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Hoping for a Glimpse of Hailey Bieber, Hundreds Turn Out for Her Makeup

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The line of Hailey Bieber fans snaked up Greene Street in Manhattan and wrapped around the block, but many were never going to get what they really wanted: a selfie with Ms. Bieber.

“I love the Bieber family, Bieber franchise — I’m here for it!” exclaimed Haleigh Francis. Like hundreds of others who descended on SoHo on Monday, Ms. Francis was hoping to be among the first to experience the “pocket-sized” pop-up put on by Ms. Bieber’s popular makeup and skin care brand, Rhode.

At 11 a.m., Rhode opened its doors to the public, who were invited to buy tubes of peptide lip balm for $18 apiece or a set of six mini-blushes for $130, among other skin care items.

Inside the tiny storefront, employees wore the Los Angeles girl uniform: a form-fitting white tee, semi-baggy jeans and black loafers. The walls were painted a glossy caramel shade, and mirrors emblazoned with the brand name covered the walls. Outside, a baby-pink Cosmic Bliss ice cream truck distributed samples of Strawberry Glaze, Ms. Bieber’s signature ice cream flavor, fashioned after her signature Erewhon smoothie.

With her Gen Z bona fides and the all-important aura of celebrity, Ms. Bieber, 27, a model and socialite who founded Rhode in 2022, is carving out a niche within the crowded, billion-dollar cosmetics and skin care industry. In some ways, the pop-up is an extension of previous experiments by the brand, like a touring photo booth.

“With Rhode, I’m always looking for new ways to reach our customers,” Ms. Bieber said in a phone interview. “I speak so much about how Rhode is a whole world that we’re creating. As a brand, we’re always wanting to bring people into the world of Rhode in fun and immersive ways.”

Ms. Bieber visited the shop the night before, when Rhode hosted a preview event for friends and skin care influencers, but she decided to skip the first day.

“I’m obviously pregnant right now, so I wanted to just do what I was the most comfortable with and kind of just let people go and have their own experience,” she said, adding, “I am being a little bit more protective of my energy and space and time right now.”

“My energy is going to growing this baby,” she said.

Close to 1,000 fans had lined up at the door by 6 a.m. for the pop-up’s first day. (It is expected to continue through July 3.)

Matthew Angeles, 20, traveled from Dover, N.J., and then waited for five hours to make his way into the shop. The space was small, but there was room enough to display seven blushes and four tinted peptide lip balms at stations spaced throughout the store. Fans stopped to take selfies as they applied products and some took photos of one another. The moment Mr. Angeles walked in the store, he reached for what he had waited so long to try: the Pocket Blush in a peachy shade called Sprinkle that was created strictly for the New York pop-up.

“I definitely wanted to try that,” Mr. Angeles said, while tugging on his Reneé Rapp tote. “I haven’t been able to get my hands on those, and I kind of wanted to test those out, see what I like.”

Marisa Darlene, 22, found out about the pop-up from social media. She arrived at 127 Greene Street at 8:30 in the morning. By 1 p.m., she was still at the back of the line.

“I was super excited to come out and knew I’d be waiting in a long line,” Ms. Darlene said. “I like the excitement a pop-up brings. It’s just so fun to make friends in line. This is so cool.”

Even with all the excitement, however, there was one thing that could burst Ms. Darlene’s bubble: if Ms. Bieber did not show.

“I would be kind of disappointed because there’s so many people here,” said Ms. Darlene, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “I mean, I don’t even know if she expected the turnout to be this big, but I feel like that’d be nice for her just to pop by to see her fans, you know?”

A gaggle of teens from Westchester — one pointed out she was from Brooklyn — stood in front of Ms. Darlene in line. All were established fans of the Rhode skin care line.

“It is very tween makeup,” said Stella DiStasio, 17. “It’s more minimalistic, and all of the packaging is just very … aesthetic.” (Although Ms. DiStasio was the de facto spokeswoman for the group, several said the word “aesthetic” in unison.)

A teenage attendee named Arrens Osorto demonstrated the flushed look that Rhode has made its calling card. He was at the back of the line, with a full face of blush.

“I’m really excited to see Hailey Bieber and all her makeup products from Rhode,” he said smiling shyly from the back of the line. “I think she’s inside!”

This reporter did not have the heart to tell him that Ms. Bieber was not, in fact, at the shop.



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