Beauty’s New Face: Credo Opens in New York

Courtesy Credo Beauty

Manhattan’s latest natural skincare boutique heralds a new era of personal maintenance: when luxury and organic are no longer mutually exclusive.

There’s a new kid on the block in New York’s NoLIta neighborhood—the capital of the city’s boutique beauty scene, where Le Labo, Aesop, Space NK, and other cult authorities have set up shop—and its set to change the way we think about makeup and skincare.

Credo, which opened its first outpost on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street last June and its second this spring on Prince Street in Manhattan, is a natural beauty one-stop-shop. Offering everything from $380 face serums to $30 mascaras, all the products on their shelves are free from 23 ingredients, common among most beauty solutions today (think parabens, formaldehyde, and mineral oil), that the brand deems most harmful.

Shashi Batra, Credo’s founder, searched around the world to find more than 100 clean brands that fit the bill. “The movement in natural beauty has been significant outside North America for a while now,” says Batra. “There are many countries that are far more eco-conscious than us, but we are catching up.”

Ahead of the curve, Batra began championing clean beauty in the United States nearly twenty years ago. As the merchandising director at Sephora in 1997, he understood the importance of what we put on our skin and attempted to implement natural cosmetics into the mainstream assortment. “I found myself telling my eldest daughter, who was a teenager when I was at Sephora, to not use any of the products we offered at the store,” he recalls. “Clearly, that was not a solution and I realized we desperately needed clean alternatives.”

Credo New York
The products he now curates at Credo aren’t the organic cosmetics you’re used to seeing: Each product’s effectiveness, and importantly, its aesthetic, matches that of any traditional luxury brand.

“Luxury has absolutely made its way into natural beauty,” says Batra. He cites Kjaer Weis, a certified organic cosmetic collection developed by makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, as the perfect example. “Her products make Chanel look like L’Oreal,” says Batra. “Women are proud to take it out of their handbags and display it on their bathroom shelves. There’s no compromise in performance and you never have to buy the packaging twice, making it more sustainable and less wasteful than other brands.”

The products aren’t the only natural fixtures at the NoLIta store. The 900-square-foot space itself also pays tribute to Credo’s ethos with recycled limestone and wood floors and white-lacquered shelves constructed by carpenters in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the scene is a far cry from the places you’d find natural beauty in the past.

According to clean skincare trailblazer Tata Harper, whose handmade products are sold at both Credo and upscale department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Credo’s clean, modern setting makes buying natural beauty chic. “There aren’t a lot places like Credo,” says Harper. “Green cosmetics got a bad rap because they were mainly sold at supermarkets and pharmacies where you don’t find the most luxurious products. Now, Credo showcases them in their full splendor.”

Credo is located at 9 Prince St.; 917-675-6041; credobeauty.com.