Clean beauty shoppers in London have found a new mecca in the form of Beauty Edit Mayfair. A serene space awash in shades of cream and peach with a grey marble centerpiece, the store provides a tranquil refuge from the figurative and literal noise of the Big Smoke. Priding itself on a meticulously curated range of brands, the retail space is a labor of love from beauty entrepreneur Sherille Riley.
With over two decades of industry experience, Riley’s professional journey began in training as a beauty therapist, soon relocating from Derbyshire to London. She worked in beauty services at the city’s esteemed spaces such as the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, Harrods Hair & Beauty Salon, and Daniel Hershesons’ Mayfair salon. Brows became her calling, seeing her work on celebrities like Meghan Markle, with her work featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Net-a-Porter. In 2014, she decided to set up a home base in the form of Nails & Brows Mayfair, a luxury brow and nail beauty boutique in the city’s West End.
With high demand for Riley’s expertise, she launched Beauty Edit, an exclusive product collection of pencils, gels, highlighters, and brushes to allow customers to recreate their favorite brow looks at home. Riley worked on formulations infused with a conditioning complex of vitamin E, vitamin B5, and castor oil for stronger brows, as well as pigments that matched the wide range of customers’ brow hair undertones. “I had often found that brunette shades had undertones of orange while blonde shades proved to be too ashy. It made me realize that what was currently on offer was not nearly comprehensive enough,” she explained at the time of launch.
But the brand name was set to expand to something even bigger: a sustainability-minded and inclusive new retail space, with niche brands including Monpure (a scalp and hair health brand), Charlotte Mensah (a haircare range for all curly and textured hair types), and Darling Sun (a premium sun care brand with skincare ingredient-infused formulas). Its assortment covers everything from color cosmetics to men’s skincare and aromatherapy products. The space will also be used to host beauty workshops and events, further emphasizing the community focus, which began with Nails & Brows Mayfair (conveniently located next door). The sustainability focus at the core of the store's offerings has personal roots for the brand founder.
“Growing up in Jamaica, I witnessed the devastating effects of mindless consumerism, which has inspired my ongoing commitment to creating a shopping experience, demonstrating that one can be both effective and environmentally mindful in today’s world,” she explains. Elements of Beauty Edit Mayfair’s indoor display was even made using recycled materials, furthering this mindful aspect.
Following the store’s opening, BeautyMatter sat down with Riley to discover the personal journey that prompted the launch of the retail space, the detailed selection process for its brand selection, and the creation of a shopping experience to illuminate and inspire customers.
What was the impetus for opening Beauty Edit Mayfair? What white space does it fill in London’s beauty retail landscape?
At the age of 24, I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, which led me to extensive research about its causes. Through this research, I discovered the impact of our food choices, beauty products, and sanitary products on our overall health and well-being. This encouraged me to scrutinize my food choices, investigate the ingredients in my beauty products, and opt for healthier and more sustainable options.
I strongly believe that many women are unaware of the long-term health implications of the chemicals found in their everyday products, which is why Beauty Edit Mayfair fills a gap in the market by being a clean beauty concept store that offers a wide range of clean beauty brands in various categories. Our mission is to inspire customers to become conscious about the formulation of their products, which will enable them to make informed choices and discover products for their everyday beauty rituals. Being in such a central location in the heart of Mayfair also means customers have easier access to products that are not always easy to find.
What was the inspiration behind the store's design and aesthetic?
My vision was to weave together sustainability and luxury, as well as install a sense of calmness in-store. I wanted to take discarded items and breathe new life back into them, and I can honestly say that this was a labor of love and a lot of learning, but I am super happy and proud of what we have accomplished.
The aesthetics of the store mirror and complement the packaging of our existing brow collection, Beauty Edit, and by incorporating the color scheme and brand identity, I feel we have created a luxurious sanctuary for beauty enthusiasts to not only explore the latest trends, but also discover an array of cosmetics, essential body care products, and innovative sun care solutions that will leave them feeling inspired. We have also incorporated a tranquil space downstairs in which we will host occasional beauty workshops and events featuring guest speakers and industry experts to create an immersive and educational experience for our customers.
How did you curate the selection of brands for the store?
When curating the selection of brands to stock within Beauty Edit Mayfair, we have a meticulous checklist we cross-reference, to ensure we are stocking products that align with the ethos of our store. This list covers a range of elements, focusing primarily on the ingredients within the products; for example, are they clean and formulated without irritants and nasties such as parabens and phthalates etc.?
We also look at the social conscience of brands, researching their ethical practices, social initiatives, sustainable commitments, and charitable enterprises, to ensure every brand stocked in-store is to the highest standard and reflective of our goal to stock results-driven products that prioritize well-being and the planet we call home. To ensure we adhere to our clean commitment to customers, I personally carry out extensive research and trials of each product, to ensure they deliver ingredient transparency, good-for-you formulas, ethical commitments, and the results that we promise our customers at Beauty Edit Mayfair.
How important is in-staff training when it comes to an optimal retail experience?
Retail and brand training is key to the success of Beauty Edit Mayfair and will always be essential in the onboarding of staff in-store. We offer a warm and welcoming environment to shop in, so customers will genuinely enjoy the shopping experience of exploring the latest trends and discovering of an array of cosmetics, essential body care products, and innovative sun care solutions that will leave them feeling inspired. We ensure our training is designed to deliver an informative, inviting, and inspiring experience to all customers that visit, which will amplify the power and clarity of not only the ethos of Beauty Edit Mayfair, but every brand we stock in-store.
What has the transition from standalone brand entrepreneur to retail curator been like?
This has been an exciting, educating, and rewarding experience for me. Learning about so many incredible brands and having to make key decisions about which products meet the edit has been the most challenging, but being exposed to so many niche, clean beauty brands has been nothing but inspiring. To see the industry move into such a healthier, sustainable, and greener era has been very exciting for me to see, and I am proud to be a part of the movement that educates people about the clean beauty options that are available to shop.
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