Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Going to Barneys was like a fish-out-of-water experience for me, because I have been primarily a MAC girl, which is still on the lower end of most mid to high end makeup brands. I’ve always been hard-pressed to purchase brands like Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, etc. because the prices are steeper than I want to pay. I suppose with more disposable income, I feel less awkward about getting an item or two here and there, though. The service at Barneys is incomparable, because everyone is incredibly knowledgeable–not only about their line, but the other ones carried at the store. David (Counter Manager for Cle de Peau) took me on a beauty tour of the department, going over the different brands, telling me tidbits about them, and showing me his favorite products. He made me feel welcome, when I knew I didn’t quite belong.

So while you won’t see me purchasing a lipstick for $50.00, I can see why those who might have plenty of money to spend would. I also think that an item or two from one of these luxury lines may make a nice to-self present for that job promotion or graduating school. Additionally, I can at least tell you this: every luxury brand I swatched tended to leave a stain behind. The eyeshadows took more than just a tissue to remove, and the lipsticks were so pigmented that they stained my hand after being on my hand for no more than an hour tops. What this tells me is that they are probably richer in pigmentation than the average lipstick. This doesn’t mean the lipstick will stay on your lips better necessarily, but I expect that it would fade less noticeably (especially deeper colors), since there would be a stain left behind.

What do I have to show for my experience? I purchased one lip gloss from Cle de Peau. With tax, it was just over $50. Because of the price tag, I feel it deserves its own write-up and entry, which I’ll post sometime later this week. I’ll leave you to guess what color family I went for!

Are you a fan of any of the luxury lines? Do you make regular purchases? Are you completely shocked?

You can read more about what products, brands, and the like I found at the store (plus more photos)…

In the beauty department, Barneys carries a wide range of candles, fragrances, and skincare in addition to cosmetics. They have a refrigerated section of Frederic Malle scents, while they have a station of Le Labo perfumes, which were scents created by the top perfumers around the world. At Le Labo, the scent you choose will be expertly crafted for you at the time of purchase. You can purchase candles from the world’s oldest (since 1643) candlemaker even (Cire Trudon) that go for about $75 and burn for 70 hours. I actually was sent a candle once that smelled like dying forest or something rather–one of the worst scents I have ever whiffed, that went for $80. So for a candle that smelled phenomenal (eleven different fragrances; many of them woody, antique), I wasn’t miffed. Plus, I rarely burn candles, so 70 hours would probably last me all my life!

As far as skincare goes, they do have the popular La Mer, but they have an exclusive line, 3Lab, as well. Many of the brands I mentioned earlier under cosmetics also have coordinating skincare lines. Many of the people I spoke with at Barneys had nothing but raves for the Nude skincare line, particularly the Intensive Moisture Mask ($60.00).

Barneys also carried a few more “pedestrian” brands like Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Fresh, Hourglass, Kiehl’s, Lipstick Queen, NARS, etc. Chanel Fall collection was out, so I did get swatches of it (will share and review later this week!).

What brands did I see at Barneys that I haven’t seen elsewhere?

By Terry | By Terry was created with a philosophy of creating truly luxury products that prized rarity and creativity in essential raw materials. What is interesting about By Terry is there is no shyness away from color–which I do find is not always prevalent in more high end brands (vibrantly colored shadows cost $37.00). I was told that a popular item are her Rose de Rose ($70.00), which is a sheer liquid blush to give a subtle “glow”.

Chantecaille | Do you remember those pretty sea-inspired compacts? Chantecaille was responsible for those, and I think we pretty much all agreed that as gorgeous as they were, we would never use them for fear of disturbing the emblazoned image. When compared with some of the other luxury brands, Chantecaille has less sticker shock. Lipsticks can be had for a mere $30.00, and their Brilliant Gloss is only $26.00 (in line with Chanel Glossimers).

Cle de Peau| Cle de Peau is a brand I have heard of, and I actually received an eyeshadow palette as a goody during Fashion Week in February (I hadn’t tried it, but after returning home yesterday, I dug it out of my stash and will play with it later this week). David (Counter Manager for Cle de Peau) told me one of his favorite items is their Extra Silky Lipstick ($50.00)

Serge Lutens | Serge Lutens offers a fairly small line of items, and they are steeped in luxury. A lipstick will run $75.00 (a refill is only $55.00!), while their foundations/powders cost $160.00 (and again, refills are much less–$8.000). Serge Lutens has recently launched a series of nail lacquers ($65.00), the first two being a gorgeous, classic dark red (Sang Bleu) and a more nudish shade (Faux-Semblant).

