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Beauty is Skin Deep – NYFW Pop Up Beauty Bars Are the New Cosmetic Counters


New York Fashion Week/NYC As women increasingly get product tips from their friends with the click and swipe of their smart phone; the Pop-up Beauty Bars have become the new cosmetic counters. The array of beauty, regenerative and wellness products are usually tied to sponsor ships and serve to underwrite top  drawer Fashion and Film Events.  From the Sundance Film Festival that pioneered the concept to Miami Swim Week and this week’s New York Fashion Week today’s beauty pro’s bring their expertise to their public in the way of de facto lounges.  The ambiance is relaxed and low key, “What better place to retreat, get fluffed and dusted to return to the fray of the three ring circus that fashion and film events have evolved into?”, says Sherine Bichara, Founder of L’Alchimiste and creator of Elixir of Life.


“Elixir of Life combines the hydrating properties of life’s true elixir, water, with my signature ingredient, baobab extract, to create all-natural custom earth blends that nourish your skin–as well as your spirit. The baobab tree has an estimated lifespan of 500 to 5000 years.”

Guests are encouraged to salve, slaver and smooth on the latest topical miracle cure with expert advice on hand to guide one through their application.

A parallel universe of beauty bars, pop up salons and demo lounges with headline grabbing product debuts played out throughout New York Fashion Week, September 8-15 , 2016  The latest skincare treatments, cosmetic innovations and gifts that included of Les Diamants Bleus were on display.  The makers of Les Diamants Bleus, Cédric Lerooy and Marie – Hélène package design in their one of a kind compacts that can only be likened to a jewel encrusted Faberge Imperial Egg.  Brimming with a powdered foundation of powerful active topical ingredients, Les Diamants Bleus is arriving soon on American shores direct from Paris. Elixir of Life and Les Diamants Bleus are considered the net plus ultra of a scientifically proven, age defying treatments.

Among the go-to salons were Caravan, the experiential neXpert and style X. The latter, hosted by Katlean de Monchy, lifestyle contributor for “Good Morning America”, “The View”, “Today” and a lauded Hampton society editor.

Her A+ list of Influencers get to experience innovative new products and they in turn share their reviews recommendations with their followers. Monchy is convinced of the effectiveness of her in person events as one regenerative stem cell based company raised a $8 million dollar round of financing through de Monchy’s connections.   By leveraging existing A list events her clients  bypass costly celebrity endorsements, and très cher Ad Campaigns.

She confirms that more often than not; beauty editors  and media strategists are actively seeking out her experiential beauty lounges  and clamoring for an invitation.  Her guest list boasted a seasoned team of runway producers, fashion experts and media insiders from the Huffington Post, Today Show, Vogue, Bloomberg and more.


Leslie, Founder of Beauty for Real Blows a bissou on opwning night of Swim Week 2016 at the W Hotel. Photo by Michael Merrins.

With a quarter of a century as a beauty expert, Leslie Munsell encountered 1000’s of women overwhelmed by the vast number of beauty products.  She simplified the countless choices and curated a selection of  essentials that could fit in a customized clutch.  Her hands on approach of setting up ‘beauty bars’  provide entertainment and the building of an enthusiastic base of brand loyalists  has put her ‘Beauty for Real’ line in a league of cosmetic purveyors that here to fore would have been inaccessible.

Click and Make up

julio-iglesias-jr-with-vasiliki-karlin-president-of-nayked-botanicas_allfashion.press_Cristiane Roget

Julio Iglesias Jr with Vasiliki Karlin, Founder of the 100{f75c36d1f1337d8cece1f1d43e8d8bbbcba1411670afbb75e82d6c326a90a2b7} all natural and organic Nayked Botanical Skin, body and haircare line. Here on display at the Miami Swim Week, she introduced her all natural Insect Repellant to ward off the nasty Zika Mosquito, so natural that a Brazilian Distributor actually drank a shot.

“The affluent with discretionary income, early adapters, fashionistas, tech and beauty enthusiasts congregate at these by- invitation- only gatherings,” says Vasiliki Karlin, Founder of Nayked Botanicals™ and regional Brand Ambassador for healthycell™.  Fashion and Beauty bloggers (and women and men with an opinion) now have access to the websites of the cosmetic giants that include Este Lauder, Clinique, and now lesser known brands. By democratizing the communication between product producers and beauty enthusiasts, brand loyalty is a natural outcome. Beauty and Health Bloggers leverage their social media communities at the behest of the brands.

The concentration of influences, media types and fashion arbiters that were drawn into the gravitational orbit of  NYFW can be likened as a Holy Grail for emerging product lines. Guests attend to preview the new and au courant rejuvenation products, cosmetic lines and retro brands. By embracing the customer the manufacturer gains a competitive edge as they cling to their market share in a world over saturated with products.


Tucked away in to the bespoke Georgio Hotel were two rooms that melded art installations with a bit of ‘face time’  for the weary fashion habitués.   Out standing among them were Caravan run by Claudine Desola, the three day event featured Beauty Cabinet Refresher, Couture Cocktails with designs by Hicky Freeman, Nicole Miller and Yeohee Tang.


Elixir of Life -Sherine Bichara, Founder of L’Alchimiste, photo by Michael Merrins,


Les Diamants Bleus- Precious Powder Compacts, Mineral Make-up Products by Cedric Lerooy and Marie-Helene

And of special note was the HEISEL 3D collection Sept 10 & 11 by Sylvia Heisel and Scott Taylor, promoting a new wrinkle in the design and fabrication of fashion with three renderings calibrated within a millimeter of the models shape and produced in a snap. Art installations with a bit of fluff and dusting and liquid libations courtesy of the Liquor Cabinet kept the guests coming back for more.

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Elixir of Life- Working with the top labs in France, Senegal and the United States.  ‘Elixir for Life’  priced affordably without compromising the ingredients or bespoke packaging.  With blind tested and scientifically proven benefits the seed of Sherine’s epiphany into skin care derives from her native Baobab Trees.  A tree that typically flourishes for from 500 to 5000 years in Sub Saharan Africa and the velt in Madagascar the trees grow to skyscraper height, and the massive branches serve as community gathering places and the storage of precious food commodities in the cavernous hollows of their trunks. “Many settlements were established on the basis of the Baobab. The Boabab is a natural emollient, riddled with high content Vitamins A, E and the rejuvenative fatty acids Alpha and Beta Carotene and Vitamin C.

Another nascent product line making the rounds at Fashion Week Elixir of Life by L’Alchimiste – custom earth blends created by French – Sengalese  Sherine Bichara who reminisces accompanying her father on his rounds in the product development labs.  At the tender age of ten she created her own signature fragrance. A blend of marine notes, mix of the colipa mountain herbs and buds and the ozone notes only found in the Atlantic ocean off the coast Senegal.  From trees that were seedlings when Jesus Christ and his Disciples walked the earth, one can only imagine that the distillation of this extract can do to the skin?”  She packaged her girlhood perfume in a glass beaker wrapped in cobalt blue ribbon and a tissue liner.  Bienvenue, Elixir of Life.