The end of November marks the start of holiday season and the start of holiday shopping panic. However, our stress levels have remained fairly low this year due to Follain’s new holiday pop-up hosted by chic boutique, Fivestory on the Upper East Side. The pop-up totally simplifies the shopping experience, making it a breeze to bestow the gift of clean beauty on to anyone on your holiday list. Here, it isn’t about spending hours finding the perfect product because you have to, but instead, because you want to. Tara Foley, Founder of Follain and all around epic person (per our ‘Conversation with Tara Foley’ video), has created this educational, experimental clubhouse of sorts in the NYC neighborhood where holiday cheer and window shopping is most prevalent. The Follain pop-up adds infinitely more joy to the shopping experience. Here, guests can explore products by type and skin concern, admire the bathroom-shelfie of their dreams, and even get a beauty consultation (or full holiday glam makeover) with their resident makeup artist, Dani Levi.
At the launch party, we had the best time discovering the store, tucked neatly into the top floor of Fivestory. Upon jumping off the elevator, we were greeted with fresh bouquets and warm hellos of employees ready and willing to help us on our clean beauty journey. The first room, also known as ‘the makeup room,’ presents jars full of fan favorites and clean cult beauty products like Kjaer Weis and RMS. The skincare room, the real gem of the experience, is wall to wall brightly colored serums and cleansers displayed in the most beautiful packaging from tried and true brands throughly vetted by the Follain team. Against the window is an elegant claw-foot tub brimming with natural sea sponges. It’s safe to say we were screaming inside.
The space is so unique and special, that before collecting our goodies and heading back to the office, we had to learn more from Tara. Read all about it, shop her holiday favorites, then catch a cab to 69th street and start exploring!
The Moment: The pop-up is unique as it’s unlike other Follain stores. It’s more of a clean beauty clubhouse. Can you introduce us to that and what that means for the shopper experience?
Foley: The clean beauty clubhouse is much more experiential, educational, and intimate than any store we’ve ever opened. It’s literally set up like the giant bathroom of your dreams, complete with a marble makeup vanity and luxe bathtub. Every element of this space is meant to foster questions and conversations about clean beauty. The idea is that a more intimate, inviting space will encourage women to open up much more, so we can match them with the very best in clean beauty for their specific skin needs and concerns. Plus, the clubhouse is just a fun space to hang out in, get your makeup done, and learn more about clean beauty–alone or with friends!
The Moment: How did the collaboration with Fivestory come about?
Foley: The founder of Fivestory, Claire Distenfeld, is a longtime Follain customer and big health and wellness advocate. When she was opening the third floor of her store–and reached out to see if we wanted to pop-up there–we thought it was the perfect partnership. We had wanted to test a unique experiential space like the clubhouse–plus it allowed us to reach a new neighborhood and customer for the holiday season!
The Moment: How do store associates and the layout of the store lend to finding your perfect skincare match?
Foley: We always put our customers first. Knowing that customers come in to get a new product (like a cleanser) rather than explore full brands–we’ve always set up our stores by category. In this space, we’ve taken that category-driven layout a step further–there, we now call out specific concerns within the categories. For instance, all the brightening serums sit together on the serums shelf…all the balancing serums next to them…and so on and so forth! This allows us to really hone in on the four or five products you want to discuss–before learning more about your preferences and lifestyle (Do you workout? Wear a lot of makeup? Travel a lot?) to match you with the very best product for YOU. Our years of experience and intimate knowledge of our more limited, curated portfolio helps us become real experts and matchmakers–so we can match women with the best in clean beauty for their specific skin needs and concerns. This layout helps us do that even better!
The Moment: The store is working with an industry makeup artist as well! Can you tell us more about that? How can we book an appointment and what can we expect?
Foley: Yes! We’re working with Dani Levi, an unbelievably talented makeup artist who has been using clean brands on celebrity clients for years and years. Appointments can be booked with Dani before events–or even if you just want to be matched with the best colors for you–using the email firstname.lastname@example.org. At these appointments, Dani will offer both a skin assessment and expert color application appointment. She will customize the appointment to your needs!
The Moment: Can you tell us about those bathroom shelfies?
Foley: We’ve displayed our products in the clubhouse bathroom to show how gorgeous these products look on the shelf–something women clearly care about (enter the shelfie!) and something that clean beauty has made a ton of progress in, in the past couple years. It’s not the crunchy granola packaging or formulas we grew up with–this stuff works! And it looks pretty darn good too!
The Moment: How long will the pop-up be open?
Foley: Through January 15th, come see us!
The Moment: Since the pop-up will run through the holidays, what’s a great Follain gift to snag for just about anyone on your gift list?
Foley: Just about anyone and everyone could use some time and tools to help relax and unwind over the holidays. If your gift recipient has a tub, I’d share our exclusive dream bath elixir and the hydrating Josh Rosebrook mask — blue tansy heaven! And if they don’t have a tub, I’d sub out the elixir for a scrub like the minty fresh sea polish (so seeped in nourishing oils you don’t even have to moisturize afterwards). A refillable Follain hand+body soap is always a treat too, as it’s super sustainable in every way.
Special thanks to Tara Foley!
Photos courtesy of Follain