T. LeClerc | Another brand I considered true luxury, but as I found out, it is not as out of my price range as I thought. I felt like it is on par with Chanel, Dior, etc. Their range of Transparent Lipsticks go for $23.00 each. They have an awesome looking Corrector Palette ($38.50) that contains five different correcting colors.

Random swatching of By Terry, Chantecaille, Cle de Peau, and Serge Lutens. (I don’t know what’s what – I swatched more to feel and see how makeup of this caliber went on, so I didn’t grab names.)

(I am pretty sure the first three is from a Serge Lutens’ eyeshadow palette; Serge Lutens’ lipsticks below those; Chantecaille lipstick next to the shadows; and Cle de Peau lipsticks/glosses everywhere else.)

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43 thoughts on “Barneys New York & Luxury Beauty

  1. Kharina

    Wow…$50 for a lip item?! And here I thought I was paying too much for MAC ha! I am guessing you actually purchased some kind of a pink tone lipgloss? Do let us know how you liked it.

  2. Stephanie D

    I would guess you went with a coral gloss, it goes with most of your looks.

  3. Asta

    I’m familiar with Serge Lutens; everyone goes crazy for those perfumes on my scent blogs. I haven’t sampled any yet, but I will next time I’m in the city. I had no idea he had a makeup line as well.

    I really can’t justify ever spending that much when there are cheaper options available. I love makeup, but if I could fill up my gas tank at $4 a gallon for the price of one lipstick…that’s just not cool to me. Maybe for some people, I’m not knocking it, but I couldn’t live with that. You could feed a starving family for that much, or buy them a goat, you know?

  4. grace

    No, I dont buy from any luxury lines. I am a teen so the highest end items that appeal to me are Dior. I am thinking about buying some Dior the Shimmerskin that you always wear! But I think these super luxury brands are way too much even for me a beauty addict.

  5. Shefali

    I went to this Barney’s in Vegas and sampled alot of the stuff from By Terry. It’s really great stuff, but my husband was with me and didn’t have the patience beyond 30 minutes to let me choose something to get. I would definitely get something from this brand though…the stuff is awesome. Some Sephoras carry her foundation.

  6. Tanya

    i agree, By Terry is FAR too expensive. It cost AU$95 to buy some lip balm, yes LIP BALM!
    I have no idea why, maybe because it has a ‘delicate rose fragrance’??!

    Seriously, that is such a rip off. I would never consider spending anything close to that amount on a product that I know i will use frequently and liberally – it would be gone in 2 months.

  7. HeavenLeiBlu

    Heh. I don’t go any higher on the spectrum than Chanel, and I’ve severely backed off from that brand as well, once I started finding dupe-able colors elsewhere. Being the cheap chica I am, I will do just fine w/o buying ( or pining!) over ultra-luxe cosmetics.

    • Chanel is tough for me now, but is it weird that now that I have seen and touched products even MORE expensive? Chanel doesn’t seem so crazily priced, LOL.

  8. Sanayhs

    I really have no need to go higher than Make Up For Ever and shu uemera, thanks. And if I’m going to spend even as much as $16.50 on a lipgloss, it better be bloody special.

    • Chica

      LOL :) In the UK MAC costs more than that ;) $21 for a lustreglass and $25 for a dazzleglass and most of the cheaper end brands are over $16.

    • LOL!! Well, I’m in LOVE with the $50 one I bought. Not to say I’d do it again in a heartbeat, though.

  9. Jennifer

    I’m afraid that I get off at the Bobbi Brown stop of the High-End Beauty Line… and BB stuff is almost too expensive to me. But I will certainly not spend $50 on a single lipstick, powder, or anything else. MAC and lower-priced high-end brands (mainly Urban Decay and Stila, Nars, etc) are definitely enough for me. One of my best friends used to shop at Barney’s with alarming frequency, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t notice that much of a difference in quality – and the range of most of the uber-high-end brands is much, much smaller than MAC or UD.

