Category: stores

Liberty Beauty

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Liberty launched a beauty magazine this week with the 4 key trends this SS13:

eye gloss & perfect skin – sixties eyes – bright pink eyes – two tone lips

Smells like whiskey & gin


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A fragrance brand which is anti beauty hall. I like! The thought of beauty halls fills me with fear and loathing. I visit them frequently to check on new products, launches, fixturing, lay out, promotions etc. But I find that browsing and trying products with aggressive sales focused staff  can turn into a highly stressful experience. An almost panic attack at Bloomingdales in New York comes to mind when the sales girl pushed me in the Bobbi Brown chair and I was not allowed out until she had turned me into a Russian Hooker  Full On Make Up Face  – and I thought Bobbi Brown was about no make up look? How wrong could I be?!

Hence I prefer to shop at Liberties where the staff are lovely or specialised stores like Nose in Paris (see previous post). Another brand obviously thinks the same way. Commoditygoods focuses on the fact that you cannot actually understand a fragrance when it it squirted on a piece of paper and wafted in front of you under the glaring hot lights of a busy beauty department. Fragrance needs to be tested on your own skin to see if it actually works for you. So they have come up with a test of your favourite 10 fragrances of which are sent to you to try. From these you can test which one works best for you. Same principle as Nose in Paris. Not only have they worked with one of the best fragrance houses in France to create their fragrances with names like Whiskey, Gin, Paper, Tea and Gold. They have also worked with a great design agency as the packaging is beautiful and simple. I especially like the use of white and rose gold for the ‘for her’ fragrances. Check their video out:

Bio Beauty in Brooklyn

A movement in brooklyn can be detected – organic skincare made by beauty lovers themselves with the least amount of ingredients possible.  Counteracting the synthetic, science driven skincare are mavericks who are going back to basics and discovering essential ingredients and techniques which deliver high quality organic skincare.

SWBasics of Brooklyn (formerly known as Sprout)

Small batches are produced in a communical space on the Greenpoint waterfront by Adine Grigore and her fiancee. Originally, the  products were just for herself as she has sensitive skin. Other people soon loved them and bigger batches were produced. Her vision is that if you want great skin you should not want to hurt yourself or the planet to get it. All the products are made from scratch using only whole, high-potency ingredients. Less isn’t just more; less is everything. Using fewer ingredients means more potent skincare. No cheap synthetics or exotic fillers are used which makes the product more likely to be safe on senstive skin. That’s why everything we sell only has 5 ingredients or less. And they still make you look amazing and smell pretty. SW Basics support sustainable agriculture by buying only from organic, Fair Trade, or small-farm sources. The victorian style black and white packaging makes for a beautiful bathroom staple.

Jiva Apoha

Inspired by holistic healing Angela Shore studied at Kerala Ayurveda Academy and the School of Ayurveda & Panchakarma in Kerala, India. This together with Ayurvedic principles and Native American shamanism she createred Jiva Apoha, her line of all-natural face and body oils that she blends and ships out of her Brooklyn Heights apartment. All products ar made with herbs, flowers and essential oils. The packaging is stunning too and reminds me of Navaho indians rummaging around in the wild.


Soapwalla creator Rachel Winard is super passionate about natural skin care. “If I can’t create a product that’s safe and effective with only natural ingredients, I won’t release the product,” she says. She crafts her line of soaps, body oils, and more—including an ingenius cream deodorant —at Gowanus’ Old American Can Factory, a communal building filled with artists and artisans. “I adore Brooklyn. It’s home,” she says. “I love walking to work; I love running into neighbours every time I’m out and about.” Their fragrances are really fresh and invigorating.


Skinnyskinny started from a strong belief that organic and eco friendly bath & body products should work as well (if not better) than conventional products. The philosphy is to keep the products simple where they need to be simple (no synthetics, no sulfates, no artificial preservatives) and not skimping on certified organic ingredients. Packaging is recycled, reclaimed, and sustainable. And with very few exceptions every single product is made by them in their Brooklyn, NY workshop. Skinnskinny’s facility and products have been registered with the FDA are members of the Organic Trade Association. Most of the products are vegan, and all of our products are cruelty-free. I am a big fan of their dry shampoo.

