Walking into a store like Sephora can be disorienting for natural mavens, even though the store actually does carry a lot of paraben-free products. Still, it’s nice when you can shop without having to scrutinize every label so closely.
There are a growing number of natural beauty stores across the country that take out all the guesswork and have added a heaping tablespoon of transparency and natural-beauty curation.
These shops, from Boston to Beverly Hills, are run by beauty gurus who are passionate about ingredient purity, and pride themselves on scouting and stocking totally natural—and super effective—beauty products.
Originally posted November 6, 2014. Updated August 5, 2017.
Scroll down to see the top natural beauty stores from coast to coast.
Kathryn Dickinson has always been beauty-obsessed, and worked as an executive in the industry when she started learning about the ever-so-common act of greenwashing that brands do—AKA claiming to be non-toxic, yet still containing potentially harmful ingredients. To do her part to help the clean beauty world, she opened a “safe haven” where women can come in and trust that what they’re buying for their skin is totally safe and effective.
With two locations in Denver, the natural beauty shop is spreading its doors to Atlanta (coming soon!). Whichever location you shop at, you’re sure to find fragrances, 8-free nail polishes, mineral-based sunscreen, and all other cosmetics and serums you’ll need for a proper clean beauty routine—from brands like Suntegrity, Rahua, Indie Lee, and Maya Chia.
Cherry Creek, 3000 E 1st Ave, Denver, CO; Larimer Square, 1408 Larimer Street, Denver, CO, www.aillea.com
Citrine Natural Beauty Bar
Consider Citrine a non-toxic beauty oasis in the midst of a desert. Founded in 2012 well before the clean beauty revolution, this gorgeous, airy shop quickly grew popular as a one-stop shop for all your primping needs minus the toxic ingredients. CEO and founder Melissa Lenberg is a long-time vet of the cosmetics world—she started working in it at age 15—and became passionate about all-natural products after suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
After learning more about the clean industry of skin-care and makeup, Lenberg opened her store—where clients can get a skin consultation or in-store color matching—in Arizona to eager and intrigued customers. At the boutique you’ll find all the major clean brands, from Kjaer Weis, Osmia Organics, May Lindstrom, and plenty more.
2502 E. Camelback Rd, Suite 166, Phoenix, AZ 85016, www.citrinenaturalskin.com.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago
The clean beauty boutique is essentially the Sephora of the natural skin-care and makeup world. In fact, it was founded by Shashi Batra, a founding veteran of Sephora stores, who branched out on his own in the more non-toxic space. He found that something was lacking in natural beauty, as most products were the more crunchy type found mostly in health food stores—Batra wanted to take the touch-and-feel experience to clean beauty, because that’s such an important (not to mention fun) aspect of shopping for your top shelf.
Though the store originally opened in San Francisco, it’s quickly spreading—Credo set up shop in Brooklyn (not long after opening in SoHo), and its fifth location just launched in Chicago.
It’s a sizable boutique filled with cult-faves (like RMS and Herbivore Botanicals) along with classics like Osmia Organics, and the stores come with an in-house Tata Harper spa for dreamy treatments.
8327 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA; 2136 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA; 9 Prince Street, New York, NY; 99 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY; 1659 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL, www.credobeauty.com
Boston and Nantucket, MA
When Tara Foley, 29, was working at a New York City law firm a few years ago, she was leading a wellness-based life—you know, yoga, triathlons, farmers’ markets, and juice bars. But when she started to learn about the toxic chemicals in her beauty products—and the lack of beauty ingredient regulation in the U.S.—she couldn’t tolerate it.
“I started searching for healthy alternatives that were actually effective. This led to the launch of my blog in 2009,” she says, which eventually led to apprenticeships on an organic lavender farm and at a skin-care company, then an MBA, and her very own natural beauty store, Follain, which opened in Boston in June 2013 and on Nantucket in July (which is open on a seasonal basis). She also has pop-up locations opening in Washington D.C. and Wellesley, MA.
