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Best Downscale Beauty Mecca

  • Duane Reade Wall Street

    40 Wall St., nr. Broad St.; 212-742-8457

    Duane Reade was once a necessary evil, a dreary-but-dependable stop for cereal, toilet paper, and Suave deodorant. But the chain’s 22,000- square-foot, 24-hour Wall Street location is nothing but a good thing, stretching well beyond grab-and-go staples into impressive beauty brands and salon services. Located in the Trump Building, the store has stately marble floors and vaulted ceilings, a welcome upgrade from DR’s familiar fluorescent lighting and crowded aisles. The beauty-focused Look Boutique resembles a less clublike, less sample-smeared Sephora, stocking products by Butter London and Pur Minerals. Two virtual-makeover stations let shoppers take their own photo and scan product bar codes to play with the effects. In alcoves off the beauty aisles, you’ll find two Essie and O.P.I. manicure stations (from $7) and a three-chair Phyto salon offering blowouts ($35) and conditioning treatments ($45), and Ramy Spa–trained brow threaders. A Beth Israel– affiliated doctor is at the pharmacy five days a week, and the Upmarket area across the floor offers fresh smoothies, sushi, and flowers.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).