Bombay finally has a Sephora. My male friend who does not wear makeup informed me of this fact. So imagine the drama this has created if even he heard about this!
Bidisha is as unimpressed as ever – she is usually unimpressed by anything popular and anything you would stereotypically expect a fashion stylist in Bombay to be impressed by. Anisha was slightly more interested. (There is no Sephora in London, the poor thing). She raved about the Paris one she checked out and talked about how great it was. Stocked to the brim, a thousand different shades of fuchsia pink lipstick (she got confused and went and bought the Mac Candy Yum Yum. Fantastic free samples. Testers for everything. Super helpful people at the counters giving real, helpful makeup advice and suggestions, not only to sell product. Mentioned how you can return used products for a refund if you don’t like it. Brushes of every size, colour and shape.
I had no idea what she was talking about.
There appears to be a completely different version of the same store in India.
The problem is we don’t have a dearth of great makeup and makeup stores. Most department stores in India stock a lot of brands (the generic Loreal, Revlon, Lakme, etc). And you have your MAC, Colourbar, Faces, etc. The point of Sephora is not to have a store (hear me out) which has makeup from every brand you can think of. The point of Sephora is to have great customer service, allow people to test out and experiment without paying through their nose, building brand loyalty with great loyalty programmes – Sephora is not only a makeup store. Its almost a makeup school, somewhere you can go and experiment with makeup as a student or youngster. Or try a new look when you are bored of your predictable makeup routine. Or try out the new trend if you are a dedicated makeup person.
Well, this wasn’t the Sephora I recognised when I went to the Bangalore one. Anisha told me she has a similar experience in the Delhi one. The tester section is almost empty. She went with her list of ten products she wanted and they didn’t have a single one. Including Sephora’s self-branded eyeliner. A makeup supermarket didn’t have black eyeliner.
The largest collection in terms of quantity in the store was of Sephora brand makeup and haircare. Which was great, I was pleasantly surprised at the great quality of the lipsticks. There was also a large collection of brushes, but they were so expensive I don’t ever see myself buying one. 7000INR for a contour brush, really? I don’t understand. Even some drugstore brands like Nyx Cosmetics was priced higher than they are elsewhere. So even though I’m excited that some of my favorite products like the Benefit Hoola bronzer and the Makeup Forever primers are now within reach whenever I run out, I’m very disappointed with the prices.
So what did you think about the new Sephora stores in Mumbai and Bangalore? If the one one where you live is better then let us know how. I’d love to know 🙂