Field Guide: 5 Awesome Local Beauty Stores (That Aren’t Sephora)

The best spots to stock your beauty arsenal.


Moko in Old City. | Photo via Moko.

When the spa moved to 16th and Walnut, it expanded its services (hello, Best of Philly 2014 winner for blowouts!). But we really love the new location for its bigger, better selection of beauty products, now organized in a huge display section worthy of the luxury brands it carries. Here you can score hard-to-find products like Valmont and Biologique Recherche skincare, Keiko Mecheri and Serge Lutens perfumes, Chantecaille makeup,  Rene Furterer shampoos and conditioners, and James Read self-tanning lotions. It’s basically the best of all European beauty brands in one sleek space. Better yet: Their website makes it easy to shop online, too.
Go here for: The cult-favorite P50 cream, which magically turns tired, dull skin into dewy-fresh perfection. See owner Danuta’s skin for proof.
1601 Walnut Street, Center City,

You’ll find more luxe picks at this beauty store, which has a quaint boutique feel that belies its national-chain status. They’ve got the beauty world’s top brands—La Mer, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Clarins, Trish McEvoy—and knowledgable salespeople to help you find what you need. For skincare, the M-61 line (created by Bluemercury’s founder Marla Malcolm Beck) is one of the best for brightening and tightening skin.
Go here for:
1701 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse; 3603 Walnut Street, University City; 42 St. James Place, Suburban Square, Ardmore; 100 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne;

This smallish salon tucked along Yardley’s charming Main Street has a fair amount of beauty products, but you don’t come here for that. You come here for salon co-owner Jay Davis’s eponymous makeup line, which features a stellar array of colors and product types. The eyeshadows come in to-die-for shades and stay on all day, the lipsticks go on smoothly (look for the new line of sheer hues, which deliver just enough color), and the foundations and powders are some of the best we’ve tried.
Go here for: Makeup that isn’t found in any department stores.
40 South Main Street, Yardley,

This Philly-based company has a bit of everything in its quartet of locations, from makeup and nail care to hair products, men’s grooming items and skin care. The selection rivals that of big-box stores like Ulta, but in a far less overwhelming setting. (You have to admit, lovely as Ulta and Sephora’s cavernous locations are, they can be a tad overwhelming.) Beans carries hundreds of brands, most of them well-loved lines you’ll keep coming in to find: Bliss, Philosophy, Smashbox, Pureology and Dermologica, rounded out by an impressive selection of hair tools.
Go here for: Nail polish. The store has an impressive Deborah Lippmann collection, the favorite polish line of celebs everywhere, plus Butter, Essie and OPI.
1733 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse; 4405 Main Street, Manayunk; 200 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne; 22 South Main Street, Doylestown;

The bright, airy Old City salon is all organic—and so are its beauty product offerings. You’ll find makeup by Couleur Caramel, skincare by Intelligent Nutrients, John Masters Organics hair products, and totally non-toxic and vegan nail polish by Priti NYC. (Yep, vegan polish exists.) But what we love best is the friendly staff who can walk you through the various offerings without being pushy or pretentious.
Go here for: Eco-friendly beauty products that don’t break the bank, and are just as luxe and long-lasting as their non-organic counterparts.
55 North 3rd Street, Old City,


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