The way I makeup: Volume Eight

Michelle Castano



While perusing the Pembroke Lakes Mall, a store by the name of Riley Rose caught my eye. With Bubblegum pink font, the name of the store gleamed in neon brilliance. I peaked inside and realized that it was a beauty store that had the chance to rival a Sephora or Ulta.

So where did Riley Rose come from? Linda and Esther Chang are the founders of this beauty retailer; they also happen to be the daughters of “fast fashion” retailer, Forever 21. Essentially, Riley Rose is a “sister brand” of Forever 21.

From the get go, I saw a stand dedicated to Lime Crime’s shock-value makeup, a wall full of Korean sheet masks and both high and low end beauty items. Hair care, skin care, makeup, glitter, stationary, you name it they have it.


Riley Rose store exterior. Photo Courtesy of

The attention to detail of the interior of the store is kitschy and alluring to their target audience which is the Millennial and Gen Z population. The store has a pink colored brick wall that has a sign that says “wish you were here” and a bathtub full of shower sponges. The whole store is “Instagrammable” which is pretty genius, considering the fact that Instagram is a free “marketing” resource.

I was most excited to see that Riley Rose not only carried products from Mario Badescu but also from R+Co and Lemon Head Los Angeles. Fresh from HBO’s Euphoria’s success and notable makeup looks from the cast, Lemon Head Los Angeles is the go-to provider for glitter-inspired looks.

R+Co is a hair product brand that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. I hadn’t purchased anything from them since their products are usually sold online and their shipping fees don’t seem reasonable to me. I was thrilled to see R+Co at Riley Rose and immediately tested out all their products. I purchased their “One” prep spray which is meant to applied to the hair before using any hot tools (curling iron or straightening iron).

If you looking for “festival makeup” and rhinestones, Riley Rose has the most colorful and unique options for you. Just like walking into a Target, you never know what you might walk out with at Riley Rose. They truly bank on their “cute” factor. Hopefully, Forever 21’s recent bankruptcy doesn’t hinder Riley Rose’s success.