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Birchbox opens its first retail store—with natural options for healthy beauties


(Photo: Birchbox)
Inside Birchbox’s new brick and mortar. (Photo: Birchbox)

On Friday, July 11, booming beauty retailer Birchbox planted its brick-and-mortar flag with the opening of its first-ever beauty store, on West Broadway in Soho.

The New York-based company has a loyal following of beauty buffs who love getting their pretty-little-packages of new, curated products in the mail each month, and that experimental beauty attitude is built into the store experience in a big way.

Inside the the two-story Manhattan space, you’ll find a “Build Your Own Birchbox” or “B.Y.O.B.” section, where you can hand-pick five sample-size products of your choice for $15, and a “Try Bar” a place for testing products before you commit at the register.

Downstairs, hair ($30), makeup ($30), and nail ($10-$30) services are offered—a lifesaver if you ever find yourself with a hot date and no time to head home first. And as has become customary at blowdry bars, you choose the look you want off of an iPad (think crown braid, natural glow makeup, and nail art options).

(Photo: Birchbox)
An area to sample products with the “Build Your Own Birchbox” section at the back. (Photo: Birchbox)

The store stocks “Birchbox-approved” brands—a surprising amount of which are natural-leaning.

“We created a category of products on the site that don’t include the nastiest ingredients, and we wanted to bring that into the store as well, since a big segment of our customer base is really interested in natural products,” says Birchbox co-founder Hayley Barna. She estimates that at least a few dozen better-for-you brands are represented in the store, out of the total 250 brands that they stock.

We spotted Jurlique, Caudalie, Juice Beauty, W3LL PEOPLE, and more—all of which are marked with the “ingredient conscious” tag to help you identify them.

(Photo: Birchbox)
The store’s downstairs area where salon services are offered. (Photo: Birchbox)

So while natural products are not the focus, there solid options for those looking for clean-and-healthy moisturizers and mascaras. Which is fortunate since the bright and girly space kind of makes you feel like a kid in a candy store—the grown-up, more skin-care savvy version, of course.  —Jamie McKillop

433 West Broadway, at Prince St., Soho, www.birchbox.com