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Shopper Stalker: Union Square, NYC

In Manhattan’s bustling Union Square, Ellen Thomas checks out the the area’s wide range of beauty offerings.

Shopper: Angel Lenise

What’s in Angel’s Bag?

Total spent with tax: $80.40

Date/Time: 5.12.2016, 3:18 p.m.

Store: Walgreens

Location: 145 4th Avenue

Mission: Drugstore Drive-By

On-location in Union Square for work, video producer Angel Lenise, 26, couldn’t resist the close proximity to Walgreens for a quick beauty stock-up after a long day of shooting. “I do prefer the higher-end brands, but I like to raid the drugstore every now and then, especially when I’m looking to try new products,” says the Brooklyn resident, who favors Duane Reade and Walgreens for skin-care because of upscale lines such as La Roche-Posay. Says Lenise of the retailers, “They’re trying to up their game.” The skin-care obsessed shopper, who spends about $2,000 a year on beauty, curates her 8-step bedtime routine with a mix of high—La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil—and low—Cerave bar soaps and witch hazel toner. “If something works, I’m going to use it, no matter the brand.”

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Bath, Body & Massage Oil, $12

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“I prefer to use body oils after the shower—it makes me feel luxurious and silky,” says Lenise.

Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Energizing Shea Butter Soap, $7

Lenise loves the smell of this soap.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, $10

“This is the perfect makeup remover,” says Lenise.

Simple Nourishing 24-Hour Day/Night Cream, $16.50

“I have really sensitive skin, and I’ve never had a bad reaction to it,” says Lenise.

Milani Matte Innocence in 60, $7.50

“I heard this brand packs a lot of pigment,” says Lenise, who is “obsessed” with nude-lipsticks.

Revlon Matte Balm in Passionate, $11

Lenise snapped this up for a summer lip color on the cheap.

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original, $10

“I legit feel like this is the best drugstore mascara.”



Shopper: Melissa Hogstrom

What’s in Melissa’s Bag?

Total spent with tax: $225.11

Date/Time: 5.11.16/4:45 p.m.

Store: Bluemercury

Location: 865 Broadway

Mission: Spring skin-care reboot.

For Manhattan-based hair stylist Melissa Hogstrom, a day off means a shopping trip with a friend for beauty treats. Ready to deal with her hormonal breakouts, Hogstrom popped into Bluemercury. After consulting with a sales associate, Hogstrom opted for a slew of items from M-61, the store’s proprietary line. “I get drawn to people with good skin, because whatever they’re doing is clearly working,” says the shopper of the sales associate, who swears by an M-61 routine. “I felt like we were in-sync.” Hogstrom, 37, often splurges on beauty and routinely racks up points at Sephora—she spends $4,000 annually on products— and her favorite brands include Nars, Caudalie and Bumble and bumble. Still, she appreciates a good deal when she sees one. She was especially impressed with M-61’s pricing. “I love La Mer, but I’d rather spend that money on going out.”

M-61 Power Cleanse Pore-Purifying Glycolic Face Cleanser, $58

“Glycolic acid brightens and keeps my skin clear and I haven’t seen it in a cleanser before,” says Hogstrom.

Lune + Aster Stratosphere Mascara, $18

“I use the Chanel lash primer, so all I need is a basic black mascara,” says Hogstrom.

Lune + Aster Baked Bronzer in Necker Island, $32

M-61 SuperSoothe E Shave Cream, $9

Hogstrom likes to use a rich shaving cream.

Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Hand Crème, $18

Hogstrom always keeps a hand cream in her bag, and decided to splurge on this one.

M-61 Power Glow Peel 1 Minute 1 Step Exfoliating Facial Peel, $28 for 10 packets

“I always look for glycolic acid in ingredient lists,” says Hogstrom.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu, $26

Hogstrom swears by this dramatic lip color.

Lune + Aster Vitamin C+E Lip Gloss, $18