RAMSEY, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 20: Laura Slatkin (C) attends Sephora at Kohl's Exclusive Store Launch o...

Here's What It's Like To Shop At The Dreamy New Sephora At Kohl's Locations

Never thought I'd see my two favorite worlds collide.

by Theresa Massony
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

I didn’t know what to expect as I drove through suburban streets on my way to one of the new Sephora at Kohl’s locations in Ramsey, NJ. A Kohl’s devotee myself, I knew the stores were big... but were they big enough to fit something that mimics the true Sephora in-store experience? Would it bring back memories of my Sephora in JCPenney days? Would I disappointed?

No, I wouldn’t be.

As I pulled into the parking lot on the day of the launch event, I saw an enormous chunk of the lot blocked off with a stunning, outdoor Sephora activation, floral arches and photo opps in abundance. Just beyond the outdoor area, I saw what is surely my new mecca. Next to the huge Kohl’s logo on the storefront was the entrance framed with the black-and-white-striped Sephora design every beauty lover can feel from a mile away like a sixth sense. Judging from the size of the Sephora branding alone, I suspected this was a sign of an equally impressive in-store Sephora at Kohl’s space.

The Sephora At Kohl’s Space

My suspicions were confirmed as I entered through the sliding doors. Right in the middle of the Kohl’s racks I know and love stood the Sephora at Kohl’s, an expansive structure housing the the instantly recognizable rows of black-and-white makeup gondolas and the walls of shelves filled with your favorite fragrance, hair, and skin care products. Similar to the traditional Sephora experience, Sephora at Kohl’s also features smaller displays dotted throughout the space with beauty minis, a rotating selection of trending products, and more.

The Sephora At Kohl’s Beauty Brand Selection

Walking between the aisles briefly made me forget I wasn’t at a standalone Sephora location, simply because of the sheer amount of selection. This was intentional for both brands to ensure shoppers in all areas can access the extensive beauty selection Sephora has always offered. By the numbers, that looks like finding more than 120 brands in Sephora at Kohl’s locations and more than 8,500 products to choose from. With just a quick glance, I spotted tons of my favorite beauty brands in the Sephora at Kohl’s: Fenty Beauty, Paula’s Choice, Drunk Elephant, Benefit Cosmetics, Briogeo, Olaplex, Tower 28 Beauty, Tarte, The Ordinary — the list goes on. You’ll also still be able to chat with Sephora Beauty Advisors for consultations, product recommendations, and more.

One major brand hitting Sephora at Kohl’s shelves is Makeup by Mario, the brainchild of renowned celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic. In October 2020, Dedivanovic graced the world with makeup that allows beauty lovers to achieve the soft-sculpted complexion and artistic eye makeup looks they’ve seen him create for their idols. He made the choice to join the Sephora at Kohl’s lineup with “more accessibility for the brand” in mind, especially considering Sephora locations aren’t always easily accessed in less-populated areas. “Reaching this new shopper all around North America [is] really exciting,” he tells me at the launch event.

Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Glow Recipe founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang feel the same about bringing their widely loved skin care brand to Sephora at Kohl’s. “For us, it's really important to meet our customers wherever they are. And I think it's so exciting to be able to reach a new audience and make Glow Recipe products successful anywhere and everywhere.” says Chang. This move also allows Lee and Chang to ensure not only Glow Recipe’s products, but also the brand’s skin philosophy are able to reach and impact even more beauty lovers.

“We really believe, as a brand, we have a responsibility to uphold realistic skin standards. Earlier this year, we committed to no longer using words like ‘poreless’ or ‘flawless’ in any of our marketing,” says Chang, who also notes the brand has ceased use of other unattainable descriptors, such as “anti-aging,” “ageless,” “perfection,” and the like. “I think it's really, really important for us to continue to be thoughtful about how we can provide an environment for our customers where they all feel accepted, regardless of skin tone, texture, type, or concern.”

Sephora At Kohl’s Rewards Details

Another quintessential staple of both the Sephora and the Kohl’s experience is the rewards programs. You’ll be able to use and redeem all the benefits associated with your Sephora Beauty Insider membership when you purchase from Sephora at Kohl’s, including beauty sample redemptions when you shop at physical locations. While you sadly can’t use Kohl’s Cash toward Sephora at Kohl’s purchases, your beauty purchases will still help you rack up Kohl’s rewards points, thus helping you earn more cash for your Kohl’s-specific purchases.

What To Buy In Sephora At Kohl’s

You’ll have the opportunity to explore tons of your favorite brands and ones you might not have tried before with Sephora at Kohl’s. But if you’d like a little help deciding, Dedivanovic would fill your cart with three key Makeup by Mario products. “Hands down, [try] the Master Mattes Palette ($48, Sephora at Kohl’s) because everybody loves it,” he says. “Then, I would say, right now, [try] the Soft Sculpt Blush Stick ($28, Sephora at Kohl’s) and the Powder Blush ($24, Sephora at Kohl’s), too. Blush is having a big moment right now.”

Allow Lee and Chang to drop a few skin care products in your cart, too, while you’re at it. “I would say start with two products — our bestsellers — that’ll give you the experience of what Glow Recipe is all about. The first is the Watermelon Glow PHA Toner ($34, Sephora at Kohl’s), and second is the Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops ($34, Sephora at Kohl’s) — these went completely viral earlier this year on TikTok,” says Lee. “The toner is amazing because it gives you hydration and exfoliation at once ... and then, the Niacinamide Dew Drops give you amazing, even-tone, brighter skin results. If you have hyperpigmentation, this is a great product for you, but you could also use it as a highlighter.”

As of Aug. 20, tons of Sephora at Kohl’s locations have already opened their doors, with even more coming soon across the U.S. Visit the Sephora at Kohl’s website to locate a store near you and start shopping all the beauty products you’ll ever want.