Pret-a-Reporter

Retail Report: Hourglass Opens Beauty Outpost on Abbot Kinney

Benny Chan/Courtesy of Hourglass

The luxury beauty brand marks its 10-year anniversary with a flagship in Venice

"Sleek, modern and luxurious" may not describe the hippie-centric shops that once dominated Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard, but that’s how Hourglass founder and CEO Carisa Janes describes her brand’s new store, which opened its doors on Monday. Hourglass joins other high-end beauty brands taking up residence on the boulevard, including Caudalie, Aesop and Le Labo. Janes tells Pret-a-Reporter that Venice was the obvious spot for the brand’s first stand-alone retail location: “The Hourglass offices have long been located here, so it was only natural that our first store would be on Abbot Kinney.”

Since its inception in 2004, the brand has grown to become a favorite among actresses, including Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston and Zooey Deschanel, as well as makeup artists, who showed their support at an exclusive opening party last Thursday. Georgie Eisdell, Matthew Van Leeuwen, Jenn Streicher, Carola Gonzalez and Kayleen McAdams were among those in attendance. Here’s what they — and now all fans of the brand — found inside.

The Structure

Take one step inside the 1,400-square-foot space and the brand’s clean, luxurious aesthetic resonates. The products sit along a spacious central zigzag display fixture made of marble and onyx (no messy makeup bins here), while four makeup application stations line one wall. For those desiring a bit of discretion, there is a private entrance in the back of the store and part of the mezzanine level can be cordoned off for complete privacy. The firm behind the design is L.A.-based Standard, also responsible for Maxfield, James Perse and Jenni Kayne retail spaces. Partners Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle said they took inspiration for Hourglass from the nearby beach, which is clear in the curvilinear wall and rectangular skylights that let natural light pour in. 

The Finds

Customers are welcome to interact with the products, including new-for-fall must-have Mechanical Gel Eye-Liner ($45), which Gucci Westman used on models at the recent Oscar de la Renta show at NYFW. Or they can find the ideal shade of cult faves like the Veil Fluid Makeup ($60) and Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($10), which Alba wore in a tangerine shade to last year’s Golden Globes. There’s also the Ambient Lighting Bar, where clients can customize their own Ambient Lighting Palette ($58) to pick the perfect shades of the brand's beloved soft-focus powder. There are also makeup-application services, including one where a trained makeup artist uses Google Glass to record the session for the client to view later. 

The Standout

The Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum ($350), which is part of the new Equilibrium skincare capsule that is currently available only at the store. The anti-aging serum, which uses lipids found in amniotic fluid to trigger epidermal cell renewal, already has a wait list. We suggest signing up, because really, is anything with a wait list not worth the wait?

Hourglass, 1351 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-392-3409; hourglasscosmetics.com

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