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Sephora Goes Small With New Boston Location

The space will have a heavier-than-usual focus on services.

Sephora is going micro.

On the heels of opening its largest-ever North America store in Manhattan (an 11,300-square-foot space on 34th Street), the beauty retailer is now unveiling its smallest location — a 2,000-square-foot shop at 88 Newbury Street in Boston, which will focus on services.

The concept, called Sephora Studio, will have an increased emphasis on artistry and skin-care services and opens Friday.

“In today’s retail environment where very little is constant and clients’ expectations are ever-evolving, one thing has remained true for Sephora: there is no better way to create meaningful connections with clients than through personalized experiences and a customized approach to beauty,” said Calvin McDonald, president and chief executive officer. “We could not be more focused on that notion than we are with the opening of Sephora Studio.”

McDonald said the format combines a neighborhood environment with digital tools so beauty advisers can provide customized recommendations to shoppers.

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The location will feature makeup, skin care, hair care and fragrances, including Benefit, Bite Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and bumble, Caudalie, Drunk Elephant, Drybar, Fresh, Kat Von D Beauty, Milk Makeup, Ole Henriksen, Ouai, Sunday Riley, Nars and Verb.

Sephora Studio’s digital setup includes a digital welcome menu where customers can browse to help themselves, and beauty advisors with mobile devices that can check shoppers in for appointments. The idea of technology as an option to replace human interaction is one that MAC is also testing in a New York store, where it has set up iPads that provide customers with detailed step-by-step instructions for how to contour, among other things.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sephora Studio also has a Studio Concierge, which is in charge of guiding customers and aiding with services.

The Beauty Studio at the new location is the first to debut a 75-minute custom makeover, which includes either a skin-care consultation or mini-facial.

In the space’s eight seats and four sinks, customers can receive 45-minute makeovers or 15-minute mini-facials and mini-makeovers. Studio staff will use tools like Sephora’s moisture meter and Skincare IQ quiz to assess skin conditions.

At Sephora Studio, the retailer is also debuting new delivery options — order in store, and same-day pickup, which can be used to buy products not available in the smaller-format space. Orders can be placed with complementary standard shipping or, for a fee, next-day shipping. Starting in October, Boston-based shoppers can purchase via the Sephora app and pick up at the Prudential Center location the same day.