By  on April 29, 2005

LONDON — The Australian makeup brand Becca has just opened its first stand-alone store, a hideaway for makeup lovers who want to play, get pampered or just take a break with a glass of champagne and a plate of chocolates.

The store, at 191a Pelham Street in South Kensington’s high-end Brompton Cross shopping hub, is designed like a boudoir with beaded curtains, suede furniture, chocolate walls, crystal chandeliers and product-packed makeup displays.

In addition to makeup appointments and a private VIP room, the boutique offers full nail treatments and quick touch-ups, washes and blow-dries, and sells the full range of Becca cosmetics.

Co-founder Rebecca Morrice Williams has also introduced some beauty products and accessories from Australia including Kailis Pearls jewelry; Ginger & Smart bags and accessories; Kusco-Murphy hair products and Christina Fitzgerald nail products. She eventually aims to sell selected items of lingerie and clothing at the boutique.

“We truly want to look after, and connect with, the customer,” said Steven Schapera, chief executive officer and co-founder of Becca with Williams. Schapera said he sees the boutique as everything from a preparty venue on a big night out to a quick-fix for harried shoppers.

“Girls and their friends can pick up some oysters from Bibendum down the street, and then come here, drink champagne, and get made up before their night out,” said Schapera. “On Saturdays, we expect mums to come with their kids. The husbands can sit and read the paper and have a drink.”

Schapera and Williams both stressed during a recent interview at the boutique that they wanted to get away from the minimal, clinical style of so many beauty centers, which is why they’ve given the store an intimate, sensual feel.

They also stressed the boutique is not a day spa, but a quicker fix for those in need of pampering. “We want people to come and lounge around on the sofa, try the products and have a drink. Our sales people don’t work on commission so there’s no pressure to buy. But we feel like if you hang out here, you can’t help but buy,” said Schapera.

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