My favorite Boston beauty boutiques

As some of you may know, one of my favorite ways of discovering a city and its surroundings is through its beauty boutiques. Not that long ago, I wrote about my favorite New York City beauty boutiques.

And not that long ago, I was in Boston, rediscovering the first American city I ever fell in love with (when I was 6 years old – the reason why I came back for college). Here are my favorite Boston beauty boutiques.

A Matter of Face (425 Hanover Street)

While the North End might be better known for its Italian pastry shops, cafes, and restaurants, the neighborhood would not be the same without this intimate boutique owned by the ever-smiling Paula. Stop in for a makeover in between your latte and dinner reservation.

B Boutique (558 Adams Street, Milton)

Known first and foremost for her classy, always-perfect wedding makeup, this boutique is a treasure trove for niche brands. I go there for Becca eye pencils and  to get my eyebrows waxes by the beautiful, blonde, and leggy owner, Danielle.

Beauty & Main (locations in Wellesley and Hingham)

I started shopping at Beauty & Main in college, at their Cambridge Square location. While that store is no more, I continue to go to the Wellesley and Hingham  locations for my makeup go-tos: Trish McEvoy mascara and Laura Mercier tinter moisturizer. And yes, if you need to, you can pick up some Alchimie Forever there also. I love the neighborhood boutique feel, the amazing service, and the fun events.

Beauty Cafe (515 Main Street, Melrose)

Whether you go to see Karen, the owner, to ask for skin care advice or to pick up a gorgeous piece of cocktail jewelry for yourself or as a gift, or stop by to see Heather for one of her fabulous facials – you will leave happy and smiling – and with glowing skin.

Bella Sante (various locations)

Whenever I have some time in between meetings, I head to the Newbury Street location for a manicure, pedicure, or if I am really lucky, both. There is a reason why this spa is repeatedly voted top pedicure spa in Boston. Don’t take my word for it… go try it for yourself.

The Beauty Mark (33 Charles Street)

Located near landmark Charles street institutions such as The Hungry I and Linens on the Hill, this tiny jewel of a boutique is packed with the best makeup brands. Stop in for a lipstick, and leave with fuller eyelashes. Indeed, Amy is the eyelash queen, known for eyelash extensions and refills. Her newest brainchild is Townhouse Beauty Bar, right across the street, where stylists will make your hair look as good as your eyelashes.

And should you decide that you need something a little bit more medical than the expert advice of any of these owners, and their amazing products, head to The Newbury Center (69 Newbury Street, make sure to meet the beautiful Nicole, wife of plastic surgeon Dr. Ramsey Alsarraf), or Boston Dermatology & Laser Center (30 Lancaster Street, Ste. 400).

BeautyViews: Kate Richard, COO, Beauty & Main

Last week I spent three days in Boston. There are so many things I love about this city, where I spent my first few years in the US… Fall foliage, the CITGO sign, Dunkin Donuts coffee shops on every corner, Patriots stickers on so many car bumpers, Harvard square, my friend Aileen who has known me since I was 6 years old and lets me stay with her anytime I am in the area, and one of my favorite clients, Beauty & Main, to name just a few. Indeed, last week I was in town for a two-day event with Beauty & Main, to help promote Alchimie and train the team. I took advantage of lunch with Kate Richard, their chief operating officer, to learn more about her. She fascinates me! Not only because she was the decision-maker in terms of adding Alchimie Forever to the Beauty & Main skin care assortment; also because she is gorgeous (she looks like Ava Gardner), has a bar-tending and bar-owning husband, and loves New Orleans almost as much as I do. Here are her answers to my second Beauty-View. Funnily enough, there are some similarities with some of Sarah Kugelman’s answers from last week…

AR: What city were you born in? KR: Burlington, VT.

AP: What city do you live in? KR: Providence, RI. I’m a true New Englander…

AP: What is your middle name? KR: Elizabeth. My mom wanted it to sound royal.

AP: What is your astrological sign? KR: Aries.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? KR: My favorite thing is that I get to meet a lot of powerful, smart, driven women.

AP: Least favorite thing? KR: My least favorite thing also centers around working primarily with women. Sometimes we can be a bit catty…

AP: What is your most prized possession? KR: My child, although I am not sure I can call her a possession. Her name is Ava, she just turned 3.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? KR: I overanalyze everything and I fret in private.

AP: Do you wear a watch? KR: Yes, always. AP: If yes, what model? KR: Giorgio Armani.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? KR: Pearls.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? KR: Either Eleanor Roosevelt, who is my personal hero (for guidance), or Elvis Presley (for eye candy).

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? KR: I fully embrace the reality that most things can be finished tomorrow. I don’t do it all – I delegate as much as humanly possible and I force myself to put work away and finish tomorrow. The world won’t stop turning because of it.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? KR: 1. Spend a little more to be comfortable. 2. Do your research and immerse yourself in the local scene. 3. Leave your kids at home.

AP: What is your favorite book? KR: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

AR: What is your cocktail of choice? KR: Old fashioned. My husband JR makes the best one.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? KR: Blush. Don’t skip it. Right now, I love the RMS Beauty cream blush.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? KR: I wear Odin #1. It is a unisex fragrance, and I like masculine scents in general.

AP: Botox or not? KR: Botox.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? KR: Not! Not since I was 14… I just went back to red a month ago, I like the Framesi colors.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. KR: Asteroids Galaxy Tour. They are Swedish; their whole album is on my ipod. Johnny Cash is my favorite. And Yo Gabba Gabba… for Ava.

AP: Quote to live by. KR: Whatever will be, will be.

AP: Who is your mentor? KR: My husband. He has been there, done that, and knows me well enough to advise me properly. He also has a cooler head than I do, which is helpful.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. KR: Be really smart about the way you spend your time and money. Create a path and stay on it, but do allow for deviations along the way. What has been successful for someone else is not necessarily what will work for you. Be open to compromise but keep your eye on the prize.