The wait is finally over…
If (like us!) you’ve been staring, not so patiently, at the black and white hoarding in the ifc mall for the past few months, willing it to be September already, we’re glad to tell you that Sephora Hong Kong is now officially open. It’s the popular global beauty brand’s flagship (and so far only) store in the city, after a previously unsuccessful attempt to break into the Hong Kong market in 2008.
Expect to see favourites like Huda, Fenty Beauty, Benefit and Too Faced, packed into the 4,200 square foot space, alongside plenty of newcomers. So without further ado, these are the brands we think should be on your radar (and they’re all exclusive to Sephora Hong Kong!).
Read more: 8 Top Tips From A Hong Kong Makeup Artist
1. Drunk Elephant
This award-winning clean brand goes out of its way to avoid what it refers to as “the suspicious 6” skincare ingredients – that’s toxins and irritants to you and me! So not only is its pretty packaging very aesthetically pleasing, but as the brand aims to make its products as natural as possible (some are vegan and gluten-free), you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not putting any nasties on your skin. If you’re new to the brand we recommend purchasing its The Littles Kit ($705), which contains eight mini sizes of some of its most popular products including the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil and its Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser, so you can choose your favourites before deciding whether to invest in full-size versions. We’re already fans of its C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum ($625) for firming and brightening (tip: keeping it the fridge not only helps preserve its potency but is also a great way to cool your skin in the morning before facing the HK humidity).
FARSALI was originally created by a husband for his wife, who was intrigued by the number of beauty products she owned (and her regular Sephora deliveries). He says he noticed a gap in the market between makeup and skincare, and strived to fill it with beauty oils and serums (designed to be a mix of both). You’ve likely seen videos of people applying its pink Unicorn Essence Antioxidant Primer Serum (from $250) or Rose Gold Elixir 24k Gold Infused Beauty Oil (from $250) on Instagram. We’re finally buying into the hype and want to see for ourselves if we’re missing out. Regardless of whether it’s a life-changer or not, its coloured bottles will look good on our dressing tables!
3. SUNDAY RILEY
We’re going to be honest with you, we’ve read a whole lot of hype about Houston-based brand SUNDAY RILEY over the years, but haven’t actually tried it (despite spending hours poring over online reviews). The reason mainly being because of its slightly higher price tag. But as it’s now available here and has been on our wish lists forever, we’ve decided there’s no time like the present to give it a go (plus we’ve been saving the pennies specially). The Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($850) is one of its most popular products and even claims it can plump up the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in as little as three minutes (but we won’t hold it to that claim if it takes just a little longer!). We’re always on the lookout for a good eye cream, so also want to try its Auto Correct Brightening And Depuffing Eye Contour Cream ($530) which contains Caffeine and Brazilian Ginseng, as well as coconut and shea butter for added moisture.
Supergoop! has managed to make shopping for suncare an enjoyable experience. We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays (even on seemingly overcast days), but often the SPF products in our beauty arsenal are an afterthought, or made up of whatever we can cobble together from the local drugstore. Well, let us tell you that this might be about to change. Now we’ve tried Supergoop! we’re never going back. This brand specialises in SPF, so rest assured it’s perfected the art of producing non-sticky, non-greasy products. Did we mention that the products are also vegan and cruelty-free? We love its Invincible Setting Powder SPF45 ($260) – perfect for eliminating shine and adding protection, and for junk days you can’t go wrong with its PLAY 100% Mineral Lotion SPF50 ($285).
As soon as we found out NUDESTIX was founded by a chemical engineer who previously developed formulas for MAC, we were sold! Jenny Frankel teamed up with her two daughters to create a product range that’s designed to enhance what you already have, rather than masking it completely in heavy makeup. We love how handbag friendly it is, with everything coming in stick form (the clue’s in the name). If you only buy one thing from this collection, make it the Nudies Bloom All-Over Dewy Color Blush ($260). This hard-working multitasker comes in several shades (we love Sweet Peach Peony) and can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips. It even has a built-in handy brush for blending. Its Concealer Pencil ($220) is also a winner. The creamy texture is equally adept at covering up blemishes, under-eye circles or any other problem spots, plus it lasts.
Smashbox has stood the text of time in the beauty world since 1996, but then again, given its founders are the great-grandsons of the legendary Max Factor (and it’s now owned by Estee Lauder) perhaps that’s not surprising! Its primers have managed to earn themselves cult-like status among Hollywood celebrities and devoted makeup fans alike. That’s why we have to recommend its Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($295), if you haven’t already tried it! It’s a clear, oil-free gel that feels totally weightless on your skin, at the same time as helping to blur imperfections and lock your makeup down for longer. Or if gels aren’t your thing, give its Photo Finish Primer Water ($260) a go. It primes, preps and sets in one easy spray (great when you’re pressed for time).
Of course we couldn’t finish without mentioning Sephora’s own-brand products. This cheap and cheerful range is definitely not to be overlooked. We’re big fans of its makeup wipes for those days when you’re so tired you ditch your regular cleanse, tone, moisturise routine before bed (we love the coconut water regular version $60, but also recommend trying out the pineapple exfoliating wipes $60). You can even pick them up in mini size, perfect for packing in your liquids pouch next time you travel. Speaking of travel, we also recommend keeping one of its sheet face masks to hand to combat the drying effects of the air conditioning on planes! Sephora’s collection also includes inexpensive makeup (perfect for trying out a new lipstick or eyeshadow trend), as well as some excellent brushes and sponges at affordable prices.
Go forth and shop, we’ll see you there!
Sephora, open now, Monday-Sunday 10am to 9pm, Level 1, Shop 1073-1075, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, 3168 4088, www.sephora.hk
All images courtesy of Sephora, with artwork by Sassy Media Group.