  10. Ashley

    No thanks to the higher end brands, the makeup I buy lasts all day, wears great and doesn’t cause problems, I don’t feel the need to EVER spend that much on any beauty product. Just thinking about how many items I could get from MAC etc. for the price of just one of the higher end products makes me cringe! Even sometimes in Sephora I look at UD, Smashbox, NARS etc prices and pass on items since I know I can find something else at MAC for less!

  11. Lil

    I am so confused. You are loaded girl! First you were in Vegas and now New York. Wow, I wish I could take that kind of vacation and still be able to spend a bundle and have money for all these other launches as well. I just don’t know how you do it. But it sure is making us all envious. It must be nice. I don’t think I could spend that kind of money on products because once I buy them, I won’t want to use them cause they cost sooo much! I’d end up just hoarding it and looking at it like art because I don’t really see how the make up is really worth it. People that spend that kind of money have the money to throw away basically. Once in a while, you will find really good products but for the most part, people are just paying for the shopping experience.

    • Oh, gosh, no way. I went with my parents, so I pretty much just paid for my plane ticket and any shopping/gambling. Still riding their coattails ;)

      I also shared a room with a fellow blogger when I was in NYC last February to save on costs!

  12. Lil

    Nevermind about being in New York…you could be in Vegas still…Regardless, you are still loaded!

  13. Tekoa

    To high end absurdly priced brands I say…PIFFLE! If the quality is the same, why pay lots?

  14. Lucy

    Barneys New York is actually the brand of the retail chain.

  15. Calico

    I havent ever had these lines available to me – the most expensive i have is Lancome I think…
    So i dont know if i would spend that much, id have to play around. Would be the end of me if i got addicted to that instead of MAC! I can just imagine the shack i would have to live in..
    I want to ask you – are those eyeshadows you tried much better than MAC?
    What makes them so special?
    I can see why MAC is better than say, maybelline (Blendability, staying power, pigment, colour choice etc..), but what makes these worth the money?

    Thanks for the photos and swatches and letting us shop vicariously through you… :)

    • LOL, can you just imagine being addicted?

      They are a bit more pigmented, smoother maybe? I didn’t try them on the eyes or anything, so it’s hard to say. I’m hard pressed to believe they’re significantly better in line with how much more they cost, though.

  16. Zsofi

    i thought i share my knowledge about by Terry with You ladies :-)
    Terry de Gunzburg was born in 1955,her parents wanted her to be a doctor,but she rather want to Carita to make a makeup course.” i did everything,which others didnt want to do,this is the best way to learn”-she said. After doing the course she stayed at Carita for 10 years. Since 1985 Terry is creating the trend looks at Yves Saint Laurent,her ideas helped to make many new products,the most famous is Touche Éclat.
    she has two daughters,and two sons.she loves art,and architecture,she loves to travel,this way she gets many inspiration for looks.
    in 1998 she grounded by Terry,her own cosmetic line .

    hope You enjoyed tjis little history lesson :-)

  17. carriespooner

    I’m lucky because if I told my husband I wanted a 50 dollar lippie he’d buy it for me. However, Chanel/Dior is about as high end as I care to go. I have only done that a few times. I love Mac because it suites my style. I love the lipstick formulas. I think they are an awesome line. Come on.. they do the makeup for so many shows, events, etc.

    I’m totally blissful with Mac and Sephora so I def don’t feel like I’m missing out by not rocking the sky-high end.

  18. Glosslizard

    I love Chanel, and it doesn’t seem like too much to pay for one or two of their products now and again, but Cle de Peau prices still put me into sticker shock! I guess the way I think about it is “One Chanel product could almost pay for two MAC products… and one Cle de Peau could almost pay for two Chanels” Wow!

    That said, I’d sure love to try out and compare some of those pricey items though! :)

  19. Chelsea

    I feel like MAC is about as high-end as I’m willing to go, especially considering the amazing buys I’ve found over the years just with drugstore and middle-of-the-road cosmetics. I can’t see spending $50 on a single lipstick regardless of my income. Besides, when MAC and UD have a variety of great colors in great pigments, why would you need to pay more money for a lesser range in colors?

  20. Millie

    Did you get to try Chantecaille’s Future Skin foundation? I want to try that one day.

  21. leslie

    I like to browse Barneys. I ‘ve only been to the one in Chicago on Oak street. I always end up back at the mac store or Sephora.

  22. les

    i bought the by terry rose balm after reading lollipop26 blogspot. its amazing and worth the one off slurge!!