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2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Last month, the BIC Team selected several community members to attend Sephora's first ever immersive beauty experience, Sephoria: House of Beauty, which took place this past weekend in Los Angeles.  In addition to receiving keys to unlock the House of Beauty, the selected community members were asked to photograph the event and report their experiences to the community.




to my fellow Gold Key Recipients:

 @darkiceis @jazmineshepard @NotCrocker @KNC24 @Tamara76 !


                          We Came, We Saw, We CONQUERED SEPHORiA !




**all insights are more than welcome and I'm sure Sephora will appreciate the feedback, particularly if they host another event next year ...



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****Also, I'm not sure if there are size limitations to the threads so we each may need separate threads to house our copious photos.  I'll add links here as needed****


@darkiceis review can be found here:


@KNC24 review here:


Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Goodness it took me forever to type all this out and I'm certain I STILL managed to forget something it.  Some of this will likely reiterate thoughts others have shared about the event.  Anyway, here's my event feedback:








    • One of the biggest critiques that I heard and agree with was the cost of attendance.  Someone made a comment that attendees essentially paid $99, $249, or $449 to shop at a magnified Sephora.  As I’ll note later, and as others have highlighted in their feedback, between the lack of giveaways and event-exclusive items the price (including price of travel and lodging) is not warranted.

Masterclass Registration

    • This was A MESS!  Gold Key holders were told to expect contact from the SEPHORiA concierge to register for their masterclass but many, myself included did not hear from the concierge until the night before the event which was frustrating. 
    • The verbiage about the masterclasses was also misleading.  The website made it seem like Gold Key holders were guaranteed entry into their class of choice which was not exactly true.  Concierge requested attendees list their Top 3 classes from which they would be “guaranteed” entry into one (I’ll return to this later).

The Event:




  • There was a bit of confusion with the lineup for entry.  Better (taller) signage identifying where the various key holders needed to line up would have helped tremendously.

Brands/Reps & Giveaways

  • Brands were hit or miss.  Some were very engaging whereas others behaved as if they wanted to be anywhere but at the event *cough* HUDA *cough*. 
    • I recognize that this is on the brand and not Sephora but I did want to mention it!
    • Several reps were wonderful and because of their enthusiasm about the products they gained my interest and I’ll make a point to try the items they shared.
  • Some brands only gave samples to those who asked, when asked some happily gave a sample or two while others acted as if you were asking them to donate an organ.
    • Several brands said they would give a sample if we posted a photo on instagram and tagged them.  According to some community members who attended Session 1, several brand reps would stand there and watch attendees post before giving the sample.  On the one hand I understand wanting to increase chatter about the brand BUT this cumbersome task detracted from being able to experience the event AND was not feasible due to the volume of attendees.)
  • The brands, and Sephora, could have and SHOULD have done better.  The entire event screamed “post this on social media” given all the props, perfectly placed ring lights, etc.  Brands could’ve greatly increased their buzz by creating a space that attendees wanted to be photographed in (which most did) AND giving quality giveaways.
    • Drunk Elephant immediately comes to mind.Off the top of my head I can’t remember their booth but I can surely remember the cute bag they handed out which included some funky glasses, stickers (or tattoos?), and a deluxe sample).My point: brands should’ve made their booths, and especially their giveaways, creative/memorable/event exclusive/etc.


  • THANK GOODNESS another community member told me the area was small and that we needed to be in line early if we wanted to guarantee good seating.  I attended Natasha Denona’s class and thanks to the advice managed to get front row seats.  I’m curious to know just how many people were turned away from the entrance (Silver key holders were able to line up in a separate line and if there was space they had a chance to get in after Gold key holders entered).

…..what food?  Had the other ladies not mentioned that they had food I never would have known.  I have no clue where this was being offered.


