The world’s richest women spend some serious time (and money) shopping for beauty products in their lifetime. Whether it’s lipstick, foundation, concealer or something else she’s after, purchases often require exploring beauty stores, testing out different products and working with exclusive makeup artists. In fact, a recent survey in the United Kingdom showed that the average woman’s makeup bag has products worth approximately £93.32 (approximately $155). It goes without saying that the world’s richest would probably add at least one zero to that figure if they were adding up the value of their makeup bag’s contents.
In 2011, global beauty sales amounted to more than $420 billion. Shopping online for cosmetics is a growing market and likely accounts for a growing proportion of cosmetic sales, but nothing beats that experience of visiting a high-end store and sampling colors and styles yourself. With expert makeup professionals on hand to help you make your choice – and give you a quick makeover too – it’s hard to pass up on the opportunity.
If you’ve ever wondered what the best beauty stores in the world are, you’re in the right place. We’ve narrowed down the list to just 10 of the very best, after having considered the products, the experts on hand to help, the locations, the storefronts and more. If you want to know where the world’s richest shop for their makeup and skin care products, follow this list that’ll take you from the USA to London to Paris. These are 10 of the best beauty stores in the world, some of which have been around for over 100 years.
10 Sephora – More than 100 Brands
Sephora is a fast-growing French company, which owns more than 1,300 stores around the world as well as a popular online store. It was originally founded in Paris about 40 years ago and arrived in New York City in 1998. Owned by Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy, it sells more than 100 brands of cosmetics, including its own brand. The company’s revenue is estimated to be about $4 billion. Though often overcrowded, thousands of shoppers visit Sephora everyday for its huge range of products. Buyers can get their hands on high-end products such as a Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb fragrance for $185 (per 3.4 oz), a Dior Addict Lip Glow for $35 or a Josie Maran Argan Oil for $125. On the other hand, the cheap and cheerful Sephora brand includes $12 lipsticks and $10 nail polishes. Celebrities who have been spotted at Sephora stores include Demi Lovato, Serena Williams, Jennifer Aniston and Katy Perry.
9 Bloomingdale’s – Founded in 1861
This massive, upscale chain of department stores owned by Macy’s Inc. The beauty department at Bloomingdale’s stores tends to be spacious and bright. Shoppers can buy skin care products, make up and more. Items stocked include basics such as Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 ($7.50), which is a favorite of Nicole Richie, as well as high-end items such as a neuLash Lash Enhancing Serum ($150) or a Tom Ford bronzer brush ($115). While you’re there, you may bump into someone famous.
8 Chanel – Spring Collection for $666
The privately-owned French company, Chanel, sells a wide range of fashion and beauty products. Originally jumping to fame thanks to its No. 5 Chanel Perfume, Chanel cosmetics are considered to be fairly accessible because they are not only sold in special Chanel boutiques, but also in high-end department stores around the world such as Harrods, David Jones and Hudson’s Bay. Currently you can buy the entire Chanel 2014 spring collection for $666. For that, you’ll get two nail colors, eight eyeshadow shades, two blushes, a pressed powder, six lip colors, two lip glosses and two lip definers – all in the hottest colors for the season. All of Chanel’s products are luxurious and high quality – step inside any Chanel boutique and you’ll see why it’s so popular with rich people. Jennifer Aniston has said she uses Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder ($50) to brighten her cheeks – she likes how it “twinkles”. Keira Knightley, who has been a face of Chanel, says she adores Chanel’s Black Inimitable Mascara ($25).
7 Dior – One of the Most Prestigious
Christian Dior, known as Dior, is a French brand that was founded in the 1940s. It is part of the world’s largest luxury group. Stepping inside a Dior store is an experience in itself. You’ll see black-suited security guards, rich shoppers, high-fashion sales clerks and the latest cosmetics and fragrances. One of Dior’s most popular items is Rouge Dior, a lipstick retailing for about $36. Available in timeless, classic shades such as blazing red, these lipsticks aim to smooth and reshape the lips and act as a true style accessory. Many celebrities have been spotted shopping for high quality cosmetics in Dior. As said by Charlize Theron: “I don’t use makeup remover — I simply wash my face with Dior Snow Foaming Cleanser and it removes absolutely everything”. This cleanser costs approximately $45.
