A visit to Kryolan City Store, the ultimate cosmetic candy store

Last weekend, Marcia and I traveled to Chicago for business…and for shopping, of course.  The top store on our list was the Kryolan City Store in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.  Kryolan is known as a premier theatrical brand, they have special effects products as well as amazing cosmetics for everyday use.  The line began 65 years ago in Berlin, and now there are Kryolan stores in over 80 countries. Kryolan is the cosmetic line used for Miss Universe 2011, as well as for RuPaul’s shows Drag Race and Drag U.  If this line can help biological men turn into drop dead gorgeous women, just imagine what it can do for you!

Pictured above is one of the rooms in the Chicago store, their flagship showroom.  It has natural lighting with a skylight above, so after you have a makeover you can see what you REALLY look like.  It’s so much better than the yellow-green lighting in department stores.  Kryolan City offers classes on subjects ranging from Traditional Indian Bridal makeup to Halloween makeup to Coming of Age makeup, which focuses on women over age 25.   The store has the full line of Kryolan for sale, and is staffed with very talented makeup artists who offer great options such as a ‘Makeup Booster’ in 20 minutes, or a one-on-one tutorial makeup lesson. 

We met with regional manager Ulrike Bege, who took tons of time to give us a full tour and overview of Kryolan Cosmetics.

Marcia and I were saying ‘Ooooh!!’ and ‘Aaaaah!’ from the minute we walked in and saw the Wall of Innovations, which is a display of Kryolan’s latest and greatest products.

And did you know that Kryolan manufactures 60% of Illamasqua products?  That’s right, Kryolan makes Illamasqua products.  Kryolan City has many items from that line, pictured above are Illamasqua eyeshadows as far as the eye can see.

I was delighted to see that there were lots of interesting theatrical special effects products among the eyeshadows, foundations, and blushes.  It was neat to check out tubs of fake blood…

as well as Faux Mucus, Pus, and Vomit.  Ewwww gross….but also pretty cool!!  Marcia and I are both ticked we forgot to buy some of this while we were there.  Our kids would have been so impressed!

Kryolan makes terrific Cream Color products, great for clowns, mimes, Halloween, and everyday use (the cream blushes are so pretty and they don’t fade at all.)

Everywhere Marcia and I looked we found something that was just to die for.  Look at the beautiful blush and bronzer palette above, the Glamour Glow 8 Color Palette ($60).

We were extremely impressed with one of Kryolan’s latest innovations, the Viva Eyeshadows.  You can put water or liquid sealant right on these eyeshadows without changing their texture at all.  With normal eyeshadows, I find that if I use them wet, it kind of ruins them so they need to always be used wet.  But Viva eyeshadows dry right back to their original state.  The eyeshadows come in singles and various size palettes.  Above is the Viva 15 pan matte eyeshadow palette ($93).

Viva Eyeshadows also come in pearlescent, seen above in a 15 pan palette ($93).

Here you can see swatches of Viva Blueberry pearlescent swatch – the top swatch is wet, the bottom swatch is dry.

Ulrike took me over to one of the makeup application stations to match me with the perfect foundation color.

At first I thought I would go for one of the new HD foundations but I tend to prefer a more full coverage foundation.

Ulrike suggested the Dermacolor Light Foundation Cream.

She found my perfect match was B1.

Marcia got matched by the absolutely gorgeous Clara Natkin.  Marcia’s foundation color was a bit different from mine, she ended up being an A1.

You can find Kryolan Cosmetics in smaller boutiques, as well as online at Norcostco and Camera Ready Cosmetics.  If you are able to get to Chicago, you have to visit the store.  Seeing the entire line in person was a truly great experience.

Marcia and I had an absolute blast on our visit. Ulrike, Clara, and the other artists were so wonderful and patient with all our questions.  We ended up buying lots of things that have already reached Holy Grail status for us.  I bought the Dermacolor Light Foundation cream, plus the most beautiful lip gloss ever AND a beautiful 18 pan palette of gorgeous neutral matte eyeshadows.  Marcia bought a foundation, an Illamasqua nail polish, and the sister eyeshadow palette – hers is full of pearlescent brighter colors.  We will absolutely be reviewing these products, so get your wish lists ready because we have some amazing must-have discoveries for you.  – Lisa


  1. Oh my goodness, this seems like heaven! I only just learned about Kryolan at IMATS. That’s so cool that they make Illamasqua. I had no idea. Ew looking at the faux mucus, pus, and vomit made me kinda nauseous hehe. Thanks for all of the great pics! I’m so excited you guys had such a great time there.

  2. Wow and wow

  3. Man. This reminds me of being a kid in a candy shop!

  4. I’m dying over the bronze and blush palette! Do you think it would work on a fair girl like me?

  5. Bonnie C. says:

    Wow, what a fun field trip! 🙂 I’m glad I can live vicariously through you guys, because I won’t be getting to Chicago anytime soon. I’m with Marcia, the pearl eye shadows (and shimmer and sparkle) would have definitely called to me over the matte, sounds like they had a lot of cool items (interesting also that they make a lot of the Illamasqua products, I didn’t know that). Thanks for the post! 🙂

  6. Live around the corner from the Kryolan store in Chicago and just used their HD makeup for a photo shoot (Clara did the color match). Wonderful! This product performed so well I’m considering using it every day, but with a lighter touch, but if you have an event this product can’t be beat! Was fun to see this post. Thank you!

  7. Jenn, it really was like heaven…at least our idea of heaven!! I hope you can visit the store some day, it’s so much fun.

  8. Yes, without all the calories!!

  9. Hi Angela, absolutely. Those colors were gorgeous and so workable. I think you would love it.

  10. Hi Bonnie, I know what you mean, I don’t get to Chicago very often either. But if you ever find yourself there, a visit to Kryolan City has got to be on your agenda!

  11. Hi Jamie! Oh my gosh, isn’t Clara amazing? I have been using my foundation every day and it’s just terrific. And I am very jealous…I wish I lived just around the corner from this store. Although I would probably be broke if I did!


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