    • I loved the idea of the fragrance booths handing out tickets for drinks inspired by fragrance notes.  It’s too bad this area was so crammed.  Again, I’m thankful the other ladies were there to remind me to go into that section.
    • I mentioned in my event recap that there was an issue at the bar.  I didn’t discover the fragrance bar until the tail end of the night.  When I went to exchange a fragrance ticket for a drink the bartender was nice but clearly exhausted.  At that time he told me I was likely his last for the night.  Fast forward maybe 5 mins; I loved the drink & went back to see if any of the bartenders were still making drinks.  The prior bartender was there and he had about 5-7 people in line waiting.  He finished 3 drinks for a group that was waiting and said he was done.  Another attendee vocalized her frustration …why didn’t you say something before we stood here?  Why are you closing before the event ends? [I believe the event was scheduled to end in 15-20 mins], and so on.  She then stated that she had several drink passes that she had not been able to redeem due to the long lines earlier.  She noted that she was not attending another session and therefore really wanted to get the most out of the cost of her ticket by experiencing everything the event was supposed to offer.  The neighboring bartender then decided to waltz over and exclaimed that the bar was closed.  I felt bad for the other woman, told the bartender who’d helped me earlier that I understand but asked if he could make a quick exception for her.  The other guy interrupted to say no it’s closed.  I asked if he was the manager or something and he rudely said no. The woman again asked why they were closing when Sephora said the event didn’t end for another x minutes, and he (the neighboring bartender) said I don’t take my orders from Sephora.  The initial bartender was very calm in his response, again because he and I had chatted moments before so I got it (they’d been there since a few hours before session 1, had to be there all day tomorrow, etc.) but his coworker was surpassed rude and was downright nasty.  Again I understand that they were ready to leave but his visible disdain to the idea that Sephora was in charge of him and the way he interjected himself was beyond rude and completely unnecessary. 

The App

  • Having a special event app opened up a number of possibilities, unfortunately the app was not as effective as I believe it could’ve been. 
  • Wristband registration should’ve been easier… Initially I registered my wristbands via the app but when I tried to “log in” with the information on the website it was not recognized.  I ended up re-registering on the website. 
  • Once Session 1 started the notifications never stopped, which was annoying (and also sparked some serious FOMO when I couldn’t return for later sessions)
  • Unfortunately I didn’t find the app useful during the event.  If I weren’t checking my phone to keep up with the fellow BT ladies in attendance I likely would’ve missed the few notifications I received.  It’s possible that those who attended Sessions 3 or 4 found the app more useful as they would send notifications before the beginning of meet & greets, which Session 2 did not have. 

Final Thoughts

  • Event Exclusivity--The event fell short in it’s ability to create an exclusive experience.Both Sephora AND the brands should’ve used this event to release event exclusives.While getting a lipstick engraved is cool (I purchased my first YSL item & got my name engraved) it would’ve been next level if there were special shades, packaging, etc. to connect it to SEPHORiA. 
  • Too much weight was placed on the value of the gift bag by both Sephora themselves & those advertising the event.
    • While the gift bags were nice they, alone, were not enough to justify the price of keys/tickets.  As beauty preferences vary, the actual value of the bag was likely far less than advertised.  (Fragrances, for example are EXTREMELY tricky.  For me, while it was nice that a full-sized fragrance was included it is not one that I find meshes with my body chemistry.  That alone lessens the bag value by $100). A voucher to redeem a full-sized fragrance in store or online would’ve been better.
    • The emphasis on the gift bag left them very little room for error and I do not think this is a good selling point to encourage more beauty enthusiasts to attend.
  • I expected to spend more at the event but walked away with only two purchases (YSL- engraved lipstick from their existing line and Bite- mini lip bar where you could have a lipstick made in 1 of 80 Sephoria exclusive shades).
    • Most brands were only selling one product (for example Too Faced was all about the Better than Sex Mascara which you could get engraved).  I thought there would be more shopping opportunities both from the brands directly AND the Sephoria shop.
    • There should have been more Sephoria items available (a larger variety of tote bags, shirts, cups/mugs/bottles, pop sockets, etc.)
  • I had a blast at the event overall BUT at least 85% of that must be attributed to the fellow community members I was able to experience the event with and connect with over the weekend.  Much of the fun I had was created by the group and not necessarily the brands/booths; I cannot say that I would have enjoyed the event quite as much without having them. 
  • So would I attend again?  YES, if …. [1] some of the community members I connected to decide they want to make it part of a larger group trip, [2] key/ticket prices are SIGNIFICANTLY reduced AND/OR more (outside of the gift bags) are included in the price; also if “all day/weekend” passes become available at a reasonable price [3] the Sessions are more balanced
    • of all 4 sessions, Session 2 had the fewest influencers/upcoming MUAs (remember the FOMO I mentioned from the App??).  Now while I had no interest in seeing influencers (I had no clue in who 95% of them were anyway) I would have loved to have someone like Mario or even Angel at Session 2.
    • The session imbalance likely explains why Session 2 did not sell out.  There were benefits to this however, I loved the ability to move through booths without having to wait too long (the bar was of course the exception).  Additionally, Session 2 lasted the entire time, which allowed me to revisit areas I bypassed earlier in the evening, and the brands had not depleted their stock of giveaways (some Session 4 ladies noted that brands ran out of their giveaways and many packed up well before the event was set to end).

