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Husband and wife team Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg looked to their Russian roots when they launched Fresh in 1991. Inspired by the traditional herbal remedies of their homeland, as well as organic ingredients like sugar and sake, they created a line of vegetable-based bar soaps. Today the soaps, wrapped like miniature gifts in colorful cotton paper, share the chain of Fresh stores' clean white shelves with fragrances, makeup, skin scrubs, and hair care potions. The airy beauty emporiums feel like 1940s powder rooms: Gray and white tile floors, pedestal sinks, and grown-up girly packaging call to mind silver-screen sirens in silky robes and high-heeled kitten slippers, spritzing perfume at the vanity. Alcohol-free mascara is the stores' best selling item but Fresh is probably best known for cult-favorites like Brown Sugar Body Polish, shea butter-infused lip glosses, and Sugar fragrance. Milk, soy, and rice infuse the shampoos, conditioners, and face products, and yummy-sounding concoctions like Orange Chocolate Shea Butter don't sacrifice moisture for a sweet smell. Noted for its keen sense of design and the quality of its products, Fresh is also a go-to place for gifts like vintage-y soap trays, tumblers, and accessories. Fun, useful in-store events and unique seasonal launches ensure new eye-candy at every visit.
Best of New York: Health & Self
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.