After years of waiting, Sephora is finally landing (back) in the UK. Having taken over FeelUnique, Sephora is officially online and will hit British high streets soon – and people are reacting. The French brand did briefly appear on our shores over 20 years ago, but they left shortly after. So, after years of hype and hope, will Sephora be a hit for British consumers?
The beauty industry is a thriving market in the UK, and demand for makeup and skincare seems unstoppable. But have Sephora missed the mark with their timing? A few years ago, I’d resent sitting through YouTube hauls only to realise all the products were only available in the US or mainland Europe. Back then, American makeup and skincare from Tarte to Anastasia Beverly Hills were as elusive as gold dust, taking on a kind of mythic quality for those of us in the UK stuck with Rimmel and Revolution. We have stores like Boots, once simply the place to pick up your paracetamol, to thank for allowing us to find Kylie Cosmetics and Fenty on British soil; stepping up and delivering the goods when Sephora refused to grace us with their presence. Now, it seems that there’s not such a mystery around American makeup – we can just order it online or pick it up on the high street.
Plus, there has been a significant shift in trends; gone are the days of the bold NikkieTutorials eyeshadow looks and James Charles-esque eyebrows from circa 2016. Reminiscent of a time when Sephora and brands like Morphe ruled the makeup world. Currently, there’s a preference for the minimal ‘natural’ look dominated by brands such as Glossier, who recently opened a shiny new flagship store in Covent Garden in London. One could even argue that the department store model is losing relevance, with celebrities from Selena Gomez to Hailey Bieber starting their own online beauty brands that ship directly to the UK.
But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to get excited about. For me, the most special thing about going into Sephora is their own line of products. From bath bombs to face masks to makeup, Sephora beauty is spot on, affordable, and very much worth checking out. Likewise, the Beauty Box subscription service is a major game changer. For just £11.95 a month, you get to choose five samples of products from a variety of brands. Plus, there’s something exciting about a store as major and renowned as Sephora turning on in the UK. And they’re just in time – Halloween makeup looks, and Christmas shopping will definitely level up thanks to Sephora – look out for their own advent calendar!
So, there you have it. Slightly later than expected – and maybe even too late – but Sephora is officially back in the UK and I, for one, am very excited.