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The most popular beauty urban myth, is that Sephora will launch in the UK and we have played the game of ‘will they, won’t they’ for almost a decade! But finally after much speculation, Sephora has made their debut into the modern UK beauty market!
Sephora is not completely new to the UK, in 2005 Sephora had been operating in the UK for 5 years before completely closing all stores. After the physical departure of the global beauty giant, UK beauty lovers still had access to the American Sephora site until data policies prevented that. In the absence of Sephora, websites such as Cult Beauty, Lookfantastic and Feelunique were able to flourish and provide access to international beauty brands without having to import to the UK. On the physical store front, Boots, SpaceNK and Superdrug became the go to destinations for anything skincare and beauty related.
How did the return of Sephora happen?
LVMH, the parent company of Sephora, acquired British online retailer Feelunique, which has an established customer base, distribution facilities and pre-existing stock within the UK. Once Sephora officially took over the Feelunique website, a few exclusive brands were added to the website inventory and branding quietly shifted to remove all traces of Feelunique. Sephora UK is yet to stock all the brands their US counterpart offers, however this is likely due to varying cosmetic regulations between beauty markets. There have also been unconfirmed rumors of Sephora opening a physical store within central London.
Why did Sephora come back now?
It is no secret that the beauty industry has been booming in recent years, with the USA leading the charge and the UK following slowly behind. The likes of Boots and SpaceNK have stepped up their beauty inventory to offer access to brands like Fenty Beauty, Rare Beauty, Naturium Skin and Ultraviolet. Both British retailers are known for their points system as well which is something that was formerly unique to the Sephora experience.
Why is Sephora so loved?
Sephora is more than just a beauty store, it is a culture! In the USA Sephora has an amazing returns policy which allows beauty lovers to try their products and return them if they are not satisfied with the purchase. In addition to this Sephora has a unique shopping program which offers VIP shoppers access to discounts and events. These extra services take Sephora from a regular shop to a true beauty fandom. Unfortunately, Sephora UK has not adopted the same points system that the USA has, but has instead kept the Feelunique system. However Sephora UK offers a student discount which is something the USA does not offer!
What exclusive brands can I find at Sephora?
Sephora UK is still very new so we can expect to see many more exclusive launches. Sephora did debut some of their own Sephora Collection, Onesize Beauty, Tarte Cosmetics and SkinFix.
Sephora will only develop and evolve into a true beauty destination as time goes on, so we can expect greatness in the upcoming months!