Once again if you read this, you are the best-est 💋


Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Wow! Great feedback @ElleElleG!

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Thanks @veronika23 !  I figure the more detailed the feedback the greater likelihood they'll revamp some aspects of the event 🤞🏽

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Let's hope so! @ElleElleG

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

I think you hit the nail on the head with a lot of this @ElleElleG ! I am shocked at the encounter you had at the bar. I get that the event was nearing the end, but they should not have mistreated y'all that way. 

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Thanks @Mcakes !


That bar situation absolutely should've played out differently.

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Hi y'all! {Two weeks later... 😄 } I've had some time to reflect on the event and put my feedback together for the Sephoria team for future events. If you would like to read more about my experience at Sephoria and see pictures, you can find all the fun details here:


This post will strictly be feedback 🙂




I am not a fan of the ticket structure. I would have preferred an all inclusive pass to the weekend instead of having to choose which session to go to. Even individual day passes without time restrictions would have been great. I understand in-and out passes can be a nightmare for companies, but they really are so convenient to the customer. 


The Venue

The Majestic definitely provided a unique ambiance and served the "House of Beauty" theme well. If this event were to return to the same venue in the future, here are some things I would like to see changed:

-More signage and directories as to where rooms and key elements are placed (food, bathrooms, classes). Especially since some of the staff didn't really know where to direct people for certain things, it would have been nice to have a visual form of reference for everyone. 

-If the line/waiting area is in the Garden again, it would be nice if staff offered water to people waiting in line during the day. It got pretty hot and there was no shade in that area. I got lucky I had a hat! 

-There shouldn't be classes in the Glitter Room unless it is enclosed like the Masterclass Theatre. It was really hard to hear Charlotte Tillbury since there was so much going on around the other booths and the sound quality wasn't optimal. 


The Brands

While I loved the stunning elaborate booth displays they created, I would have preferred they invested more in the giveaways and overall customer experience.

-Give us something that we can't get anywhere else! I had such a great time customizing Sephora Collection lipsticks and I know my friends had a blast with Bite and YSL. Those were interactive experiences that we don't typically have access to and that is awesome! 

-More exclusive/first access items...and advertise it! Fenty Beauty releasing the Fairy powders to shoppers at the event before it officially drops in December was a great opportunity for us to pick it up before everyone else. We like that. Make us feel special 😄

-Have more things to sell us. It was a little odd that some companies didn't have anything to sell or only had a couple of items. If you're going to tell us how awesome your products are then maybe you should have them on hand? I was expecting to spend a lot more at Sephoria than I actually did. Great for my wallet but you know, lost sales for them lol. 

-For the most part the Brand Ambassadors were great about engaging in conversation and giving out samples, but the couple of brands that were extremely stingy and/or rude weren't doing themselves any favors. I thankfully only had one bad encounter, but I did hear chatter among the crowd about that same vendor and some others. 

-Please don't give us foils.



-The bag issue was a big one. First it was a dimension that couldn't even house my phone lol. Then they made it slightly bigger. Then they said whatever size as long as it's clear, but also left up the other dimension. At the actual event they were still letting people through with non-clear bags bigger than the "approved" size. Good for them, but it would have been nice to have one clear answer on that whole thing. 

