High-end beauty chain Space NK could be considered the luxury Sephora. The British retailer, which launched in 1993 in the form of a single, unassuming shop in Covent Garden, London, features an expertly edited selection of founder Nicky Kinnaird's favorite under-the-radar beauty discoveries from around the globe.
While Sephora has brands we all know and love, Space NK has brands we never even knew we were looking for.
The now-international company will launch its first freestanding retail store on the West Coast on Monday at the Brentwood Country Mart, featuring more than 60 brands of beauty and wellness products — in the categories of skin care, cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, home scents and gifts. Brands include cult favorites Eve Lom, By Terry, Diptyque, Oribe, Zelens, Caudalie, Michael Van Clarke, Elemental Herbology, Rococo Nail Apparel, Tata Harper, Serge Normant and Clark's Botanicals.
Many of the brands are exclusive to Space NK in the U.S., including Kinnaird's own signature line, which features boldly scented fragrances, body products and tools. And new products will be delivered every few weeks to keep inventory fresh.
The company has slowly been building a clientele in Southern California with its shop-in-shops at Bloomingdale's stores in recent years. Kinnaird describes local luxury beauty shoppers as "sophisticated," adding, "They are knowledgeable about ingredients, they're up on color and application techniques and the latest skin and hair care trends. They are always interested in finding something new and sharing it with their friends."
Space NK, she insists, is "that place of discovery. We offer a unique mix of innovation from mainstream and niche beauty brands… We love bringing that to customers as passionate as we are, and Los Angeles offers that."
While we laud the shop's inventory, which has favored top-shelf eco-friendly products recently, we'll also be stopping by to bask in the shop's old-school pharmacy vibe.
Space NK was modeled on the idea of a traditional English apothecary, after all. That, according to Kinnaird, boils down to "a fabulous product offering staffed by highly trained experts, where the customers can walk in and find a custom solution for any beauty concern."
225 26th St., Brentwood. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Ann Taylor concept store: Ann Taylor has opened a concept store at South Coast Plaza to showcase the brand's new direction, which is far more fashion-forward than the basics it has been churning out for decades. The boutique-style shop is one in a handful opening in major fashion markets in the United States.
South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. (714) 754-1915. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Johnny Was: Boho-inspired fashion brand Johnny Was has opened its second L.A.-based store, at the Grove shopping center. The shop features the label's six collections: the Johnny Was Collection, JWLA; Biya Collection; Pete & Greta, 4 Love and Liberty; and 3J Workshop.
189 The Grove Dr. #030, Los Angeles. 323-930-1541. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Ergonique: A hybrid cosmetic and medical office, boutique, spa and salon, Ergonique has opened in Newport Beach, offering cosmetic surgery, body jet liposuction, body, hair and face treatments, Botox and fillers and the eerily named Liquid Face Lift.
978 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach. (949) 721-8304. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times