After Dorit’s post in German about Sephora in Deutschland last week that was much about the future and both positive and negative impressions of Sephora counters in Germany, this is a summary of my experience. So, here you go, 5 things you need to know about Sephora in Germany!
1. It’s nothing like the Sephoras you know around the world (US, Other Parts of Europe, Singapore…)
It’s not a standalone shop, but it’s part of Galeria Kaufhof, one of the biggest department store chains in Germany. It still has the same branding, and carries the Sephora brand products, but the store is more of a subset in Galeria Kaufhof, only carrying items that’s not in the Galeria Kaufhof’s perfumerie. Which means:
It doesn’t carry high-end brands like Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder brands etc. (because Galeria Kaufhof carries them).
You can’t use the Sephora card (in fact there isn’t a German Sephora card), instead you can use the German Payback system (but not their discount vouchers).
2. It’s still the best place to try out makeup and do a swatchfest!
I’m mostly not comfortable doing that in Douglas (that’s the biggest parfumerie in Germany). I do notice that some Douglas shops are changing, but most of them revolve around a salesperson hovering over you like you’re about to steal something, or completely ignoring you and looking super annoyed when you actually ask them for something.
In Sephora, they adopted the way Sephora salespersons work all around the world. They’re always there to help, but you are very welcome to try out things yourself. Note that there’re always huge mirrors with a disinfectant + makeup cleanser + cotton pads + tissue station in front of them.
3. They don’t carry that many brands
I was hoping that with Sephora in Germany, it meant NARS will come back to Germany, but nope. No Hourglass, or IT Cosmetics either. We do have Kat von D, Becca, Huda Beauty, Marc Jacobs, Too Faced and Makeup Forever, plus some Korean brands – Too cool for school, Tony Moly, Skinfood und Erborian.
4. As of August 2017, Sephora in Germany is only open in two cities: Munich and Bonn.
Hamburg is opening soon on August 31st. There’s no news on when other cities will be opened! I’ve been to the ones in Munich and Bonn, and even though I was initially annoyed that Berlin wasn’t in the first list, now I kind of understand why. The Munich one is so crowded all the time (doubtless due to the tourist-y location). During the next months, counters should open in Mainz, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Köln, Stuttgart, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Oberhausen, Aachen, Berlin and Heidelberg. Kaufhof’s social media team isn’t the one to announce openings far in advance, but if you want to see news about future openings, have a look at Kaufhof’s IG.
Update January 2018: Sephora.de opened shops in Berlin (YAY!), Düsseldorf, Sulzbach (very near Frankfurt), Heidelberg. For updates and maps on where exactly they are, find it on the where we are page on sephora.de.
For the German market, prices are decent. Kat von D Liquid Lipsticks are 19,99EUR in Germany, 19,95EUR in France and 20$ in the US. Becca’s Shimmering Light Perfectors are 37,99EUR in Germany, 38EUR in France and 38$ in the USA. You can also order online, shipping is free over 49EUR. Right now, there’re no vouchers or discount codes (and no samples as well!), so from time to time, for brands that are carried by Douglas it might worth it to do the math and see where you can save a few pennies!