-A couple of girls and I stood at the wrong line for 20+ minutes thinking we were registering for a Masterclass when it was actually for Services after we were directed there by one of the staff. This is something that better signage could have helped with, also better communication to the staff to know where to direct us. 

-There was also a breakdown in communication re the merchandise. Some said the clear bags were a gift with purchase, others were saying they were only available with purchase. With the patches, some were saying they were available individually while others were saying you could only get them with the purchase of a jacket. I'm sure that there were probably other conflicting stories but these are the two I personally had to sort out. 



I actually don't mind Sephoria staying in Los Angeles (I love this city!). However, I am also open to other cities as well. I just would like more advance notice next time! It would be great to be able to plan this trip out a little better in the future. Flights, lodging, and logistics with people flying in from all over the country and across borders is tricky to line up in a short time span. 


I'm surprised that this didn't happen in Las Vegas to be completely honest. It's built for conventions,has plenty of accommodations readily available, and an international airport is in close proximity. 


Overall, I LOVED the event and would definitely go again Heart ! One last thing- It would be awesome to have more community events at the next one. High Tea with @KatieBT @LexBT @BrendaBT anyone?! 😉

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Awesome, well-thought and thorough feedback, @ElleElleG!  


Wow!  I am so sorry to hear about the experience you and the other guest had at the bar - so uncalled for!  I agree the bar area was way too crowded and there wasn't a line as much as a mass of people trying to make their way up to the bar - it was pretty anxiety inducing.  The drinks were fabulous, though, so it would have been fun to have the bartenders more spread out so that people could have enjoyed drinks as they visited each fragrance booth.  

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Thanks @Tamara76!


Agreed!  I also think if were spread out perhaps the bartenders wouldn't have felt so put out as well!  Also, probably wouldn't be a bad idea to add a sign or something that states when the last drinks will be made.

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Great feedback @Mcakes! I obviously didn't go but a big thing for me was the short notice to how it all worked and when the tickets go on sale. If I'm not mistaken tickets for conventions like IMATS go on sale about a year before the event. I think that is something Sephora really needs to consider. People need to plan things out, especially if they are from out of town and meeting other people there. Trying to coordinate a big group of people meeting up needs ample time to figure out logistics.

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Yes, definitely agree @veronika23 ! This time around was just so hectic trying to figure out who was going, which session(s) they were going to, flights, lodging, etc. I thought that we would have been given advance notice to plan it was really only a couple days lead time. Seeing how the tickets were available for months, they could have structured the release a little differently. Hoping there will be a different rollout structure in the future!

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Awesome points, @Mcakes!  Thanks for sharing!


On a super positive note - I never experienced a line at any of the restrooms at the event - this is a huge plus for me! ❤️

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

That is true...I didn't experience that either @Tamara76 !! Maybe the no signs thing is a good thing for the bathroom situation 😛

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Yes, the lack of lines for the restrooms was a HUGE plus @Tamara76 @Mcakes

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Great feedback @Mcakes !  So many of your points look like you read my brain and slapped the thought in your post LOL! 


Hopefully our feedback is taken into consideration if/when they do it again!


Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

We're on the same wavelength @ElleElleG 😄

acid trip wtf GIF by Bubble Punk

I hope they take our suggestions into account as well Heart

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

😂😂😂 Did not expect that gif @Mcakes


I'm keeping my fingers crossed about accepting our feedback 

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Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Great recap @Mcakes Heart  I agree with the signage ~ I'm thankful you and a few other gals from our group were the guinea pigs to attending session 1 and give us the scoop.  Otherwise, Session 2 attendees would've been quite disoriented. Vegas is also a great option (ROAD TRIP)!  

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

Thanks @ZombieMetroAnt ! I feel like this girl when it comes to talking about Sephoria at this point:

american pie this one time at band camp GIF by IFC

It should be Glam Camp 😉 Hey, that could be the next theme 😄 Vegas would be sooo much fun! 


Oh and I forgot one thing, I wish that Sephora would give us points for the ticket purchases! It is Sephora related. 

Re: 2018 SEPHORiA Feedback Thread

You're not alone @McakesHeart  I'm still living through the euphoria of Sephoria too!  Smiley Wink  

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