A new makeup concept store, Riley Rose, empowers Millennials to try on Korean beauty products as if they were getting ready in their own bedroom.
Riley Rose is not like Sephora or Mac. No one’s going to give you a makeover. Instead, Riley Rose tapped into Millennials’ obsession with makeup and learning from social media. The popular makeup Instagram account, Wake Up and Makeup has nearly 12 million Instagram followers. The New York Times depicts Meghan Roark who spends $300 a month on makeup and skincare and watches about 3 hours of YouTube tutorials weekly. And these aren’t stand alone examples, they represent the new way Millennials and Generation Z want to shop and learn about makeup.
Using the Millennial’s dream of an Instagram-worthy location, the daughters of the founders of Forever 21, Esther and Linda Chang recently launched their new makeup concept store in several cities including Chicago’s Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.
Some Riley Rose store highlights include:
- Selfie lighting vanities for you to sit and swatch and apply lipsticks and highlighters
- iPads next to the vanities with step by step makeup tutorials
- Online-only Korean makeup brands like RMS Beauty, Tonymoly, Too Cool for School, Winky Lux, R & Co, Stila, and CosRx
- A fridge filled with face masks and much more face and skin care products
- Beautiful packaging that makes everything look cute and original and sayings on them like Huxley’s “Great things never came from comfort zones”
- Lots of pink – “Millennial Pink”
- A pink brick wall “Wish You Were Here” photo booth with a selfie-camera and seats for all of your friends
- Notebooks and supplies cuter that Urban Outfitters
- Glitter injections and cute party favors
- A candy section with sweet and sour treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar
- Hair product section that brings you a new tool that makes amazing beachy waves
Online Only and Korean Beauty Brands at Riley Rose:
Watching YouTube makeup tutorials and seeing beauty bloggers explain how to apply makeup is fun, but not having that makeup at home can be a problem. Sure there are apps where we can virtually apply makeup and hair dye, but nothing where we have a lighted vanity and endless Korean beauty products. And let me emphasize – Korean beauty products.
When I walked into Riley Rose, I didn’t recognize a lot of the brands. But for internet beauty buyers, there are popular beauty brands like Lime Crime, RMS Beauty, and Winky Lux. This, of course, made me excited to try on the Koren makeup brands.
There were so many different beauty products in cute packaging to try on and take with me to a selfie lighting vanity next to an iPad with makeup tutorials. The marble countertops, good lighting, and neon signs made for an Instagram-worthy backdrop. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun trying on makeup and taking selfies. I was literally in the store for hours.
The Quality of Riley Rose Makeup: Lipstick
There’s been some debate about the quality of the products as Bustle mentioned because Riley Rose does have low price points and high price points and most of their products are not usually found in-store.
I quickly found that the pigments and packaging were all very alluring, but there were two things I noticed. The lipstick and gloss applicators weren’t the best – that’s something even Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kits its improved on as YouTuber, Andrea Renee showed. Although the packaging is cute at Riley Rose, it isn’t cute to have pink and red product smeared on your face. Applicators are like paint brushes and just like you wouldn’t put a paint roller on a small cabinet, you don’t want big wands to apply vibrant colors on your face.
The second issue, and I think it’s because of the applicators, is that too much of the product would go on my face. So, it just felt like a wet kiss on my lips at times – something that a) never feels good and b) I haven’t experienced from other beauty brands like Elf, L’Oreal, or Mac.
What I love about sharing this with you is that I tried on several different makeups and compared them to learn what beauty products worked and what didn’t. I found Riley Rose to be so empowering – to not just see makeup in packaging, but try it on and discover how to apply makeup and what looks best. Best of all, the store has great lighting.
The Perfect Everyday Lip Color:
Hands down, try on everything. I found two of my favorite everyday lipsticks and glosses at Riley Rose. I spent hours at the pre-store opening trying on several Korean lipsticks and found my new 2018 lip color – which is the Winky Lux double matte whip liquid lipstick in shortcake. It comes on wet but dries quickly and doesn’t smudge. Plus, it’s a darker red like a burgundy that makes me look like the girl boss I want to be. When I went to The Chicago Woman’s Magazine food industry cocktail party in January, I got a lot of compliments on my new lip color.
I also found the perfect lip color to brighten my face. It’s the Peri’s Ink Velvet. I got the wow pink color. It comes on like whipped cream.
Ohhh let’s debate. How many days can you hibernate before you get cabin fever/go insane? I’m on day three and going strong. I see all you boo’s ordering pizza cc: @agirlandafoodstagram. I just feel bad for those delivery people going out in Siberia like temps. Tonight I’m having a dinner party with one of the first journalists and friends I met in Chicago (you can still hear her on WGN). We met on a street corner and she turned to me and said “you look like you’re going to the same event as me. Do you know where it is?” We’ve been friends now for over 7 years 😮 And tonight I get to make dinner for her and do my face with @rileyrose cosmetics without leaving my house. If the salmon doesn’t taste good, there’s pizza around the corner 💁🏻♀️ PS this texture spray is goals
Skin Care Section:
Riley Rose has a whole tub full of bath bombs and a whole fridge filled with face masks, not to mention other cute Korean face masks and feet masks. Yes, feet masks! I bought one to try after my 30 days of hot yoga.
Lazy Girl Skin Care Routine:
While I was at Riley Rose for their grand opening at Water Tower Place, I learned a lazy girl skin care routine that took 5 minutes and you could do in the car or plane when you’re on your next Intagrammable vacation.
Step 1: Apply Banila Co Clean It Zero balm with your fingers. It feels so refreshing on your skin because it’s kind of oily and brightens and refreshes your skin while also removing makeup. No more harsh toners to take off all the makeup.
Step 2: Apply Huxley Secret of Sahara Essence to hydrate the skin.
Step 3: Apply Dr. G Red-Blemish Clear Cream. This is especially good for people who have redness or who have dry skin.
Three steps and you’re done. No water necessary and very simple!
Riley Rose is a dream. Honestly, you can spend hours at Riley Rose and still want to try on more makeup and take more Instagram-worthy photos and selfies. It’s Millennial pink. Most of all it empowers you to try on different lip colors and experiment with highlighters and creams.
If playing with makeup and finding new skincare and lifestyle items are something you love to do, then this bright, pink store is your dream.
Riley Rose is located on the 4th floor of Water Tower Place next to Victoria Secret’s Pink in Chicago.