Boston Boutiques: Reviewed

by Anna Cauthorn ‘19

assisted by Cristina Anillo ‘21

Follain

Beacon Hill & South End

With locations in both Beacon Hill and the South End, Follain serves as Boston’s refuge for the green-juice-drinking, Outdoor-Voices-clad, clean-beauty-loving set.  Their bright, airy spaces evoke a sort of apothecary-meets-greenhouse vibe complete with an energizing herbal scent.  On their well-organized shelves you’ll find all of the natural skincare and beauty cult favorites, from Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185), to May Lindstrom’s the Blue Cocoon ($180), to Pai’s Rosehip Oil ($40).  Bonus points for carrying the hard-to-find Rituel de Fille, a 99% natural makeup brand known for killer pigments-- we recommend you check out their Eye Soot ($38), a curiously textured eyeshadow that comes in mesmerizing shades and delivers insane color payoff.

Store vibes: 7/10 (they would have scored higher if the atmosphere had been more welcoming)

College budget friendliness: 4/10

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niche

Cambridge & South End

This is where the real greenhouse vibes come in.  niche (a branded lack of capitalization) is where you go when the Wellesley greenhouse can no longer sate your desire for foliage, when you realize it is not enough to simply name your plants but you must also house them in vessels worthy of their unique and beautiful personalities, it is where you go when you decide to truly hop on the millennial bandwagon.  The shop, with locations in Cambridge and the South End, sells all manner of plants, pots, and plant accessories.  Complete with a requisite millennial pink wall, it might be the most Instagrammable store in the city.  Prices range from $15 to well over $100 for pots and plants can be found for as little as $3.

Store vibes: 7/10 (again, the customer service was a bit disappointing)

College budget friendliness: 7/10

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Olives & Grace

South End

If you’re hoping to find a gift, look no further.  Chock full of candles, fancy chocolates, unique pottery, and gorgeous leather goods, Olives & Grace prides itself on supporting local brands and women-owned enterprises, often with a charity component.  Their **friendly** sales associates can tell you the story behind every item, from the NASTY WOMEN keychains ($25) to their very own OG Tea Infusion Candle ($15) (this might be the most beautifully scented candle I have ever smelled).  N.B.: Olives & Grace is known for their gift boxes, which are sold curated-- The Boston LOCAL Gift Box ($86), for example-- or customized according to preference and price.

Store vibes: 9/10

College budget friendliness: 6/10

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Forty Winks

Harvard Square

Look guys, I know this place isn’t affordable and perhaps doesn’t exactly reflect a college student’s needs or priorities, but we’ll file this one under “aspirational.”  Does anyone really need an $80 bra?  No, but by god will that scrap of lace make you feel good!  Honestly, there is a real difference in quality at Forty Winks.  Not only do they carry the most respected names in the lingerie industry (Chantelle, Cosabella, Eberjey, Natori, and newcomer Lonely, to name a few), but they also cater to each customer’s needs, helping you to find the correct fit across brands and styles.  There isn’t really anything more luxurious (or confidence-boosting!) than immaculately constructed, flattering lingerie.  This is the place to find it.

Store vibes: 9/10

College budget friendliness: 2/10  :(

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