After hosting many a pop-up across the country, indie makeup brand Winky Lux is gearing up for two permanent retail locations, the first of which opened January 9 in New York City on the Lower East Side, and one in Nashville, Tennessee.
To fete the occasion, Winky Lux hosted a grand opening event at the space, located on 100 Rivington Street, for beauty writers, editors and influencers earlier this week, adding that the space was turned around in just two months.
“It’s all about retail meeting experience,” said Alfonsina Messina, Head of Retail and Wholesale for the brand. Instead of punctuating the experience-like vibe with a gift shop component, like The Museum of Ice Cream, Winky Lux focused on products throughout the store. Each Instagram-friendly installation celebrates a key product and its ingredients. “It’s sort of like going to Disney and buying everything from the ride, but in this case, it’s about the products,” she said. Designer Stephanie Sher helped bring the space to life.
The store features several dedicated vignettes inspired by the brand’s most popular products. There’s a Dream Jelly-themed room with silver circular “molecules” and a silver curtain. Across the space is a Confetti Balm-themed Instagram-ready vignette. There’s also a Glitter Puff-inspired area, based on the brand’s glitter powder created to adorn everything from skin to hair. Lastly, there’s a Tinted Veil section featuring color-correcting shapes and a rose-gold curtain. Stickers on windows mirror the brand’s floral packaging. A cash register is adorned with neon lights.
Winky Lux Founders, Natalie Mackey and Nate Newman, launched the company nearly five years ago as a makeup app. The duo noticed that women kept apologizing for lower-priced makeup they had in their bags. These women also said they purchased drug store items because they ran out of their regular items. It’s then that Natalie and Nate saw an opportunity to create a brand that someone wouldn’t be embarrassed taking out of their bag.
“These items feel like a gift that you’re gifting yourself,” said Messina, referencing the brand’s flower balms, which boast real chrysanthemums made in Brazil. “Pops of joy is the goal.”