Best Little Beauty Apothecary

Be Clean
52 O St. NW, #308

Be Clean is not your typical beauty product store. First, it’s not quite a store; it’s technically a studio within a larger building of artisans. The space is tiny. This is not high-octane beauty industry consumerism that demands more and more. It’s a quiet space that encourages thoughtful interactions.

Customers can browse a carefully curated selection of products. Owner Becky Waddell has identified brands that are vegan and made in small batches. She carries select items that are made to work with your needs rather than wage an all-out attack on fighting whatever is deemed wrong with your skin. (You won’t see terms like “anti-aging,” “synthetic,” or “acne-fighting.”)

This is in line with Waddell’s larger philosophy of giving customers permission to slow down and approach skincare with mindfulness. It is a wildly different avenue into beauty, where consumers are encouraged to be compassionate to themselves.

Be Clean is a different type of retail experience logistically, too. Customers can make one-on-one appointments for themselves or for a small group. It is possible to come by during studio hours (Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.), but double check the website prior to your visit to make sure that Waddell is in the studio that day. When you get to O Street Studios, you have to be buzzed up. The experience is personal, attentive, and refreshing—an entirely new approach to shopping and beauty.

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