Brand Founders And Executives’ Favorite Beauty Stores, Spas And Salons

Unsurprisingly, individuals who’ve chosen a career in beauty are often fervent beauty consumers with the inside scoop on the best of their local beauty scene. To get that inside scoop, in this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we asked 16 beauty brand founders and executives: What’s your favorite beauty destination where you live?

Terri Bryant Founder, Guide Beauty

One of the perks of traveling for work is the opportunity to explore unique and innovative beauty products and ingredients. You can find gems everywhere from beauty supply stores and independent boutiques to natural grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

If you love being introduced to incredible new products, Beauty Heroes in Northern California is a must! They offer a highly curated assortment of brands and products well worth knowing about. If you’re not local, go for the subscription box. You won’t be disappointed!

Cedar Carter CEO, The Good Patch

I am fairly simple when it comes to beauty, and think hydration, sleep, and general wellness play a huge factor in beauty. That’s one of the reasons I felt so passionate about working at a wellness brand.  

I’m a huge fan of a great Korean spa. Most of them have a variety of saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms. I highly recommend getting a scrub at one; your skin will feel soft as a baby!  I live in the South Bay of Los Angeles and go to Riviera Health Spa in Torrance. 

As for other beauty destinations, I swear by all the products Meaghan Liddell at Skin Spirit in Seattle recommends. (I grew up in Seattle.) She’s a beauty and skin wizard! I also like to discover great new products at local independent boutiques, such as Larchmont Beauty.

Alicia Zeng Founder, Lilac St.

My favorite beauty store or service destination in San Francisco is Salon Mio Mio, which has been owned by head stylist Gilbert for decades. Gilbert is super lovely, funny, and knows how to work with all hair textures. His speciality is a shag cut with some awesomely retro rock and roll vibes!

Neha Waheed Co-Founder, Triviso

My current and long-time favourite beauty store is Shoppers Drug Mart. It’s my go-to for beauty essentials because of its super wide range of products. You can shop everything from drugstore to high-end beauty products and skincare. It’s helped me discover tons of new products and brands that I now love. 

Bimpe Ayeni Founder, Blair + Jack

My favourite beauty service destination is Spa My Blend in Toronto. As soon as you walk in, you are met with a calming environment. I love how they customize treatments to the individual and offer services from head to toe. The massages are divine! I always leave looking forward to the next time I will be back.

Anastasia Bezrukova Founder and CEO, Minori

I moved back home to Montreal during the pandemic, and had the chance to visit Beauties Lab several times, as they now carry our brand Minori. It is by far my favorite clean beauty destination in Montreal. The owner Léa, has curated a wonderful assortment of brands and set everything up in a visually stunning way. I love that she teaches makeup workshops and also offers facials and massages there too. The studio is tucked away in the Chateau St Ambroise, which makes it even more special to visit.

Ginger Johnson CMO, BioClarity

My favorite store to shop for beauty products is Earth Origins Market in Sarasota, Florida. Not only can I buy certified cruelty-free beauty products, but I can also stock up on fresh produce from local farmers!

Elina Wang Co-Founder and CEO, ESW Beauty

I grew up in a small suburban town located in central New Jersey called Holmdel. Lucky for me the area has some pretty developed shopping malls with smaller boutiques and larger retailers, my favorite being Ulta!

I typically go there to shop and explore the new skincare products, as well as pick up my go-to sunscreen, the Unseen sunscreen by Supergoop or my holy grail concealer by Tarte.

If I'm not making a quick pickup run to refill my product empties, I love scouring the aisles to see new skincare and what’s trending. I find that I get caught up easily playing around with new products. It is always refreshing to see new brands pop up in Ulta as well. I love getting to try them out and finding my next beauty must-have!

Uyen Nguyen Head of Growth, VUSH

Selfridges isn't in our town, but they’re certainly on our radar! Selfridges' recent launch of their Sex and Wellbeing Pop Up is such an incredible push for our category of sexual wellness. The Pop Up is holistic, experiential, and to put it simply, it's just so good. 

