Last weekend in Los Angeles, California, Sephora hosted Sephoria: A House of Beauty. Their first ever one-of-a-kind beauty spectacular. Meant to be a combination of the words Sephora and Euphoria, the name Sephoria has been quite the point of contention for those not totally in the beauty conglomerate’s orbit. Some have been calling Sephora “Sephoria” all along. Others thought everyone else in the world (Chrissy Teigen included) were just mispronouncing the name Sephora for the last month. No matter the name, Sephoria was definitely a beauty festival like no other.
What it was like:
Held in the Majestic Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Sephoria had a very “Old Hollywood” feel. There were even Sephora castmembers walking around dressed like cigarette girls passing out Sephoria themed goodies. Although in tune with the incredible architecture and hidden artwork/paintings on the walls behind the booths, this Old Hollywood Glam aura felt at odds with the high end technology and modern vibes contained in each booth. The theme and feel of Hollywood was lost with brands touting their latest products and newest innovations.
However, at 3 stories and filled with over 50 different beauty brands, The Majestic was a sight to be seen. The Sephoria decor and signage brought unexpected pops of color to the streets of downtown L.A.
Upon arrival, we were met with a lush outdoor open air garden filled with photo op spots and brand booths. La Mer, Gucci, and GlamGlow, OH MY! After waiting in the security line, we received our fast passes and waited in another line to reserve our appointments in the Makeover Vanity. To our surprise, we were allowed TWO appointments each! I opted for Eyes and Hair and made my appointments for the end of the day. There was just too much else to see before sitting down!
What was inside:
Once we were done outside, we entered the building itself. Greeted by a large staircase wrapped in bold hues and a geometric black and white design, the venue was awash with a pinky purple light. Not only was there something to look at everywhere you turned, but the energy in the room was palpable.
Of course, I had to check out the kitchen first. Huda Beauty and Becca Cosmetics were the big draws here. We had a blast mixing up some fun with Huda Beauty. I was totally in my element channeling my inner 1950’s housewife. There is real brownie batter in this bowl! Chrissy Teigen x Becca Cosmetics were also cooking up some fresh ideas. Chrissy hosted some fun “beauty off” competitions while promoting her new cinnamon roll inspired collab. She even gave me one of her new “John approved” red lip glosses!
Next we explored the Brand Neighborhood. Drunk Elephant and Dior were the real winners here. Drunk Elephant had an awesome interactive selfie booth and a really fantastic team. Probably one of the best teams of the entire event. Dior did touchups and had a little set to take a cute headshot.
Down in the basement, we checked out the Sephoria merch shop, the glitter party, and the fragrance bar. The basement was by far the best organized. Plus, the energy was great and the temperature was several degrees cooler. Of course, one of the coolest parts of all Sephoria was the custom lipstick experience. As a lipstick addict, getting to create a one of a kind lipstick was a dream come true. With three different brands providing custom experiences, it was so hard to choose. Unsurprisingly, I would have done all three if I had enough time. However, I had to choose and went with YSL.
Of course, the best part of any event is the Swag Bag! Filled with full size products, the Sephoria gift bags did not disappoint. Containing tried and true favorites like the Laniege lip mask, as well as newbies like the new Kaja Cheeky Stamp, these goodie bags were filled with surprise and delight. Plus, many booths had free samples as well! Dior, Drunk Elephant, And Sol De Janiero were a few of my favorites.
Things I loved:
- Essentia Water team. Possibly the most friendly, cheerful team, and the booth I was most happy to see!
- Drunk Elephant team. So full of life and fun. They really made us smile.
- Beauty Vanity – Eye team. Such world class makeup artists. They were friendly and funny and super talented.
- Beauty Vanity – Dry Bar team. We were so pampered. The most chill team at Sephoria.
- Fragrance Bar Bartenders. Fantastic service and great personalities. They even made me a custom mocktail. Because even when I’m low maintenance, I’m high maintenance.
- The bathrooms! The bathrooms were sponsored by Method and were super cutely designed with inspirational sayings on the mirrors and stalls, flower arrangements, and calm and serene colors and lighting. Plus free body wash samples!
Things I skipped:
- Build your own eyeshadow palette. I have a drawer full of eyeshadow palettes at home and adding another Z-Palette to the mix seemed like overkill.
- Foundation closet. Although this booth was gorgeously presented, I don’t need a new foundation and didn’t have much interest here.
Things that could have been done better:
- Line organization. Garden registration was supposed to open at 9:30am for our session. It did not open until after 10a. The inside of the event was supposed to open at 10a. Also, the Bronze line moved WAY faster than the Expedited VIP line for Silver and Gold members. This really agitated most of the Silver/Gold line. Rightfully so. Once inside, it was very difficult to figure out where lines started and stopped. It was also difficult to maneuver around lines, as well as figure out what exactly that line was for.
- Lighting. OMG THE LIGHTING. The lighting at this event was so terrible it is almost laughable. Even the Makeover Vanity was awash in pinky-purple light. The Sephora Collection cast members showed just how amazing they were by being able to do fantastic looking makeup in that light. As an event that was touted as being fully instagram-able, it was totally shocking and completely disappointing that there was absolutely zero good light. Anywhere.
Overall, Sephoria was an amazing experience. It was really great to see all of the different brands and their presentations. The teams were all so friendly. You could tell the brands were all so proud of their booths. Even they felt the pain of the bad lighting. Including a few who told us they had asked for extra lighting or ways to add more. Hopefully next year Sephora will fix the lighting and organization and bring us another fantastic experience! And I’ll be here to bring you the inside scoop!
What do you think about the Sephoria experience? What beauty brand would you most like to see at Sephoria next year? Comment below!