Thursday, January 21, 2010

From Sephora Without Love: Used, Cracked, and Broken

Hi everybody,

As I get older, it takes much more energy to make me all worked up. When it comes to makeup, I have never had a temper tantrum. After all, it's just makeup and what's the point of throwing a seemingly yummy eyeshadow palette across the room because the pigmentation sucks? However, recently I almost lost it with Sephora on that 20% off sale at the end of last year.

My friend La Nunu Doll and I decided to do a combined order in order to use that 20% off coupon and get free shipping at the same time. La Nunu lives across the border and the DuWop Peacock palette costs an arm and a leg at her local Sephora. With the coupon and discounted price at American Sephora, she thought it was a good idea to do a custom purchase with me. After some clicks later, the order went through and after new year, a man in brown knocked loudly on the door and handed me a padded envelope.

From then on, things started to get stranger and stranger.

1. Sephora usually ships their stuff in boxes with tons of tissue papers. This time around, I received a padded envelope without a nick of wrapping paper whatsoever.

2. The palette looked really odd: it did not have any shrink wraps or anything. Usually, palettes from Sephora have some kind of boxes. The DuWop palette got nada!

3. This:

Yes, a dent at a corner of the palette.
Now, that's strange!

4. And it got even stranger, once I opened the palette:

I see wells!
The palette was used and returned to Sephora!

5. But the buck ain't stop there:

The 00-Glow 7 pan fell apart!
Cheesus Crust Banana!

Not only was it used and returned, it was broken! Yet, Sephora had the audacity to send it to me! I was angry at them and felt sad for La Nunu. After all, she really wanted this palette! After telling her about it, she emailed Sephora and got no replies. Then, she went to her local Sephora and the store manager told her to bring the palette to the store to exchange a new one. If I had a Sephora nearby, I could have done it for her but sadly, this franchise does not reach this neck of the woods. Also, by the time the package arrived, the discount coupon code already expired. Therefore, I could not get a new palette with the same discount for La Nunu.

Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog wrote about a similar incident but with a lipstick, which brings the ick-factor up a notch. At least I could tell things were off on eye shadows, as they leave marks. However, used lipsticks, lip glosses, and mascaras are hard to tell and if this trend continues, I may not want to buy things from Sephora anymore.

Have you experienced anything like this? What do you think about this issue? Should they restock returned items on the shelves? Please voice your opinions in the comment section.


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  1. Ewww. Could it be that Sephora is feeling the pinch of the recession so much that customer service is suffering? I thought the beauty industry has a boom during poor economic times.

  2. Hi BrooklynShoeBabe,

    I thought the same thing, too. But apparently, I am not the only one who got returned and used items.

  3. Oh eww. Just eww. That's terrible. What happened to Sephora? This is dumb. Sorry for you and your friend.

  4. Ewwww. Selling used cosmetics as they were new is just awful and disgusting! I would be very put off from buying from Sephora again if I lived in the USA. Here you can't return cosmetics at all, although some customers try on the full size items instead of the testers so, in stores, I tend to buy only stuff that's sealed.

  5. Okay that is so uncool. I have a friend whom I sometimes ask to CP me things from Sephora. She ordered my stuff online too, but I haven't experienced something like this yet and hopefully I won't. Sephora needs to do something about this because I'm so not buying online from them anymore.

  6. Seeing these photos just make me THAT much more angry and disgusted >:@
    You forgot about the part where your palette was swatched!
    Nobody has yet answered my email, nor did anyone pick up the phone when I called, it rang only to get disconnected.
    The palette is all sold out now, so it's not even like I can get another one!
    I am gonna link these photos and this post on my next blog entry and I hope people spread the news and Sephora hears about this!
    I am NEVER EVER gonna order from them online nor am I gonna buy any sort of liquid product from them where I can't see that it's brand new.
    Poor Dao :( thank you so much your help!!!

