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7 Oct

Sephora Takes Recent York; What to Expect from Sephora’s

Sephora Takes Recent York; What to Expect from Sephora’s

NEW YORK and PARIS — “I’m like a child in a candy shop,” said Christina, an Upper East Sider standing in line outside of Recent York’s Skylight at Essex Crossing on Saturday morning.

It was Christina’s first time at Sephoria, the wonder festival hosted by Sephora that debuted in Los Angeles in 2018 and, after two years of being held virtually, made its in-person return last weekend in Recent York.

Originally intended as a two-day festival, Sephoria’s two Friday sessions were canceled when heavy rain caused flooding in regions across town, prompting Gov. Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency.

Sephora reimbursed Friday ticket holders with full refunds and offered to mail them the gift bags related to the ticket tier they purchased. While some would-be attendees took to the retailer’s Instagram comment section to precise their disappointment, hopeful Saturday ticket holders awaited updates regarding their sessions. The next morning, Sephoria Day Two would go on as planned.

“I’m most enthusiastic about Natasha Denona and Patrick Ta,” continued Christina. Evidently, she wasn’t the just one: a couple of feet away, a teenage girl on crutches pressed her face to the outside of the venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows. “I see Patrick Ta,” she squealed, motioning to her friend.

Despite getting off to a rainy start, Sephoria drew greater than 4,200 attendees on Saturday across its three-hour morning and afternoon sessions. Silver Key tickets cost $119, while Gold Key tickets went for $369 and promised one-hour early entry to a session, access to a VIP lounge and a heftier swag bag.

Greater than 50 brands participated within the festival, each curating booths and activations featuring free samples, games, photo opportunities and more. “Our goal for 2023 — our fifth yr of Sephoria — was to deliver our largest and most ambitious endeavor thus far,” said Jessica Stacey, senior vp of external communications, event and experiential marketing at Sephora.

The Milk Makeup booth at Sephoria was playfully themed after the brand’s cult-favorite Hydro-Grip franchise.

Will Ragozzino

The retailer enlisted Recent York-based artist Jade Purple Brown to design the event’s “House of Beauty” concept. The space featured greater than eight rooms across two floors, with a “theater” to host the day’s scheduled masterclasses by Ta, Denona, Summer Fridays’ Lauren Ireland and others.

“Do you wish Bum Bum or Beija?” asked an attendee stationed at the doorway of the Sol de Janeiro booth, holding one yellow and one pink coin-shaped token in each hand. “It’s like a gum ball machine,” she explained, handing off one token to be inserted into the machine meting out mini-sized body lotions of 1’s scent selecting, and two more tokens on the way in which out — you realize, for the memories.

Other first-floor booths included Laneige, Chantecaille, SkinFix, Tatcha — which, word had spread was handing out full-size samples and had subsequently maintained a 30-plus-person line at some stage in the morning session — and 2018 Sephoria alum Dr. Dennis Gross.

“I’m shocked at the extent of questions individuals are asking,” said Gross, who was conducting four-minute skin consultations at his namesake brand’s booth. “The difference between this Sephoria and 2018 Sephoria is the extent of [consumer] intelligence has definitely taken a quantum leap.”

Sporadic cheering may very well be heard from upstairs, which, upon closer investigation, was coming from the Danessa Myricks Beauty booth, where guests could spin a wheel to win quite a lot of freebies — amongst them a yearlong spot on the brand’s PR list.

“I’ve been crying many of the day — that is as exciting for me because it is for them,” Myricks said. “It’s one thing to be in your personal head, in your personal office creating things — it’s something completely different to see how individuals are experiencing them and the way they make people feel.”


Sephoria’s “theater” space for its makeup masterclasses, of which there have been three per session.

Will Ragozzino

Meanwhile at NARS Cosmetics, guests chatted with the brand’s virtual ambassador, Chelsea, about her favorite shades throughout the brand’s PowerMatte lip franchise. Just like the event’s physical attendees, Chelsea was reasonably unfazed by the rain. “I managed to flee it because I’m within the metaverse,” she explained.

