Paris Gallery, Wojooh or Sephora…Where to Shop for Makeup?!
Over the years, the makeup shopping experience has grown in the Middle East with lots of new stores and new brands. Shopping for makeup can get over whelming, half the time you don’t know where to go and which stores carry which brands! In Saudi Arabia, women working in cosmetic stores is a new concept. Things are getting better, but considering KSA being such a unique market it will take time for the sales staff to be at an international level. We will get there :).
Here is a review of the Top 3 Makeup Stores in the Middle East (in no particular order) with some pro’s and con’s to help you know where to shop!
When you think Paris Gallery, think luxury. Paris Gallery is the place where you can find exclusive luxury brands along with all the other classic makeup brands. Giorgio Armani, Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci Cosmetics, some Tom Ford products (full range in Dubai, fragrances in KSA only) are all available at Paris Gallery with some of the luxury brands being exclusive to Paris Gallery only. You can also find awesome brands like Estee Lauder which are not always available at other retailers in KSA.
They are the leading luxury retailer in the Middle East and have over 40 stores across the UAE, KSA, Qatar and Bahrain. They have over 450 international brands across several products like fragrances, cosmetics, watches, jewelry, fashion apparel, eye-wear and accessories, so it’s not just a makeup store. I love the decor inside Paris Gallery, its big, open and luxurious. The brand counters are big and beautiful and have lots of space to explore so you can really spend time looking at the products and test them out.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a rewards/points system but at times they may give a small gift with purchase like a fragrance bag.
When Sephora came to the Middle East it changed a lot of things. They brought with them a cool, trendy place to shop for makeup which wasn’t available here before. Not only do they have most of the major cosmetic brands we love, they also have their own Sephora line of makeup which has some really great products. The Sephora brand is always very innovative from creating their own pro set of makeup brushes, quick foot nail polish remover to making an upside down mascara. The brand has some hit and miss products but they are always up to something interesting.
Sephora carries cool brands like Marc Jacobs, Too Faced, Benefit, Bare Minerals (at some locations), Urban Decay, Makeup Forever alongside the other classic makeup brands. Many of the brands Sephora carries are not available else where. They have a broad range of classic and emerging brands including hair-care, skincare, color, fragrance and body. When you’re looking for something new generally Sephora has it. They have the coolest new brands which we crave like Clarisonic, Huda Beauty Lashes/Nails and coming soon Beauty Blender sponges!!!
Sephora is one of the busiest makeup stores around. They boost 22 stores in the Middle East: UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia. I feel they do need more cashiers, due to the high volume of customers, nobody likes waiting for a long time.
Internationally Sephora is famous for their rewards program. They have really nice, big size sample gifts from brands we love. Sephora Middle East also launched a rewards program, the only downside in the Middle East is that you have to check online how many points you have (they can’t tell you at the counter). This is not the case internationally they tell you every time you shop how many points you have and if you want to redeem them that day with the gifts visible for you to choose from. No effort required.
Sephora’s newsletter is regular with new brands and updates which is nice to know. So if you haven’t’ signed up for it do so!
Wojooh previously known as Faces is one the most easily found cosmetic store in the Middle East. It’s like Starbucks, you’ll find one in every mall, every corner! I like that Wojooh is a local company, only available here in the Middle East. They have tons of brands we love including luxury brands like Chanel & Dior alongside fun brands like Benefit and Makeup Forever in each of their stores including some drugstore brands (at some locations) like L’Oreal! Wojooh is the leading Middle East beauty retailer, with locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt.
There have been a lot of changes with Wojooh recently, and it’s not only the name change. They recently launched their own makeup line called Wow by Wojooh! What’s great about the makeup line is it’s designed for the Middle East! They have colors, products and textures WE love. They have products to ‘beat the heat’ and ‘stay matte’ products people in the Middle East want and need. The quality of the products are AMAZING and the color selection is seriously WOW.
They also recently started a rewards program and what’s nice about the program is that with every purchase you get points and after 1000 points you get 50sr of your purchase. They tell you right at the cash how many points you have. And its really easy to join – you can do so online or on an iPad in stores. Points card aside, they happily give samples and makeup bags with any purchase (sometimes you have to ask). They also have a monthly newsletter that tells you about new products and promotions.
Which Cosmetics Store is your Favorite? Share your thoughts below 🙂