We’ve all got our favorite stores — and reliable retailers are a necessity in every girl’s life — but the one downside to consistently visiting the same shops is that you just might be missing out on the best place to buy makeup.
Considering the time, expertise and money spent on figuring out which foundation to invest in alone, shopping for beauty products can be daunting. A better experience, however, totally depends on where the products are being sold. Stores make a big difference, and knowing which ones are the best is key.
To help you have the most successful makeup buying experience possible, we’ve rounded up 25 of the best places to shop. Whether you’re searching for indie brands, drugstore prices or monthly delivery services, there’s a store that’ll make you even more excited to shop for hair, makeup and skin care products than you already were.
The 25 Best Places to Shop for Beauty
Whether you're shopping for yourself or searching for the perfect gift for someone else, these are the 25 best places to shop for beauty products!
Asos: All too often we find ourselves suggesting Asos as the place to shop when our friends can't find the stylish, unique item of clothing they've been searching for to no avail. The site that always seems to have what no one can find in the fashion department mirrors itself in the beauty department that carries everything from drugstore to luxe, with a good pinch of indie beauty brands thrown in as well.
Birchbox: The original beauty box that became everyone's favorite way of discovering new products has just as amazing of an e-commerce shop. Whether you subscribe to the monthly Birchbox and you want to buy a full-size product after sampling or you're just curious about shopping the editor's picks, Birchbox's shop is full of makeup, skin care, hair care and everything in between for both women and men. Plus, you'll get points for shopping on the site, and your points will convert to dollars. That's a win-win.
Cos Bar: With over a century of experience under its belt, Cos Bar is stocked with luxury beauty products based on quality, not quantity. For makeup that gives you long-lasting results, fragrances that make a personal statement and a bevy of home products, head to this hidden gem.
Bergdorf Goodman: Known for their quality curation of products to sell in stores, Bergdorf Goodman's beauty department is like the A-list for cosmetics. Complete with women's products, men's grooming products, home fragrances and more from all of the most prestigious designers (think Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy), this is one of the best top tier places to shop for beauty.
Sephora: It may be obvious, but Sephora didn't become one of the best beauty retailers around without good reason. Inside the store, get yourself a makeover with one of the artists and take the products home with you, sign up for the VIB program to earn points for each dollar spent (which turn into product rewards) and online enjoy three free samples of your choice with each purchase. It's really a one stop shop for beauty.
C.O. Bigelow: An apoethecary at its finest, C.O. Bigelow began as a pharmacy that grew into the go-to location for unique and unusual beauty products in New York City. Complete with homeopathic remedies and cosmetics brands you'll find just about nowhere else (like Rilastil and Jane Iredale), C.O. Bigelow is one of the best beauty experiences you'll ever have.
Nordstrom: With the introduction of the Beauty Spot, Nordstrom has become even more of an industry favorite when it comes to hair, makeup and skin care than before. With brands like Bobbi Brown and Deborah Lippmann and an entire shoppable section of Most Pinned Beauty, Nordstrom's stepped up their game and has become a beauty destination.
Walgreens.com: Easy to shop and always stocked with your trusted products in the colors you love, Walgreens.com is the online equivalent of the corner store. If you're loyal to drugstore brand beauty and you prefer to spend your extra cash on spa treatments and hair salons rather than lipstick and shampoo, Walgreens.com is your go-to.
Beauty Bar: With an easy reorder function that makes forgetting to buy mascara every month impossible and an app that lets you shop from your smartphone, Beauty Bar shines as one of the easiest places to shop for luxury beauty products.
Beauty.com: Is now Walgreens.com! If you've been wondering where the sophisticated cousin to the now-defunct Drugstore.com had gone, they've both merged with Walgreens for all your drugstore makeup needs.
Kohls: Ideal for those of you who love giant makeup palettes and Essie nail polish collections alike, Kohl's in-store and online beauty section is easily a favorite to shop. In the store, the makeup counter allows you to test and experience a product before purchasing, while online you'll find the full range of products from each Kohl's location. Combining fan favorite brands like Lorac with private label collections from Candie's, Kohl's beauty section isn't one to miss.
