Sephora is paradise on earth for every beauty maven out there! What is it you ask? Well, Sephora is a French-founded chain started by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970. In case you didn't know, the name ‘Sephora’ has a real meaning. It comes from the combination of two Greek words Sephos, which means beauty and Zipporah, which means beautiful wife of Moses in the Bible. At Sephora, you can find every product under the sun related to makeup, skincare, fragrances, bath and body, beauty accessories and tools. There are hundreds of Sephora stores globally. You’ll find them across countries like USA, China, France, Poland, Portugal, Malaysia, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, Turkey, Greece and now in India. Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know about Sephora India.
As of now, Sephora has 17 stores in India. They’re all scattered across cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Pune, New Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. In fact, they recently opened up their 17th store at Oberoi Mall in July at Goregaon, Mumbai.
Apart from their Sephora Collection, Sephora is home to many popular and luxe beauty brands like Benefit, Makeup Forever, Cover FX, Stila, Becca, Smashbox, Glam Glow, The Balm Cosmetics, MUFE, Boscia, Burt's Bees, Klara Cosmetics, Dior, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Olive, Tom Ford Private Blend, Clarins, Givenchy, Shiseido, Forest Essentials and Elizabeth Arden. .
Like the term suggests, cruelty-free brands are those that do not harm or test their products on animals. Year by year, the number of brands joining the cruelty-free movement is increasing. Sephora is home to many such brands that care deeply about the welfare of animals. Here’s a list of cruelty-free brands you need to keep an eye out for at Sephora.
If you’re crazy about highlighters, Becca is a brand that’s perfect for all your beauty needs. The brand’s aim and goal are to make you glow in all the right places.
POPxo Recommends: Shimmering Skin Perfector (Rs 3,810)
Burt’s Bees ensures you that no bees were harmed in the making of their products. All their products have a leaping bunny on their packaging and their balms are a must-have for every makeup newbie.
POPxo Recommends: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm ( Rs 1,310)
For those women who hate applying multiple layers of foundation on their face, products from Cover FX are gold! A few drops are all it takes to make your skin tone even.
POPxo Recommends: Cover FX Custom Cover Drops ( Rs 3,890)
One of the newest beauty additions to the Sephora family in India is a brand called Olive. It’s a cruelty-free organic skincare brand from New Zealand and each of their products is worth the splurge.
POPxo Recommends: Olive Nourishing Night Cream (Available at stores, but yet to launch online)
On the 4th of October, Sephora India announced the launch of another cruelty-free brand called Nudestix. The brand presents touch ‘n go makeup stix for face, eyes, lips and cheeks. The Nudestix range is enriched with skin-saving vitamins, antioxidants and moisturisers for everyday wear. From the whole collection, you need to keep an eye out for the Magnetic Luminous Eye Color. It'll be available at all Sephora India stores starting end October and you can also buy it at Sephora.nnnow.com.
If you’re a woman who appreciates products that come in pretty packaging, you’ll definitely fall for the products from TheBalm. Even though their line of cosmetics is not vegan (some contain carmine and beeswax) they still don’t believe in testing their products on animals.
POPxo Recommends: theBalm PhotoBalm Powder Foundation (Rs 1,424)
Think you know everything about Sephora? Not until you read this, of course! Prepare to get mind-blown with these facts.
Let’s say you change your mind after buying a product or you’ve used a product and you don’t like the results, don’t worry, Sephora takes them back. Just make sure that you carry the bill with you to the store. They usually chuck or recycle barely-used products and are quite disheartened about that fact.
Did you know that Sephora has this policy that every time a customer buys a product, they won’t leave the store without free samples? Yes, it’s true! Each customer leaves the store with at least 3 trial size products. This could either be a cream, foundation, serum or loose powder etc. This same rule applies to shop online. You can choose your freebies when you checkout on sephora.nnnow.com.
Sephora isn’t called a store or a beauty supermarket, it’s deeper than that. Sephora has its own language. Each section is divided into three categories known as ‘worlds’: fragrances, colour and skincare. Here are few secret code words to take note of.
1. Sales floor - stage
2. Employees - cast members
3. Managers - directors
4. All-black uniforms - costumes
Every cast member that works at Sephora goes under a month of intensive training. They each have to attend a beauty school called the Science of Sephora. Over there, they learn in depth about skincare, application techniques, A-Z of makeup, perfume notes etc. One of the most important lessons they learn is how to communicate with customers in an informative and polite manner.
If you like a particular product and you really want to test it before you buy it, you can ask for a free sample of the product. Most products like powders, fragrances, blushes, eyeshadows, come with tester samples. Don’t shy away from asking. The cast members won’t refuse your request.
At any of the Sephora stores in India, you’ll find a Beauty Studio. It’s a space where shoppers can get mini flash makeovers and personalised consultations from Sephora’s beauty experts and advisors. You can also learn how to do key makeup looks from Sephora such as diamond lips, perfect brows, frozen eyeshadow, night smokey, golden frame smokey eyes, eyeliner hacks, dewy foundation and contouring tips.
In India, there are two types of Sephora membership cards - Sephora White and Sephora Black. Everyone starts with white at first and with every 75 Rs spent, you get 1 point. You upgrade to a black after you have 250 Sephora points on your white card. That’s around 18k+ worth of purchases. After you get a black card, you can get a 10% off on your next beauty purchase. Scroll below to read the perks of both cards.
