While I spend more time than is probably healthy at my local Sephora, I have to admit that I’ve been dipping out on them recently. Don’t get me wrong–I love that place–but there are tons of up and coming new beauty stores that are definitely going to give the once go-to store a run for its money. If you’re looking to branch out–or just want to be on the cusp of what’s hot in the beauty world–check out the stores poised to dethrone Sephora.
Birchbox. The beauty subscription service needs no introduction. The bread-and-butter of Birchbox are their monthly boxes, curated with deluxe sample sizes from brands like NARS, Tarte and even indie favorites like Marcelle. You don’t have to be a subscriber to shop their insanely well-stocked e-store, though. They carry enough brands to satisfy even the most die-hard beauty junkie. The points system is pretty spectacular, too: for every 100 points you earn from purchases and reviews, you earn $10 that you can use towards a full-size purchase.
Ricky’s. If you’re looking for indie brands or beauty supplies typically only accessible to the pros, Ricky’s should be your jam. The store not only stocks all your drugstore favorites, but also hard-to-find labels like Coloured Raine and Nugg. I personally go there to stock up on my hair toning needs because I’ve yet to find another store that stocks Wella Color Charm in White Lady.
Violet Grey. This high-end boutique is arguably the best thing to come out of California. All of the products on the site and in the boutique are vetted by industry insiders, so you know you’re gettin’ the good stuff. From Rene Furterer to James Read, there is nothing your luxe-loving hands won’t find.
Space N.K. Apothecary If you’re as much of a UK beauty blogger obsessor as I am, you probably already know all about Space N.K. The store stocks European favorites and hard-to-find goodies, like Juara and Jenny Patinkin brushes (which, for the record, are a must for any beauty collection).
Urban Outfitters You read that right. The retailer stocks a massive collection of Korean beauty products, so it’s perfect for your Tonymoly and The Face Shop fix. The best part? You don’t have to venture further than your local mall to get in on the action.
Shen Beauty If you ask any Brooklyn girl where she gets her fix, it’s probably Shen Beauty. The retailer is perfect for girls with more indie beauty tastes, like Ilia and Phylia. Hey, if it’s good enough for Vogue, it’s good enough for us.
Blue Mercury. This indie beauty store was recently acquired by Macy’s, which means massive growth and expansion is almost guaranteed. They initially positioned themselves as a neighborhood store for beauty, where clients could find high quality, innovative beauty products and honest, expert advice. Today, they boast unparalleled technical product knowledge, expert advice and friendly service along with countless luxury beauty goodies. This is definitely one to watch.
Ulta. Ulta is probably Sephora’s closest true competitor, but they’re quickly encroaching on the top spot thanks to brand and product exclusives and seriously amazing sales and deals.