Sephora, Manhattan, NYC

25 Splendid Facts About Sephora

Whether you’re a fan of beauty products or not, there’s a pretty good chance you will have heard of Sephora.

This multinational corporation is known for being the go-to spot for all of the latest makeup and beauty trends and brands. If you spend any time browsing tutorials on social media, there’s a chance you’ve thought about taking a shopping trip to Sephora!

But there is so much more to Sephora than meets the eye! After all, to have survived and thrived for decades in the beauty industry, Sephora must be doing more than a reasonable trade.

Here are some interesting facts about Sephora and its high fashion.

1. Sephora is a French company.

Sephora is a world-famous French multinational retailer of beauty products, cosmetics, fragrances, makeup, skincare, haircare, bath and body products, and beauty accessories.

The company was first founded back in 1969 by Dominique Mandonnaud in Limoges, France. The company’s name is not only beautiful but also meaningfully chosen, but more on that later!

2. It became a huge company in the US very quickly.

As many of us know, Sephora is pretty much everywhere in the US right now!

The company opened its first US store in New York City in 1998, marking its entry into the American market. Since then, the company’s position in the market has only grown.

This is pretty easy to see if you dare to set foot on Instagram or TikTok, where Sephora hashtags are likely overflowing – mainly thanks to the likes of American influencers.

3. Sephora’s selling point was a very innovative concept.

As standard as it may seem now to have huge beauty stores, Sephora has quite an innovative retail concept.

The company is known for offering a wide range of leading beauty products from various brands, as well as its own private-label products. This means that beauty products are accessible to all, no matter the budget, and can all be found in one place, even the most recent products on the market!

The stores are designed to provide a unique shopping experience, with interactive displays, product testers, and knowledgeable beauty advisors to assist customers. Think of it as a beauty superstore – if it’s a popular makeup brand, it’s likely Sephora stocks it.

Sephora in London, UK

4. There are now Sephoras all over the world.

Believe it or not, Sephora operates over 2,700 stores in 35 countries worldwide, including locations in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

And, with the company’s popularity having only grown over the past few years, it is more than likely that we will find even more Sephoras around the world soon! At the time of writing, Sephora is growing enormously in profit, having seen a growth in organic sales by around 25% from 2023 to 2024!

5. You can shop Sephora online.

If you happen to be in an area with no Sephoras close by, you will probably be happy to know that you can easily buy from them online. That’s pretty much the case for most brands, but not all – and considering Sephora’s intent on creating a full-on physical shop experience, its online presence wasn’t always guaranteed.

Sephora launched its e-commerce website in 1999, allowing customers to shop for beauty products on the web and have them delivered to their doorstep.

6. It’s a “Stage.”

Yes – Sephora has even tried to shake off the word “store” in recent times, instead choosing to call its main shopping area the “stage.” Naturally, that means everywhere beyond the main floor is “backstage.”

And, yes, the metaphor continues even further. People who run stages are “directors,” and you don’t wear a uniform here, you wear a “costume.” Seriously!

Sephora Thailand online store

Sephora Thailand online store

7. Sephora genuinely cares about inclusivity.

For all Sephora is a beauty retailer that often focuses on opulent goods and lines, it’s committed to making sure everyone has access to the beauty products they deserve.

It’s part of the company’s intention to become the “ultimate beauty destination” – why would they ever choose to lock people out?

In fact, from 2019 to 2020, Sephora conducted a national study to measure the extent of racial bias experiences in retail in the US. The study offered crucial cultural insights and helped the company become more inclusive for all.

8. It’s easy to get samples from Sephora.

Not many people know about the fabulous Sephora sample rule, but it’s possible for you to take away some beauty products without having to pay – and it being legal at the same time!

Simply ask a member of staff in Sephora for samples of any beauty products you’d like to try, and you can typically take away up to three. The brand will also let you scan samples via the Sephora app, meaning you can reference them easily from your phone if you want to.

9. Sephora is a “worldly” business.

Sephora’s empire isn’t just about stages and directors. Leaders in the business refer to it as having three separate worlds – one for color cosmetics, another for skincare, and a third for fragrance.

That means the company provides training for staff to take part in one of the three worlds. It also means people shopping in stores can look for specific world colleagues to help them make buying decisions.

This, many claim, helps to make navigating Sephora easier and more satisfying!

10. Sephora’s Color IQ is one of its greatest technological achievements.

Sephora, in many ways, is a tech leader in the beauty industry, too. For example, its joint venture with Pantone Universe, Color IQ, helps people to find foundation tones that match their skin color precisely.

Sephora uses Color IQ to scan customers’ skin to help them find foundation, lipstick, and more. There’s even a version that can help people find the perfect scents and skincare products based on their unique preferences.

11. It gives back as much as possible.

Sephora is a brand that shows it cares about people – for example, through its Sephora Cares network, which is set up to help people who work for the company who are experiencing domestic violence.

The company’s also committed to helping provide makeup classes to transgender people and even runs its own business accelerator – Accelerate – which helps to promote and back brands owned by women.

12. The brand went global thanks partly to an acquisition.

One of the main reasons we see Sephora all over the world now is partly down to its acquisition through Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. Acquired by the conglomerate in the late 90s, the company opened its first American store just one year after the deal went through.

