Pret-a-Reporter

Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills Reveals New Beauty Floor

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The beloved Beverly Hills retail institution has been undergoing a longtime renovation. But now, the department store's remodeled beauty department is back and better than ever.

Imagine a whole floor of the greatest beauty products in the world housed in shiny deco surroundings, complete with luxurious lipstick mirrors and plenty of space to wander aimlessly.

This is what Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills unveiled on the evening of Feb. 11 as it held its official opening fete for the new "basement beauty level" — complete with four ladies in white playing violin along to popular tunes (Coldplay songs included) while guests descended the escalator. Laurent-Perrier champagne was served on trays, along with tuna tartar and pink cake pops, as ladies had their makeup done by artists from the likes of Laura Mercier and Chanel. Makeup artist and cosmetics brand owner Edward Bess hosted his own counter, doing makeovers himself as excited fans cooed. The Hollywood Reporter served as media sponsor for the event.

We've seen some beautiful cosmetics floors open on basement levels of luxury stores in both New York and L.A. in the last few years, but no detail had been spared here since construction began on the new beauty floor at Neiman's just after Christmas. The La Mer line here even has a live exotic fish tank in its wall. Remember, Neiman's housed homeware and furniture on this floor for years, but when handbags, shoes and jewelry began to demand more room on the first floor level, it seemed a natural progression to move beauty to its own separate world. Makeup, perfume and candles are all on display here now, as well as designer sunglasses from Tom Ford, Celine and Dior, to name a few.

One of the more interesting design factors is that the famed Mariposa restaurant — known far and wide for its salads and popover pastries — is back from renovation with a vengeance, looking utterly made-over and chic. It's separated from beauty by only a thick glass wall. That means diners can observe beauty rituals, and makeup mavens might actually be wooed to eat. One lady behind a counter informed us that the glass is "smell proof," so there will be no vinaigrette scents in beauty and no wafting perfume in Mariposa.

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Special guests included jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and Dr. Brown for ReVive skincare. Laura Mercier, the famed makeup artist and cosmetics brand owner, got stuck in New York and couldn't make the trip.

Neiman Marcus senior vp and general merchandising manager Ann Stordahl told Pret-a-Reporter, "The Beverly Hills store is such a high performer for us that shoes, bags and jewels really needed to expand. We opened for business in the new format 10 days ago and already the new first floor and the new beauty floor seem very popular with our customers. We have three spa rooms on the beauty floor now and they're all gratis, so the customer loves that." The in-house Neiman's visual team has spent years in the planning of all these details, while the rest of the store is still being renovated.

And for the first time ever, Neiman's Wilshire windows were dedicated to beauty as an interpretation of the store's "spring color story," which they've tagged "water color cloudy."

Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, 9700 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. neimanmarcus.com 

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