Skincare and cosmetic fanatics, keep calm: Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew (737 Dunsmuir Street) has unveiled a brand new 16,000-square-foot Beauty Hall and it may just be the department store’s most impressive upgrade yet. (And, quite possibly, one of the most glamorous places in the city to fill your vanity.)
The latest completed stage of Holt’s expansive, multi-phase overhaul, the renovation saw the retailer’s beauty section moved from the second to the first level, where the men’s department was formerly located. (Men’s is now situated in a new 40,000-square-foot addition accessible via Howe Street.)
The Beauty Hall occupies the entire (yes, entire) floor and features 29 brand counters—including Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and newcomers ReVive and Darphin—offering everything from luxury cosmetics and makeup tools to fragrances and specialty skincare services. (Given the size of the counters, however, they could be more accurately described as boutiques or shop-in-shops.)
With so much to see, swatch, and sample, the first visit can be a tad overwhelming. But don’t fret: ahead, a handy guide to the newest—and must-see—features at Holt’s ritzy Beauty Hall that are worth seeking out.
Christian Louboutin’s first beauty boutique
French footwear designer Christian Louboutin has been a longtime staple of Holt’s shoe department, but the label is making its mark in make-up with its first beauty boutique in Canada.
The counter includes Louboutin’s full line of colour cosmetics and nail polishes—distinct for their lethal packaging that resembles the heel of a Louboutin stiletto—in shades that run the gamut from Tiffany blue and lilac to soft grey and tangerine.
Look for the black gradient cases if you want to take home a product in the same red hue that coats every one of Louboutin’s soles.
Luxury fragrance corner
Tucked adjacent to the Christian Louboutin boutique is a generous fragrance section that houses brands like Frederic Malle, Hermes, Diptyque, and the new kid on Holt’s marble-floored block, By Kilian. The scents here are lined up gallery-style on chic white shelving and in glass cases, with sample spritzes available for the olfactorally curious.
Check out French label Federic Malle, known for its uniform bottling, collabs with renowned perfumers and fashion-industry icons, and statement-making aromas, and By Kilian, a Holt debut that produces a range of edgy, androgynous scents housed in sturdy clutches.
Jo Malone’s interactive fragrance hutch
Speaking of fragrances, British perfumery Jo Malone now has an enlarged home at Holt with two noteworthy features: an interactive fragrance hutch that showcases 12 of the brand’s bestselling scents—and displays animations of each one’s ingredients and suggested aroma pairings upon demand—and a roomy "tasting" bar that plays host to complimentary services like skincare consultations and hand-and-arm massages.
The space is something out of Style at Home: all elegant black-and-white furnishings and crisp white towels neatly rolled and tied with Jo Malone’s signature bow.
Leading KBeauty label Sulwhasoo
Another new brand to Holt’s cosmetic offerings, Sulwhasoo is Korea’s leading luxury skincare label. With a philosophy rooted in holistic medicine, the brand produces cleansers, serums, masks, and more that help combat dull, lifeless skin and signs of aging.
The company even conducts its own in-depth ginseng research program titled “Ginsecnomics” in order to more effectively draw out the plant’s revitalizing qualities.
Sulwhasoo’s most successful product, according to sales reps, is, hands down, the First Care Activating Serum EX—available in mask and liquid forms—which helps products better absorb into the skin, resulting in a healthier, more radiant glow.
Private facial and skincare cabins
Unsure about a certain serum, facial cream, or scrub or want to give it a test drive before laying down the plastic? Hop into one of Holt’s nine newly introduced private skincare cabins, where you can receive various treatments by professional estheticians.
Chatecaille, Cle de Peau, Dior, La Mer, La Prairie, and Sisley all operate their own personal rooms, while a shared Holt Renfrew space is available for clients of brands such as Valmont. Many of Holt’s labels offer complimentary services in the cabins, which are offered by walk-in or appointment.