Foley and her Director of Health and Safety vet all the ingredients of brands they consider selling, leading them to confidently stock lines like Earth Tu Face, Farmaesthetics, Josh Rosebrook, La Bella Figura, May Lindstrom, Rahua, Soapwalla, and Vapour Organic.
“Follain, is Gaelic for ‘healthy, wholesome, and sound,'” Foley says. “This is the first thing we tell a customer when they walk in.”
53 Dartmouth Street, Boston, and 9A South Beach Street, Nantucket, MA, www.shopfollain.com
Fig & Flower
When Sara Lamond and Blair Wagoner envisioned opening their natural beauty store, Fig & Flower, they wanted to help teach women about wellness, not just what they’re putting on their face.
The shop, which opened in May, in Atlanta’s trendy Poncey Highland neighborhood, does just that by offering free yoga classes, seminars on topics like holistic childcare, and seasonal cooking demos, in addition to selling awesome beauty products. “[The store] allows us to create a dialogue with our community about creating balance for the whole system,” says Lamond.
Theirs is also the only store in Georgia carrying RMS Beauty, 100% Pure, and Vapour Beauty, says Lamond, and they also stock One Love Organics, Sally B’s Skin Yummies, and indie, women-owned brands like C & Co. Naturals out of Asheville, NC.
636 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, www.shopfigandflower.com
The Detox Market
Los Angeles and Toronto
Romain Gaillard and Valerie Grandury first opened The Detox Market as a pop-up on Abbot Kinney in Venice in 2010, with hopes of educating Angelenos about the dangers of toxins in cosmetics—and people were immediately hooked on the luxe, natural skin-saving serums and creams.
“We focused on showcasing the best in organic beauty around the globe, proving that natural products can be both elegant and effective. The pop-up was an instant success,” says Gaillard, who also founded the popular natural skin-care line Odacité with Grandury.
Now, the duo has boutiques in Los Angeles and Toronto, which they stock with big-name natural brands like RMS Beauty, cool nail polishes by Treat Collection, and products like diamond dust-filled bronzers by Kide Ka.
And they take customer education seriously: “Our Toronto staff is made up of naturopathic doctors and certified nutritionists,” says Gaillard. So come with your smart questions. “We dedicate time each week for training about natural ingredients, formulations, and how to best use each product.”
8380 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, and 367 King St. West, Toronto, www.thedetoxmarket.com
Sag Harbor, NY
Every visit to Anne Nelson Sanford’s shop in Sag Harbor, New York, is like having a mini beauty consultation with someone who lives, breathes, and sniffs naturals and organics. The perfumer is often in the shop and ready to answer questions about all of the brands she vets, carries, and personally loves—like Meow Meow Tweet, Shiva Rose, One Love Organics, and May Lindstrom.
She’s super generous with samples, noting that she doesn’t feel comfortable with customers spending close to $100 on a product they’re not sure whether or not the like.
As for her own line of perfume, also called Lurk, Sanford just debuted an eau de toilette (her first) made with essential oils. And all her cool, small-batch fragrances are also made at a loft in town. It doesn’t get more local than that.
28 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, NY, www.lurkmade.com
Beverly Hills, CA
In a city known for HD-ready skin (and all the procedures to get it that way), owner Jean Seo keeps a clean crowd of natural beauty and skin-care lines at her sweet boutique, EvoLue. And it’s in demand.
She sees lots from models and actresses looking to learn about natural beauty products, she says, as well as women turning to natural products to calm their chemical peels, for example, and patients of LA’s leading holistic doctors.
Seo stocks Arcona Skincare, Buly 1803, Grab Green cleaning products, Jane Iredale Makeup, Rare Elements Hair, RMS Beauty, Sheswai nail lacquer, and Tilth Skincare. She also has her own natural skin-care brand, Evolue Sensible Skincare, for which she carefully sources all of the ingredients to make products like jojoba oil body lotions and beeswax-filled creams.
357 1/2 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, www.evoluebeauty.com
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