Saturday, 18 June 2011

Paris and a tale of two beauty counters–Sephora and Galleries Lafayette


Sephora nail polishInveterate shopaholic that I am and with absolutely no shopping to do in Paris (for obvious reasons – the Euro is at a crazy rate) I managed to visit both Sephora and Galleries Lafayette in search of a) some cologne for a friend and b) a replacement lipstick for my all time favourite.

Sephora of course paid a brief visit to British shores and then left, without question because, with a flagship store red carpet style on the Champes Elysee (and now many other stores in Paris and throughout France) they decided instead of a prime location store launch in London, to arrive quietly in two of our shopping malls, one small and the other not quite so small.  Had it been my choice, I would have put them down with fanfare in Regent Street and made as much noise as possible.

Sephora offers a completely different way to beauty shop from what we are used to.  Browse at will with your little shopping basket, test everything to your hearts content and then shop until you drop.  There’s advice if you need it and not if you know exactly what you’re shopping for.  From Sephora’s own brand which grows all the timsephora eye shadowe, is great quality and great value, to you name it from Clinique to Makeup for Professionals this is a place you can  stay for hours.

Contrast that with going from one beauty counter to another and being ‘served’ at each and I know which I prefer.  The smartly dressed helper in Galleries Lafayette was just slightly sniffy at my only wanting to purchase one lipstick and then do a runner, and the thought of going from counter to counter left me totally cold.

The problem with both kinds of beauty selling is always, I think, the light.  It’s very hard to judge colours for foundation, blush and shadow in artificial light so if I’m going to try something new I always insist on going to natural light.  But for the joy of beauty shopping?  Give me Sephora any day.  I’ll be back soon, I promise.  And I hope you’ll be returning to our shores………

Don’t forget our Simply Beach competition ends at midnight on June 30th – Are you in or are you out to win a £150 gift voucher for designer swimwear?  Click here to find out more….