The beauty floor at Macy’s is an enduring staple within the retail landscape, long known for its specialty sections like fragrance and luxury beauty brands. Nicolette Bosco, VP and Divisional Business Manager, Beauty, Macy’s, tells Beauty News what consumers are gravitating towards — and what’s keeping counters busy and buzzing.
As told to Kavita Daswani
Macy’s is a beauty destination, and our focus has always been to respond to what the consumer loves and to evolve our product assortment accordingly. While we’re an authority on fragrance, we also go after clean beauty and new buzzy brands. We’re seeing hair as a strong category across the board, throughout the beauty industry, and on social channels. With our breadth of brands, we have a sweet spot for everyone.
When we look at products to add to our assortment, we consider everything — market trends, data, and analytics from our forecasting teams. Social takes a huge part in that. We’re constantly watching Instagram, Facebook, and obviously TikTok so we can truly understand what the consumer wants. We have shoppers who come in showing a TikTok video on a berry lip and asking our Beauty Advisors to help them create that look. We see that a lot — consumers bringing in videos and wanting to know how to replicate a trend.
We launched a clean beauty pillar a year ago that’s not just about clean ingredients but also vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably made products. And we are known for our wide range of luxury brands; women continue to respond to that idea of pulling out a fancy lipstick. I try 99.9% of everything we sell; I’m a true beauty junkie. Here, some of our fan favorites.
If you haven’t tried a scalp scrub yet, this is the one to get. You use it before shampooing to remove buildup and products like dry shampoo (thanks to ingredients such as rice exfoliant extract), and especially to exfoliate the scalp, which is surprisingly relaxing. Other active ingredients include ginger extract, which promotes stronger hair and stimulates the scalp, specialty rice protein for solar protection, and edelweiss flower extract for anti-pollution protection. Aromatherapy comes into play with a scent mix of green apple, juicy clean citrus, fresh spearmint, and creamy woods. And, since it also stimulates hair follicles, suddenly you’re like, ‘oh, I have a little more growth there.’
Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, Original Scent, $26
Now that people are going out again, this is a fantastic product that our consumers are loving because it eases their beauty routine. It’s a super-absorbent formula containing micro-fine rice powders that eliminate oil and impurities and leaves hair looking and feeling clean and refreshed. Golden root extract increases moisture to prevent dryness and breakage. And, it includes Drybar’s original fragrance with notes of jasmine, sandalwood, and Madagascar vanilla. One important thing to note about this dry shampoo compared to others is that the formula becomes translucent after application to naturally blend with all hair colors. Detox Dry Shampoo also provides extra volume, lift at the hair root, and a matte finish. And since it’s a clean formula, it’s made without parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, silicone, petroleum, and phthalates.
This thickening spray just launched in the fall; it’s a pre-styler spray that boosts hair thickness before you dry your hair. I have hair that needs volume, and this gives the lushest blow dry ever. It’s also lightweight, so it doesn’t weigh hair down. Formulas are loaded with polymers that act as setting agents, plus wheat protein to condition, moisturize, and help repair environmental damage. It gives just the right amount of tame to frizz, and it lifts and controls; it never feels gummy. I like that it imparts structure and moderate hold, and offers heat protection, which is crucial.
Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment can be used morning and night to immediately exfoliate dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells with high potency, purified grade lactic acid. It also contains licorice to help brighten up skin and give it a fresh, glowing finish. Then there’s lemongrass, arnica, and prickly pear extract to make fine lines appear visually plumped, skin look more radiant, and with continued use, reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. A bonus is that it can be applied under foundation as a radiance primer, without giving off any oily payoff. Most important is that Good Genes is packed by clinicals that show it significantly improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles in three minutes. This product also falls under our clean pillar as it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, silicone, petroleum, and phthalates.
This Black-owned skin-care line, founded by the absolutely fabulous Dorian Renaud, held an event at our Herald Square store recently that was so fun, star-studded, and successful. There was such a great turnout and lots of consumer engagement. Dorian always brings a ton of friends and is so good at sharing the energy and fabulousness of the brand. The Buttah Facial Shea Butter is a perfect moisturizer to add to any skin-care routine; it has virgin organic unrefined shea butter which acts as a rich, non-comedogenic facial moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores or cause break outs. And since it’s rich in fatty acid, this butter provides a layer to protect melanin rich and darker skin tones from inflammation.
I like a bold red lip. And everything in this entire line, from format, texture, and how it appears on lips with just the right amount of shine, is a fan favorite. It contains cherry oil, which is rich in vitamins A and E, and hyaluronic acid to replenish moisture in the lips. Ninety percent of the ingredients are natural origin, so it’s almost entirely plant based. There’s also a slight tingling sensation when it’s applied so you know it’s working to comfortably amp up and plump lips. The packaging is iconic Dior, sleek and simple, and the applicator provides just the right amount of product.
This iconic and lightweight foundation has won tons of awards, and is a favorite of makeup artists and celebrities. And it’s easy to see why. The texture is amazingly silky—it glides on seamlessly to leave a lustrous finish. This specific formula provides buildable medium coverage, so it can be used for all occasions and times of day. And it leaves skin looking flawless, winning the makeup-no-makeup look award. Finally, it’s available in 40 shades and a mini size for hydrated skin on the go.
Macy’s has always been known for its amazing fragrance offerings, and we’re especially proud of this one. We launched Valentino Donna Born in Roma perfume spray in 2022, and a whiff of it is really reminiscent of living or being in Rome. The scent transports the customer there. The juice is pink in color and housed in a dramatic cube-shaped bottle that is inspired by Roman architecture. When it goes onto the skin, it feels almost powdery. I think of the scent as a floral fantasy; it contains three different jasmine flowers – jasmine, jasmine sambac, and jasmine tea — all fused with sparkling black currant, bergamot, a rich bourbon vanilla, and cashmere.
This fragrance comes in a beautiful black stiletto-shaped bottle with a gold heel; I don’t know who wouldn’t want this on their dresser. The fragrance is sultry and complex, containing a fusion of jasmine, tuberose, cocoa, and tonka bean, lending it a slightly musky scent. But it’s also a pleasing balance of beautiful florals that convey the duality of the modern woman. Basically, it’s sophisticated and feminine, with a dash of femme fatale energy.