This fall at Sephora, there’s a lot more going on than the usual cadence of new lipsticks, highlighters and moisturizers.
The retailer is undergoing a search for a new Americas chief executive officer following the departure of former head Calvin MacDonald for Lululemon, and at the same time, undertaking a slew of new initiatives — from large-scale events to launches — that are in line with the latest beauty trends.
Going Experiential With Sephoria Event
Sephoria — Sephora’s version of a beauty festival — is set to take place Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 at the Majestic in downtown Los Angeles. The Instagrammable and shoppable experience will take paying guests (tickets run $99 to $449) through different themed rooms and “beauty experiences,” including the Masterclass Theater, the Custom Palette Room and the Lip Lounge. The experience will be filled with beauty insiders, including hairstylist Jen Atkin, Dr. Howard Murad and Priscilla Ono, the global makeup artist for Fenty.
You May Also Like
Sephoria is in line with larger trends in beauty retailing, which have turned to experiences in order to drive traffic and social sharing. In April, Australian specialty beauty retailer Mecca debuted Meccaland, a three-day beauty festival complete with influencers, a confetti igloo and other branded experiences. On a smaller scale, indie brand Winky Lux opened its New York Experience Store in August, which directs ticket holders through themed rooms meant for Instagram-sharing. In the mass market, Maybelline launched its own room at the Color Factory experience in New York that features an interactive dance floor and photo booth. Cover Girl is also opening a Times Square retail experience, which is meant to be a beauty playroom.
Charlotte Tilbury’s U.S. Expansion
Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury hits 40 Sephora stores in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 14. The U.S. launch follows Tilbury’s launch in Sephora Germany earlier this year, and will consist of core products, like the brand’s Magic Cream, $100, and Matte Revolution Lipstick, $34. The brand is also launching Magic Away Liquid Concealer, $32, on Sept. 6.
Sephora is Charlotte Tilbury’s first move into U.S. specialty retail — so far, the British brand’s U.S. expansion has focused more on department
stores, like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.
Skin-Care Launches Hit the Shelves
Several new skin-care launches are hitting Sephora shelves this season, including products from Becca, Farsali and Perricone.
Estée Lauder-owned Becca, which is known for its highlighters and complexion products, has officially branched into skin with the launch of its Skin Love collection. Becca isn’t the first makeup brand to attempt the crossover — Urban Decay launched skin care in 2017 — but Becca’s product is hitting the market in the midst of a dramatic increase in prestige skin-care sales. According to the NPD Group, skin-care sales were up 12 percent in the most recent quarter.
Perricone’s rebranded Essential Fx line, which contains a custom biomolecule and Vitamin F combination, is set to hit Sephora doors in mid-September, and Farsali, the Insta-famous brand known for its Rose Gold Elixir and Unicorn Essence, is releasing Skintune Perfecting Primer Serum, which contains Vitamin C, mushroom-derived Poria Cocos and cucumber extracts, and is meant to hydrate while blurring skin imperfections.
High Beauty Debut Follows Other Trendy Launches
Sephora is going bigger into cannabis with the launch of High Beauty, another new skin-care line that makes a $54 facial oil and $40 moisturizer. High’s founder, Melissa Jochim, who has formulated for Juice Beauty, among other brands, chose to avoid the increasingly common CBD oil in favor of one that not everyone was using — cannabis sativa seed oil (hemp seed oil). High adds an additional cannabis-centric product line to Sephora, which already sells Milk Makeup’s Kush lineup, at a time when the ingredient is increasingly trending because of its newfound, mainstream wellness association.
The High Beauty launch is one of several recently that have kept the retailer on top of bubbling trends. Earlier this year, Sephora made a push deeper into collagen products with introductions from Vital Proteins, Crushed Tonic and Hum Nutrition. The store has also moved further into clean beauty,
another large trend, with the launch of its Clean at Sephora seal.
Switching Up the Loyalty Program
Sephora has changed up its loyalty program, giving members who spend more money more points. Beauty Insiders will continue to receive one point per dollar spent, where that ratio has increased to 1.25 points per dollar for VIB members and 1.5 per dollar for Rouge members. Sephora is also adding more products into its rewards offering, including full sizes for VIB and Rouge members. Rouge members will be able to trade in points for store credit — 2,500 gets them $100 to Sephora. By the end of this year, the loyalty program is expected to have more than 25 million members.
Loyalty programs are one way that retailers are keeping consumers loyal and providing added perks — and sometimes discounts. Ulta Beauty also has a big focus on its loyalty program, and at the end of its first fiscal quarter, had 28.6 million active members.