I'm lucky, I ADORE our Sephora, all the sales people are extreamly helpful, always willing and able to answer questions no matter how dumb I think the question may be. Being the perfume junky I am it is wonderful that they are so giving with their samples even though I still feel guilty asking for more than 1 per visit. Today was a typical visit, I asked about Loverdose as it didn't seem to be displayed with the other perfumes and I reeeeeeeally wanted the rollerball, the SA went in the back and found me one, the very last one! I then asked about concealers as I wanted to try something new, she told me about Korres (which I had never heard of) and gave me a very generous sample, the stuff is great, I'll be buying some very soon. The store is always very clean, everything has a clearly labeled sample that you can try, they offer makeovers (which I havn't had the pleasure of partaking in yet). I have been in other Sephora shops and have had similar experiences with helpful staff and cleanliness. I will always shop in Sephora as long as they are around, it is a great place to shop if you are a perfume or makeup junky!
I have personally an interesting relationship with Sephora. I was so scared to walk in, how nice it looks with expensive makeup and the associates. One day I walked in wanting something badly and try it out, and I like it sooo much more than Ulta. I'm personally a tall, big girl and I know people judge me everywhere I go and walking into a beauty or clothing store is like the shark tank for me. When I go to Ulta, I can tell I'm being heavily judged and the people there are fake. People at Sephora, I know they are trying to get me buy from them, but I feel like they do want the best product for me. I've found excellent solutions and they are sweet and kind to me, I don't feel a fake put off from them. And when I say I don't have enough money, it's understood. I actually feel pretty for once and confident from them. I also like the brushes they sell themselves. It is a lot of money, but they have the same prices at Ulta and I don't have to pay shipping and handling. I do feel like they help me get the bang for my buck. I also love their rewards program. I wish they had coupons or something, but either way, I feel so much more comfortable here and I've NEVER been at ease at anywhere that's more high end. I wish the sales associates weren't as pushy, but hey, it's retail and sales.
Sephora-The American woman's equivalent of an American man's Home Depot. For those of you that don't know what a Home Depot is, it's a huge warehouse type do-it-yourself hardware store that carries just about everything that makes American men feel like attempting week-end projects for their home. They spend literal hours on end in the store looking at nuts and bolts and tools and wood. It's where they suddenly have a surge of testosterone. It's where they go to feel "manly". It's a guy type of store. The atmosphere is a cacophony of noises that make you want to wear ear plugs.
Now switch that around to a make-up store with all the cosmetics, skin care, fragrances and makeup tools you could ever desire The lighting is soft. Music is playing gently in the background. The SA's are wearing all black with red on their shoulders. The counters are exceedingly clean and spotless. They smile at you. You can play with all the testers you want. You are in your Nirvana now. If you'd like a sample of something, just ask. They'd be happy to provide. Yes, delighted to provide you with some. Information about products? Of course. No commission on any, so they can talk about each and every one without bias. How refreshing.
Returns? Delighted to take that back. So sorry it didn't work out for you.
It's your birthday? We have a gift for you, just because it's your birthday, and you don't have to buy anything to get it, either. That's right, absolutely right.
Sephora really is a dream store for those of us that are makeup/skincare/fragrance junkies. If we need our fix, just head on down to our local one and it's almost as if the dealer supplies us with our stash. They put it in those blue and white striped bags that we hold so proudly, too. We are Sephora junkies.
I guess I'm lucky because I'm within a 60 mile radius of 3 Sephora's . Two of them are in a JCPenney and one is a free-standing. Of course, the free-standing is the furthest, but whenever I'm in that area, you can be sure I make it a point to visit it.
I've built a relationship with my local ladies at the closest one (it's only 15 minutes away)-how wonderful is that? The mature SA's are warm, informative and know their products. It's the younger ones that are the difficult ones, I admit. They stand there looking pretty (which they are) but don't have the knowledge,but simply have attitude because they work for Sephora. Ask them a question and you'll wind up giving them the answer yourself. I pretty much avoid them like the plaque and look for the ladies that have more experience under their belt. Other than that, Sephora has their stuff together, and it's a win-win for everybody. You buy, you earn points towards a free gift. You can combine your online purchases towards your in-store purchases too for the free gift. This year on Black Friday I dared to hit my Sephora and came home with the best stuff. I couldn't believe the bargains they put out. The only negative I'll say is I'd like them to carry more cruelty-free lines than they do but that's the buyers decision. And I'd like them to actually have a sales rack that was a real sales rack. That's just wishful thinking I guess.
I always walk away feeling empowered with that little blue and white bag. Yeah, I'm a Sephora junkie.
I love Sephora! I have shopped here for years it is honesty the only place I go to buy makeup! The only complaint I have is the way the sales associates usually treat the customers.
Like a fellow reviewer, I, too, feel like Sephora is MY Disneyland. I love make up and they have wonderful high end brands and pretty much allow a customer to play around with the product with abandon such that she knows what she is buying.
My Sephora has very nice Sales Associates who are generally knowledgeable and friendly and they are always willing to provide me with samples of foundations, etc. so that when I buy I don't buy blind.The few products I have had to return have been accepted - no problem at all.
My complaint regarding Sephora would be that I never leave without spending too much money (more my fault than theirs) because they do not provide many "sales" promotions, which I am sure they could give up some of those profits to manage.
