Barneys New York & Luxury Beauty

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.)