Blue Mercury: The perfect marriage of beauty products and spa services, Bluemercury brings you a 360 degree experienec when it comes to beauty. Plus, shopping online means you're also getting a dose of specially created content to guide you through using the products, like a guide to ingredients or a tutorial on smokey eyeshadow.
Clyde's: A true apothecary on Madison Avenue, Clyde's carries a full range of prestige beauty brands and offers full pharmacy services where professionals can counsel you about your well being. While there's not e-commerce available, the in-store experience gives you customer service like you've never experienced.
Barney's: A stunning selection of luxe beauty products that are as high quality as they are beautiful, Barney's beauty department is a full on experience. If you're able to make it to the newly designed Beauty Floor in New York City, you'll find counter after counter of the finest, most sought after products that are found hardly anywhere else. Come prepared for makeup artist designed products, fragrances that will beg to be your new signature scent and professionals equipped to help you out of any beauty rut.
Julep: For the nail art lovers of the world, Julep has become a go-to polish destination. With a subscription service that delivers nail polish to your door every month and nail art kits that are worthy of Pinterest, Julep makes manicures even more fun than they already are.
Ricky's NYC: There's nothing we love more than a beauty supply store with a sense of humor, which is half the reason we love Ricky's NYC so much. The other half of that comes from the high quality of products sold, including a full range of nail polish brands, Manic Panic hair color and Burt's Bees organic products, just to name a few.
Target: Besides being one of the easiest stores to shop, Target brings you your favorite drugstore brands for a discounted price. Add to that the fact that the store carries Boots No. 7, a UK company with fantastic products that aren't widely available in the U.S., and e.l.f., a brand that really stretches your dollar, you'll never have to twist our arms to shop Target.
Urban Outfitters: The unofficial title holder of the place where cool kids shop for beauty products, Urban Outfitters has a beauty section chock full of hair chalk, bold lipstick, eyeshadow palettes and more that'll give your beauty bag a seriously fun makeover.
Sally Beauty: Though it's technically for professionals in the beauty industry, that only makes us love Sally Beauty more (probably because we can pretend for a minute that we're actually pro makeup artists). Though most of the loyalty cards are for students and professionals, there's another loyalty card for regular ol' customers like us for discounted items. Win!
Neiman Marcus: Besides the outstanding selection of beauty brands and the quality of customer service in-store, we're particularly fond of the Beauty Replenishment service at Neiman Marcus. The cosmetics equivalent of auto-renew service on your magazine subscriptions, the Beauty Replenishment service makes it impossible to ever run out of your favorite product before having a back-up ready to take its place. Genius.
Sabon NYC: If you happen to stop by a Sabon shop in NYC, make sure you walk in for the full hand treatment (a wash, scrub, exfoliation and lotion experience that leaves your hands feeling like they're newborn babies). With a range of products that could on their own be responsible for the softest skin in the world, Sabon is a must for anyone who loves to indulge in an at-home spa day.
Space NK: If we could dream up the perfectly curated collection of beauty products from all around the world, Space NK would be that dream's reality. With both world-renowned and little known brands, all of which impress customers with their unique products and high quality, it's easy to overspend at Space NK.
Total Beauty Experience
Total Beauty Experience: A full service salon and retail store, Total Beauty Experience lives up to its name. With salon quality products, professionals giving expert advice and new products being put on shelves regularly, this California store is one to bookmark
ULTA: When you need a professional grade beauty product (whether it be hair, makeup or skin care related), you'd be hard pressed not to find it at Ulta. With prestige products at affordable prices, Ulta has made a name for itself with good reason.
Whole Body: If you love Whole Foods for the organic selection of prime food, you'll love Whole Body, the wellness body shop extension of the brand. If you're always on the hunt for natural products that won't irritate sensitive skin, Whole Body will give you enough options to be set for a lifetime. Plus, the Whole Body website is fully equipped with tutorials on smokey eyes, natural curls and more.