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Free Makeovers and a Catwalk at the Maybelline/CVS Pop-Up

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For those who would like a taste of the Fashion Week glamor minus the mad rush of the tents and plus a bit of pampering, the Maybelline New York and CVS/pharmacy Beauty & Fashion Retreat is just the place for you. The pop-up shop opened at 54th and Broadway at the start of Fashion Week and runs through Thursday. This morning, we walked in to guests enjoying free makeovers with professional makeup artists, a seminar given by Harper's Bazaar, a one-day chance to win $100 Amex gift cards, and some social media fun.

It's nice to see Maybelline, the makeup sponsor of Fashion Week, making the excitement available to everyone and not just the editors and fashion types inside the tents. Los Angeles-based Maybelline makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar tells us, "We're trying to take something exclusive like Fashion Week and make it very inclusive." While readying his station for a makeover on a young excited guest, he explained, "What we're doing here at the Maybelline/CVS Fashion Retreat is essentially giving women looks and tips of the trade from directly backstage. So like Monique here will sit down in my chair, [I'll] figure out what she does normally, what she likes, what she dislikes and I give her a look that is of course something that she could wear, but also try to incorporate some trends from Fashion Week."

Such as? Gabriel recommends the smokey eye, the red lip, and a "really clear, pretty complexion because you need that when you're wearing a really strong eye or lip." What about doubling up with a smokey eye and a red lip? Gabriel shook his head in horror. "No, definitely not, unless you're on the runway, unless you're wanting to go for drag makeup, or unless you just really like a lot of makeup. It's all about balance, it's too much."

After the free makeover, guests can then pose on a faux runway (or "the funway", as one staffer referred to it) for a photo opp they can then directly upload onto Facebook, using one of the pop-up's handy laptops. Speaking of social media, there's also the "Be a Sensational Makeup Artist" contest area in the back where budding makeup artists can put together their own video makeup tutorial a la Michelle Phan to upload directly onto the contest site.

There will be more guest appearances and makeup demonstrations running through Thursday. Today, Teen Vogue will be on hand from 3pm to 5pm. On Wednesday, Vogue will drop in from 12pm to 2pm and along with Maybelline New York Global Consulting Makeup Artist Charlotte Willer will be in the house from 3pm to 5pm. On the last day, Thursday, New York magazine will be there from 12pm to 2pm. Judging from the 450 tweens and parents lined up to see vloggers Elle and Blair Fowler on Sunday, the demos have been a hit.

The pop-up wasn't crowded when we dropped in this morning—maybe the velvet rope at the front or the intimidating-looking bouncer manning the door made people think that it is, in fact, an exclusive space. Stop in, though, ladies. With all those offices nearby, this would be the perfect stopover during lunch or an afternoon coffee break. And if you happen to have Gabriel giving you a makeover, ask him for a smokey eye and a red lip just to see his reaction.
· Maybelline New York [Official Site]