Maven recommends: Chanel's new way to shop for beauty products in Soho

Good morning, Tuesday. RIP Karl Lagerfeld- what a life. It's appropriate I write a Chanel related piece today I suppose.

This weekend I happened to be in Soho for brunch and decided to pop into the Atelier Beauté Chanel, the luxe brand's answer to a modern retail experience when it comes to makeup and skincare, and it didn't disappoint.

It's interesting to me how we shop for makeup and even skincare nowadays. Before online shopping, I was almost always a makeup counter shopper- I enjoyed going to the big department stores and having an "expert" take me through the latest shades and products. I still do love that, ps. But now I shop on sites like Violet Grey for new products as well as end up shopping on Instagram for cool makeup or skincare i may have not heard of otherwise. So Chanel took the best of both of those worlds and combined them into this fabulous experience.

Located in a loft building on Wooster Street and up a flight of steps, I was greeted by a bubbly woman in ripped jeans. Immediately I knew this would be a different experience- I don't generally associate Chanel with ripped jeans that weren't of the designer varietal. Upon entering the gorgeous space, my coat was taken and I was asked to create an online profile, to best shop the experience.  Grateful for a respite from the chilly day, I decided to immerse myself in product heaven.

The idea was to walk through the immaculately hygienic space and DIY. There was a skincare bar and plenty of stations to try on many different lipsticks, eyeshadows, foundations, and everything in between. The whole experience had a relaxed vibe- with helpful millennial staff if you had any questions about anything. Each station had sample sized products that you could try yourself. You could also book appointments with an "artist in residence" to have your makeup done or get a skin consultation. But you could also do your entire face if you needed to- in fact it was encouraged. Oh and of course, it's all highly Instagrammable. Brilliantly so. 

And as far as their iconic fragrances, the Atelier Parfume is a spritz-free sitch where customers sniff at porcelain wands dipped in fragrance for a sensory experience. Love at first sniff? No problem. You can find out which scents are your favorite after you blindly smell them.

To me, the whole thing feels fresh and innovative. Plus, as you're tracking your preferences on the app, Chanel gets to know what your favorites are and can further customize your purchasing power in the future. I ended up with the new Baume Essentiel- a slick, multi-use stick you dab on your cheeks, lids, or anywhere that needs a bit of glow. I also got a new lipstick. The Rouge Allure Liquid Powder lipstick is one of the coolest formulations I've ever seen- it has a powdery, matte finish but somehow manages to feel completely moisturizing and creamy.  I went for Avant-Gardiste, a poppy berry shade that won praise from the sales staff who encouraged me to try something bright and new for Spring. How could I resist?

One of the least intimidating and fun experiences I've had from a luxury brand in some time. Chanel understands that although you may not be able to afford a handbag or iconic jacket, you can connect with the brand by buying a lipstick, eyeshadow, or perfume. Smart thinking. I will definitely go back. Who wants to come with me?

Cause that's what's up this rounded out retail kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in new experiences. XO