While online beauty shopping is convenient for those restocking their shelves, once in a while it’s good to wake your senses up. Whether it’s smelling new fragrances or finding out how a natural oil feels on the skin, only a physical store can satisfy your beauty senses (and oftentimes for free, which is a lot more difficult to achieve when you're looking at products on a website). And while we all know the fun of going to your local Sephora or MAC, New York City has so many niche options to offer that you'd be missing out on the full beauty store experience if you don't check them out. See five of our favorites below. P.S.: in addition to being full of fun products to try, these locations' interiors are also aesthetically pleasing to post on the grid or on the mood board for your dream apartment.
From the outside, CAP Beauty looks like just another brick-and-mortar shop in the West Village, but swing the door open and you’ll fall into the mecca of high vibrational beauty. Everything you find in the store is 100% natural, from face oils to ingestible beauty powders and superfoods. Care for some adaptogens? Grab Moon Juice’s varieties of dusts. Want to venture into CBD oil? Let The Daily Hit be your introduction. Or if you’re not ready to dive into natural beauty just yet, treat yourself at CAP’s spa with a team of wonderful estheticians.
CAP Beauty + Spa is located at 238 West 10th Street.
If you’re looking for hard-to-find luxurious beauty brands, head over to Space NK Apothecary. Founded in London, the name NK stems from its founder Nicky Kinnaird (for anyone who’s wondering). Though not as large as Sephora, the store’s shelves are curated with cult skincare, makeup, and fragrance products—from natural skincare guru Tata Harper to favorite fragrance brands like Byredo and Malin + Goetz. Just a walk through the store will leave you feeling cleansed thanks to the all-white interior and mirrored walls.
Space NK Apothecary is located at 31 Prince Street, 968 Lexington Avenue, Bloomingdale’s Soho and 59th Street, and 229 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.
A longtime West Village gem now in the Lower East Side, this fragrance store contains every possible scent from niche European brands that are hard to cop—gone are the days of someone spotting you wearing Le Labo Santal 33 again. Walking into the 20-year-old antique space transports one to a pied-à-terre in Paris. With chandeliers, roses in silver vases, and red drapes covering a mirrored wall, the Aedes Perfumery store takes the experience of buying a fragrance to a new level.
Aedes Perfumery is located at 16A Orchard St,reet.
Ah, you know there is an Aesop store nearby when you can smell the aromatherapy goodness from a block away. This Australian brand has made quite the impact in New York with its home fragrance products and a therapeutic skincare line. Each store has a minimalistic design—wooden islands and brass sinks make customers feel at home while trying on the brand's Resurrection Hand Wash. Careful: you might want to renovate your own apartment after visiting the store.
Aesop is located at 341 Bleecker Street, 438 West Broadway, 77 Greenwich Avenue, and more.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab
We all know the drill at Sephora. You walk in and try all the makeup products until you’re basically ready to attend a gala in the city. Lipstick brand Bite Beauty takes the beauty store experience a step further. Instead of simply selling lip products, the Canadian label lets you make your own shade. For $60, you get to choose and mix colors from 200 Bite lip pigments, apply a matte, creamy, or glossy finish, and even create how the lipstick is going to smell.
Lip Lab by Bite is located at 174 Prince St, as well as 160 N 4th St in Brooklyn (available by appointment or walk-ins).