Top ten makeup stores

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  • Make Up For Ever

  • Make Up For Ever

  • MAC Pro Showroom

  • MAC Pro Showroom

  • Bergdorf Goodman

  • Bergdorf Goodman

  • Space NK

  • Ricky's NYC

  • Alcone

  • Bloomingdale's SoHo

  • Duane Reade at Herald Square

  • Barneys

Make Up For Ever

1. Make Up For Ever
This airy East Village boutique, the only U.S. outpost of the French-founded label, is a favorite of industry professionals for its highly pigmented products and big screen-worthy foundations. Customization is key here: create your own lipstick palette ($16 for an empty palette, $7 per lipstick) or customize eye makeup and glosses by adding loose, shimmery powders that can double—or triple—as a blush or highlighter. 8 E 12th St between Fifth Ave and University Pl (212-941-9337, makeupforever.com)

2. MAC Pro Showroom
Mature shoppers and makeup artists can experiment like preschoolers who fingerpaint with a thousand variations on the rainbow at this 6,000-square color lab. Skip out on department store masses; here experts calmly test out dramatic looks with scientific precision and towering stacks of pigment jars contain every color imaginable. The store offers more than 250 exclusive Pro products coupled with the extensive selection of colors found at a MAC counter. Customize your finds at the steel-table mixing station, where you can transform eyeshadow pigment into mascara. Consult the store for Pro products like the Chromacakes ($25) and Paintsticks ($20). A $35 annual fee scores Pro members access to the reference library, photo studio and master classes. 7 W 22nd St between Fifth Ave and Avenue of the Americas (212-229-4830, macpro.com)

3. Bergdorf Goodman
Marble floors and chandeliers mark the main entrance to this opulent NYC landmark, where you’ll find one of the city’s best selections of high-end beauty and skincare products. Exclusive lines like Cle de Peau and Le Metier de Beaut share shelf space with luxe staples like La Mer and Laura Mercier. Dress the part and the perfectly coiffed staff may be inclined to share exclusive product samples. 754 Fifth Ave between 57th and 58th Sts (212-753-7300, bergdorfgoodman.com)

4. Space NK
This Sephora rival from England boasts a coveted lineup of cult makeup and skin-care brands like By Terry (the brainchild of a former YSL makeup director), Chantecaille and plastic-surgery substitute Zelens skincare. The spa-like shop also offers men’s moisturizers and shaving accessories, and most of the staff are trained estheticians who can suggest products specifically for your skin type. 99 Greene St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-941-4200). 217 Columbus Ave between 69th and 70th Sts (212-362-2840, spacenk.com)

5. Ricky’s NYC
lthough Ricky’s is most often associated with Halloween costumes, the eclectic megastore has a lot more to offer than kitschy and kinky paraphernalia. Its enormous selection of high-end hair-care products and appliances can satisfy any beauty junkie. From Anthony Sport for Men All Over Body Shampoo ($13) and Pre de Provence hand-cut seaweed soap ($5) to Mattese green false lashes ($6)—it’s got it all. And the in-house salon is just as comprehensive: Get a cut (starting at $40 for men, $50 for women), a blowout ($30) or a keratin treatment ($225). Equally impressive is the salon’s decor: The Soho location features a chandelier made out of hair dryers, station tops made from old speakers, and Ouija boards on the walls. Locations throughout city; visit rickysnyc.com for info.

6. Alcone
Alcone Company started in 1950 as a pharmacy that also sold cosmetics and false eyelashes to Broadway showgirls and starlettes. The shop’s philosophy is to find the best makeup products from around the world and offer them at affordable prices so everyone (not just the rich and fabulous) will benefit. Alcone’s immense stock of makeup, skincare and tools are housed in a massive Long Island City Warehouse and can be purchased online. Its nondescript storefront in Midtown offers a small selection of its stock, including Koh Gen Doh foundations ($60 and up) and the in-house brand’s latex-free make-up sponges (eight wedges for $3). 322 W 49th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-757-3734, alconeco.com)

7. Bloomingdale’s SoHo
The downtown location of this behemoth chain boasts a bright and spacious beauty department that’s often less crowded than the uptown store, perfect for popping in to buy basics from Kiehl’s, Armani, Trish McEvoy and more. Though the rest of the store may be geared toward the youthful set, the cosmetics department boasts a timeless selection, as well as an attentive staff to help you with your beauty needs. 504 Broadway between Broome and Spring Sts (212-729-5900, bloomingdales.com)

8. Sephora
Though often over-crowded, New Yorkers still flock to Sephora for quick touch-ups and products galore. Invest in higher-end lines like Lancme, Dior, and Clinique, or experiment with their cheap and colorful Sephora-branded line, which prices ($5 eyeliner, $12 lipsticks) gives drugstore brands a run for their money. Locations throughout city; visit sephora.com for info.

9. Duane Reade at Herald Square
Bypass the first floor of this ubiquitous NYC drugstore and head to the upper level, which houses the beauty-centric Look Boutique. Ignore the neon lighting and check out the huge selection of products and brands, including, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Too Faced, Lierac Paris, Vichy skincare, as well as your tried-and-true basics like OPI nail polish and haircare from Biolage. Also inside you’ll find a Ramy Brow Bar where you can stop in for a no-appointment brow shaping ($30). 1350 Broadway at 35th St (212-695-6346, duanereade.com)

10. Barneys
Investing in a lipstick is a lot less than a new pair of shoes, but it still gives you that luxury-shopping fix. The relatively small size of this department store is less intimidating than some other high-end emporiums, which means associates are less hindered by mobs, and you have more room to peruse the jewel-case like displays. Look to find reliably chic lines like Shu Uemeura, Sue Devitt and Bobbi Brown, alongside lesser-known and eco-friendly products from Nude and Jurlique. 660 Madison Ave at 61st St (212-826-8900, barneys.com)

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Users say

2 comments
Clara
Clara

Hi! Im from Argentina. Im traveling to new york and need to buy a train makeup professional case. But I dont want to buy it online, I want to look at it and try it before buying it. Are there any stores where I can find these? Im having a hard time finding actual stores, all there is are online stores! None of this 10 places appear to have nice & big makeup cases. Only Alconeco, and the biggest one is discontinued... Thanks! Clara

Cathy
Cathy

Barney's is the best place to shop for makeup because they have a 'beauty guru' - Jason Ascher- who will consult with you on your needs and budget and then give you an amazing makeover every time! You can shop for all makeup and skincare lines in his private studio away from the salespeople. It is heavenly!