The last time I was in Hong Kong, all I saw was the hoarding promising something new to come.
This time, I managed to stroll right into the Sephora store and see the real thing! Here is a picture I snagged of Sephora Hong Kong located on the busy Sai Yeung Choi St. in Mongkok, Kowloon. Its hard to miss and is located next to the Esprit Outlet store.
There are 2 stories of cosmetics, skincare and bath and body goodies, but I walked out of the store with nothing in hand. That’s right, I do not have a Sephora bag to show for my troubles!
I found Sephora Hong Kong a bit of a let-down. Its just like walking into a Sasa store except the product selection is much smaller (and there were less people). The brands available are mostly brands you see in most department stores – Estee Lauder, Lancome, Dior etc. There was also counters for Benefit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Calvin Klein, Stila, Nvey Organic makeup and of course, Sephora’s own line.
I was tempted by the Smashbox Spring Muse Artist eyeshadow palette but at HKD550 (RM270+) or so, I felt it was way too expensive. The Sephora brand of makeup were pretty affordable, but nothing interested me. So, after walking around the store for a bit, I left empty handed.
In fact, this time, I found prices of cosmetics in Hong Kong higher than in Malaysia even on sale or at the duty free stores at the airport. This includes Japanese drugstore makeup – Kate and Majolica Majorca as an example, is slightly cheaper here. Those who have been upset at Benefit Cosmetic’s recent price hike in Malaysia would be apoplectic at the much higher prices of Benefit in Hong Kong! So whilst we may not get the latest stuff immediately, I’m not above waiting a month or two to get them here at sometimes substantially cheaper prices.
I suppose I’ve had all this grand illusions about Sephora after reading so much about it that I’ve built up this image in my mind about how grand it is or should be. So, when I realized that its just another cosmetic department store, things just settled down and I felt rather disillusioned. I prefer browsing through Facess in Hong Kong – there are more international brands available and more interesting stuff on display (and I prefer jostling with people because it adds to the fun 😉 ).
If the Sephora in Singapore is in the same vein (I’d report if I visit), I’d say that we in Malaysia aren’t really missing out on much by not having a Sephora. 🙂
So my little sojourn in Hong Kong is why I have not been replying to your emails and comments recently but I’m in the process of catching up. Are you wondering what I did get from Hong Kong at the end of the day? You have to stay tuned then don’t ya?! 😉 Oh and I also updated my makeup shopping tips in Hong Kong for anyone interested.
47 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
cant wait to know what did u get from there! all the while, seeing all the pics on blogs, i thought sephora store was like: WAH HEAVEN. but now i guess i have a different perception already
LOL I hope I don’t get your hopes up because I didn’t get very much 😛 I must say I was like you – I thought Sephora was all that but then its just like walking into a beauty hall so a bit of the magic was lost 🙂
Hi ParisB, thanks for this post! I was thinking of shopping for pdts like too faced e/s insurance and UDPP in HK. But I guess they are not there.
In Sg, the Sephora is more or less like the one you described in HK. The house common brands like EL, Lancome, etc, etc…there’s also Benefit, but we have a counter at Tangs already. Small shelf of Too faced. But the e/s ins is always sold out.
I can’t understand why Sephora brings in all other stuff that we can get in Takashimaya, Isetan, Robinsons, Metro and Tangs.
Glad to help. I did not see Urban Decay or Too Faced at the HK Sephora. Maybe its import duties or demand that dictates what Sephora can or cannot bring in. Still, they managed to bring in a huge range of Sephora branded stuff LOL
Maybe it has to do with the kind of margin they can make from various products.
I got all excited when I read that there is already a Sephora in HK. It makes up more excuses to go back and forth to HK aside from having eggettes. But after reading your review, Sephora would be one of the stores I’ll visit just for the heck of doing so. I’ve been to the Sephora branch in Paris but I wasn’t that interested in makeup back then so I’ll be on the safe side that the Sephora there offers brands not usually seen.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the rest of your HK trip. I love HK so much and I think its such a great shopping place. So many things to discover, buy and eat. 🙂
Yeah I popped into Sephora “for the heck of it” too. HK was awesome although I was there mostly for food this time as there wasn’t much to buy.
I’d say Sephora has a lot to offer since I’ve gone nuts at the one in Barcelona, but sadly it seems to be limited to the outlets in the US or Europe…the ones in Asia? CMI… (CMI = Cannot Make It)
LOL at CMI but yes I’d love to visit a Sephora in the US but then I’d probably be so overwhelmed I’d not buy anything either! 😀
lolz i always wished that sephora open in malaysia; but now i am not so sure…..o.o
unless they sell sonia kasyuk 4 colour concealers XD
hope to see what u have bought in HK XD
Sonia Kashuk is available at Target. I reckon if Sephora comes in, we’ll be seeing a similar sort of store as Singapore or HK.
What a pity! I think I’ve been to the one in Sg–that’s the DFS one right? No biggie either, didn’t see many unsual brands. Was only enamoured by the Sephora brushes, but even then, it’s all quite expensive compared to what they charge in the US. 🙁
No. In Ngee Ann City, there is one. 🙂
Shay is right. Sephora opened up 2 stores in Singapore. The DFS one was just a small Sephora counter that did not interest me the few times I was there.
