MY BEAUTY ADVENTURE: Ashley Turen

In New York, each neighborhood comes with a certain style – from the prim and proper Uptown Girl to the hipster Blooklyn chick. When Ashley Turen opened A. Turen, a fashion and concept store in the Lower East Side, three years ago she quickly fell in love with the scene, and it began to inspire her.

I’ve always been a beauty junkie. Something I must have inherited from my mom and my grandmother, who was in fact a beauty queen in Alabama. I can spend hours in Sephora and C.O. Bigelow trying on new products. I’m especially obsessed with skincare products. I guess it came with the territory, but I used to be totally primped and polished. I would get manicures at Dashing Diva, had fake tan addictions, and loved getting my weekly blowout. My eyebrows always had to be meticulous, and I would get eyelash extensions. I would even occasionally have professionals come over to do my makeup!

When I moved further downtown, things started changing. I opened up my store on the Lower East Side, and quickly became immersed in the cool, relaxed scene. I always considered myself a downtown girl, but I was undeniably high maintenance.  I became drawn to the effortless LES style. I still love beauty, but it’s a different kind of look; I gave up on the idea of being ‘coiffed’ or too coiffed rather. Lower East Side girls veer towards an edgier look: eclectic nail art, tattoos, lots of eyeliner and even neon hair. One trend that’s really “in” is to use dry shampoo in lieu of regular shampoo – it gives you a dirty, grungy do.

I gave up some beauty luxuries when my style changed, but one perk I will never let go of is facials, something I discovered in my college years when I began breaking out (probably due to the unhealthy lifestyle of drinking and eating junk). Facials are really lifesavers for my skin.

One of my favorite downtown trends is nail art. I fell in love with it when I lived across the street from the famous Sakura nail salon. In fact, I loved it so much that I recently brought nail artist to the stars Momo to my store to do her special magic. It’s such a fun and creative experience – if I have a nail art idea, Momo will create it for me. It’s become my own version of a pop-up nail salon. From there, I decided to bring fabulous makeup artist Rosie Rodriguez to station in the back of my store, doing make-up for customers. My store is slowly morphing into more of a concept shop. Just like the fashion in my store, all of the beauty products are handpicked as reflection of my style. Though, I have foregone many of my luxuries of the past, I still manage to maintain some, but in my own LES way.

A. Turen is located at 85 Stanton Street – New York – tel. 212-533-8200