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Beauty Emporium: Henri Bendel Beauty Brands

Since 1895, Henri Bendel has been the go-to destination for chic style stars [like many of you] searching for the latest in beauty. And since fashionistas and starlets call this venerable institution their second home, you’ll even run into your favorite celeb while cruising the beauty counters.

While no celebs were present during my store visit, I did have fun exploring just the same. All of my senses kicked into gear as soon as I entered the store. My eyes moved from the tables filled with beauty accessories to the countertops overflowing with a beauty junkie’s fix – a smorgasbord of cosmetics. The not-so-quiet music and numerous conversations buzzing about dulled the loud roar of my moans of awe. Beauty sales associates dressed in head-to-toe black swarmed every aisle ready to assist me at a moments notice.

Henri Bendel is the place to discover the newest and coolest beauty products. The store carries indy brands that can only be found at it’s own store. What a genius business model – encouraging shoppers to test and experience products rather than just reading about them. But even with all of the activity, I was still able to zero in on some fun products for style stars like you.

First, I spied the Glossary Lip Trio ($30) from Henri Bendel’s eponymous private label. Without hesitation, this was an easy pick for two reasons: each gloss conditions your lips and the colors in this kit (Bendel Girl Pink, Debutante Mauve and Love Henri Bronze) help you move seamlessly from day to night.

Then I bumped into the Laura Mercier counter and discovered why so many women buy her stuff year after year. She has this Creme de Pistache Souffle Body Creme ($45, sold exclusively at Henri Bendel and on lauramercier.com) that’s to die for. Given the name, I thought the scented blend of pistachio, pralines, almonds and hazelnuts would be off-putting, but I came away from using it feeling positive. The nutty scent was subtle enough for me to enjoy this luscious, non-greasy delight.

As I continued to walk around, I stumbled upon Mally Beauty’s 24/7 Professional Eyelining System ($25) from celebrity makeup artist, Mally Roncal. I was surprised by the unimpressive, simple-looking packaging. What can I say? I’m a visual person with discerning tastes. I’m into pretty things. So I expected pretty packaging. But after testing the Professional Eyelining System, I figured out why this product is the most successful of Mally’s entire line. With this 3-step product, all you have to do is apply the eyeliner, use the double-sided applicator to set the corresponding eyeshadow and transluscent white powder. Even when I tried to rub the product off, it didn’t budge. This is perfect for preventing eyeliner fadeout. Mally Beauty with its less than desireable packaging redeemed itself with a product that works.

To cap off my visit to Henri Bendel, I indulged in a mini product demo using Perfekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel ($57.50). I was blown away by what this product did to my face. I have large pores, which makes achieving a “smooth” skin surface difficult. And while there isn’t a skin care product that “shrinks” pores, Perfekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel fills in my pores so that my skin appears as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Just moisturize, dab a pearl size of product onto your finger tip and apply to your face. Wala, you’ve now got an airbrushed-effect without the use of a sponge or brush. I’m completely hooked! Of the five shades that are offered, I was able to find one that worked “perfektly” for my cocoa-colored skin. This product is legit, and I’m thrilled to spread the word.

To amp up your beauty-counter game at Henri Bendel, I’ve come up with a few SHOPPING TIPS:

Tip 1: Shop with confidence. If you let a beauty advisor give you a makeover and they use five products to achieve a “look,” don’t feel pressured to buy all five products. Buy what you can afford, but moreover, buy what you’ll actually use. You’ll feel less embarassed to saying no NOW then when you have to return it later.

Tip 2: Ask questions. The Henri Bendel beauty counters can be a little intimidating because the sales associates look so darn perfect. Just remember that they’re there to help you, so ask away.

Tip 3: Be a part of the action. Henri Bendel is known for its many shopping events, all usually revolving around beauty. At these shopping events, you get to experience new product and brand launches before anyone else. Check out the Events at Henri Bendel page so, you too, are in the know.

Tip 4: Explore your surroundings. Discover other parts of Henri Bendel like the Chocolate Bar Cafe which features the Bendel Bellini, a strawberry puree mixed with champagne. Delicious!

Tip 5: Say No to being spritzed. I know, I know. It’s hard to say no to sexy male models asking to spritz you with a new designer fragrance. But to prevent a fragrance headache from happening, politely decline and keep it movin’.

Hue Knew It? I did.

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