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Here’s what beauty retail will look like in a pandemic

The days of being able to prance through a Sephora are nigh as the beauty giant announces its return come 19 June.

Still, a reopening does not signal the end of safety issues, given that beauty retail is an extremely tactile experience. Swatching, sampling, getting a makeover — all these are crucial to one’s time at any beauty store, and with that comes a fair share of risks during a pandemic where one touch is all it takes to get COVID-19.

Sephora is very well aware of this, and with the announcement of its reopening, the giant has issued a roadmap that lets us visualise the dos and don’ts of shopping for beauty products amidst a pandemic.

How can we try on products?

sephora reopening singapore
Swatches will not be allowed for the time being. (Photo credit: Sephora)

Hygiene and social distancing being top priorities means that your in-store experience is a hybrid between the physical and the digital. No more testers are available and there is a strict no-touch policy, so customers will have to rely on an app-based Virtual Artist that lets you digitally “try” on products with facial recognition technology.

An in-built bar or QR code scanner easily pulls up information and reviews about the product you want to purchase within the Sephora app, giving you the option to quickly suss out whether it is right for you without having to spend extended time in-store just Googling.

For foundations, the website and app’s Find Your Shade feature will have to suffice. This function utilises shades you currently use to match with the closest thing the product line in your hand has.

The app also has a “click to buy” option that allows you to purchase your items without having to go to the cashier.

How about makeovers and consultations?

sephora reopening singapore
Makeovers will have to take a backseat for now. (Photo credit: Sephora)

As in-store interactions have to be minimised, Sephora has launched virtual consultations with its beauty experts, held over Zoom, so you can address queries to your heart’s desire about hair, skin, or makeup products. You can book one here.

Social distancing rules?

There are still standards to be held. 1-metre social distancing applies at all times, temperatures will be taken before your admittance, SafeEntry check-ins are a must and so is sanitising your hands.

What Sephora is doing will surely translate into other areas of beauty retail until a vaccine is discovered. So from now till whenever that is, embrace the new face of shopping for time to come.

Featured image: Deva Darshan/Unsplash

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.