If the flight to San Francisco weren’t so damn long (and bumpy af 87% of the time), I’d be going west way more often. And not only because I love catching up with my husband’s side of the family. The Bay Area has become an amazing beauty destination. Over a quick Thanksgiving trip, I lucked out with a few truly spectacular meetings. The day before heading back, I ventured out to Novato to explore the freshly paved retail landscape of Beauty Heroes. After a guided tour, a spontaneous IG live, and sampling roughly 3248 products, I got to lunch and chat all things green beauty with *the* Founder, Jeannie Jarnot, and Kevin Dooley, the brand’s Director of Marketing. P.S. We even snuck in some contraband bubbles to the cafe. Because Holiday Season.
If you’re not familiar with Beauty Heroes, the concept began with a monthly subscription box. It may actually be the best monthly beauty box out there. Focused on the clean, green, and non-toxic prestige indie beauty industry spectrum, every box features a full-size Hero product and a deluxe-size Sidekick. Often times, the hero secures an exclusive launch via the Beauty Heroes platform. Having been an ambassador for over a year, I can confidently say that most of my green beauty discoveries wouldn’t have happened without this access.
As I stepped out of my uber and raced inside to dodge the rain, I missed the ultimate personal touch: a board welcoming me to the store. Details of this visit hadn’t been confirmed much in advance (family time, weather, etc.) but in true Beauty Heroes fashion, what was planned as a last-minute drive-by was converted effortlessly into a VIP experience. In other words, their approach to customer service is equally impressive as their product selection.
A week later, sitting in freezing Connecticut, I find myself reminiscing about the very special Novato afternoon. Plotting a return is at the top of my to-do list. For those who live closer or who may be planning a trip to the Bay Area, I’m hoping my personal highlights will be helpful. What started as a checklist that helped me gather my thoughts quickly turned into 8 Reasons You Should Visit The Beauty Heroes Store in Novato, CA. Enjoy.
1: The Goods!
The store is a clean beauty shopping mecca. Shelves along the walls display gorgeously merchandised collections and are organized by brand or self-care category. On the floor, spacious table counters are tempting with impeccably arranged makeup items to test and admire. There is even a special Handsome Heroes section with low-key non-intimidating picks to help guys explore the clean grooming space. In addition to gold industry standards such as Josh Rosebrook or Laurel, the store makes a conscious (and phenomenal) effort to introduce smaller, lesser-known brands that are entering the indie beauty space. Set aside a solid hour for browsing through this treasure hunt.
2: The Flight Bar
It wasn’t only the champagne cork stools that caught my attention. Or the actual bar counter. Ok, maybe. Positioned by the check-out area, the space offers ‘flights’ of skincare or makeup. If you’re not familiar with the term, a flight is a ‘tasting’ with a goal of discovering a favorite. I believe there were four stations, two featuring Honua Skincare (which is this month’s Discovery) and two with curated options of a red lip ‘flight’ to help you find that perfect shade of festive for the holidays. It’s an excellent way to experience a particular brand or product category. Because not everything is for everyone. It’s, like, common knowledge, Romy.
3: Monthly Discovery Feature
Worthy of its own display, the current month’s Beauty Discovery is featured for non-subscribers to explore. Whether you’re shy or afraid of committing to delivery each month, you can experience the latest selection right in the store. And if you like it, you can sign up for your very own surprise delivery on the spot. After you do, you’ll receive 15% off everything in the store (ok fine, there are two brand exclusions but still) every time you shop. This very special member perk also applies to shopping online.
4: The Treatment Room
There is a hidden gem of a treatment room upstairs and you want in. I was ecstatic to see Beauty Heroes offer its very own menu of skincare and makeup services. The makeup station is downstairs, and Carolina (Ciao, Bella! Come stai?) is the resident makeup artist supreme-o. Above the retail space, there is a quaint, spa treatment room where you can experience the glow-boosting magic of high-performing clean beauty during a 30-, 60- or 90-minute zen break. Beauty Heroes is the first place to offer The Josh, an exclusive protocol of Josh Rosebrook formulas expertly tailored to address your complexion concerns. Other options include Hero Worship, Hawaii Five-O, Radiant Fox, and The Ceremony.
5: The Minis
I’m willing to admit to having a travel-sized product fetish but I am also willing to bet there are a lot of us out there. The TSA-friendly selection here is superb. Not limited to in-flight essentials, the minis make for the perfect gym bag or Dopp kit staples. My eye longingly gazed over some personal favorites like Ayuna’s cream II or Ranavat’s Jasmine Tonique. Since the focus is on discovery at Beauty Heroes, I was thrilled to be introduced (thank you, Jeannie!) to a new find from Lucky Teeth. I am now the proud owner and user of a super chic organic dental floss.
6: Try It On
Right by the relaxing lounge area and next to the makeup application station, you can indulge sink side in a full-on skincare routine. Mention which products you’re tempted by and try them out at a Beauty Heroes vanity. Grab a washcloth, get your cleanser, mask or moisturizer on, and admire the glow in the selfie-ready mirror. Or just linger there casually without looking creepy and find a reason to wash your hands because that LILFOX Orange Blossom Ylang Bang hand wash is divine.
7: Bring Your Recyclables
I hadn’t heard about TerraCycle (mea culpa) so Jeannie gave me a quick tutorial. I was beyond impressed. In order to minimize the impact of our product usage on the environment, the system adopts specific recycling guidelines. This way, difficult-to-recycle items get the proper treatment and a second chance around. Bring your empty product containers, toothbrushes, razors, even baby food pouches, as each category of product is disposed of in its own bin. TerraCycle and its recently launched Loop initiative encourage us to change our way of consuming products to generate zero waste.
8: Get On The Email List!
The Beauty Heroes newsletter tops the list of least intrusive updates in my inbox. In addition to announcing their monthly discovery, they are amazing at curating limited editions or seasonal offers at very attractive price points. Since the retail location is focused on developing and nurturing the green beauty community, Jeannie invites brand founders to participate in intimate in-store events. Whether a panel, Q & A, or meet & greet, you’ll get the story behind each brand and experience their formulas first hand. Did I mention that there are drinks involved? I mean they do carry The Beauty Chef but we’re like almost in Wine Country.
Beauty Heroes is located at 817 Grant Avenue in Novato, CA 94945 and is open 7 days a week. For hours and more info check out their Facebook page. And if you’re nowhere near but want to receive your monthly discovery, sign up at beauty-heroes.com.