And at Rare Beauty, “we desired to make it feel such as you’re preparing along with your girlfriends. We would like that touch-and-play moment — it’s about that excitement to play with makeup,” said the brand’s global makeup artist, Cynthia Di Meo, while passing out Discovery Eyeshadow Palettes to passerby. As if on cue, a close-by attendee kneeled to lift a display tube of Rare Beauty lip oil — which, naturally, was as tall as she was — signaling to her friend to snap a photograph.

Kyra and Fiona, each 24-year-olds who flew in from Southern California for Sephoria said their favorite part was simply “seeing so many beautiful people in a single place.”

“I’m a really busy mom, but coming here, it’s value it,” said one other attendee, Erika, whose highlight of the day was Denona’s masterclass. “I just love her — I really like how she became famous later in life.”

“They did an excellent job telling brands to give you different ideas,” said one other guest, Shereen, who, like her friend Dashel, was double-fisting goodie-filled tote bags from Milk Makeup and Moroccan Oil.

Sephoria 2023.

A station at Sephoria Recent York.

Will Ragozzino

“It exceeded my expectations obviously — you’ll be able to tell everyone who’s working here is definitely blissful to be here,” said Dashel, who hadn’t heard of K18 prior to Sephoria but after learning in regards to the brand’s reparative technology at its booth is now “an enormous fan.”

Fatima Khweiss, a Drunk Elephant sales and academic executive, spent the day curating “skincare cocktails,” or regimens, for attendees based on their skin goals. “This is certainly larger than Sephoria was in 2018,” she said. “There’s an enormous bond happening after the pandemic — it seems like guests are only grateful to be here, and so they’re all interacting with one another.”

At LoveShack Fancy’s booth, attendees could sample the brand’s debut fragrance collection using floral-printed ribbons as an alternative of traditional blotters, while fragrance founder Chris Collins manned a speakeasy-inspired fragrance station. “It’s like a bar, but for fragrance,” said Collins, noting his Lost in Paradise scent was proving especially popular amongst Sephoria attendees.

The event marked Sephoria’s first hybrid iteration, drawing greater than 90,000 virtual users who attended the event’s online, gamified experience, through which they might customize avatars and play games to win Beauty Insider points.

Friday morning, Sephoria debuted for the primary time over in France, opening its doors at 150 Rue de Rivoli in Paris’ first arrondissement. The three-floor extravaganza, a hop from the Louvre museum and from the Samaritaine department store — also owned by parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — was first accessible to journalists and influencers, then “gold” clients starting Friday afternoon.  

Most of the people can visit on Saturday, with everyone having to pre-register. 

At lunchtime Friday the colourful space was abuzz with throngs of individuals milling across the stands representing 33 brands. Everybody carried a canvas bag given to them at the doorway to refill with goodies.  

The bottom floor features Morrocanoil, Kérastase, Olaplex, Aveda, Color Wow and the Sephora Collection, in addition to hair stations. 

One flight down the staircase, decorated with a “Sephoria” sign up vibrant colours, is an area specializing in skincare and fragrance. This includes the likes of Byoma, Ole Henriksen, Laneige, Drunk Elephant, The Inkey List, Sol de Janeiro and Supergoop in the combo, alongside fragrance labels Jo Malone, Tom Ford and Kayali. 

Flash facials can be found, by Seasonly. And an auditorium is ready up for half-hour masterclasses, to be led by Glow Recipe and Dr. Dennis Gross on Friday. 

The plus-one floor shines a highlight on color cosmetics brands, equivalent to Makeup By Mario, Rabanne, Huda Beauty, Ilia and Charlotte Tilbury. There are nail bars, brow bars and full-face makeup stations. 

There’s no lack of photo and video ops; on the Sephora-branded stand, its latest mascara Love the Lift features an XXXL-sized tube in addition to a movable camara for selfie shots. Photo terminals and photo-call areas are also available for the snap-happy. Lounge lizards have a spot to chill out, and people in the hunt for a treat can snack. 

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