The owner of a new store in downtown Brighton hopes to give local women greater access to higher-end natural and animal-cruelty-free makeup and beauty products.
Longtime New York City resident and high-end retail professional Kathleen London, who recently moved to Brighton, opened her new store London Beauty at 424 W. Main Street in the former Henkel’s Barber Shop last month.
“As I’m sure you know, most commercial cosmetics are tested on animals and are chock full of chemicals,” London said.
She said her shop is part of a “clean beauty movement,” which has gained a lot of steam on the east and west coasts.
The movement “doesn’t seem to concentrate on areas like the Midwest,” she said. “Access is more restricted here and there is nothing in Livingston County that specifically specializes. … for a lot of these products, there might be one other (store) in metro Detroit.”
She said many women want to avoid beauty products that contain parabens, sulfates and other chemically-derived preservatives, as well as artificial fragrances, which she said often irritate the skin.
“It’s about treating your skin like you treat your body with the foods you eat,” she said.
An organic beauty oil by Sutter County, Calif.-based company Le Prunier, for example, is produced on a 100-year-old plum farm.
“They press the oil right out of the plums, and it’s a beauty oil that doesn’t cause acne or clog pours,” London said. “We’ve already sold out of that product twice.”
A Shiva Rose brand skin cleanser is scented by roses instead of artificial rose fragrance, she said.
Rituel de Fille brand lipstick is “99% natural and 100% cruelty-free not tested on animals,” she said.
London Beauty sells, makeup, hair, nail and skin care products, as well as natural toothpastes and fragrances. Some of the products are more geared toward women, but several are for men or both men and women.
She also holds “Girl Gang Club” beauty education events on the first Thursday of each month.
The products London Beauty sells are not cheap options. However, London compares her pricing to stores such as Sephora or department stores.
“Drug store pricing, I can’t compete with that, but if you buy from somewhere like CVS, the product is not as luxurious feeling,” she said. “I like the smaller, independent companies, with people making it in their own factories and making them in smaller batches,” she said.
Sally Eastman, membership director for the Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, said London Beauty is a good fit for downtown Brighton.
“The whole idea of downtown is high-end restaurants and shopping, and she’s worldly, from New York, and she wants to bring that here,” Eastman said. “Brighton is growing more metropolitan, and I think it’s more sophisticated than the average small town in Michigan.”
From the big apple to Brighton
Originally from Hudson, Ohio, London said she had “big dreams in a small pond” and moved to New York City as a young adult to pursue acting and singing. It was in the city where she entered the retail world.
She managed the main floor women’s clothing and beauty department at Barneys New York for several years. She also worked for several other fashion companies, including designers Max Mara and Marina Rinaldi, and Italian shoe companies Geox and Sergio Rossi.
London also spent some of her time in New York City doing corporate fundraising for the Smithsonian’s collection of Native American art for the National Museum of the American Indian.
She has also worked in property leasing for Taubman Centers and Thor Equities.
“After years, I figured out my love was retail, and this is my dream to open the store,” she said. “I want to be like your big sister, for women of all ages, whether they are young and just exploring beauty or 80 years old and don’t know what to do with themselves. …Women quest throughout life for who we are, and I want to create a safe place, judgement-free, for women to explore who they are.”
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.
Read or Share this story: https://ldpaa.com/2nZLP0v