You know that feeling of entering a store and wanting to buy everything, but you can’t quite reason with yourself that you actually need anything in there? Imagine that feeling, but then realizing maybe you really do need every single thing you see.
That’s what it feels like to be in The Strategist’s holiday pop-up shop in Soho, which, lucky for you and unlucky for your bank account, is open through the end of December.
The New York magazine vertical that basically gives you advice on what to spend your money on is giving that advice IRL for a month as part of a marketing push — and holiday event — to get its readers off their laptops and into face masks.
The store features many brands not carried in normal places– like Scent Bird’s package of three perfumes, or Rich Bitch moisturizer– so it’s a good excuse to sample different things and buy something your roommates won’t have. Like Glossier’s storefront in Chinatown, there are a bunch of stations with face creams, moisturizers, zit patches, and other products to try. iPads allow you to click on The Strategist’s product reviews while you do so.
The cheapest thing inside is $5 (acne patches) and the most expensive good is around $250 (king-sized sheets), practically a steal in the city. There’s also one thing there for men, a Bro Mask. It’s a face mask for men. A Bro Mask.
Throughout its scheduled stint there will be pop-up businesses inside, like HairStory blowouts and stylings, and nail manicures. On opening night, there were even waiters in all black handing out the mini-est of weenies with the daintiest dollop of mustard atop.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m not a regular New Yorker, I’m a cool one who does my own hair and doesn’t pay for volume,” then I feel you. But what about free blowouts by stylists in Balenciaga ponchos, with medieval-symbol face tattoos?
Yes, the main attraction inside might be the hair-styling section, perhaps only because of Dustin Elliott, an East Village native with hands as strong as one’s will to make it to a seat in a train during rush hour. He took me into his chair with an open heart, seeing as my hair was in a bun and Damaged with a capital D like the Danity Kane song. (Have you heard they’re making a comeback?)
Elliott will be boosting egos at the store until Sunday, using HairStory products that he says don’t use any bad things that make your hair gross, they only use the good things that make your hair shiny. “Your scalp is an extension layer of your skin,” he said, letting me reflect upon this very obvious fact that has never once come to mind.
He also tells me the product he’s putting on my head will give my hair “a revolution.” I believe him, because the brand produces cleanser, not shampoo. Something a royal would use during the medieval times Elliott loves.
The blowouts are great because, again, they’re free. And they leave your hair feeling how I imagine Connie Britton’s feels.
The shop is located at 347 West Broadway and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.