OK. I don't mean to sound like a paid ad disguised as a blog, but today while wandering through the massive Westfield London shopping centre I stumbled upon the most perfectly planned retail shop I've seen in a long time:
It's called INGLOT.
I understand Inglot is not brand new, but it's new to me. It's an import from Australia, and while the one I went to may have been inside Westfield London since late last year, I've never taken notice of it until today.
Inglot is all makeup, all the time, and in every conceivable color. And it's not a bunch of existing cosmetic brands - it's all Inglot brand - and priced extremely competitively (think £8 for lippy and eye shadow starting around £6), which makes it perfect for gals who want more quality and options than a drugstore, but don't want to fork out £28 for Chanel either.
Inglot isn't huge, but it's STUFFED with variety and color. I was drawn in by their wall (literally) of nail polishes. I'd been scanning drugstore shelves for a perfect shade of matte lilac polish when Inglot caught my eye. There were several large sections of nail polish. There were the "matte" polishes, the "shimmer" polishes, the "metallic" polishes, the gothic dark polishes, etc. etc. And each type of polish was organized in rainbow order so it was super easy to find EXACTLY what you wanted. There were well over 100 colors and no matter what your fancy, it was definitely there.
To add super-efficiency to pleasure, Inglot has a system where you pick what you like from the display samples, then tell a staffer what number it is (every item is clearly labeled with its own number) and they'll pull the item out of fresh stock and put it at the register counter for you so you don't have to carry it around (or search on shelves for a color that isn't there, or out of place). This system makes the store look amazing, as there are no empty shelves and only one example of each color, which looks like a miniature rainbow when you step in.
And it's not just the nail polish that rocks. They had everything from eye makeup (again in every possible category) to face powders to lip colors (again, everything from matte lippy to metallic glosses to long-wearing chunky lip crayons)...
The best thing AFTER the totally amazing level of selection and organization was the fact that the place is literally lined with wall mirrors, and every few feet there were tubs of quality disposable applicators of all types to try stuff on with: tiny single-use applicators for lippy, tiny shadow sponges for eye makeup, tons of tissues and trash bins and even three types of makeup removers for nail polish, regular makeup and water-proof products. You can spend hours trying on colors and leave without a single smudge of unfavorable makeup on your hand, face or nails. Excellent. And even lovelier: it's hygienic.
Also, in a very subtle, no pressure way, Inglot sells the tiny, cheap items a gal could possibly need along with her purchase, like a nail file or an oversize pencil sharpener to fit the super-fat lip crayons. And the whole thing is topped-off with NO-pressure salespeople. They just sort of stand by to help if you ask. No one tries to sell you add-ons at the register and no one tries to convince you that you need ten different products to look good. They also run makeup lessons and other services for gals who are into that.
Obviously, at Inglot you don't have to buy a product and take it home and open it and USE it to know if it's going to look bad on you (and then be stuck with it if it sucks) because you can put on everything inside the store. Before Inglot you had to fork out big cash at the counters of Dior, Chanel, MAC, et al. to get that kind of purchase experience.
The Inglot website says they carry over 200 shades of eye shadows, 200 shades of nail polish and more than 150 shades of lipstick. What could be easier for the girl who knows exactly what she wants -- AND more helpful to the girl who has to try on twenty different colors before she can pick the one she really likes?
Inglot's my favorite retail spot of the year so far. We'll see if iI still think so come December...
Again, I have no been paid to write this ;-)