Growing up I spent a lot of time in Harvard Square. My mother is a Harvard alum and she used to take my sister and I into the square to bop around. She would show us where she and her friends used to live, point out notable campus buildings and of course, we'd shop 'til we dropped.
One of the stores we always visited was Origins. It's right in the center of the square, next to Cardullo's and across the street from the Curious George store. When I was in high school I was obsessed with the Peace of Mind gumballs they used to sell. I also had a ginger scented body lotion that seemed to last for years.
When I learned the Origins in Harvard Square had been redesigned, I couldn't wait for the reveal. I have such fun memories of shopping there. Adding to the grandeur of the occasion was the promise of an appearance from Origins' brand ambassador, Taylor Schilling, best known as Piper from "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix.
I arrived to the opening celebration and was ecstatic to see my friend Alexandra was already there. When the photographer asked if he could take our picture, we hopped right in front of the step and repeat for our close up.
Armed with our presses badges, we camped out and waited for Taylor. When she emerged from the back door of the store it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was in complete awe of her beauty. She was in shock too and kept saying, "I can't believe you all came!"
She was sweet as could be, trying to make eye contact with every single person in the room.
All of us fashionistas immediately started whispering about her gorgeous all white outfit and bright, bold, pink lipstick.
Taylor was joined in the center of the room by Origins executive William Lauder. William welcomed everyone and reminded us that the Harvard Square store was the very first location in the world. Taylor interjected to say that she used to shop at this very store in high school. She grew up in Wayland and used to come into Harvard Square on the weekends with her friends. Together William and Taylor raised a glass to the store's redesign.
After our hearts stopped racing (being in such close proximity to a celeb is nerve racking!), we were able to start moving around the store. The new design is all about discovery. There are plenty of areas to test and explore with new products.
In the very front of the store is a large round sink. All along the counter are scrubs and lotions for you to sample and sniff.
Just behind the sink is the wall of masks. If you're into at-home masks, this will be pure heaven.
Beyond the masks is a section with essential oils. My sister, a yoga instructor, introduced me to essential oils last year. She seems to have one for every occasion - stress, appetite suppressant - and at Origins you can get to know all the scents and their properties through this stunning display. It's like a beauty laboratory!
Just after the essential oils is a wall full of samples. I squealed with happiness! Alex and I started opening jars and reading the descriptions on every label.
The sample wall leads into the makeup section which is just gorgeous. It's full of bright colors - pinks, reds, purples and oranges.
Look at this lip gloss tree! I need this for my bathroom.
I was so relieved to see Origins offers travel sizes of many of their most popular products. If you're anything like me, you hate to check a bag when you fly, so having mini versions of your go-to products is a must.
On the opposite wall a sign read "Hot. New. Loved." which were lotions and creams with UV protection. Now that the sun has finally come out in Boston, protecting your skin from harmful rays is a necessity.
Now that my mane has finally started to grow back after my huge chop in September, I was excited to check out all the hair care products.
The next section had your daily go-to products like cleanser and toner.
If you start to feel overwhelmed by the wide array of options, visit the best sellers section, a great way to narrow down your choices and select from products that Origins loyalists already swear by.
With the commotion surrounding Taylor it was a bit tough to really browse and shop. I am already thinking about when I can visit the store again and really play. In the meantime, the Origins team provided each of us with the most generous gift bag. It had a wide range of products from face masks to UV protected moisturizer to mascara.
I feel like I have everything I need to create an at-home spa.
The next time you're in Harvard Square be sure to stop into the redesigned Origins. I guarantee you'll love testing out all the different products. Just try to resist that wall of samples!