beauty & shopping

Shopping: Five Beauty Counters in New York City

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Shopping: Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
@margoandme

“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.” ―Diana Vreeland

The holidays are here! In New York, giant snowflakes adorn Fifth Avenue, the leaves are at their golden and crimson height, windows are being dressed, and soon snow will transform Central Park into a winter wonderland.

There are more visitors than usual in Manhattan during this time of year. Inevitably, I will be asked for directions to Sephora or Glossier.

I’ll point my beauty comrades in the right direction. But I’ll also tell them about a few of my favorite places where they can find a new shade of lipstick for the New Year, a shimmery highlight for festivities, and nurturing skin care for the cold months ahead.



Barneys New York, Downtown
101 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
@barneysny

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather

Time has a way of dulling the patina placed by any hype machine, especially in New York. The difficult retail environment here makes it difficult for many businesses to remain consistent.

With that said, I am happy to say that, Barney’s is still an exciting place for fashion and beauty.

Barneys’ beauty section is more streamlined than other department stores, but their selection is always ahead of the beauty game. On a recent visit I got to try makeup artist Gucci Westman’s makeup line, whose highlighter is sure to be a hit. I also picked up a lipstick from L’Oreal’s collaboration with Isabel Marant.

Most importantly, I had a wonderful experience. I spent nearly an hour talking with the consultants here. Many are makeup artists who know the store’s products and the beauty industry inside and out, and are a whole lot of fun!

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather



Chanel SoHo
139 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
@chanelbeauty

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photos: Amber Fairweather

The onslaught of sugary launches and celebrity lines shows no sign of stopping. If you need a break from eye shadow palettes inspired by peaches, mermaids and gingerbread, Chanel is the place for you.

At first, it may seem intimidating to go into a Chanel boutique for a tube of lipstick. Rest assured, at the SoHo boutique, you will be treated kindly.

I lean towards the classics: lipstick shades in Mademoiselle and La Fascinate and perfume in No. 5. Everything is wrapped so beautifully with Chanel’s signature Camellia. It’s a great gift for one’s self.

Post Script: From time-to-time an elegant pop of color is necessary. For this, I will visit makeup artist Elisa Rae at the Bloomingdales location for advice, as she one of the most patient and honest makeup consultants in the city.

CAP Beauty
238 West 10th St, New York, NY 10014
@capbeautydaily

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather

CAP Beauty is a true modern apothecary. Think of it as Glossier’s big sister. Tinctures and potions are neatly shelved on the walls of this charming space. There’s a kettle of the store's special tea brewing at the entrance. Consultants with nary a trace of makeup other than a tinted balm or an organic coconut-based highlighter find remedies for their clients. It’s all about skincare and wellness here.

I have found CAP’s suggestions to be very helpful and have adopted their ritualistic approach to beauty all of which have helped my problematic skin.

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather

Bergdorf Goodman
754 5th Ave, New York, NY 10036
@bergdorfs

Five Beauty Counters in New York City

Bergdorf is truly worthy of imagination and is the reason why it is the subject of books and films such as Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's and I’ll Drink to That.

In F.S. Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and the Damned, There’s a scene where Gloria Gilbert (who is based on Zelda Fitzgerald) walks along Fifth Avenue envying the women in fashionable squirrel coats that she can’t afford. When I read this scene, I imagine Gloria window-shopping at Bergdorf’s and longing for better times and beautiful things.

The beauty level is a jewelry box filled with Charlotte Tilbury, La Prairie, Kevyn Aucoin, and Chantecaille – to name a few. While these brands are no longer exclusive to Bergdorf’s, the experience here is far more lux than anywhere else. Personally, if I am splurging on makeup, I want the setting to be just perfect.

Most notable is Bergdorf’s dedication to fragrance. They carry hard-to-find scents such as EB Florals, Diana Vreeland Parfums, heritage scents such as Joy by Jean Patou and Jicky by Guerlain.

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Old throwback glamour from Christian Louboutin Beauty
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather

French writer, Anne Berest, wrote a few words about this spectacular place, and following the hashtag with the same name offers hours of pure visual bliss. In 1920, she writes, Paul Roux opens “Chez Robinson” a café-bar in a tiny village of Saint Paul and later added three rooms above what was baptisée “La Colombe d’Or”. Roux would become friends with painters such as Picasso, Miro, Calder, Matisse and the literati that visited the Riviera and paid for their accommodation with paintings.

Credo Beauty
9 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
@credobeauty

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather

Credo Beauty is the largest “green cosmetics retailer” in the United States. They carry a large selection of skincare and carry colour from brands such as Kjaer Weis and Goop.

Credo showcases the progress “clean” beauty has made in the past few years. Some of their brands are innovators in the beauty industry. Sasha Plavsic for example, the founder of Ilia, strives to have a zero carbon footprint and works directly with the bee farmers who create the brand’s ingredients.

“Clean” beauty isn’t enough of a draw for me, so it’s a testament that I do come here for makeup—especially for Kosas whose line of lipsticks are a dream.

Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather
Five Beauty Counters in New York City
Photo: Amber Fairweather



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Contributor, New York

Amber Fairweather is a writer and musician based in New York City. She is an avid traveler and has lived in California, Hawaii, rural Pennsylvania, and London. Her journeys fuel her quest to find and share the beauty in life. A few of her favorite things include books, roses, coffee, and photography.
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