Ipswich resident Edwin Barrow spent years working in different PR and sales roles for luxury fashion and beauty brands like Gucci, Valentino, Prada, and Sephora. During that time, he noticed an interesting trend: The popularity of “bridge lines” that were created by designers but were less expensive and more accessible than their high-end couture or collection pieces.
“You had a bridge line, which was not as high end, not as expensive, but still had a look that made you feel like you were wearing high end,” he says.
That’s exactly what Barrow’s eponymous skincare, makeup, and beauty line achieves.
The skincare and makeup products in the EDWIN BARROW line are beautifully crafted, high-performance cosmetics without the crazy-high price tag that shoppers might expect. Instead, they’re several steps above drugstore products in terms of performance, quality, and feel, but not as prohibitively expensive as couture beauty-counter brands that sell $55 lipsticks. They’re also paraben free, hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic, and not tested on animals. The makeup products are fragrance free.
Even the packaging is attractive, with a look that makes you “feel nice about what you’re pulling out of your bag, what’s on the counter in your bathroom, what’s on your shelf.”
“It’s trying to reach out to someone who says, ‘I want something that’s high-end looking and feeling and that works in a high-end way, but doesn’t necessarily have that sticker shock,’” Barrow says.
The line is both wide-ranging and focused, with products, pigments, and options for every skin type and tone.
On the skincare end, it offers face wash, moisturizer, serum, toner, polish, masks, and body butter. The makeup line is even more extensive, offering lipsticks, gloss, and plumper; shimmer and illuminating powder; mascara; primers; and long-wearing foundations in both liquid and powder formulations.
One standout product is the incredibly versatile Hi-Def Pigments, which are highly pigmented crushed minerals that can be used in ways ranging from eye shadow, to blush, to lip color, and even nail enamel and hair highlights.
“It’s a metallic powder that you can put on your cheeks, you can wear it as eyeshadow, you can put it on your collarbone, you can put it on your arms, you can put it in your hair,” Barrow says. “It has a very interesting use. It’s very, very pigmented.”
The EDWIN BARROW line performs well, too, offering lipstick that doesn’t feather, antiaging products that tighten and tone, and bright, vibrant pigments that stay in place for hours.
“We have a formula that works very well, that does what it says it’s going to do,” Barrow says.
EDWIN BARROW skincare and makeup products are available online and in a handful of small, brick-and-mortar stores, among them Houndstooth Consignors in Hamilton. But what makes this line even more distinctive is the personalized experience that clients receive when they book private shopping appointments with Barrow himself.
Barrow splits his time between Ipswich and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and offers private consultations from each location, depending on where he is. When he’s here on the North Shore, clients can visit Barrow at his home at Waldingfield, a historic estate in Ipswich that’s situated on 39.9 acres of land that includes Ipswich River waterfront, trails, and extensive gardens.
When people make an appointment, they can access the products directly in a beautiful, personal environment with a one-on-one discussion with Barrow himself. Clients are welcome individually or in very small groups of friends. They might have snacks and wine, along with trying out the products.
Rather than being overwhelmed by lots of big, impersonal brands with no meaning or stories behind them, customers get a chance to explore the products, try them on their own skin, and shop with the person behind the product.
“That’s what makes us stand out a little bit also, because you’re meeting me personally,” he says. “You’re working directly with the person who has this vision and is passionate about it.”
For Barrow, the line is the culmination of a vision brought to vivid, colorful life while offering an experience they can’t get elsewhere.
“We wanted to be available, we wanted to provide excellent customer service, and we wanted people to feel like they were having a special experience,” he says.