Wow PB! You went to HK again? I want to go back there, you’re right Facess is so nice to go to eventhough it’s crowded! And I’d rather go to Sasa and Bonjour based on your report about Sephora, I think all Sephora stores in Asia will be like that so I guess the best would still be in the Western area!
Can’t wait to see you hauls!!!
This was a eating holiday for my parents 😀 I love Facess even though I’ve never bought anything from there – I keep getting tempted by Chantecaille but always back out due to its prices!
A bigger Sephora is set to open its door here. Not sure if more interesting brands will be brought in. But I’m less keen to cover in after looking at the present one. *yawn*
Well I’ll be sure to pop by a Sephora anyway when I’m in Singapore… hehe…
I love Sephora because I don’t have to go to other stores to pick up things I need. The other thing I love about that store is their special offer on selected perfume and cosmetics (they always have offers for Too Faced products here).
I don’t really like the Sephora line. The only few things I’ll buy are makeup brushes and nail polish.
I guess the Sephora in Europe is better or maybe we are just too used to the beauty halls in department stores here and Sasa 🙂 It’d be interesting to visit a European Sephora if I’m ever there.
Jamilla Camel says
Lucky Hong Kong!! Sephora quit the UK, due to competition from SpaceNK!
I heard about the pull out. But I guess you won’t be missing anything in the UK right? 🙂 Your choices are pretty awesome too!
psst! just in case you haven’t heard, stila is closing down in Malaysia and all products are 50-70% off for this week >)
i checked out the counter in 1U today and they don’t have ready stock for many items but you can leave your order with them and they’ll give you a call when it comes in
Yep! I’d read about it – I checked out a counter at Isetan Gardens but only picked up one eyeshadow I’d been wanting for a while, nothing else interested me 🙂 Thanks for the heads up 🙂
Jamilla Camel says
Yes, there is a lot of choice in the UK, but nothing is cheap!!
Oh yeah! I remember how expensive cosmetics in the UK can be… Europe too for that matter.
ooo I love Hong Kong 🙂 I’m sure you’re having fun, did you go to Lan Kwai Fong and have the famous Tong Yun there?
Famous Tong Yun?! Argh! So much food so little stomach! I missed it unfortunately 🙁
Wooot! You had another trip to HK! Looks like it’s really near where I stayed when I was there.I think another HK trip should be in order. But probably next year lah. =P
This time I’ll definitely be heading for a Shu counter. =)
I stayed in Causeway Bay this time. I don’t think Shu prices are all that low now compared to before. But no harm checking if you’re going to be there anyway 🙂
harbour garden in kowloon is a makeup heaven. boo to sephora. sounds boring.
Harbour Garden? I’m not sure I remember that one but I’ll bear it in mind.
Stila is at 50% to 70% off in Malaysia? I want! 🙂
Anyway, I remember reading on one of the SG makeup blog that Sephora is expected to open a new branch in Ion Orchard in 3Q09 and that is expected to be much bigger and will feature NARS, Smashbox, UD, among others.
But we can’t be sure until we see it for real. 🙂
Don’t really need to check out the Ngee Ann City store. There isn’t much u’re missing out on.
Now having said that, the Sephora in US are just fantastic! I went inside and I feel I could spend ages in them! I think this is largely due to the fact that most of the brands are not avail in Sg or in M’sia and the sheer variety is just amazing.
Btw, ParisB, would like to ask you this. Do u rate Lavshuca LP better than MUFE Super Mat LP? If so, that will kill my lemming for MUFE, which will save money!
I actually prefer the Lavshuca loose powder to MUFE. It keeps my skin matt longer and feels smoother. Also its heck of a lot prettier! LOL… But there may be less product.
sephora BRAND is singapore is way overpriced like benefit in HK. looks like we are far better off than a lot of places even though we don’t get as many choices.
the Sephora in HK sounds – CRAP!
Yeah if we aren’t always wanting what we can’t have then yes, we already have a LOT at very good prices. I was constantly amazed at how much cheaper things can be here compared to elsewhere
Ms. Blacklace says
I forgot to visit Sephora today… I was at ngee ann city!!!
Oh yes… Before I forget,Do you know of any website that has the list of ingredients for the Australian Cancer Council Everyday Sunscreen?
I was thinking of buying them online [convert to SGD+Postal fee, it is still cheaper than the ones I get at watsons!] however, I was afraid that I might be allergic to some of the ingredients [just like the neutrogena helioplex!!!].
I actually emailed them but they’ve haven’t replied me back.. 🙁
Hi Ms Blacklace
I had been looking for the ingredient list too but could not find it. The packaging too has no ingredient list from what I can recall. I’ll go back and check and let you know if I see a list on the label.
Amanda L. says
Maybe the stores in Asia are slightly different in terms of availability of space and concept-wise. The ones in the US look very different from the picture that you posted.
Yeah I reckon the Sephora stores are different in Asia perhaps due to demand. Some day I hope to visit one in the US
Aww that’s a pity that HK and Singapore Sephoras didn’t make the cut. The ones that I went to in the US were fab, especially the one at Las Vegas. I was like a little girl playing with makeup for the first time 😛
Well, there’s a reason Sephora in the USA is called a makeup heaven! 😀