Because you know I love my hood, this weekend I finally had the opportunity to check out Vivrant Beauty located in the heart of Harlem at 220 Saint Nicholas Avenue. Now this is truly a hidden gem. It was a little hard to find (you have to turn the corner on the uptown side of Saint Nicholas Avenue and 121st Street) but once you find it, you’ll be happy you did. I like to think of this place as a brown girl’s Blue Mercury. Most of brands that they carry are not the typical brands you would find at your local Sephora. Sure, they carry butter London and Ren Skincare, but they also carry lesser known brands that cater to the more natural-conscious customer as well as the beauty junkie (raises hand) who loves to explore indie brands.
What I especially liked about this store is that the products were placed at eye level and the shelves were incredibly organized. They carried a nice selection of product from every category. There are not shelves and shelves of product, but rather an open floor. If you basically stand in the middle of the store, you can view every category without feeling overwhelmed. Sure, most beauty junkies have memorized the layout of about 10 Sephoras (okay that just might be me) but once in a while, you want to shop for your beauty products in a place that is well lit and where you can actually interact wth their team.
This small (yet big) beauty world is the creation of Desiree Verdejo, a Harlem native who saw that realized that there was a need for a place like this that addressed both haircare and skincare as it relates to us brown beauty girls. She paired that need with her strong desire to be an entrepreneur and she opened Vivrant Beauty, in her backyard – in our backyard. Read the full story here. I foresee fewer Saturday trips to Sephora and more trips to Vivrant Beauty. CALLING ALL BROWN GIRLS, HARLEM NATIVES & BEAUTY JUNKIES EVERYWHERE! If you find yourself in Harlem you need to stop by! Not from Harlem and want directions to this Harlem hotspot – I’ll let The Duke & Ella handle that. Nothing like a good scat to get you in the mood.