Tip 1. Since most products sold at Sephora aren’t your regular drugstore products, you might want to do a little research before visiting the store. That way you’ll have better clarity about the product and you’ll make a better splurging decision.
Tip 2: If you don’t know something, ASK! Any of cast members would love to help you out here. After all, they’re trained to answer every customer’s beauty queries. Don’t settle for a product until you’ve weighed the pros and cons.
Tip 3: Try! You can try a beauty product before using it, you know? The Beauty Studio and the brow bars are two places where you can try products out without spending a single penny. When we say try, we’re not referring to a product that’s tested on a patch of skin. We’re talking about the real deal here.
Just in case you have trouble deciding which beauty products to buy at Sephora, Our Beauty Editor, Kannagi Desai, will help you out!
You know that high we all collectively felt when Sephora India opened its doors and finally we could lay our hands on those sheet masks and our favourite Benetint by Benefit? That high doubled up last week when I found out you could shop for decadent goodies from Sephora India online! Me being me, a beauty junkie, I decided to list down the 10 products that you should absolutely get your hands on from the Sephora online store. Oh and here’s how each of them looks on real skin. You’re welcome, ladies!
This one was a no-brainer really! For those of us who love eyeliners, we have at some point used this one and revelled in not just the pigmentation but the ease of application! The curvy frame helps you grip the pen properly thus eliminating any shaky eyeliner lines ENTIRELY.
Price: Rs 1,150. Get it if you want to change your cat eye game FOREVER!
If you watch as many YouTube videos as I do (and even if you don't) you have definitely heard of this revolutionary bottle with pure pigment. This isn't supposed to be used by itself, but actually mixed with either a regular serum, moisturiser, mattifying primer - basically anything you would apply on your face. This product lets you create your ideal foundation or tinted moisturiser with just a few drops!
Price: Rs 3,920. Snag this one to always have perfect coverage.
This one is all over me, and I am sure all over your feed. This is an oil-free, mattifying primer that instantly blurs flaws, reduces the appearance of pores and controls oil for up to 8 hours. I am particularly fond of its tinted formula that minimizes pores without blocking them and smoothens the complexion.
Price: Rs 2,800. Getting this primer will change your makeup game!
I couldn't have completed this list or any other list (including my wish list) without mentioning THIS amazing piece of make-up brilliance! This bestselling HD foundation has a super lightweight texture but gives full coverage. What's special about this is that it was created specifically to cater to the film and TV industry and their demands for a perfect, long wear, sustainable foundation.
Price: Rs 4,000. With so many shades, you are bound to get your perfect one!
This highlighter definitely gives me a glow brighter than a shiny disco ball. It's a creamy yet dry formula that gives a delicate, smooth and sophisticated glow. My favourite shade out of all the gorgeous options is Moonstone. It is an ideal blend of bronze and rose tones, perfect for daytime wear.
Price: Rs 3,380. Click here for that glo!
We are all familiar with the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. Benefit Cosmetics has always been at the top of the beauty game, but recently they totally have your back when it comes to brows. This pencil has an angular applicator which makes the pigmentation spread evenly through your brows while giving you a fuller look. This one is definitely goof-proof!
Price: Rs 2,010. You totally need to get this for on fleek brows all day.
Okay, I am going to quickly address this, flawless blending NEEDS a brush! This beautifully designed masterpiece follows the contours of your face for a precise definition, seamless application and majestic blending. This makes sure it gets those hard to reach corners on your face as well.
Price: Rs 3,850. Get this brush, you won't regret it!
Matte is in! But this one is a heavily pigmented lip stain that provides long-lasting colour without the dryness. When you begin the application, the texture is very light and creamy thanks to the avocado oil but then it becomes more of a stain while still keeping the moisture intact. Pretty perfect, right?
Price: Rs 1,150. We love this shade, get it here!
THIS has to be my most favourite bronzer for everyday wear hands down! It has a matte texture that gives your face just the right kind of sun-kissed glow while playing up your shadows. The best part is that there are no glitter pigments, so it is just pure colour.
Price: Rs 2,430. Click here for the right sun-kissed glow.
This cream blush packaging has taken my heart away. This blush looks pigmented in the beginning but when blended out it gives just the right rosy sheen that you'd want - a super natural-looking flush. It has tiny glitter pigments which provide a subtle glow.
Price: Rs 3,150. Here's where you can get it
A haul like this is totally worth it, lovelies!
Did you know that powders and palettes can be sprayed with an alcohol spritzer? Misting a product like eyeshadow and blushes get to keep the surface free from dirt and bacteria. You can also spray your lipsticks and palettes with alcohol and then use a tissue to wipe off the first layer of the product. Instead of your fingers, you can use Q-tips to swatch the products as well.
Lip glosses, lipsticks and mascaras have the most bacteria in them. You could get an infection or a rash if they aren’t sanitized. Always ask for new testers in such a situation. Sephora has multiple of them and will be glad to give you a pleasant application experience.
When your makeup is getting done pay attention to the makeup artist and their tools. If the brushes are not clean and the products look heavily used, you’re free to ask them to change the products and use newer ones. Also make sure that before the MUA applies makeup on your face, their hands are sanitized and squeaky clean.