Found in New York: Cosmetic Market

“They’ve got bowls!” I reported to my mom. “Gold bowls!”

“Do you need bowls?” she asked.

“No,” I said, surprised, “but in case I do, I now know where to find them.”

There are many places where the discovery of gold bowls would be commonplace, and even expected. None of those places are beauty stores. The only beauty store where you can find just what you need – from foundation to gold bowls – is Cosmetic Market. Cosmetic Market is an unassuming store on East 37th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenue, which looks like it was built for wholesale rather than retail. I passed by it a few times, assuming that it was a warehouse, until Special Correspondent Dena’s set me straight and sent me through the doors.

It has all the usual suspects in the beauty department: eye shadow, lipstick, brow and lip pencils, the works. The prices are good – OPI nailpolish goes for $3 a bottle rather than the drugstore’s $9 charge. Sure, you can only pick from three shades, which vary from pink to maroon, but that’s good enough for Special Coorespondant Dena. As she says,”I only paint my nails pink, so it really doesn’t matter that there aren’t a lot of colors.”

What sets the store apart isn’t the discount prices on name-brand goods; it’s the variety of goods. The gold bowls, which I didn’t buy, are only one of the many items that all beauty stores should stock. Think about it: the people who shop in beauty stores are the sort that would need to have gold bowls on hand. If you’re replenishing your supply of eyeshadow before a wedding, you’ll also need to pick up a gold bowl, or a set of shot glasses, for a bridal shower present. If you’re picking out a new lipstick for a dinner party, you need some nice note cards so that you can invite your guests. Even if you’re just stopping in to purchase your favorite brand of moisturizer, you mustn’t forget to grab a can of vaseline to fix that sqeeky doorpost. Of course, if you’re fixing a squeeky doorpost, you really should buy WD-40. That’s probably in the back of Cosmetic Market.

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3 Comments

  1. You went to Cosmetic Market! That place is a fantastic find. When Esther came to visit, I had to bring her to that hidden gem of a store. The way described it to her was as a HomeGoods for makeup. For the price of what I had once paid for Clinique foundation at a department store, at Cosmetic Market I was able to spend a few dollars less and still get foundation, pressed powder, Essie nail polish, a loofah, and face cleaning wipes.

    They do carry a random assortment of goods in addition to cosmetics, but my favorite part is not that there are gold bowls, but that there is a great selection and everything has testers. It is better than at a dept store or Sephora, because at those places there are salespeople hovering and you feel obligated to buy something. At Cosmetic Market there is no pressure to buy, but that is a moot point because there are always things at great prices that I want to buy.

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  2. That store is a great find… but I don’t really use makeup so my favorite part of the store is the nail polish. Last time I was there they had a bunch of shades of pink and maroon so I got a great new pink nail polish for $3! I haven’t been there in quite some time because it’s just a drop too far for a lunch break..

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