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Boston's 38 Essential Spots to Shop All Things Beauty

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Boston boasts a bounty of beauty resources at your soon-to-be-manicured fingertips that extends beyond the department store counter (though we're good in that category too). Multi-brand national retailers and freestanding boutiques from popular prestige brands make it easy to grab whatever product your favorite blogger is recommending—while independent shops offer a complementary assortment of small batch beauty goods, often do-gooding products that are chemical-free or all natural. Stay up on your cosmetics, haircare, and ever-crucial skincare at these 38 stores and salons—we even included spots for men's grooming needs.

Our map is in no particular ranked order; rather it's organized from North to South. Feel free to send feedback: boston@racked.com.


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ULTA Beauty

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Ulta is a suburban hybrid of both ends of the spectrum: drugstore through prestige. You'll find plenty of nail color, hair tools, a fragrance bar, and in-store salon services that won't break the bank but still perform.

Sally Beauty Supply

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Sally Beauty Supply is by no means the glitzy, glamorous beauty boutique you'd expect from the Back Bay, but it has all the fixings you need for an at-home salon experience, from mani/pedis to hair removal and hair styling at an affordable price point. [Photo]

A Matter of Face

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Owner Paula Tierney founded this, one of Boston's few independent skincare and cosmetic boutiques, in 2007 and hasn't stopped applying makeup since. The small store has been awarded multiple "Best of Boston" titles and stocks Bliss, Paula Dorf, Peter Thomas Roth, and Clarisonic. [Photo]

OFFICINA 189

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Forget Chanel No. 5 and Marc Jacobs Daisy. If you're looking for a fragrance that nobody else in your office will be wearing, head to Officina 189. Italian scents from My Inner Island, Nobile 1942, and Acqua Dell'Elba truly stand out and can only be found here. [Photo by Flagship Photo]

Walgreens

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Sure, the opening of this mega-drugstore in the middle of Downtown Crossing was somewhat controversial last year—but truth be told, its beauty department really is above and beyond your typical Walgreens. Hard to find brands like Boots No. 7, Nuxe, and The Balm sit alongside usual suspects like OPI, Essie, and L'Oreal. [Photo]

The Beauty Mark

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This souped up cosmetics boutique stocks selected merchandise from brands including Kai and Lipstick Queen, but its true mark on Beacon Hill is the service menu. Best known for eyelash extensions, the beauty destination offers makeup applications and basic nail services as well. [Photo]

Trephin Salon

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Trephin is off the beaten path of salon-filled Newbury Street, with an award-winning Downtown Crossing studio. The somewhat edgy salon promotes Australian lines like Evo and Kevin Murphy, both of which are paraben- and sulfate-free to keep your hair in good shape. [Photo]
Luxury retailer Louis likes to refer to its beauty department as an apothecary, selling Kur by Londontown nail care, Bond No. 9 New York-themed perfumes, and Jenny Patinkin brushes. [Photo by Flagship Photo]
Housed in a corner of the new, opulent Chanel boutique is the luxury house's beauty department. The current season's color cosmetics are proudly on view, along with a display highlighting the company's iconic fragrances. It's a great excuse to scope out the space. [Photo]

Julie Michaud Prettyology

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Dubbed a high tech "beauty lab," Prettyology is the brainchild of award-winning brow, makeup, and micropigmentation expert Julie Michaud. Stop in for a grab-and-go pick of SkinCeuticals, NuFace Intraceuticals, and her own Prettyology cosmetics line. [Photo courtesy of Prettyology]

Bella Sante

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While Bella Sante is primarily an award-winning spa, it also provides an edited selection of at-home products that complement its service menu. Find Carita Diamond Cream, Decleor serums, Phytomer skincare, and more. [Photo]

Jeffrey

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Jeffrey Dauksevich is quite an elusive hairstylist, often pegged as Boston's most expensive haircut, and founder of the revered now-closed salon Umi. With his newer salon, JEFFREY, he has revived his product line (its formulas have been in demand as far as Europe), which includes a popular texturizing and dry shampoo powder. [Photo courtesy of JEFFREY Boston]

Marc Jacobs

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Marc Jacobs caused quite a stir last year when he launched a beauty line, and lucky for us, we're able to shop it right on Newbury Street. [Photo]
Sure, Drybar is known for its actual blowouts, but it also sells all the equipment and styling products necessary to recreate and upkeep the look at home. [Photo]

Kiehl's

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Kiehl's has something for every customer at a wallet-pleasing price point, with unisex packaging and no-fuss formulas. Best sellers include its Creme de Corps, Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, and moisturizing alcohol-free toners. [Photo]
M.A.C. is an undeniable mac-daddy of the cosmetics world, with legendary Viva Glam red lipsticks to assist its AIDS Fund, vibrantly pigmented colors, a variety of concealers, and photo-ready mineral powders. [Photo]

Marc Harris

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The retail component of Salon Marc Harris is the typical arrangement of Bumble and bumble, Kerastase, and Oribe—but what's new on its shelves is Australian line Kevin Murphy. The professional quality products are paraben- and sulfate-free, using natural ingredients and recyclable packaging. [Photo]
Fresh, maker of the ever popular "Sugar" line of body polishes and lip balms, has its roots in Boston. Head to the store for a walkthrough on the brand's latest and greatest skincare innovations. [Photo]

The Art of Shaving

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The Art of Shaving is dedicated to exactly that: men's hair. Shaving creams, brushes, razors, and kits mixing them all are available for guys to stay smooth. Alternately, its Barber Spa can do the work for you with a full cut and shave menu. [Photo]

Ball and Buck

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Ball and Buck may have built a reputation on hard-wearing, US-made men's apparel and equipment, but it also is home to a curated selection of Malin + Goetz, Baxter of California, and Ursa Major skincare and grooming products. Plus, don't forget its in-store barbershop. [Photo by Flagship Photo]

Benefit Cosmetics

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Cheekily-named, high performing cosmetics are the primary reason to stop in to Benefit. Drenched in a signature pink, white, and black floral wallpaper the store also contains a brow bar, an airbrush tanning room, and a couple full-body waxing rooms.

