Nerve Center for Arbor Hills
Bluemercury is the fifty-eighth store in a cosmetics chain owned by Marla and Barry Jon Beck. Manager Shakiba Farokhrani says that the Becks have a thing for the stars and planets, which are also the inspiration for the Becks' own cosmetic line M61 (apparently a reference to the Messier 61 galaxy).
Shakiba arrived in Ann Arbor from Iran in 1983 as a bride (she didn't know any English, but "I knew French, so I took French classes to learn English"). In 2004, she sold her Golden Needle bridal shop and entered the skin care business, selling Clarins in the aisle at Marshall Fields. "I sold so much that they moved me to Bobbi Brown."
Bluemercury sells a variety of high-end brands that you otherwise can't get any closer than Somerset mall in Troy, says Farokhrani. Then she scoots away to stop an African American woman from buying the wrong moisturizer. "You and I have enough oil in our skin," she says to her conspiratorially. "You need a hydrating tinted moisturizer. Let me tell you a little secret. Do your hydration," she says, leading her to another brand.
3070 Washtenaw, suite 103 (Arbor Hills Crossing, Building D), 477-9000, Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. bluemercury.com