Jan 30, 2015

Sunny Days. Sephora. The Met Store.

And then there was sun.  Loads of it.

Which made it so  much easier (and more pleasant) to be out getting things done.

I reckon I must have spent at least half of yesterday simply looking upwards without my sunglasses just to get almost blinded by the light.

Denim jacket - Zara, black shift - Next.

I started the day with a jacket on but by mid morning, I was down to short sleeves and a whole lot of sun on my bare arms.

In honour of it being a day of action, resolution and self indulgence, I debuted my Naked 2 palette.

The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette open.  Those smiling faces reflected in the mirror do give away the fact that this was not a photo taken in the semi professional studio of a beauty blogger...
It was embarassingly difficult trying to choose which of the 12 shades to use for a quick daytime eye.  I usually work with the same four MAC eyeshadows and have their application down to a precisely timed sequence so I was a bit lost with all the new names and colours.  I finally picked two of the light shades and one of the mid tones but will need to have more of a practice, I think.  Urban Decay have a different texture to MAC and a bit more shimmer.  And that's about all I can say about the most hyped range of eye shadow palettes in the world.

Sephora, Westfield Sydney.  Behold, the lack of queue.

Speaking of hype.  I finally went.  To Sephora.

And it was ... interesting.  I'm going to preface my review with a warning that I generally felt underwhelmed about the store.  Especially with all the hype and promises about brand diversity and competitive pricing that heralded the entry of Sephora to Australia.  I don't like to harp on the negatives in this blog but I am going to try and be fair.  As the only store in Australia and given all the hype I've been guilty of in this blog, I would like to give a balanced picture to those who may be placing a visit to the store high on their list of to dos when next in Sydney.

Physically, the store is trademark Sephora with its distinctive black and white features, banks of make up chairs and witty visual merchandising.

The store is set over two floors and the upper level overlooks the Pitt Street Mall.  I took the photo above from a hair product counter where you could try various appliances and styling aids.

This is a view of the ground floor.  And yes, it does look the goods with tester stations and and individual brands easily identified from one another.  But notice how few staff there are on the floor?  If you've been to a Sephora overseas, wasn't the number of make up artists and sales staff on the floor the one thing that differentiated Sephora from department store beauty halls for you?

There were maybe 20 customers in the store on Thursday afternoon and it was pretty difficult for most of us to find staff to ask questions about products and their availability.

Apologies for the poor photos.  This is a display of Sephora's own brand of masks, they're $4 each and are apparently best sellers in Australia.
And we did need their help because so many things seemed to  be unavailable or out of stock. I won't go into the whole Urban Decay and NARS thing but the display units for products that the store was meant to stock were quite bare in places.  Many of the house brand make up accessories weren't available and the same was the case over at the make up display.  Which wasn't as pristine as stores overseas.

The Sephora equivalent of the chocolate and mags selection at the supermarket register did look familiar and reassuringly well stocked but sadly, the range of travel sized products was quite limited as was the range (many sections contained the same product).

I did leave with what I intended to buy - some Glasshouse mini candles for gifts ($19.99 each) and my holy grail Sephora 12 hour waterproof eyeliner pencils ($13 each so not too ridiculous a mark up from the $10USD without tax price over in the US) but that was it.  I couldn't even find a pencil sharpener nor a pack of travel sized products to impulse buy.

But I'm saving my biggest gripes for the end.  How can I be subtle about this. My bag contained only what I purchased and nothing more.  Not a single sample.  I know, I should've asked but I'd already asked about the VIP points programme (not available yet) and had thus used up my questions at the counter quota.

So, it wasn't the greatest retail experience but I  love those Sephora eyeliners so much I'll be back for more.

How did you rate Sephora Sydney?  Am I being harsh?  Would it all have been much easier and more popular with the punters to simply have rejigged the overseas websites to allow Australian orders?

For interest, these are the new eyeliner pencils I bought.  I love the shades (black and greyish black) but I love the names even more - 5th Avenue and Galaxy Girl.

I left Sephora and took my underwhelmed self to lunch, looking a little wistfully at the bright lights and abundant stock of Priceline as I did so...

I really should've treated myself to one of these Kronuts (it was treadmill sprints day at the gym)....

but somehow spent $20 on this sushi lunch instead.

I made a long overdue trip to the Met Store over at the QVB.  I've been running dangerously low on note cards and desperately needed to restock.

Klimt and Monet are now the official artists of SSG gratitude.

And other salutations will now be conveyed via golden dragonfly.

Have a lovely weekend and I'll be back soon.


  1. You have made me keen to try the eyeshadow palette!
    At the moment I am luffing La Roche Posay BB cream - I was put onto it from a sample at the Dermatologist. It's available at priceline and is at the reasonable sum of $33.
    I tend to get all excited by seeing a sephora but often leave underwhelmed. I personally love the little european brands like Kiko etc. Brilliant.

  2. I was a little bit underwhelmed by my visit to Sephora as well. I visited the day after Boxing Day and the sales were conspicuous by their absence... I did get a sample but it was a sachet of men's serum. The cashier did apologise and say they'd run out, so maybe they still haven't restocked?! I also agree about empty shelves. However, I did think the staff were friendly and there seemed plenty when I went, but then it was first thing in the morning, so. All in all, it's not a place I'd make a huge effort to go to again, sadly. They could have got it so right!

    Ramble over... I live in the UK anyway so I'm not quite sure why I'm getting so worked up about it!

  3. I do so appreciate a good dragonfly:).

  4. I like your new notecards! :)

    It's a shame you were unimpressed with Sephora, but good for your bank balance I guess! Less likely to pick up a few things 'just because' that way, but a shame it doesn't sound or look anywhere near as good as it's been hyped up to be!

  5. I have been into Sephora twice since it opened, both times left empty handed because it was so damn busy I couldn't actually look at or play with any of the products. Judging by your photo, it seems a LOT less busy, so maybe I will venture back and try it out. Shame about the lack of staff on to help.

  6. Similar thoughts about Sephora Penang too. A friend was really keen on getting Uban Decay's Naked but was told she could only trial it on 1 eye only. What the ... We ended up going to Chanel, received stellar service & bought the quad.


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