Bluemercury

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DC-based beauty retailer Bluemercury focuses on spa-grade products and services. Prominent cosmetic lines Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, and Nars add color to the space, while a nail wall showcasing mostly Deborah Lippmann polishes entices you to experiment. [Photo by Flagship Photo]
Aesop is an Australian skin, body, and haircare line based on the premise of botanical ingredients married with super science for high impact concoctions to soothe every skin ailment and environmental woe. Helpful staff will help you sample the goods at its centerpiece sink. [Photo]
Lush may be known for its bath bombs, but it makes pretty much every bath product you would need by hand: dry shampoos, just-add-water scrubs, color cosmetics, and limited edition fragrances. [Photo]

Kryolan

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This international brand has 65 years of experience behind its professional-grade cosmetics. The Berlin-based company has equipped the entertainment business for decades—meaning their goods hold up against your iPhone's camera flash. [Photo]

Camille Albane Paris

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Camille Albane delivers an essentially French salon experience for one-stop beautifying. Get a razor cut and receive a Pigma custom color shampoo, pore over its private cosmetics line (with a new palette coming out seasonally), and enjoy the Essie nail bar on the garden level. [Photo courtesy of Camille Albane]

Sephora

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It may be obvious, but it also wouldn't be a beauty guide without the omnipotent Sephora. A temple to all things pretty, the international leader showcases color cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, nail care, and its own private line in this sizable, conveniently located space. [Photo]

Oro Gold

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As its name suggests, Oro Gold is a skincare line employing the powers of gold (in addition to other high end ingredients like caviar). Evidently, where there is a skin concern (neck care, oil-control, face masks), gold is part of the solution. [Photo]

Saks Fifth Avenue

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No surprises here: The Saks beauty counter experience is top notch for your major prestige brand needs. Estee Lauder, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Shiseido—it's there. [Photo by Flagship Photo]

L'Occitane

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Mall-regular L'Occitane is centrally located at the Prudential Center, with plenty of its cult favorite collections using ingredients like shea butter, almond, and Immortelle. [Photo]

Neiman Marcus

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Neiman Marcus is your typical department store experience, with counters touting La Prarie, Tom Ford, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, and more. [Photo]

Barneys New York

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Into obscure fancy beauty products? Barneys is your spot. Come here for prestige inventory including $220 Byredo parfums, over a dozen creams above $500, and $75 refillable lipstick from Serge Lutens. [Photo by Flagship Photo]

Follain

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This newcomer has caught nationwide attention for its blend of American-made, all natural beauty inventory. Pick up some regionally sourced castile soap, Gwyneth Paltrow-approved skincare, Rahua natural shampoo, beeswax lip balm, and chemical-free cosmetics—owner Tara Foley will happily walk you through each product. [Photo by Flagship Photo]
Sault isn't the first place that comes to mind for guys' grooming, but it is equipped to clean him up nice. Find Simply Great beard oils and suds (of the washing kind) from The Beer Soap Co. [Photo by Flagship Photo]

Skoah Boston

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Skoah combines both in-spa facials and at-home skincare to round out its "personal training for your skin" regimen. Stop in the sunny South End outpost for easy take-home elixirs. [Photo]
Sarra, a Southie-based cosmetic studio known primarily for its brow services, also sells an in-house makeup line. [Photo courtesy of Sarra]

Be Styled

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This homegrown blow dry bar chain is a breezy approach to the concept from one of Boston's veteran salon teams, SalonCapri. You'll find mostly L'Oréal Professionnel products and makeup from Too Faced on its shelves. [Photo courtesy of Be Styled]

Caramelo Clothing Company

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Finally, while not a men's skincare destination per se, Caramelo does keep men's grooming goods on its shelves, including Brooklyn Grooming beard oils and mustache wax, as well as Sallye Ander soaps.[Photo by Flagship Photo]

ULTA Beauty

Ulta is a suburban hybrid of both ends of the spectrum: drugstore through prestige. You'll find plenty of nail color, hair tools, a fragrance bar, and in-store salon services that won't break the bank but still perform.

Sally Beauty Supply

Sally Beauty Supply is by no means the glitzy, glamorous beauty boutique you'd expect from the Back Bay, but it has all the fixings you need for an at-home salon experience, from mani/pedis to hair removal and hair styling at an affordable price point. [Photo]

A Matter of Face

Owner Paula Tierney founded this, one of Boston's few independent skincare and cosmetic boutiques, in 2007 and hasn't stopped applying makeup since. The small store has been awarded multiple "Best of Boston" titles and stocks Bliss, Paula Dorf, Peter Thomas Roth, and Clarisonic. [Photo]

OFFICINA 189

Forget Chanel No. 5 and Marc Jacobs Daisy. If you're looking for a fragrance that nobody else in your office will be wearing, head to Officina 189. Italian scents from My Inner Island, Nobile 1942, and Acqua Dell'Elba truly stand out and can only be found here. [Photo by Flagship Photo]