  7. sorry about the bad CS you got from them. During the holidays I did an order for two mufe pencil sets, and they came in a padded envelope to my surprise. Luckily then were undamaged and new, but I had never seen a padded envelope from them before. I get that they should cut shipping costs. I mean, they used to send a giant box with tissues for a tiny lipgloss. It's crazy if you think about the waste, but they do need to have better than just bubble mailers.

    I'm surprised to find that it was used, and I feel sorry your friend had to go through that. I always thought they had a strict policy on returns- that they'd throw them all away. Anyway, I hope this gets around so Sephora will respond!

  8. Wow, that's repulsive, inexcusable and actually sounds like lawsuit material. I'm the kind of person who doesn't even go near makeup testers because of the bacterial disasters involved, so it's really gross they'd send you something USED BY SOMEONE ELSE. Ugh. This comes as especially bad news because I just ordered $50+ worth of sale makeup off a few days ago, all items that don't come sealed (mostly lip glosses). Now I'm tempted to just send them back and never buy anything from them that isn't sealed. Way to destroy customer trust, Sephora. I hope this does get around and that they do respond; that's unacceptable.

  9. WTF They still haven't e-mailed back?? Have you called their customer service hotline? 1-877-SEPHORA or (1-877-737-4672) OMG They used to be so good at responding by e-mail and taking calls!

    I usually don't care about germs and stuff but this story still makes me gag. It must have been absolutely revolting to open up that palette and see those used pans Dx GROSSSSS

  10. Hi Trisha,

    I know, that's really disgusting. And I guess I'm not the only one. An anonymous reader also commented that her lip glosses were opened.

  11. Hi Gio,

    I sent the palette back while wishing somehow, someway it was not used. The DuWop Peacock palette is really beautiful. Also, I hate it when people open stuff up and test like that.

  12. Hi Fifi,

    Sephora probably has the most easiest return policy ever. However, they need to change their restocking policy. I can't believe the have the audacity to sell used lipsticks and glosses. Gross!

  13. Hi McNunu,

    My swatched palette was nowhere near this. The condition of this palette is unacceptable. It looks like I won't be buying from them for a while and really, this is their lost.

  14. Hi Stephanie,

    I'm surprised that they go with the padded envelopes for now. Adorned with Grace minerals, my favorite MMU company, also ships stuff in padded envelopes but they wrap everything very carefully. The palettes I received were not wrapped or anything, which mean they are prone to breakage.

    MAC is the company that throws returned items away. Sephora, on the other hand, sells their returned items. I just shudder at this practice.

  15. Hi Anonymous,

    I can't believe they did the same thing to you, too. With lip glosses, it is even more difficult to see if they were used or not. You should return the opened items. As I said earlier, I would not bother to order things from Sephora again, unless they make some real changes.

  16. Hi Alienman,

    They still have not replied McNunu's email. Also, she said the phone rang to be hung up. Something is really wrong with Sephora these days.

    Yes, I was flabbergasted upon opening the palette. You could have seen the padded envelope my order came with, it was so dirty and banged up!

  17. I received a stila palette in a padded envelope with no surrounding bubble wrap. Opened it up, and the eyeshadows were crumbled of course. I returned it, and not too long afterwords, they sent me a new one in a box and then about a week or two later, they gave me a store credit for the palette.

  18. Hi Anonymous,

    I hope Sephora will do the same for us as well. This palette I received and mentioned in this post is really disgusting.

  19. Yucks, that's disgusting. How could Sephora sell a used and returned product?! Too many things have gone wrong with this order. It's shameful that they didn't give a reply to the email.

  20. Hi Witoxity,

    I called them yesterday and all they can do to me is to refund my money. Needless to say, I am very disappointed.

  21. eww, I'm really sorry for you and your friend. In my country we cannot return any make up items at all so I hope they're not getting them from other countries and reselling used stuff too.

  22. Hi Andreia,

    You are safe from this returned items issue. This is the first time I experienced this and apparently, I was not the only one.


Dear Dao...


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