“Wellness” is in these days, especially in the Mile High City, which ClassPass ranked as having the second-highest density of wellness options in the country. New York City may have nabbed the top spot, but we’re slowly inching closer. This month, Beautycounter, the online clean beauty company, arrives in Denver with the opening of its second brick and mortar.

Named the 2019 most innovative beauty company in the world by Fast Company, Beautycounter is known both for its safe, high-quality products and for lobbying the United States government to implement stronger regulations on the cosmetics industry. The U.S. only partially bans around 30 chemicals from the products we slather on our bodies every day, while the European Union bans around 1,300; Beautycounter has a “Never List” that includes more than 1,500 “questionable or harmful chemicals” that are never found in its wares.

Until now, access to six-year-old Beautycounter’s makeup, sun care, and bath products—and brand-new men’s line, Counterman—has been primarily done via e-retail. Customers purchase products on the website, often with the help of the company’s approximately 40,000 independent consultants in the U.S. and Canada. But now consumers can actually test and see products in person: Beautycounter will launch its second retail pop-up (the first opened in NYC in November) in LoDo’s Dairy Block on April 22.

“We are excited to connect to the local community in Denver, a city that is rooted in wellness and is connected to our mission,” says Bree Richmond, Beautycounter’s vice president of retail, in an email.

Beyond the products, the local store will also have a CounterMail box where interested customers can fill out and send postcards that ask their senators to support the Personal Care Products Safety Act, which was introduced to Congress in 2017.

Beautycounter’s Denver boutique joins eight other retailers in Free Market, a bazaar taking over the former Celtic Tavern space at 18th and Blake streets downtown that is expected to open its doors sometime in April. Started by the same team that launched the Alchemy Works retail, gallery, and event venue in Los Angeles six years ago, Free Market is essentially a modern department store. Among the independent shops that will call Denver’s newest multi-brand shopping experience home are handbag line Clare V., Ayr clothing, and Westerlind outdoor gear and apparel.

There will also be two food and beverage offerings: Bruto, a small restaurant, and Bruto BOH, a coffee counter and workshop space, both from chef Kelly Whitaker (The Wolf’s Tailor, Basta). A liquor license will cover the entire Free Market space, so you can wander around with that glass of bubbly while you shop.

“Denver is changing very dramatically and very quickly. It’s an interesting place for us,” says Free Market co-founder Lindsay Parton, who was born and raised in Colorado. “It’s a place where [our brands] can grow their communities. Free Market is bringing more Los Angeles- and New York-based, independent brands to customers that I think are very ready for them.” The LoDo location will be Free Market’s first.

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.