Beauty Brands Launches "The Studio"

Beauty Brands

I think we can all agree on something—shopping for beauty and skin care can be really tough. Some of us settle for the most expensive products, assuming they’re good because they’re pricey. Some of us buy every product in a skincare line, assuming that’s what a good regimen entails. I’m usually the first to dismissively claim, “I’m just looking” when a sales associate approaches me, but when it comes to hair, makeup, and skin, I welcome actual expertise.

I’m a pretty steadfast believer in my personal Pantene-Clinique-Almay trifecta (I live on a budget), but I was willing to put that to the test a few weeks ago, when I toured the new in-store “Studio” concept at my local Beauty Brands spot (Charlotte folks, there are locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne).

I really love this place. While there are more than 10,000 products (like Alterna shampoo, Smashbox makeup, Chi flat irons, and Clairisonic face brushes), nothing feels overwhelming—and maybe that’s because there’s an on-site makeup artist, plus educated associates prepared to offer skin analyses, individual consultations, and custom color matches. The store also encompasses full-service nail and hair salons and a massage therapy room.

The “Studio” part is new to the Beauty Brands landscape. A certain number of the 52 stores across the country will operate a special section of the floor (aka “the Studio”) to prestige lines, like Smashbox, Stila, and DuWop. Even better, they’re assisted by 2-3 beauty specialists with at least 3 years of experience. Fortunately, both of our local stores now include studios.

I’m excited to report that I’ve gotten the Beauty Brands’ skinny on some must-have fall products you never knew you needed. In BB’s expert words, here they are:


 Clarifying Shampoo

After winding down from summer, the salt water, chlorine and fun in the sun may have left its mark on your hair.  Regardless of the season, you should shampoo once a week with a clarifying shampoo to gently remove product build-up and damaging chlorine and mineral deposits from hair.  As a bonus, it will also help to brighten highlighted, bleached or grey hair.



  • Kenra Clarifying Shampoo
  • AG Re:new Clarifying Shampoo
  • Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo


Skincare Treatment

As the seasons change, you may feel that your skin is having a little trouble adjusting.  So ask yourself, “If you could wave a magic wand and change anything about your skin, what would it be?”  Whatever the answer is, you should be addressing it with a daily skincare treatment product.  Treatments come in the form of serums, gels or lightweight creams so they can penetrate deeper into the skin and work their magic.  They are applied to skin after cleansing and before moisturizing and can address anything from anti-aging to acne to dark spots and discoloration.



  • Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel – to lighten dark spots and discoloration
  • philosophy miracle worker anti-aging retinoid pads and solution – for anti-aging (also helps with dark spots, uneven skintone and acne!)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Complexion Correction Pads – to control and prevent acne



You may only think of a primer when you think of painting your living room wall.  However, primers are a very important (and often skipped) step for any beauty routine.  A primer will help you keep your look in place all day and will allow you to use less of your other products because it will create a smoother canvas.


For makeup, try:

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – lightweight, oil-free and fills in fine lines and pores for a flawless finish
  • Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel – more than just a primer, this perfector is sweat-, water- and transfer-resistant and can be worn as a primer or can multitask as your foundation, primer, color corrector and powder
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer – keeps your eye makeup in place all day and even boosts the pigment of your eye shadows


Primers aren’t just for the face:

  • Deborah Lippmann 2 Second Nail Primer – goes on just before your base coat to clean up any residue and keeps lacquer in its place
  • KMS Hair Stay Style Boost – boosts the performance of your styling products up to 3 times longer while it also provides heat protection


Thermal Protectors

Whether you’re going for super sleek or loose waves, you’ll no doubt be using flat irons, curling irons and hair dryers this fall to stay on trend.  The best way to protect your hair is with a thermal protectant spray.  These miracle workers will help protect hair from drying out, breaking or looking frizzy.  Most have other added bonuses like strengthening, smoothing and holding your style in place.  Simply spray onto hair before applying heat.



  • Alterna Bamboo Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray – strengthens and smoothes with bamboo while it protects
  • Kenra Platinum Hot Spray 20 – adds volume and helps hold your style in place while protecting from heat and UV rays
  • Redken Spray Starch 15 Heat Memory Styler – uses potato starch extract to help protect against heat and cuticle loss and mimic the pattern of heat appliances and providing long-lasting “style memory”


Bonus incentive: Beauty Brands partners with Redken, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Battered Women’s Shelter, for the entire month of October. I really love that.


Categories: Charlotte Shop Talk