Discovering hot, new beauty products among the masses isn't always a cakewalk. With new beauty brands seemingly launching daily, there are always plenty of claims (age defying! 100% natural!) tossed around. But there are still diamonds in the rough, you just have to know how to find them. Former fashion stylist and self-described "beauty addict" Jessica Richards is helping us do just that with her niche, highly curated beauty boutique, Shen Beauty (meaning "eternal" in ancient Egyptian), to help make the process a little less daunting. She filled her bright, light-filled Brooklyn shop with emerging brands that she sources and vets from around the world. "We cater to women who buy quality products without the recognition of a brand," says Richards, who had no idea when she opened her shop in 2011 that she would hit the mark as well as she did (among her loyal fans who frequent the boutique are Michelle Williams and Maggie Gyllenhaal).
If you can't make it to Brooklyn, Richard's site, Shen-Beauty.com let's you browse from hundreds of hard-to-find and exclusive items. Pick up international cult classics from the French line Bioderma Crealine or the Australian-based Lucas' PawPaw ointment (known for its ultra hydrating and anti-bacterial properties). The site and shop is also the exclusive US retailer for the Georgia Louise skincare line (she's the facialist behind Linda Evangelista's other-worldy skin), as well as Gwyneth Paltrow skincare therapist Amanda Lacey’s eponymous line. And while there are a lot of products to sort through on the site, you won't get overwhelmed. "We've chosen not to carry brands' full lines which is unusual, but that's not how we shop and use products, so why sell that way?" says Richards.
We're excited about Richards' latest addition, Su-man skincare, which harnesses the power of dragon's blood. Ok, not Game of Thrones's Khaleesi's dragons, this dragon's blood is actually sap from a tree in the Amazon. Still we hear the anti-aging benefits are pretty darn magical.
—By Sarah Weir