Sephora has come to Mumbai. This is such a happy time for a makeup junkie like me. So i went over to High Street Phoenix aka Palladium to check the store out. The store launched on 30th January and I wasn’t in town (My brother was getting engaged) and I couldn’t check it out when media was invited. Not that I got an invite but I would have wriggled my way through, for sure.

Anyway, this black and white makeup haven is on the 2nd floor and you can spot it from a mile away, mainly because its white is , well, very white and bright.

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Can you see it?

I literally ran up to the store (if you saw anyone whizzing past you on the escalator at Phoenix today, it was probably me) and then decided to be smart and ask the store manager- Hina- if I could take a few pictures and do a store walk-through. She said that they couldn’t allow me to take pictures and that picture-taking was only open for the day of the launch. I find that kind of odd because Sephora stores mostly look alike and it’s not like I am going to be giving away too much. Anyhoo, she was probably just following protocol.

Since I am cheeky and found the reasoning absurd, I took pictures anyway, slyly walking around, whistling and sneakily taking pictures. Okay, so I wasn’t whistling. That would be a dead giveaway.

Allow me to walk you through the store, tell you the brands available and also, give you a quick price point check (against the Dubai and Malaysia stores which I have also been to). Here goes.

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They obviously have a lot of stuff from their in-house brand. I was a little disappointed because I didn’t see a range specially introduced for India. I say this because I tried Clinique in Dubai and all the makeup had this pinkish undertone meant for white skin. Doesn’t look very good on us. I recently went to their store in RCity and they have a special range for India! And the colours look quite awesome. The Sephora store also didn’t have my concealer (it had lighter shades) so, yeah that was a bit of a downer too. I am going to dismiss it as teething problems.

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You’ll also notice the aunty. But that’s not important. I noticed that they have a beauty bar where they do the makeup, the brow bar where they do the brows (duh) but they didn’t have a nail bar which I saw in both Dubai and Malaysia. Maybe Indian women don’t love their nails as much.

So here’s a list of the makeup brands available here:

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Stila (I am sorry I couldn’t get a picture but I am hoping that this brand has a Indian skin friendly range of shades)

Benefit (which is exclusive to Sephora right now)

Make Up Forever

Givenchy

Estee Lauder

Dior

Lancome

Clinique

And a few others

They are expecting NYX and Burts Bees to come in by next week. I’ll keep you posted.

In skincare, they have:

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Sephora

Clarins

Clinique

Elizabeth Arden

Shiseido

Soap & Glory (which is usually found in Boots in Dubai. Also, this epic product called ‘Scrub Your Nose In It’ is not available, just yet)

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Forest Essentials

And a few others.

They also have a fragrances and bath section.

Verdict: First off, I am so glad Sephora is here. Having said that, here’s what I think is missing.

  1. It’s way pricier. The sheet masks (see picture below) retail in Dubai for AED 20 (that’s about Rs. 340). They are Rs. 430 here. In Malaysia, these masks are at RM 16 which is about Rs. 272. I asked the price of the Benefit Watts Up highlighter which is kind of a cult product and it’s going at Rs.2810 which is approx the same as Dubai and Malaysia but sounds like a lot of spend in rupees.

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2. They haven’t launched their loyalty program yet. I mean, it is their first week,so let’s cut them some slack but with Sephoras everywhere, one country’s loyalty card doesn’t work in another country which is plain silly. So they are launching their own loyalty program within 3 months (Hina said).

3. No nail bar?

4. As with all Sephoras, their prices are up on display which means you don’t have to chase a sales person around, they have a mirrors and stations to try everything out. Which is super. A few of the brands still don’t have the prices up but I am going to assume that’s just a matter of time.

5. They have a few brands in store that have stand alone stores right next door. Looking at you Forest Essentials, Clarins Lancome etc. Would you rather buy these from their brand stores or Sephora? I would always go for a brand store. But maybe that’s just me.

The brands I would like to see: Urban Decay, Too Faced, Nars (Is an orgasm too much to ask for?) and the Beauty Blender.

 

 

 

 

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