Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sephora came to Australia (And I went)

Hello there little Powderpuff!

As some would know - Sephora has recently opened the doors to their first ever store in Australia. Located on Pitt Street in the centre of Sydney, the shop is two floors and the anticipation that built in the months preceding the grand opening was immense.

Last week, my gorgeous, wonderful and ever talented God Mother asked me if I had been yet, and she requested a blog post about it and so today I finally ventured out into the packed city centre to check it out.

The first thing I noticed when I got there was that there was a line out the front. I wasn't surprised about this at all, since Sephora does take a prime spot in the middle of Pitt Street Mall - which is a shopping street between two major shopping plaza's in the centre of Sydney, and on top of that Sephora did only open a week and a half ago. I was going to meet my gorgeous, perfect, wonderful friend there and so I jumped in the line (I told her it was to save us a spot - in truth I just couldn't quench my overwhelming excitement).

It didn't take long to get inside (maybe two or three minutes of waiting) and once I got inside there.. it was really crowded. Like really crowded. I wanted to take some photos inside the store, but I was unable to due to the sheer number of people in there, as well as the fact I was.. uh... Told not to by a security guard (living life on the edge - getting told off by security in Sephora). So since I have no photos, I'm just going to use the power of words to try and paint a picture.

There are two floors and both of them are relatively small. There is a Benefit Browbar in the back right hand corner and little shelves of different brands. Something that stood out to me was how small the racks for each brand are. They were one gondola of products, each about a metre long with not too many products on each and this was disappointing. However I persevered.

I have been watching Beauty Youtubers for a long time and though I tend to stick to European and Australian Beauty V/Bloggers (since they usually talk about brands available in Australia) I have watched a fair few American ones, as well, so there were already a tonne of brands in Sephora that I was incredibly excited to try. The ones I was most excited for where Makeup Forever, Tarte, Urban Decay, Becca and Anastasia Beverly Hills, so once I got inside on the first floor, the first thing I did was look around for those brands. I went to the Makeup Forever counter and looked at the shadows, I swatched a million of them and god damn they were beautiful. I am a major MAC lover, and my MAC eyeshadows are, to this day, my holy grail (over Chocolate Bar Palette, over the Naked Palette, over Nars, over everything else) and I have heard that the Makeup Forever shadows trump even those. However when I went to select the ones I truly adored - they were all sold out. They were sold out of pretty much every shadow other than the blue/green/yellow ones that less people buy. Admittedly, I was seriously disappointed, but I didn't let this deter me so I moved on to the Anastasia counter. They were sold out of everything, too. So was Tarte, so was Becca.

So I stood there looking around for a long moment, and I realised something. There was no Urban Decay. That was a major downer, as well. I knew there would be no Nars or Too Faced - since Mecca Cosmetica/Mecca Maxima has the rights of distribution for those brands in Australia - but so far Urban Decay aren't sold anywhere and I was so hopeful that Sephora would bring them here.
However later I did find out it was because Sephora is in dispute with Mecca over who would get the distributing rights for UD in Australia (don't quote me on this that is just what I heard on the grapevine aka the lady at the MAC counter told me about an hour later).

It was all a little disheartening. They were only selling about half the stock they would sell in an American store, and pretty much what they did sell was all sold out and of course on top of that - the promise Sephora had made about matching American prices has already been very controversially realised as simply untrue. I spent quite a while looking around the other counters - checking out YSL, Dior and some other brands that are all already available here and then moved on to check out the Sephora brand things.

The majority of these were sold out (unsurprisingly) but I did find two shadows I quite liked, before we headed upstairs to the level that was all skincare. We hardly looked around much up there - but since that was the level that had the cashregisters, we had to hang around there a while. In true Sephora style - there were shelves around the line for the register, selling sample products which was in its own rather exciting. I remember hearing fabled tales of the way sample size products suck people in in Sephora - and of course before I knew it I had three in my cart (oops - though in my defence one of them was a gift).

So finally after about 30 minutes in the store - we made it back out onto the street.

I grabbed five products - Two Sephora eyeshadows in Tiramisu and Faux Fur Jacket, the Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight lip treatment, the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara (since I was told Diorshow was the best Mascara ever - but I wasn't so hot on the wand so I got this one), and finally the iconic Sephora product - a perfume Rollerball in Marc Jacob's Daisy Dream (it was legit a toss up between Daisy and Daisy Dream but I finally settled on Daisy Dream knowing that it's only a matter of time before I go back and get Diasy lets be serious).

Since this was all purchased yesterday - I haven't worn these products yet. The lip moisturizer I have tried and I quite like, and the perfume I very much like but since it's my makeup free Sunday, I have yet to put the eyeshadows or the Mascara to the quality test. I am especially interested in the shadows as I have heard some really great things about Sephora's brand and when I swatched them, they seemed very rich and pigmented.

Tiramisu (left), Faux Fur Coat (right)

So all in all, my first impression of Sephora was - disappointing. I am definitely going to go back in the new year and check out the brands and products that were sold out when I went yesterday since I truly truly do want to give those a proper go, but even if the store had full stock - the range of products offered is disappointingly low compared to what they offer in the North American stores, and that combined with the inflated prices truly did make the hype preceding the opening more than it really warrants.

A lot of places to shop for high end cosmetics in Australia (such as Myer/David Jones makeup halls, and stores such as Mecca, or stand alone brand stores) really are better than what Sephora offers the Australian market - which is purely that they sell brands that are new here.

Btw there's a giant lego christmas tree on Pitt Street Mall too like whaaaaat

And on that note, that is it for this week! Apologies if it got a tad ranty!

Is there a post you want to see? Is there a product you want reviewed? Let me know by sending me a tweet, or by leaving a comment in the comments section below and I would love to try it out for you!

Until next time, stay cute little powderpuffs!

xoxo Matilde Elisabeth


  1. Ughhh I'm glad I read this post because I seriously was probably going to go to Sephora JUST for Urban Decay! And I'm from Newcastle, so a good 2 hours drive. Pssh. Damn you Sephora.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

    1. Hey! I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond! I was quite disappointed in the way Sephora turned out, but the amazing news is that Australia's own Mecca Maxima is confirmed to stock Urban Decay! Hope that gives you something to be excited for! xx