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There are two kinds of makeup buyers: those who are faithful to one line and those who mix and match. For the latter, Sephora's 1998 arrival in New York was a godsend. With more than a dozen locations citywide, the beauty emporium and its signature black-and-white scheme are now a familiar sight to women hunting and gathering for their makeup stash. And with stockpiles of 150 fragrance, cosmetic, hair, nail, and skincare lines (the website boasts upwards of 250), people rarely walk out empty-handed. An open floor plan organized by brand makes the stores easily navigable, as does an eager staff that's gone through training programs on skin physiology, the history of makeup, and application techniques. Free, walk-in consultations allow customers to try out new looks and take home samples, while the vibe stays decidedly hard sell-free. Several locations have taken the service angle to a higher level, offering in-store "brow studios" from Anastasia Soare: For a fee, trained estheticians shape brows (and hawk her line of products). With a Times Square location open 'til midnight, and most others as late as 9 p.m., you need never troll for the perfect mascara again. Different locations carry different brands, though; call ahead if you're looking for something specific.
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