Living in America - An Adopted New Yorker Gives Us Her Beauty Shopping Lowdown!

new york skyline

Reader Juliette got in touch with us to tell us about her favourite makeup haunts in New York. Considering how us Irishers love to take to NY for a long weekend of shopping till we drop, knowing where to go to get the best stuff is quite literally priceless information.

Juliette's gen on New York's best kept secrets is fab and I just have a feeling this is going to prove to be one of's most popular posts:

We know them the moment we see them, and by we, I mean adopted New Yorkers (must live in Manhattan, and for a minimum of three years). Yup, the Irish are coming, and in fact have been coming in droves for years, but for shame; they just don't know where to go!

Now I'm no patron saint of Mammy shoppers, so if it's Macy's you're lusting after, stick with it, and every bus and train and car that winds its way to Woodbury Commons or Jersey Gardens is taking more people out of the city and out of my way. But before you throw your computer out the window and try to find out who this bitch is, come a little closer.


I am a staunch believer in the following; if you're coming to New York to shop, you bloody well need to know where and I'd like to help you in this. Now because I'm a huge fan of the girls, I'm sticking to cosmetics today, but I might be able to help later on in the clothing department.

For starters, New York abounds with Sephora stores; there are in fact twelve in Manhattan alone. (cue ahhhh music from Heaven). The largest, and therefore best, for one-stop shopping, is on 34th St between Broadway and 7th Avenues (across the street from Macy's, handily enough). Sephora is marvelous for advice because the assistants do not work for any one cosmetics company and therefore, are impartial. (Watch out for guest makeup artists/assistants, who work for one company whose name they will be wearing).

I always wander around for a while and earwig on their advice before seizing one who makes the most sense, though this can take a little time, and sometimes appear a little stalker-esque. Also remember that you can always ask for a sample of any product on the shop floor, even perfume. For Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown, you'll have to venture into the department stores. M.A.C. has stores throughout the city, including one at Bloomingdales.

Department stores such as Bloomingdales, Macy's, Bergdorf's, Saks etc all have glorious makeup counters, but you have to dodge seriously pushy salespeople at every turn. In fact, they can be so aggressive that you'd very nearly miss the BT girls. One time in Clinique, they even had dancing cheerleaders. Ouch. However, department stores have the best Gift with Purchase offers, which tend to be much more generous than the ones at home and have much lower minimum purchase requirements. You can find out about these on a particular company's website, or in the Sunday or free papers.

Then there's a little known gem; my favourite; The Cosmetics Market. Located at 5 East 39th St between Fifth and Madison, is a bargain hunter's paradise. Loaded with overstock from Stila, L'Oreal, Prescriptives, Prada and many more, you can save up to 75% off the recommended retail price. Odds are, there are times when you'll be luckier than others, but $7 for a Stila lipgloss is always worth the trip.


Finally, and if you've room left in your check-in luggage (please remember to not pack any of your thrilling new liquid/paste purchases in carry-on) head to Bed Bath and Beyond for all of your basics. You can save up to 30% off regular drugstore brands and they carry everything. Beware the travel section; I get sucked in EVERY TIME!!!

Thanks a million Juliette! Now all I have to do is book that flight!

Related Articles

More from Beauty