December 8, 2010

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ask the expert: marc brunet of beautymark

I've recently fallen back in love with one of the first one-stop shops I had ever known: BeautyMark, Canada's premier boutique for makeup, skincare, fashion and more. Prior to opening BeautyMark, owner Marc Brunet helped open ICE in Vancouver and Kitson in LA. When he opened BeautyMark in 2000, people had never seen a boutique beauty store before and to top it off, the brands carried were also relatively unheard of, such as Philosophy, Fresh, Bumble and bumble, Ole Henriksen, Anthony Logistics, Paula Dorf and Cargo. Flash forward 10 years and there are tons of mass mall retail and down market drugstores trying to catch a bit of the "gourmet" beauty action. Yet BeautyMark isn't trying to be bigger -- just better: Marc is staying true to his original vision to always offer cutting edge products, new and emerging brands and provide great customer service.

Marc & the BeautyMark staff

Having attended BeautyMark's media party a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Marc, who kindly let me get my Oprah on and answered a few questions for us:

The inspiration behind BeautyMark: I think we started out with the idea that shopping should be FUN! It should be original, exciting and friendly. We sell cosmetics, skincare, haircare but also jewellery, accessories and fashion pieces. So we think of BeautyMark as the "Ultimate One Stop Beauty Shop". (We hope your heart races a bit when you walk through the door...maybe some jumpy claps?)

Favourite Holiday party look: I wouldn't say there is one look I really like more than's more like the Holidays give you the opportunity to dress up and push your boundaries a bit more. There are all these parties and dinners that become like mini events. The more casual among us get dressed up and the fashionistas might rock a killer pair of heels or a great hair accessory. It makes it all pretty festive and fun!

What are the upcoming beauty trends for 2011 and which is your favourite? 2011 is going to be really fun. A little bit more "out of the box", and little brighter. We'll see makeup as accessory -- take for example the bold fuchsia lip and the statement nail polish. A fave? I don't know if there is one thing in particular, but what I really like is the return to "pretty". Pretty hair, pretty dressing, pretty accessorizing.

Must-have beauty products: Cargo Big Bronzer, Stila smudge pots, Fresh Supernova mascara, Geisha ink eyeliner, "Evangeline" Plant Love Cargo Lipstick.

Marc's top beauty picks

New product you are most excited about right now: That ones easy! Nanoblur! When I tried it for the first time, it was very exciting! Nanoblur is a "game changer". It was kind of like the first time Lip Plumper was introduced to the market.

"[Nanoblur] is a suspension of millions and millions of particles that refl ect light perfectly in billions of directions to make the skin’s surface appear completely flawless." - Indeed Labs

Your expert beauty tips/advice: Wash your face at night. Stay out of the sun. Drink plenty of water. Don't take everything so seriously. I've really embraced this quote from the late Kevyn Aucoin: "Beauty has a lot to do with character!"

Celebrity you would love to make-over: I think I would love to get my hands on Taylor Swift! While I totally think she's great and everything, and her look is fine, it's getting a bit tired....I think it's time for a change Taylor!

Any last words for the readers of A Haute Mess? Happy Holidays and all the best for 2011! XO

You can visit BeautyMark in Yaletown at 1120 Hamilton St. or shop online at

Thanks again Marc for taking the time to chat with us! And ps -- I would've totally said Taylor Swift too.

Photos by Ellen Ho & product images provided by BeautyMark.


  1. YES!! I knew it!! I visited this place when I was in Van and about emptied out my wallet all over the place. It is filled to the brim with the best of the best and some wonderful things I'd never heard of. I bought my first bottle of Kai there (amongst other things that are now long gone). That place almost made me move back to Canada...

  2. the store and products look awesome!


    check out the giveaway i am having on my blog! I am sure you will love it:

  3. This is such a great post!


  4. I love this place and Marc and the BeautyMark crew are always super helpful whenever I pop by. I had no idea he worked at Kitson before founding BeautyMark! This was a fantastic Q&A, Niki.

  5. Beautymark is amazing! Haven't been in in so long, I think I'm gonna head over for some Christmas shopping soon! Thanks for sharing :)

    Alexandra xo

  6. Such a great store and interview! hehe I totally agree with this assessment of Taylor Swift; I don't get what everyone loves about her!

  7. Great Q&A Niki. Hands down my favourite beauty store in Vancouver. The girls are always so helpful and knowledgable.

    Taylor Swift needs to cut that country hair and lay off the black eyeliner!

  8. omg thats like makeup heaven! i would love to spend hours in there trying on different brands, amazing experience!

  9. so it's like Sephora? looks like a great store. i love wandering through Sephora. it's heaven. i spend way too much money on there.

  10. Very nice blog! I hope you will visit my blog! :)

  11. Thi store seems very nice! :D
    Love your blog!

  12. I used to come here all the time when I lived in Vancouver! Oh how I miss it.


  13. Where is Cindy mentioned in this post? She's been the heart and soul of Beautymark since it opened. Half of everything that the store has become is due to her eye for product and fashion that my girlfriends and I love! The customer service and beauty knowledge is always the best and her makeup skills are amazing. The thing i'm most thankful for is at Christmas she does an amazing job leading my husband around the store to make sure I get what I like in my stocking. <3 Thanks Cindy!

  14. great post!!! seems fab this place!
    it's so nice to open my blog and see your sweet comment! if you don't want to lose track of my blog, well- it's easy with k come karolina on bloglovin, facebook and twitter :) and in the last post - you can ask me anything

    xoxo from rome

  15. Thanks for sharing this. I love the quote he added as his beauty tip. I wish I had this store in my area, but good thing he has an online shop - which looks totally fun and colorful! love love love it!

  16. Amazing!! I need to go visit this shop ASAP. Eeep..thanks so much for sharing! x