By  on April 22, 2011

In the last few years, Chicago’s downtown beauty scene has received a major facelift. Ulta, based nearby in Bolingbrook, Ill., opened its largest store to date, an 18,000-square-foot flagship, complete with top- floor hair salon. Some months later, Barneys New York doubled its size here, unveiling a bigger, bolder store with an entire floor devoted to cosmetics.

Now that the retailers have had a chance to settle into their digs, WWD Beauty Inc decided it was a perfect time for a closer inspection. I set out to see how each is faring. The result: Let’s just say I didn’t leave empty-handed.

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