If Sephora is an introvert's paradise, where sales associates generally let you shop uninterrupted, and department store beauty counters are for chatty types who want to talk peptides and contouring techniques, then Birchbox's new Soho store is for those who fall somewhere in the middle of the beauty-shopper-sociability-spectrum.
The subscription site's founders, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, have brought their "try, learn, buy" philosophy to the brand's first brick and mortar store. Meaning, while the West Broadway space is designed for independent browsing ("try bars" where you can test-drive trends from coral lipsticks to brow fillers are set up throughout the store), experts are on-hand to assist if you decide that now is the time to learn the difference between BB and CC cream.
The entryway is home to a display case highlighting Birchbox's top ten online best-sellers, which will be rotated out every month. And, a few steps beyond that, there's a corner devoted to the box of the moment (July's theme: Power Up), where shoppers can buy full-size versions of current Birchbox subscriber samples (with their Birchbox points, if they want).
Makeup is arranged by product, not brand, on the ground floor, just past the entryway. So customers can compare bronzers without having to make laps around the store.
Those who have always wanted to control their own Birchbox sample destiny will enjoy the B.Y.O.B.—Build Your Own Birchbox—bar, where $15 gets you five mini products. (Like a Klorane dry shampoo, which retails for $9.)
Downstairs, you'll find Men's grooming products, nail polishes, and hair care. (Important: there's a wall dedicated to second-day hair. Bless.) The basement floor is also home to a mini nail salon (where prices start at $10 for a polish change) and heat-styling bar (where beachy waves or a perfect topknot will run you $30). Starting this month, the owners also plan to hold makeup application classes, which will be free to Birchbox subscribers.
As of right now, Katia and Hayley don't have any plans to open a second location, but if the Soho space performs well, Birchbox IRL could expand to other cities.
· Five Crucial Stats on Birchbox's First Store, Opening Tomorrow [Racked NY]
· Fourteen Big Store Openings We'll See Before the End of the Year [Racked NY]