6 by Gee Beauty
6 by Gee Beauty is the ultimate luxury lifestyle shop — or "luxe," as you're more likely to hear once inside. This is the type of place where the jeans come in size 25, the cashmere sweaters are arranged from size small to size small, and the vibe is decidedly unapologetic. It's high-end, and detractors can simply move on.
The shop opened in November 2010 to serve as compliment to the adjacent Gee Beauty makeup and skincare studio. The studio is known for its oxygen facials and eyebrow threading, but the boutique, says the woman I meet behind the counter, "is more about travel and leisure."
Indeed, glancing around the shop I get a bit of a "summer in Maui" vibe; close enough, I suppose, since Gee Beauty's second makeup studio is located in Bal Harbour, Florida. Bal Harbour, I learn, was always a favourite spot for the owners to escape Canadian winters. So after opening Gee Beauty here in Toronto in 2005, the women decided a second studio in Bal Harbour was the natural next step.
Gee Beauty (and 6 by Gee Beauty) is a family business, operated by makeup artist Miriam Gee and her daughters Natalie, Celene, and Stephanie. Along with its own line of cosmetics and accessories, the makeup studio offers products from labels including Tata Harper, SkinCeuticals, St. Tropez, and others.
But 6 by Gee Beauty is not about skincare. It's the lifestyle extension — the sunglasses that go with the perfectly threaded brows, if you will — that rounds out the polished Gee Beauty image.
A central feature of the boutique is its Le Labo fragrance bar, which offers customers personalized, handmade scents. As the exclusive Canadian Le Labo retailer, 6 offers custom, made-to-order candles and perfumes, and also helpfully lists some component ingredients for those such as myself who can't tell bergamot essence from orange flower oil.
The small selection of clothing in store echoes that leisure/travel vibe, with light cashmere sweaters by White + Warren ($385), casual Paige denim ($325) , and Illesteva Frieda round-frame sunglasses ($215).
But my favourite pieces come from a Parisian jewellery line called Ela Stone, which include a gold-finished tassel necklace on an extra-long chain ($235), and a pair of dangling earrings outfitted with nickel-sized thin coins with impressions of Alexander the Great ($125). Pair those with a little cashmere and a fresh glow from next door, and you'll have that whole "luxe" thing down in no time.
Photos by Jesse Milns