A Battle of the Sephora’s; Germany vs USA

One of the things I was most excited about when I was backpacking Germany was getting to see all of the stores that are not available in Frankfurt. I found Monki in Hamburg, Inglot in Düsseldorf, and just a month before my trip, they opened the very first Sephora in Germany within a Galeria Kaufhof in Munich!

Since I moved to Germany I have felt absolutely depraved of Sephora and Ulta. Germany has the story Douglas but it’s just not as big and there are so many brands I consider to be staples that are not available in the country. To be completely honest, visiting Sephora was one of my top things to do in Munich (confessions of a makeup-aholic) even above some of the actual tourist attractions.

So, What’s the Skinny?

I never mince words so I won’t here as well, I was extremely disappointed with Germany’s Sephora. The selection was terrible and some of the brands I was really hoping to find weren’t there. Off the top of my head, basically the only brands they stocked in store were Huda Beauty, Too Faced, Marc Jacobs, and Kat Von D. Of course they carried their own line as well but so much of the store was consumed by skincare, especially face masks.

At the time I was a little excited to see Tony Moly there and I even picked up an handful of face masks to stay hydrated during my trip, but now Douglas has started carrying Tony Moly so it kinda takes away the novelty.

Also in Sephora was the brand Too Cool for School which seemed to be a small Korean skincare brand (I had never heard of them before) as well as Skin Food which you can already find a limited selection of in either Rossman or DM (I forget which).

Their website shows that they also carry Becca and Make Up for Ever but I don’t remember seeing them in that store. Also listed online is a brand called Ayres which I have never hear of and was also not in store.

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A quick photo I snapped to show my mom. Wish I had thought to take more.

But it’s a Sephora inside another store, you can’t expect too much!

I think this is completely false because Sephora has been inside of JC Penny in the states for as long as I can remember and those are fantastic. When you see the amount of space JC Penny allots Sephora vs the amount of space Galeria gave them, you can really see that Sephora was trying to take another approach to the German market and (in my opinion) failed.

The Sephoras within JC Penny almost always carry all of the major brands, fragrance, skincare, nail polish… the works. While they may not be able to stock the full range of brands for the company in these smaller locations, there are far more than just the handful of brands offered to the German market.

But at least you got to shop some brands’ full collections right?

Sorry, but no. I was very excited to see Too Faced there but all I found were the new highlighters that launched, just a few of their classics, and the Sweet Peach pallet. While perhaps they offer a larger selection online, in store was just the new or trendy items.

The same can be said for Huda Beauty although I am not as familiar with their line. Basically all that was displayed was their best selling, new-ish eye shadow pallet. I know that line has more products than that.

So what were you missing?

I completely understand that they do not want to waste time on brands that are already so accessible on the German market like Benefit which are already in every Douglas, Galeria and Karstadt in every city. However I would have liked to have seen some other brands that are perhaps less common or harder to find.

Off the top of my head I really would have liked to have seen Bite Beauty, Cover FX, ColourPop (which I know is very new to Sephora in general so I give them a pass), Stila, Pretty Vulgar, First Aid Beauty, Tatcha, Hourglass, It Cosmetics, NARS, NudeStix, Pat McGrath, and Philosophy. To me these are Sephora staples and either the brands have products I love and which I could get more readily, or are new or have viral products I wish I could get my hands on.

OK,  so what’s the final verdict?

Overall, I think that the Sephoras inside Galeria are a glorified showroom. There is no real selection of products and in general, the limited brands that are offered only display their newest and trendiest items. If you are German and have had a hard time getting ahold of these items or brands, then I completely understand why you would be excited by this opening. However, please know that Sephora is so much more than this and you are being cheated. I hope that if you are a makeup-aholic like me, that you can get to the US and see the full wonder that is Sephora.


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