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Shopper Stalker: The Buy Side

Ellen Thomas heads to SoHo’s bustling Broadway to find out who’s buying what—and why.

Mission: Impromptu Shopping Trip
When it comes to beauty, 24-year-old Best Buy employee Katherine Lopez is always prepared for an impromptu shopping trip. “My sister and I follow Kathleen Lights on Instagram and YouTube, and I read product reviews online,” she says. “I keep a running list of what I want.” After completing an errand nearby, Lopez, who spends $1,000 each year on beauty, couldn’t resist stopping by Ricky’s to cross a few items off her list. Though she admits to shopping more regularly at Sephora, Lopez heads to Ricky’s for makeup brands like NYX and L.A. Girl. “It’s hard to find NYX at a CVS,” she says. Lopez, who says she’s the beauty guru in her family, also picked up a Fullips Lip Enhancer for her 21-year-old sister. “If anyone needs makeup for a special event, they’ll come to me,” she says proudly.



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Mission: Refill Her Fave Foundation
Zoey Liu, a 25-year-old graphic designer from Jersey City, popped into Sephora for a refill of her favorite Givenchy foundation. “I look for quality, and I really like Givenchy makeup,” she says. With the help of a sales associate, Liu also picked up a few impulse buys, including a Make Up For Ever foundation stick to pair with her go-to formula. “He recommended I combine the two on my T-zone for lighter coverage,” she says. Liu, who spends about $2,000 annually on skin care and makeup, eschews advice from magazines in favor of recommendations from knowledgeable friends and online product reviews. She also doesn’t shy away from in-store assistance. “I like being helped and introduced to new things,” she says. “If I find something better than what I’m using, I’ll switch. I can always shop for more beauty stuff!”