6 MAC Pro Showroom – A Makeup Artist’s Dream
MAC Pro Showroom in New York City is where the experts shop. It’s like a color laboratory – step inside and test out upcoming looks in every color possible. There are more than 250 exclusive products on offer here, as well as all the colors and products you’d find in a regular MAC store. By paying an annual fee, MAC Pro members can access additional resources such as books, the photo studio and master makeup classes. MAC Cosmetics was originally founded in Canada in 1984, but is now headquartered in New York City. Celebrities who have worn MAC lipsticks and other products include Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani and Christina Hendricks.
5 Barneys New York – Celeb Hangout Spot
Barneys New York is a luxury chain of department stores throughout the USA. Stocking all the high-end labels shoppers could possibly want including Bobbi Brown, La Mer, By Terry and more, it’s become one of America’s most elite shopping spots. Celebs spotted shopping here include Victoria Beckham, Halle Berry and Chloë Sevigny. Something shoppers particularly like about this store is that it’s not as huge and busy as some department stores – there’s room to breathe and peruse the goods.
4 Bergdorf Goodman – Marble and Chandeliers
When you walk into Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, you’ll straight away notice the marble floors and the grand chandeliers that lead you into a makeup and skincare paradise. The store, which opened in 1901, carries exclusive product lines and a ton of luxury brands. It’s become an inspirational New York landmark for all fashion and beauty enthusiasts. Grace Kelly ordered her wedding invitations there, Michael Kors got his start there – and there’s even a book written about Bergdorf’s to capture these amazing stories. You can buy Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s for $25 at Amazon, and inside there are stories from big name celebrities including Vera Wang and Victoria Beckham. Shoppers in recent months have included Nicole Richie, Mary J. Blige and Sarah Jessica Parker.
3 Makeup Forever – Customizable Makeup
This French-founded label is highly recommended by professional makeup artists, because you can create your own makeup. You could make a customized lipstick palette ($16 for the palette and then $7 per lipstick), or you could add some shimmery powder to an eyeshadow or lip gloss to make it your own. In a typical Make Up For Ever boutique, you’d find more than 1500 colors in everything from foundation to eyelashes to eyeliner and more – and everything is made to glow. The prices vary but are reasonable. For example, the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation is just $49. This brand is still emerging as one of the best, yet it’s still had some great celebrity recommendations. Gina Brooke, who has been Madonna’s makeup artist, was involved in the creation of its Aqua Rouge Lip 8 Color. Since then, Taylor Swift has used that same lipstick, and makeup artists on TV programmes such as True Blood have used Make Up For Ever products.
2 Harrods – Where the Richest Shop
Originally opened in 1849, Harrods has grown rapidly from its grocery store days to emerge as a huge seven-story, 4.5-acre store. Makeup enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that this store dedicates plenty of space to makeup and cosmetics. In fact, it stocks all the luxury makeup brands you could possibly want – Givenchy, Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel and more. There’s also the Urban Retreat, where makeup artists work with clients. For example, Laura Mercier, who has worked with celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex in the City, offers hour long makeup lessons for about $100. This one-on-one session is basically a master class in how to get your makeup and skin looking perfect, and includes everything from color advice to tips on how to change your look between day and night.
1 Printemps – Sold for $2.1 Billion
No list of must-visit beauty stores would be complete without this gem in Paris, which is officially an historical monument. In 2003, the store opened the biggest beauty space in the world and it has been visited by millions ever since. The department store was sold in 2013 for $2.1 billion. Printemps, which means spring in English, was founded in 1865 and sells more than 300 brands. It also boasts stunning views around the city of Paris. Before Christmas 2013, Gwyneth Paltrow stopped by to help Printemps launch its Prada Christmas decorations.