These Are the Best Places to Get Your Makeup Done in NYC

Whether you’re off to a party, a wedding, or an ordinary day, we’ve rounded up the best beauty gurus in New York City for your next makeover. Pay for a session with a pro, or go with a complimentary session at a makeup counter (though, FYI, they’ll expect you to buy at least one of the products they use). Find your best face at one of these top-notch beauty bars.



The mecca of makeup, Sephora has variety as a key advantage over the competition. Your consultant might give you a Stila eyeliner, an Urban Decay Shadow, and a YSL foundation during your makeover. “Mini Makeovers” are free (have a session on smoky eyes or color-matching foundation), while full-face makeovers are free with the purchase of $50 gift card. Locations throughout the city, 1-877-SEPHORA,

Kimara Ahnert 

Makeup artist Kimara Ahnert has had her studio on Madison Avenue for over 20 years. Her former clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Meryl Streep (!). Come to her studio or book an artist to come where you are, and you’ll see what the hype is all about. Ahnert has her own line of makeup and offers a variety beauty services like facials, in addition to makeovers and makeup lessons. 1113 Madison Ave., 212-452-4252,

Bobbi Brown Counter at Bergdorf Goodman

The John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf is the department store’s swanky (and pricey) option for a makeover. But first, we recommend trying out the counter of Bobbi Brown. Favoring a natural look, this makeup line is for you if you’re into glowing skin and subtly stunning brows. The educated makeup artists will set you up with your new favorite brushes (they’re the best around) and colors at your free makeover. 754 5th Ave., 800-558-1855,



M.A.C. stands for “Makeup Art Cosmetics,” and they are serious about their makeup artistry. At your appointment, which is paid or redeemable in exclusive M.A.C. products, you’ll be treated to a makeover full of tips and tricks from an expert. Their slick new Upper East Side store exists solely for makeup consultations and tutorials. M.A.C. likes bolder looks, so don’t be surprised if your artist wants to try a green eyeshadow or plum lips on you. Trust them: it’ll look great on you! Locations throughout the city, Upper East Side salon at 825 Lexington Ave.,

Chanel Counter at Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks provides an embarrassment of riches among their many makeup counters. With a bevy of knowledgeable makeup artists offering complimentary makeovers, you might have to fight a crowd (especially at the flagship Midtown location). But it’s worth it to go under the brush at the Chanel counter, where a consummate professional will introduce you to a luminous new foundation and an event-ready smoky eye. 611 Fifth Ave., 212-753-4000,


Pucker makeup artists are waiting to transform your face, with appointments featuring skin care, foundation, eyes, contouring, and lips for $65. The artists use Kevyn Aucoin and Smith & Cult products, all available for purchase if a lip liner or mascara catches your fancy. Select from their lookbook beforehand, whether you’re going for “Boardroom Beauty” or “Au Natural.” Inside DREAMDRY Flatiron salon, 35 W 21st St., 212-886-5194,



For $65, you can get a Full Face makeover and a glass of champagne to boot at one of Blushington’s two New York studios. Using female-founded beauty brands like Beauty Rx and Ouai, these makeup artists will treat you to the ideal face for whatever occasion you’d like. If you’re interested in learning more, their stores offer classes on makeup application. Midtown: 119 W 56th St., 347-773-3188; Upper East Side: 1195 Lexington Ave., 347-378-5718;

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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