8452 Melrose Place
I, myself, do not wear a ton of makeup on a daily basis, but I love experimenting with new products and absolutely cannot resist a beauty counter. When I was living in New York, I'd pop into Sephora on my way home from work every day out of sheer habit. At one point, a sales associate congratulated me on becoming a "VIB Rouge Member." I asked her what that meant and she said: "It means you spend a lot of money here."
When I moved to the ranch in 2013, I was immersed in the mundane of country living and felt robbed of my secret pleasures–playing with makeup being one of them–so, after a year, I mustered up the courage to tackle the four-hour drive to L.A. alone, in hopes of reconnecting with my former self. (Me, the New Yorker, who had not been behind a wheel for thirteen years!)
Enter: Violet Grey, the brilliant editorial website-cum-boutique that was hatched from the mind of its founder Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey. Inspired by Old Hollywood glamour, this beauty Mecca showcases the crème de la crème from the industry's leading makeup artists and stars, and it's located smack-dab in the middle of Melrose Place which is, in my opinion, the chicest street in all of Los Angeles.
Stepping into this tastefully curated atelier was akin to being in Coco Chanel's opulent apartment. Everything felt intensely exquisite and luxurious. Every jar and compact and tube of lipstick was displayed like jewelry. There's also a marvelous vintage Murano glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling that looks as though hundreds of white flowers are on the cusp of showering down on you.
I think I must've swanned around in the store for about two hours, trying on everything cream, mascara and lipstick within reach, and the girls there couldn't have been more welcoming. Wouldn't it be fabulous if I had a pièd-a-terre in Paris that looked like this? Thank you, Violet Grey, for the tactile fantasy.