Now, the company’s available to browse in-store across 35 territories. Now that’s a growth story to aspire to!



13. There’s some meaning behind the name, but it’s disputed.

Some people believe that the name Sephora – and this is certainly the official statement – comes from “sephos,” a Greek word to mean “beauty,” and Zipporah, Moses’ wife in the Bible.

However, this is hotly disputed – mainly thanks to historians disputing how true the Greek translation is!

14. Staff can’t point you toward specific brands.

Weirdly enough, it’s thought to be against the Sephora store code to promote certain brands over others. Therefore, shoppers have to get creative when it comes to asking for recommendations.

One of the best ways around this, for example, might be to ask which products are selling well! Or, you could just use some of Sephora’s IQ services and find products that genuinely suit your needs!

15. Training for Sephora can be intensive.

It’s said that some members of the Sephora crew embark on a month of full training at the Science of Sephora school. It’s here where – as the name suggests – new cast members get the chance to learn more about the science behind beauty and makeup.

It’s clear that Sephora cares about its members having intensive knowledge – as this month of training involves full days of immersing oneself in the Sephora universe!


Zipporah from Prince of Egypt

16. You can’t bulk buy everything.

Sephora is reportedly fairly sensitive when it comes to customers buying up several of the same products at any one time.

This is likely to do with clamping down on resale – people buying their products, and then selling them on for profit online.

So, it’s likely that you’ll only be able to buy up to six identical items at once, unless you have a very good reason you can justify to the team!

17. Sephora has its own beauty brand.

Aside from reselling various beauty brands, Sephora also has its own. The Sephora Collection is the company’s private label brand, offering high-quality beauty products at more affordable prices for its customers.

18. The company gets exclusive collections.

Another reason why Sephora is so popular is its frequent unique deals, that is to say that Sephora collaborates with various beauty brands and influencers to create exclusive product collections, limited-edition releases, and special collaborations.

Sephora also helps buyers to explore different products and brands based on their previous purchases. It’s thought that around 80% of all sales go through the company’s loyalty program – making it something of a consumer powerhouse!

Sephora products

19. You can explore Sephora’s beauty services.

And aside from just selling beauty products, Sephora also allows you to use them in stores!
Don’t go opening anything you haven’t bought, but you can try the company’s beauty services.

In select stores, Sephora provides makeup application services, skincare consultations, and fragrance consultations, which are provided by trained beauty advisors.

20. You can trust the Clean at Sephora.

Sephora has been very open about the products it sells. For example, Sephora’s “Clean at Sephora” initiative identifies products that are free from certain controversial ingredients. Certain “bad” ingredients include sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.

Being notified about the potential usage of these ingredients helps customers to make more informed choices about their beauty purchases.

Sephora’s Clean Beauty section features products that meet Sephora’s standards for clean ingredients, catering to customers who prefer natural and eco-friendly beauty options.

21. You can take a beauty class with the brand.

If you aren’t comfortable with beauty products and would like to get better at how to use them, Sephora has your back on that, too!

The company hosts various beauty classes and events in select stores, offering customers the opportunity to learn new makeup techniques, skincare routines, and beauty tips from industry professionals.

Sephora’s Beauty Studio also offers complimentary makeup services, including mini makeovers, color matching, and beauty consultations, allowing customers to experience products even before making a purchase!

Sephora Clean

22. You can share your progress on Sephora’s Beauty Board.

Sephora does indeed have a Beauty Board which allows customers to share photos of their makeup looks and product reviews on the Sephora website.

The goal of the Beauty Board was to create a community of beauty enthusiasts and encourage more people to get involved with skincare and beauty products.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community hosts live chats, Q&A sessions, and virtual events with beauty experts and brand representatives, offering customers the opportunity to learn and interact in real time!

23. The company even has its app.

The Sephora mobile app allows customers to shop for beauty products, access personalized recommendations, watch tutorials, and track their Beauty Insider points on the go.

Sephora’s mobile app also features virtual try-on tools that allow customers to experiment around with different makeup looks using augmented reality technology, helping them find the perfect products for their needs without buying them first!

24. The company is headquartered all over the world.

Although Sephora started in France, it now has corporate offices all over the world. In fact, you will find Sephora offices in New York, Montreal, São Paolo, Toronto, Mexico City, and more!
However, the Sephora Americas headquarters and Innovation Lab remain in San Francisco.

25. The company is seen as one of the best employers in the US.

According to Forbes, Sephora is one of the best employers in the US! In fact, it was designated as such in 2018, 2019, 2020, and in 2021!

And, according to their own website, “Sephora scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Quality Index”. The index is the national tool for corporate policies that are important to LGBTQ+ employees across the nation.

Sephora workforce

FAQs About Sephora

Is Sephora a French brand?

Although it is now a multinational corporation, yes, Sephora was indeed founded in France, as mentioned above.

Who is Sephora owned by?

Currently, Sephora is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The company is known for being the world’s top luxury goods group.

Why is it called Sephora?

There is said to be quite the tale behind the name “Sephora”! The name of the company was believed to have been chosen due to the fact that “Sephos” apparently means beauty in ancient Greek, and Zipporah was the name of Moses’ wife in the Book of Exodus. It is, therefore, a truly fitting name for a beauty company!

Do you know any fun facts about Sephora? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on April 8, 2024. Suggest an edit

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