As a sexual wellness brand, we've had incredible success with our wholesale division, and have achieved really strong placement with our retail partners in the online space. When it comes to fashion and beauty department store partners bringing sexual wellness into stores, there are endless considerations. For example, retail training of brand and product, tasteful and age appropriate merchandising, navigating customer criticisms, and potential negative publicity. 

As an evolving category, we are actively wanting to bring sexual wellness into the mainstream by shaking off the taboo and championing the category. When it comes to in-store placement, we really feel that push and pull of being visible but not too visible, being approachable but not too approachable.

Selfridges has really shown how you can bring wellness, including sexual wellness, into a physical space in a way where it all balances and it all makes sense. They’re carving a path for many other retailers to see the opportunity and potential in taking this leap. And we're here for it.

Fiona Co Chan Founder and CEO, Youthforia

I love going to Credo, a stockist of Youthforia, because their staff is so knowledgable about products. I like that the store staff is so well-trained across all categories from makeup, hair, and skincare. When I lived in Asia, I fell in love with the personalized and consultative nature of the beauty counters, and Credo reminds me of that. Plus, they have an amazing assortment!

Marie Arlet Co-Founder and COO, Somebody

My favorite beauty destination has to be, hands down, Carrie Lindsey in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. They give such incredible and relaxing facials. I always walk out feeling refreshed and glowing. Shout-out to the incredible Rachel there. I've also gotten my brows and eyelashes done there by Catherine, and I can't say enough good things.

A few of my best friends have also been raving about Bathhouse in Williamsburg, which seems to have a strong cult following. Apparently, they give the best massages in NYC. I’m treating myself to one for the week before my wedding.

Stephanie Eyison Founder, Atarah

It'll always be Sephora for me. 

A little backstory: in 2004, I was a lone international student in Canada with no family or friends. One of my first friends that I made was also an international student who loved makeup. One day, during one of our numerous shopping trips she asked that we check out a shop with amazing beauty brands all in one place. It became our "thing."

We'd go in weekly to check out new products and brands—makeup for her, and skincare for me. Sephora has from then on become a symbol of quality beauty finds and a constant reminder of my wonderful sisterhood with my first friend, now one of my dearest and best friends.

Fun fact: Even though we graduated university with communications degrees, both my best friend and I wound up in the beauty industry. She's an award-winning makeup artist and has her own line of makeup, while I have my own haircare brand. Sephora truly rubbed off on us in the best way possible! Who knows? We might soon be able to see our brands up on those shelves!

Kim Olsen Co-Founder, Jovi

Living in a small town in Idaho, we don’t have a ton of options when it comes to beauty stores and service destinations. The next town over has an Ulta and Sephora, which is great in a pinch, but I try to frequent small businesses versus chain stores whenever I can. It’s important to support the local community and economy. (Bonus points if the business is woman-owned. We love a good women-supporting-women moment!)

While the pickings are a bit slim, if I had to choose a favorite service destination here locally, it would be Rya Collective, a hair and nail salon. The owner, Kylee, offers high-end work for affordable prices and her books are always full. She's the best, and I'm only a little bit biased because she's also my sister-in-law! Supporting a small woman-owned (family) business is a win-win. 

Irina Gottesman Co-Founder and CEO, House of Gro

Vavra is a few towns away and is absolutely my new favorite shop. The buyer Dianne has her fingers on the pulse and has a very curated selection for an educated luxury consumer. I love that she brings in brands in their early stage of growth but also stocks the iconic staples as well. House of Grō is available at this neighborhood gem.

Dawn Fable Founder, Press Pause Project

Several of my favorite beauty stores and certainly ones that I admire are Standard Dose, Shen Beauty and Cap Beauty. Each of these concepts has not only an inspiring community but has a deep rooted philosophy that beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty.

Shel Pink Founder, SpaRitual

My favorite go-to beauty store here in Los Angeles is The Detox Market. They are the OG of clean beauty retail. I remember visiting their very first beautifully curated pop-up store many years ago in Venice, the seed that began who they are today. They really paved the way for a retail focus on clean beauty brands.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, executives, investors, consultants and other experts, please send it to