NEW YORK—This is a place New Yorkers might not even know about. A few blocks north from the thick of Times Square is Inglot, a Polish makeup chain that opened up just five months ago. Though the brand is well established in Europe and Australia, this well-lighted oasis on the corner of 48th and Broadway is its only store in America.
Inglot was born 20 years ago under the guidance of chemist Wojtek Inglot. (The name is German, so resist the temptation to drop the "t".) It utilizes advanced technology to create its unique formulations. Take for instance its O2M, the line's new “breathable” nail polish based on polymers in breathable contact lenses. Increased oxygen is supposed to reduce the likeliness of fungal infection, according to the company.
Fancy technology aside, Inglot has almost 50 colors in the O2M nail polish collection alone, and many more in its matte and classic nail polish lines. Any color you can imagine, Inglot has it in nail polish and a matching color in a lipstick. What you won't find here is a prescription—Inglot will not sell you on color theory, only plenty of color. If you fancy red eyeliner and black lipstick, you'll find it here, but neither is there shortage of ballerina pink.
I met Sharie Henderson, Inglot makeup artist and sales associate, on a Thursday afternoon. She gave me the full walk-through of the line and then did a look for me. The small boutique's layout is simple: The main makeup line is presented on an island in the middle of the floor. Nail and lip products take one wall, and the rest is glass walls.
The best way to judge a makeup brand is by its eye shadows. Inglot has one of the most bedazzling arrays of colors and finishes I've ever seen. These colors, which are largely bright and shimmering, are not for the faint of heart. The company has over 200 shades in pearl, double sparkle, and pure loose pigment finishes. All of the colors are delicately silky and saturated—as if they were plucked straight off the skin of an apple or from Times Square's brightest LCD screen.
A hallmark of Inglot's line is AMC (which stands for Advanced Makeup Components). Products bearing this label contain high-performance ingredients that make the product last longer and remain true under strenuous conditions such as moisture and high heat.
“They're great for stage, movies, and photography,” said Henderson, who came into makeup after completing her theater major. Though Inglot's products are suitable for stage and camera, they are not heavy. Each powder or pigment is so packed with color that a featherlight application does the job.
Here's where it gets fun: customability. Inglot's Freedom System allows the user to create custom palettes. “Everything in the store is represented right here,” Henderson said as we approached the Freedom System station on the back wall. “Anything can go into any palette. If it fits, you can have it.”
When Henderson says “anything,” she means it. Concealers, eye shadows, lip colors, blush, brow wax—you could literally build a complete travel kit in one of these slim palettes.
Prices across the line are phenomenal for the quality. A pearl eyeshadow contains 2.5 g (0.09 oz.) of product and goes for $12, palettes start at $16 for a three-pan; the largest palette is $50. Foundations run from $16 to $21. Nail polishes are $10–$14. Lipsticks are $12.
Unfortunately, Inglot doesn't have a Web site (yet), so a pilgrimage to the store is still the best bet. Inglot is located at 1592 Broadway on the corner of 48th St. (212) 247-8169
O2M Breathable nail polish and nail art pens. Usually you'll have to order from professional suppliers if you want to draw your own nail designs.
AMC lip glosses look like holograms in the tube and when applied, enhance and modify the underlying color.
Duraline is a gel that transforms and waterproofs shadows so that they may be used as cream colors or liner.
Inglot's cream blush avoids the pitfall of so many cream blushes on the market—feeling like a cream that sits atop the face. This one blends out to a dewy, non-sticky glow.
Check out the matte nail polishes as well. Matte nails are in!