New Year, New Space, New Face
Pout's new location is surely something for Columbia to, well, smile about...
By Lisa Arnold
Photos by Amanda Thomas
I drove past the wood construction facade on Devine Street daily for almost two years, wondering when Pout would be moving to its new location. When I pulled up in early November and walked in all I could think was "hello gorgeous" which, ironically are the words printed at the top of the store's stationary. Pout opened in 2003 and as a client, I’ve watched the metamorphosis during the past 12 years.
"Pout provides honest beauty and grooming advice. My goal is to assist a woman achieve a look she wants, not a look she is told to desire," says owner, Melissa Blanchard. Melissa and her staff (the Pout family) take pride in carefully selecting the best product lines, offering topnotch skin care services and unparalleled customer service.
Each year, when Allure does its "Best in Beauty" awards I'm always guaranteed to see a bevy of products carried by Pout. The skin care treatments offered are innovative and the estheticians are well educated and exceptionally trained in their field. The environment is both inviting and impeccable, with no detail left unattended – from the design of the space, to the colors and lighting, the fabulous furniture and not to mention the beautifully designed custom sinks. They had me at hello.
Even though I am a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, I loathe passing through the makeup and fragrance sections of large department stores. I don't want to be sprayed with perfume, have my makeup done in a noisy environment in front of hundreds of strangers and have products that don't suit me or that I don't need pushed on me by commission-based salespeople who want to sell me the line they represent. Pout is not only a departure from traditional big box beauty and department stores; it is, in fact, the antithesis.
While Pout is a perfectly edited emporium of luxury beauty products that also offers skin care services and carries cult favorites and hard to find products this is not what makes it truly unique and special. As she always does, owner Melissa Blanchard has created an environment and a culture that encourages customers to feel good about their experience in every capacity. It’s the perfect combination of ambience and exceptional staff; Pout takes the customer experience to a completely different level.
The Pout staff always greets you with a smile, asks how they can assist you and is knowledgeable about each and every product carried and services offered. They encourage clients to feel comfortable and spend time in the store, becoming educated on their skin and body wellness.
Customers can choose to roam freely and try new products without having services or products pushed on them, or schedule a full makeup and/or skin consultation in an environment that’s relaxed, casual and private.
With its expanded space; The Skin Studio at Pout has added a second full time esthetician, providing facial, waxing and tanning services. The menu of amazing services provided at Pout includes everything from Microdermabrasion, LED light facials, Mr. Pout Gentlemen's facial and the Pout teen facial just to name a few. The Skin Studio also offers waxing, tanning and faux lash application. All services are provided in the private, gorgeously designed rooms off of the beauty lounge and using only the highest quality products available.
Pout carries makeup and skin care products by Nars, Chantecaille, Jouer, Susan Posnik, Stila, RMS Beauty, Smashbox and Ellis Faas. The company stocks all of the amazing brushes and tools a girl (or guy) could ask for, featuring items by Beauty Blender, Clarisonic, Japonesque, Nu Face and Tweezerman.
Exotic fragrances from Bond No. 9, Diptyque and Tocca provide the ultimate sensory pleasure and help a lady drift off (at least in her mind) to places far from Columbia, South Carolina. Pout features beautiful loungewear by Cosabella, B*Up, Eberjey, Nubra and cosmetic bags by Stephanie Johnson. Hair products include Oribe, Sedu, Molton Brown, Fresh and Mason Pearson hair brushes (the best ever). For the men in your life they carry the products by Art of Shaving, Mario Badescu and Molton Brown.
The staff keeps a record of products and colors that you have purchased and if you don't have a lot of time you can call and they will pull products and have them bagged and ready for you to zip in and out. I frequently stop in to purchase gifts for family and friends and they always ask if I would like it gift-wrapped, which is done impeccably and is always complimentary. Don't tell the staff, but sometimes I have them wrap items that I'm purchasing for myself so that I can stare at and then open my sweet treats in the privacy of my own home.
With its beauty lounge atmosphere and array of products and services, Pout has created an environment that makes its customers feel great. They host many international makeup artists who come in a few days at a time to do makeovers, providing a lovely opportunity for their clients to learn about new products or brush up on their makeup skills. Pout also hosts trunk shows by Theodosia jewelry and clothing by Hampden throughout the year.
In addition to makeup/skincare consultations, Pout offers makeup services for special events including prom and bridal and bridal party makeovers and with its separate lounge area, is a great place to host a spa/makeup party for friends. In 2016, Pout will be expanding services to include blowouts using their best selling hair care line, Oribe.
Earlier this year my 13-year-old daughter came to me to discuss the possibility of starting to wear makeup. I called Pout and made an appointment to bring her in. All of the products were chosen for her coloring, skin type and age and she was given a lesson in how to properly apply her makeup. It was an amazing experience for both of us and my daughter feels confident in how to take care of her skin and apply her makeup. She loves the way she looks and so do I.
Whether you spend an hour or spend a day, a trip to Pout will surely put a smile on your face. The new store with its enhanced services is simply divine, much like the owner, Melissa Blanchard, and her staff.
2738 Devine Street