a well made product, but giving consumers a reason to shop the store and feel inspired. The retailers that stood out to us had that little something extra, making the trek through the steamy streets of NYC in August well worth our time.

Make me Look Cool

Shen Beauty: the curators of cool

Brooklyn mom Jessica Richards is not a regular mom. She’s a really cool mom. As the Senior Merchant for Free People and founder of Shen Beauty, Jessica’s super power is considerate, relevant curation. The entire staff inside Shen were like your best friend’s impossibly cool, incredibly nice older sister who taught you how to put on makeup in middle school. V. Denise Huxtable (here’s a wiki link for the young ones).

Shen carried many products from the ultra-hip Goop line and was the first shop we saw carrying CBD / Hemp Oil products in a big way.

Make Me Feel Special!

Space NK: the Gold Standard of Service

Space NK is the ultimate destination for luxury beauty discovery.

With these high-end beauty lines, we walked into Space NK prepared for snooty vibes. We couldn’t have been more wrong! The entire staff were full-on beauty geeks and we talked shop like old friends, sharing our favorite products, and tips. We felt like they were genuinely invested in our beauty journey.

After receiving a mini-facial, we left with some game changing products (loved by the likes of Kate Hudson and Beyonce!) and we missed Andre 3000 purchasing his skin care regimen by about 5 minutes.

Make it Unique!

Bite Lip Lab: customization at its finest


Need we say more?

Bite has hit the market in a big way - we’re having a love affair with their Agave Lip Balm. Now, in 5 select markets, you can create your own personalized, customized Bite shade. Unfortunately, we didn’t know exactly how high demand custom lipsticks could be. The Lip Lab was booked solid for our entire stay but judging from the incredible time the amateur lipstick makers were having, this is something special.

Pro Tip: grab your girls and book your appointment at least two days in advance.

Make It Easy

The Holy Grail of Naturals: Credo

Naturals continues to become the new normal, but with the rapid entry of brands, it’s increasingly difficult to discern the best. Credo is the go-to for hippie-worthy formulations that deliver legit results. Credo was a great place to discover up-and-comers with an outstanding mini/impulse section (we spent $35 on butt sheet masks!). They took the confusion out of this fast-moving category.

Surprise me!

oo35mm: You won’t find this anywhere else

At oo35mm (“oh oh thirty-five millimeter”), the “oo" symbolizes the eyes and "35mm" refers to the classic 35mm film. Their philosophy is “like how our eyes view things differently through film, we would like our products to show you a memorable and interesting world.”

This store had everything we didn’t know we needed. Not for the novice, oo35mm is the location a Beauty fanatic can find something they have never seen before but can’t live without from this moment forward. We found ourselves picking up products and asking, “what IS this?” then quickly adding them to our baskets.

How cute is this??

Make it fun!

Tony Moly: K Beauty OGs

Of all the K Beauty spots we hit, Tony Moly was the most fun. From the bumping K-pop, the cute displays, to the sheet mask collection addressing every concern, Tony Moly lives up to their reputation and made us feel like we were shopping in Seoul. Guidance on sheet masks was on point, we walked out of here with 20 sheet masks.

Give me value!

Nature Republic: Deals of the Century

All of the K Beauty retailers had a BOGO sheet mask promotion, but Nature Republic took value to the next level. More sheet masks were purchased and regrets were nowhere to be found.

Make It Worth My Effort

Aesop: Experience the Magic

Aesop smells like a dream. It was a beautiful respite for our noses on a hot day in New York (translation: it was stinky outside). The product line is positioned as unisex and it smells so amazing you don’t care what you’re using. It’s all available online, but what made this a must-stop was that all the products are available to try without the high pressure uncomfortable sales conversations many of us have experienced at a department store sales counter. Each purchase came with a generous number of samples to keep you wanting more. Men were spending crazy amounts of money in this store and we were no exception. Moroccan Neroli Post Shave Lotion FTW!

Indie Beauty Expo: the new frontier of Beauty brands!

We attended the Indie Beauty Expo and had the good fortune of meeting amazing brands – many booths staffed by the founders themselves! – and scouting the trends. Without spilling too many secrets, rest assured there are sheet masks for EVERYTHING, CBD is ready for Beauty too, high potency skin care is the jam, and naturals are hitting categories like nail polish and feminine hygiene in effective formulations and forms. We can’t wait to see these trends hit the market in 2019 and beyond.

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