Since an Ulta has come to town I admit to liking a mix of low end w/ high end products at one location and Ulta does often have coupons and allows one to accumulate "points" toward purchases. Sephora might want to consider a marketing modification to compete with Ulta. Money I spend now at Ulta used to go exclusively to Sephora.
What to say....I used to LOVE Sephora...I'd go to the original Flagship in NYC (long since folded in favor of various smaller versions throughout the city) every month. Over the years I have become increasingly annoyed with their "new" style of pushing the consumer and, frankly, being all up in our grills. Sephora was born and designed to be a "hands off" shop. A store wherein women (and men) could play, experiment, and never have to be hassled by an SA as you would find in ANY department store. Evidently they have changed to a more aggressive tactic and I hate it. Some stores seem to have way too many employees (Paris, Champs Elysee, looking at YOU) where it seems 2 SA's to a customer. I loathe to be followed, handed perfume cards, be bombarded with "facts" I could care less about, asked repeatedly if I want to try products, colors etc....I just want to browse and when I choose to ask a question, I'll ask. So, 90% of the time I shop online anymore. It's too annoying and stressful to deal with SA's, especially when they obviously know MUCH less about the brands than I do, and I could easily inform them about the history of the brand and each collection, lol. Please, Sephora, stop the guerrilla type tactics!
Definition of a love hate relationship for me. Sephora carries so many brands and amazing products and I love being in there and trying make-up, and the samples and return policies are fantastic, and they give you a birthday gift! However, it is a bit pricey (no surprise since these are high end brands) but mainly I HATE the sales associates so so so much. It's as if they're payed to act rude and snobby. Maybe it's just where I live since there's so many amazing reviews but every time I go there, I feel overly judged and uncomfortable. They just look down at you with disgusted bitchy looks and unless you buy $500 worth or stuff they treat you like crap. I really don't understand why they can't get the concept of being nice to their customers. Like, you do know that you're just SALES ASSOCIATES at a MAKE-UP store. In fact, I hate my local sephora associates so much that I've found myself buying products online more and more often even though I've got a store just minutes away. Really hope they hire nicer people or something.
Sephora truly fills a niche. 99% of the high end makeup I've purchased has been due to first trying a sample at Sephora. Its a place where they get how wanting/needing to try before you buy is seen as legit, valid. Whereas in some department stores you have to promise them your first born son and buy their products before getting a sample. Its very counter-intuitive and I don't mean to make puns, I have to buy something from a line to get to try perhaps the one item in the line I'm truly interested in? Going to Sephora has also helped me to not buy certain items I wanted badly simply because they are wildly popular and beautiful on others. I get to swatch things and again try them out, often finding out that an item won't suit me, saving me a lot of money. Its a little chaotic in some stores and you may wait a while for help/samples. You may encounter a sales associate who begrudgingly helps you out but oveerall I've not encountered that. They allow you to return nakeup too, that's another big plus. Yes the lighting is nuts but I've got greater problems in life. My advice is when going to Sephora, if you want to try things, ask for sampled of the top 3 things you'd like to try. If you go back to purchase an item, tell them the sample they gave you before, prompted your purchase, it helps to build a rapport this way.
Forget Disney...to me, Sephora is the happiest place on earth. The Sephora near me isn't one of the largest but I don't care. The staff there are as nice, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and non-pushy as you could ever want. They are generous in offering samples (not making you feel like a slug or a moocher because you've asked for a sample of a product). I really cannot think of anything to complain about or find fault with except, maybe, the lighting (but the mall has an atrium so if I'm unsure about a colour, I just take a walk out the door and I can check there...they even let me take a mirror out on those occasions when I haven't had one!)
I do wish Sephora as a company offered a few more VIB 20% or even 10% off days (here in Canada, at least, they are pretty few and far between) and that they'd put items on sale in store (this is also pretty rare). I wish they hadn't discontinued their wonderful body butter. But as for the store nearest me, it's somewhere I love to shop and even if I'm just browsing, the gals there are no less friendly or helpful.
I know Sephora backwards. First, because I shopped in it ever since I remember. Second, because I worked there for some time. Before I go on, I want to make it perfectly clear that this last reason is NOT why I praise the store (I could give you a review of some other companies I worked for that would make murder sound kind by comparison). So please keep that in mind if you read this review.
I shopped at Sephora in Boston, Boise, and a few cities in the south of France. And I always had positive experiences. I particularly like my local store. I get excellent service always. I love the fact that you can ask for 10 samples and they will give them to you, no questions asked (saves SO much trouble and money). The return policy is almost absurd it's so good. As an employee I had to accept some returns that were almost comically dishonest and fraudulent (no receipt, prod obviously bought somewhere else, ages before the local store opened, or totally consumed and returned as "gave me allergy" - what, after a whole year of usage?) but I had to accept the con with a smile.
Having said all that, I do agree with the reviewer who said that the variety is not what is used to be. My local store, for example, has been introducing stuff that can easily be found anywhere else in the mall (The Body Shop comes to mind). What the point of that is I cannot understand at all.
Maybe I've been lucky - although my luck does not usually run that consistently, or for such a long time - but I've always had a good experience shopping at Sephora.
Oh, and just to prove that sh** happens on both sides of the counter, let me tell you that as an employee I had to put up with some pretty insufferable clients: rude, whiney, nasty, petulant, inconsiderate, abusive of facilities, serial returners - an easy way to try everything w/o really buying anything - etc. And don't even start me on the petty thievery that we had to deal with! Believe me, SAs don't have the monopoly on the term 'b****.'