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Sephora grand opening promises 'prestige cosmetics' for Alaskans

  • Author: Leslie Boyd
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published June 12, 2013

Sephora's makeup bag of beautifying tricks just got a little deeper for Anchorage's brush, blush and blot crowd.

The national beauty retailer, which specializes in bringing established makeup, skincare, fragrance and beauty brands together for a one-stop shopping experience, opens its first freestanding store in Anchorage Friday.

And Sephora Anchorage, nestled in the northeast corner of the Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall's second floor, is not skimping on shadow, shimmer and shine just because we live so far away. The new store rivals the size and offerings of any Sephora location.

"Like all Sephora stores, Sephora Anchorage will offer the most innovative and unique way to shop, where an array of prestige cosmetics are showcased in gorgeous open-sell gondolas and linears instead of glass cabinets, so clients have the freedom to discover and play in a stress-free shopping environment," said Sephora Anchorage Store Director Andrea Green in an email interview.

Green is right. Sephora is a beauty product playground. But if you're like me and you sometimes find yourself helpless with pencils, primer and powder, it's not too late to find hope in Sephora's options of high-impact mascaras and high-volume lip plumpers.

The first few times I visited Sephora stores in the Lower 48 I was paralyzed. Like opening an Artist Color Box Makeup Palette with 24 eye shadow shades, six lip glosses, and five eye pencils and not knowing what to apply first -- or at all. My confusion turned into frustration that made me want to stab myself with a double-ended applicator brush.

I came clean about my product powerlessness, much like wiping my face with Josie Maran's Bare Naked Wipes. Now I'm slowly learning to navigate the more than 200 brands -- and indulge Sephora's desire to let customers experiment and play.

And so are you, apparently.

Alaska's first blush with Sephora came in 2011 when the retailer opened a small space inside the JCPenney's department store. The smaller Sephora stores are about a third the size and carry a scaled-back selection. Green said Anchorage's Sephora launch two years ago was one of the most successful Sephora JCPenney openings ever.

Prime yourselves, my cosmetic comrades. Alaska's enthusiasm means you get twice the Sephora shopping options.

"The Sephora inside JCP will remain open," said Green, "and we look forward to servicing Anchorage clients at both convenient locations."

Sephora Anchorage's store hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Map and mall links, here.

CORRECTION: This article was updated June 13. The original article reported that Sephora Anchorage's grand opening was scheduled for Thursday. The store doesn't open until Friday. We regret the error.

Anchorage freelance writer Leslie Boyd writes a regular column on local shopping and style. Ideas, information or tips? Contact her at akshopgirl(at)

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