So Sephora finally opened its doors here but nary a makeup wish of mine save one – Too Faced – was fulfilled! Despite this, I enjoyed myself exploring its busy and crowded pioneer store at Ngee Ann City. I was amused to see a young man having tubes of Sephora body washes wrapped up, as well as a Sephora eyeshadow palette and a tin of Smith’s Rosebud Salve. What thoughtful shopping! Of course, he might have been sent on the mission by a female. Nonetheless, his patience was to be admired. ;)
Too many destination brands are being carried by the store. In fact, many of them grace the wall displays – you are hit by Dior, Clinique, Estée Lauder, Biotherm as soon as you step in. Who wants to be reminded of these brands when you see them in almost every departmental store on the island?
The absence of desired brands like Cargo, Laura Mercier, NARS, Smashbox and Tarte (available in the US Sephoras) thwarted makeup expectations. This absence is felt more acutely by makeup enthusiasts who acquire beauty lemmings and brand knowledge from the Internet and abroad. The common lament is this: Where is Urban Decay? Certainly, many people looking forward to trying the line’s Primer Potion and pigmented eyeshadows are sorely disappointed. I’m hoping Sephora Singapore is aware of this and brings in the brand very soon! :)
The price points are generally higher than those in the US. Rouge Deluxe has some price comparisons and a few are mind-boggling.
Tissue paper was difficult to find when I was there; I’m not even sure they had it! I was surprised by this as I expected it to be de rigueur in a makeup-centred store. After all, customers usually test makeup on their skin and tissue paper is a quick way to clean it off. That said, cotton rounds and makeup removers are readily available for cleansing (see below).
Edited to add: Things have changed for the better since its opening – Smashbox is now available, as is Urban Decay (whee!) and tissue paper can be found on tester stations. I’m stoked that this mega beauty store actually listened to us, the consumers. :)
Unusual brands like Hourglass, Pop Beauty and Too Faced have been brought in, adding diversity to the local makeup scene. I was pleased to see and swatch Too Faced and Hourglass. Too Faced has some pretty and pigmented items (the Galaxy Glam shadows and some of the duos are especially lovely) but I was generally rather unimpressed by Hourglass, the nifty swivel compact of the Vol. 6 Face Palette being the only thing that caught my eye.
Viva Woman has a review of this product!
I liked the scent at first but not the lingering whiff.
A plethora of testers are available at the store. Even though the outlet sees a steady – oftentimes heavy – stream of human traffic since it opened, the testers were not as badly mangled as I’d expected them to be. They were plentiful and most were intact and largely in the right places. There are duplicates of testers at a few display stands and this is much appreciated, considering that some items are more frequently tested than others.
Cleansing items can be found at various stations in the store. Cotton rounds, makeup removers, nail polish removers are all available to clean off product.
The gift wrapping service counter in a little corner next to a shelf of Sephora bath and body lovelies is a sight to behold with its iridescent boxes, glistening wrappers and shiny ribbons. It is the norm for stores to offer free wrapping services but more often than not, you either have to purchase your own wrapping paper/boxes or use generic wrappers. Sephora’s wrapping materials are so beautiful, they up the amp of your gift immediately, giving it instant glamour and appeal.
The customer service was pleasant in general – I was offered a basket more than once and was cheerfully asked if I needed help…despite the busy hour and surging crowd. A third trip there unfortunately saw less friendly treatment; the SA brushed me off with a brusque ‘if it’s not there, it’s sold out!’, in response to my enquiry regarding Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
This item, by the way, has proved elusive for me – I read about people purchasing it easily and how it has been restocked but I keep missing it! I have half a mind to simply purchase it directly from the US. :P (Edited to add: I’ve since been able to find it and now have two!)
Here is a list of some of the many brands available at the Ngee Ann City Sephora outlet:
- Bare Escentuals
- Bond No. 9 fragrances
- Ed Hardy fragrances
- Estée Lauder
- Frederic Fekkai
- Gianna Rose Atelier
- John Masters Organics
- Juice Beauty
- Living Nature
- Make Up For Ever
- Nvey Eco
- Ole Henriksen
- Oliviers & Co.
- Pop Beauty
- Rosebud Perfume Co. (makers of the famous Smith’s Rosebud Salve)
- Too Faced
- Urban Decay
Sephora has its own line of cosmetics, makeup accessories, nail-related products, as well as bath and body items. A wide array of Sephora brand makeup items commands a fair amount of space in the centre of the store and more than one wall space is devoted to its bath and body products. I was especially taken by the futuristic-minimalistic look of the bubble bath bottles, not to mention their translucent rainbow hues.
Sephora is located opposite Harley Davidson at Basement 1 of Ngee Ann City, where Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf used to be.
Here are the store’s contact details:
Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6836 5622/ +65 6836 5623
Fax: +65 6836 5621
Have you been to Sephora yet? What was your experience like?