Sephora’s largest annual in-person makeup event SEPHORiA: House of Beauty made a return for its fifth year (September 29-30th). It welcomed thousands of attendees both in person at the Skylight at Essex Crossing in New York City, and online for its virtual sessions – making it SEPHORiA’s first year as a hybrid event.
At its physical space, SEPHORiA featured activations from over 50 of Sephora’s most-loved brands including Danessa Myricks, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez, Patrick Ta, Tower28, Ceremonia, and its own Sephora Collection. Sprawling across booths on two floors, the brands’ activations each had unique hands-on experiences for attendees to see, touch, feel, and smell a range of products across makeup, haircare, fragrance, and skincare categories. Leading makeup directors also led masterclasses to teach beauty aficionados the ins and outs of their artistry.
Among SEPHORiA’s buzzing crowd, guests even had the chance to meet some of the founders behind the brands, including Dr. Dennis Gross, Amy Liu of Tower28 Beauty, Danessa Myricks, Akash Mehta of Fable and Mane, and Patrick Ta. For Liu, a beauty industry expert of 20 years, this year’s SEPHORiA marked a special occasion in her career.
“I’ve been to events like this many times before as an employee working for someone else, but this is my first time at SEPHORiA as a brand founder,” Liu told Reflect Beauty. “This is truly my dream and what I always wanted to do. Seeing it realize it’s such a physical form is pretty cool.”
Guests were able to snag free samples and full-sized products at nearly every booth, which also had fun and educational elements to explore their products. Kosas Cosmetics had guests shoot hoops at an arcade-like basketball to score plushies shaped like their DreamBeam sunscreen and Cloud Set Setting Powder. Some brands gave guests a chance to spin a wheel to win full-sized makeup products: Charlotte Tilbury’s wheel could score you samples and gift sets while Danessa Myricks Beauty’s wheel offered a range of full-sized makeup prizes from Chrome Flakes to Twin Flames color products to even a coveted year-long spot on the brand’s PR list.
Mehta, co-founder of the haircare brand Fable and Mane, was at his brand’s activation dressed up as a tiger, his company’s mascot which honors the brand’s wildlife conservation efforts. He founded the brand in honor of his grandmother who would massage his co-founder and sister Nikita’s hair with Indian Ayurvedic oils.
“Everyone can connect with some form of beauty ritual from when they were growing up. Our whole brand is about connecting with your roots and feeling connected to yourself,” Mehta told Reflect Beauty. “If we can remind people to connect with themselves in all their day-to-day busyness and look within, that’s exactly what we want them to accomplish.”