So being a beauty junkie it makes sense that for my little series of #UKdoesMacys posts, I start with my main love…beauty.
We’re spoilt in many ways in London and one of them is the complete wealth of shops and department stores on offer. The norther side of Oxford Street alone is lined with them not all that far from consistently from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch. Over the years the beauty halls in particular in the UK have really upped their game in line with the ever increasing love of the beauty world. So it was really interesting to be getting the chance to head to the US to check out their West Coast flagship store and to see how the beauty halls compare to those in the UK.
In the week I was over there I was spending four days doing loads of fun stuff with Macy’s. A lot of which involved eating (you can read all about the food very soon) and checking out some of the ‘best of’ beauty counters in the very extensive beauty hall in the Macy’s San Francisco store. It’s also really interesting to see how/if the approach to beauty varies in different countries too. Oh, and it’s always nice to check out the product offerings whilst I’m at it…
Dior – Ah Dior, J’Adore. I do realise I have a bit of a thing for Dior – not something I was really aware of until the MUA asked me about what I had tried and liked before and I proceeded to reel off a long list of loves from the brand (the Dior Nude BB Cream is a forever love for me). On the Dior counter I truly got pampered – I was offered a ‘mini’ facial and makeover. But was so well looked after that a full hour and a half later I had been cleansed, scrubbed, masked and made-up so I left with a daytime friendly smoky eye and my skin feeling much more hydrated and healthy than it had pre-Dior thanks to the long flight to get over to the West Coast.
The must-buy: Dior Spray Foundation
Benefit – How could I possibly visit San Francisco and NOT visit Benefit?! The San Francisco based, ultimate girly brand was top of my must-see list for my trip and they did not disappoint. The counter in Macy’s is seriously impressive – there’s basically TWO full counters of Benefit goodness. One within the main beauty hall area and the other is the brow bar and treatment room area that also has the product offering on display too. I wrote about my Bling Brow experience HERE if you fancy reading a little more detail – but it’s basically THE place to get your brows taken care of in San Francisco.
The must-buy: The Cheeky Sweet Spot Palette Gift Set for Christmas
Chanel – I know you’re not supposed to have favourites… but of the final looks from my make-overs on the various counters I think this was the one I loved the most. My MUA, George spent a long time perfecting the look. I really got a sense for how much he loves both make-up and Chanel. He gave me a classic Chanel smokey eye with a nude shade of blush on a matte base. All in all, I loved the look as it was definitely a step or two up on my usual level of make-up. But it was perfectly done and I felt like a very sophisticated version of a rock star.
The must-buy: Perfection Lumiere Foundation and Caresse Blusher (LE)
Clinique – Clinique is one of my all time favourite brands. One I’ve used pretty constantly since I was a teen, it was great to get the Clinique experience across the pond. The staff on the counter here were fantastic, you can just tell they love working there and were having a great time. We had a good chat about the history of the brand and how the Three Step routine is one of those classic opinion splitters. At the end of the day, if it didn’t work for some then surely it wouldn’t keep selling?! Interestingly, Clinique is the biggest counter for Macy’s San Francisco in terms of sales…
The must-buy – They have a great ‘purchase with purchase’ palette on offer… plus anything from the Moisture Surge range is my weakness!
Strivectin – Strivectin is part of the area of the beauty hall where smaller (and perhaps considered ‘younger’) brands are housed. There’s a really impressive selection in this area. Including a rather amazing rainbow of Inglot on display. Strivectin is a medical based brand – it is available in the UK, but not one I’ve had a vast amount of experience with. I had a combination of a peel treatment and a micro current facial. The micro current facial was great fun – it felt like wearing a pair of sticky headphones on your face that sort of buzzed/twitched. The point being that your facial muscles get a good workout whilst you pamper your skin – to create an overall lifting/firming effect.
Laura Mercier – Last but by no means least we have the fabulous Laura Mercier counter. My make-up artist was great, she’s been working for the brand for 10 years and we had a good chat about how wonderful Laura herself actually is, having both been lucky enough to meet her (she really is the most fascinating of the make-up artists I’ve ever met). In fact, the staff on the Laura Mercier counter were all really lovely and I felt totally comfortable there.
Whilst I’m quite familiar with Laura Mercier overall, this was a great appointment as definitely discovered a few treats that are now firmly on my wish-list. Plus picking up some more tips on how to nail the signature ‘tight-line’ look that Laura is known for. Another one I left feeling delighted with the look – the shades chosen were out of my regular comfort zone, but applied so well that I loved the look.
The must-buy: The blue shade of eye primer (this stuff is amazing) & the Flawless Skin Eye Serum
Overall, my #UKdoesMacys week exploring the Macy’s San Francisco beauty hall has definitely inspired me. Not just was it great fun to spend time with brands – some of which I feel more familiar with than others. But also to try some slightly stronger looks than I normally go for and perhaps get a little braver. More smoky eyes for me please! I love that I’ve been able to pick up some new tips and really feel like I got a proper feel for this mega Macy’s Beauty Hall – if you’re in San Francisco you have to stop by, it really is impressive. My post is just a snap shot of the beauty offerings and brands on sale…don’t even get me started talking about the wonders of the MAC stands on both the main floor AND on one of the fashion floors…
For more information on the Macy’s visitor perks and services: www.visitmacysusa.com
Post in collaboration with Macy’s