The Gilded Girl beauty emporium moves to Sewickley | Trib HSSN


Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 10:30 AM

Just in time for spring, Elizabeth Quesnelle is bringing a touch of luster to the Sewickley business district with her skincare and beauty emporium, The Gilded Girl.

The Sewickley store, located at 408 Beaver St., is the next evolution of the boutique that Quesnelle opened in 2015 in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. She is excited to bring unique and hard-to-find product lines to the area.

“The idea of the Gilded Girl initially was this woman who scours the world looking for the best in beauty for you,” Quesnelle said.

The beauty emporium boasts a plethora of unique and hard-to-find beauty products.

Quesnelle, who has been a licensed aesthetician for almost 20 years, moved to the Pittsburgh area from Chicago in 2011 and decided to open up a retail store here to serve a need she saw for smaller beauty brands.

“There were a lot of products I could get in Chicago that I couldn’t get here,” she said.

Many of the product lines that The Gilded Girl carries are brands that can be hard to track down.

“I do try to carry products that you can’t find at Sephora,” Quesnelle said. “The dirty secret in the beauty industry is that the same two companies own 98 percent of beauty companies. I look for the independent brands.”

These independent brands include a wide spectrum of products, from skincare lines created by herbalists to British brands that use cutting-edge beauty technology. For Quesnelle, bringing these products to Southwestern Pennsylvania is bringing access to a more holistic, story-driven idea of beauty.

“I try to find brands that are highly effective, have a good story, have good vanity appeal and are just very interesting,” she said.

These boutique brands come from all over the world, and some include vegan products and organic products.

Quesnelle currently lives in Lawrenceville, but decided that Sewickley was a better site for her beauty emporium. Starting in 2018, she had been operating entirely online, often personally making deliveries to customers around the region.

After seeing that so many of her loyal customers live in the Sewickley and North Hills areas, bringing the new brick-and-mortar location closer to them just made sense. Quesnelle is encouraged and pleased with the community’s support for her store.

“I was really taken by how supportive this community is of its business district and how supportive the business district is of each other,” she said. “As a business owner, that’s what you need, the community to buy into what you’re doing. Already in our first month, that’s what we’ve seen, and it’s been really incredible.”

That relationship, Quesnelle hopes, will be long-term and go both ways. She is focused on providing the best possible service to the people walking into her store, including providing free samples to potential buyers to make sure that each person is getting the right product for their skin.

Quesnelle has big plans for the store and its wares.

“We’ve been working on a bath and body line and that will be launching in the next few months … it’s a brand that’s inspired by different cultures and travel,” Quesnelle said.

The products will use ingredients and scents from different cultures around the world to create a unique beauty experience with an international flair.

Now that her plans are back on track after a year-long pandemic pause, she’s hopeful that growth is also in the future. “We have an expansion plan that covid-19 completely derailed. We would like to expand to the South Hills, and ultimately out of the Pittsburgh area,” she said.

For now, before the Gilded Girl ventures back out into the world, Quesnelle is looking forward to personal connection with her store’s new community.

“In the short term, I’m just thrilled to be back talking to people. You miss that online. You don’t get that one-on-one, personal, knowledgeable connection.”