Beauty Over Consumption: Why I'm Done with Shopping at Sephora

By Cathy H - 8:08 PM

Sephora has been my beauty haven since I could remember. They say that whatever you don't get enough of growing up, you tend to develop an obsessive hoarding habit once you are capable of getting it. My relationship with makeup has been like that. I had always been a plain girl growing up and no one around me had much interest in makeup either. However, when Sephora opened near my house I was so intrigued stepping inside. There was every color of any eye shadow,lip cream, blush available and there were products for seemingly every square inch of your face. I was so drawn in with the packaging, the potential for every product to change your appearance, the more I stepped inside the more I bought to the point where I'm at the hoarding stage. I haven't used half of the makeup I own but I'm always looking for new products and reading reviews. I guess its like a hobby for me? However, the reasons I'm going to be reducing my visits to sephora and beauty stores is:

1. Price: do I really need a Givenchy eye-brow corrector for $40? Do I really need a $80 mud mask? I will admit some beauty items are worth investing in such as a good Urban Decay palette and a long lasting lipstick-but some of the things I keep seeing popping up in stores really ticks me off. A tiny luminizing wand to brighten your eyes for $50? I recently read some articles for class on the medicalization of culture, and I would say Sephora has successful done this in the respect of making every single unnecessary product you could ever think that fixes every single part of the face. Honestly, its like saying you need all this product because your face isn't good as it is. It really isnt' worth it having an inch of your shine on your face from applying a $40 illuminator when people don't even see and notice half the time. 

2. Chemicals: I recently came across the parabens scare. Parabens are in most makeup products to preserve longevity and make sure no mold or bacteria grow in makeup. However, some research indicates the four kinds of parabens found in most makeup products are found in cancerous tumors in breast tissue. Also, the lead in makeup isn't any good on brain cells and health in general. There's also alot of backlash to refute this research, but I don't want to risk it anymore. I'm pretty sure all that product I've been applying on my face isn't doing my skin or health GOOD in the long run, if not increasing aging or other ill effects. I don't wanna become a "cake face" and constantly applying endless products on my face. I'm going to do my research more and at least use up what I have in my collection before buying new ones.

3. Staff: I never liked the staff of any stores. If I came in just to try on some lipstick or do some eyeshadow swatches, or if I just didn't feel like buying anything and did my nails with products from their new line- me/friends automatically get ignored and glared at by the staff. They are honestly so pretentious and look down on customers that don't seem to be VIB ROUGE. It's kind of like the Holt Renfrew of cosmetics, you got to be buying something or look like you have the money to buy it. That really deters me because sometimes I don't look my best and just want to go for a visit, its always awkward and not welcoming at well. Honestly, I would've easily spend over $1000 this year and gotten VIB ROUGE at the rate I was going. But if I'm going to be disapproved for doing my nails to test there I feel disrespected as a customer. It's not even THEIR store or product, its testers. What's the harm in looking around? Why are sales associates always so selfish and stingy even though its not their store?

4. Reward System: Alot of my friends brought this up on the reward system there. You got 1 point for every $1 you spend, so for example 100 points for a small lipgloss means you exchanged $100 worth for that. It's so ridiculous compared to Asian makeup stores especially in Korea where you buy one cleanser and they offer you face masks, almost full size samples and even makeup pouches to store it in. I seen some of the products for Sephora's reward system and its just not worth it. 500 points for a scarf and mini Balenciaga perfume? Considering they give staff gratis probably valued over $500+ every month while customers have to spend $500 to get a tiny perfume bottle? That's really disappointing. I don't wanna feed into this hype.

That pretty much sum my opinion towards makeup and Sephora in general. I now realize makeup should enhance the face, having a good eyeliner and basic products is essential but going beyond that and hoarding shelves of makeup isn't necessary. Also my friends all make fun of me (jokingly) for my shopping habits and I don't wanna be that kind of person anymore. From now, I'm working on improving my skin so maybe I'll go to their skincare section more. I already have everything I need and more!

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  1. My favourite store as well! ^^

  2. I really enjoyed reading that! I realized that i've been hoarding too much last year and tried to reduce the amount of spending I do at Sephora. But I do like to take advantage of their sales especially in addition to the 20% they offer during the holiday season. I totally agree about the employees though. If I'm looking good, they are all over me trying to help but if I'm looking messy I'll just get ignored.

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    1. I know, it bothers me that they judge your appearance but than again like every other fancy department store or makeup counters they do the same. I guess thats just what we have to put up with!! In the meanwhile...try using the makeup hoarding products as well... ;D

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