Phoenix herbal skincare

Phoenix herbal skincare is formulated from the healing energy of plants, their fragrance, and beneficial properties. Handmade with fresh local plants of the northeast and organically grown herbs. All ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible. Irina Adam is the founder and creator. She started Phoenix Botanicals in 2005, after apprenticing several years with local herbalists Robin Rose Bennett and Lata Kennedy and working at NYC’s Flower Power Herbs & Roots. Irina also worked for much of a decade in ethnobotany research and indigenous culture preservation, which exposed her to many cultural and therapeutic uses of plants. I especially like their lip balms which you squeeze up out of a carton tube.

MCMC Fragrances

A boutique fragrance brand and studio based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, created by Anne McClain, a graduate of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in southern France. They specialise in perfumes, oil roll-ons and candles. Their products are composed of the highest quality natural and synthetic ingredients in bases of organic carrier oils, pure alcohol, and distilled water. All of their products are carefully crafted in small batches and bottled by hand by our in-house production team.


Graves is a beauty product formulator, a star facialist, a herbalist and a natural beauty entrepreneur. She works with the Triangulator diagnostic method. Her website reads: “Other skin-care lines that are holistic or organic don’t necessarily follow herbalist principles. And not every herbalist sees skin as their primary focus, so that’s where I come in,” she says. She is known in New York as the “Pimple Whisperer.”


Get your liploss fix with this organic brand set up by rocker/model and new mommy Theo Kogan. As the singer for bands including the legendary all-female Lunachicks and Theo And The Skyscrapers, Theo is known for her over-the-top makeup styles. She has modeled for Calvin Klein, Burberry and Kenneth Cole (to name a few) and has acted in film, television and continues to perform in avant-garde theater all over the world. Armour’s moisturising formula is long wearing, cruelty free and environmentally friendly, with a beautiful range of colors. Formulated to stay on and moisturise with a base of: Shea Butter, Avocado, Mango and Olive  butters and oils, Grape seed oil, Vitamin E and is paraben free.

If you find yourself in NYC good shops to visi are Miomia in Williamsburg, Homebody Boutique and Diana Kane in Park Sope, and Shen Beauty in Carroll Gardens.

Apothecary Goodness

One of my favourite beauty stores in New York is Bigelow Chemists in Greenwich Village. It specialises in natural remedies, bath & body product. It’s really old school (established 1838) and makes you relive the times when as a child you were mesmerized by the choice, smells and packaging of products at the local chemist. I was anyway! I would go to the local drugstore around the corner and spend hours analysing, sniffing and admiring the beauty products. I would usually buy a soap as that was all I could afford when I was 8 years old. When I discovered the Body Shop I would spend my whole Saturday browsing their shelves and buying all the banana conditioner and carrot face cream (do you remember these products?!) I could afford. So when I visit a good old chemist now I cannot resist a good ‘smooch about’. Bigelow is not only situated in a very old building and it also has it’s own beauty range which is now for sale in the UK at Liberties (hooray!).

Another amazing chemist on the upper east side in New York is Zitomer – if you are looking for niche little brand they are sure to have it. I browse their new in section often just to see what they are listing.

bigelow menta lip shine bigelow lemon body cream bigelow derma remedy intense dry skin therapy body wash bigelow lavender salve rosemary mint body cleanser

Nose – the new way of experiencing fragrance


Nose – Paris


At the bar you get an ipad to start your olfactive journey

Paris is one of the best places in the world to shop beauty. Of course the French pharmacies like CityPharma, Collette, Bonne Marche are always a must visit. But there also lots of little gems. Take Nose – a bespoke fragrance store which can tailor your fragfrance desires down for you in no time. Based on your olfactive diagnosis  – read a short questionnaire on an ipad asking about fragrances you like wearing – a selection will be offered to you of 10 recommended perfumes which you sniff on on the paper samples. You then narrow it down to your favourite 5 and try these out on your skin. Your profile is saved online so that any time you feel like something new you can consult your favourite perfumes or discover new ones. I love this shop because it is EDITED, by fragrance industry experts who have been in the business a very long time. Nowadays there is wayyyy to much choice and walking through Duty Free or Selfridges I find there is too much noise and I cannot make up my mind as the brands don’t get enough space to ‘breathe’. I also have a slight aversion to pushy shop assistants… At Nose the shop assistant was AMAZING – super knowledgable, bright, polite, full of ideas. We basically had a great chat and I discovered fragrances which I normally would not have considered or even known about. What I also loved were the bubbles they sold – how cool would that be for a party or wedding?


let’s blow some bubbles with maison francis kurdjian



& other stories make up

LOVING the packaging for the new make up line by & other stories – so freshhhhh!

now available at Collette online and at their store in Paris


& other stories


& other stories